"Year of Cultural Initiative"

Year of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Cultural Initiative – 2018-19

The SUNY Empire State College Year of Cultural Initiative Steering Committee, has selected the College's second "Year of" theme focusing on the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. This theme includes Indigenous/Native populations across the Americas, including First Nations and Communities in North, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean. Programs and activities associated with The Year of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas will take place throughout the 2018-19 academic year including the *New* Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Virtual Residency discussed below.

Year of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Cultural Initiative

Spring 2019 Course Offerings and Activities highlight the Year of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas

Menoukha Robin Case, Mentor, Interdisciplinary Studies, Saratoga Springs and Rhianna C. Rogers, Mentor, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Interdisciplinary & Multidisciplinary Studies Coordinator, Cheektowaga, have announced spring 2019 course offerings and actitivies for the Year of Indigneous Peoples of the Americas

Students enrolled in the spring 2019 classes below will have access to a special "Year of" site, where they will be able to discuss ideas with students in other classes and attend or view special presentations:

  • INMS-4000 or 4025 Special Topics in IMS: Endangered Languages (Menoukha Case)
  • INDG-4015 Native American Women’s Studies (Menoukha Case)
  • INDG-4010 Native American Plants: Decolonizing Indigenous Knowledge (Menoukha Case)
  • INDG-3005 Anishinaabe Studies: History, Culture, & the Environment (Menoukha Case)
  • LITR-3080 Native American Literature (Menoukha Case)
  • INDG-3015 First Peoples of North America (Rhianna Rogers)
  • INDG-3020 Living History: Little Bighorn from a Cheyenne Perspective (Nicole Nesberg)

Space is still available in all of the aforementioned spring 2019 courses!

SUNY Empire State College started the "Year of Cultural Initiative" as a way to overlay a cultural theme onto academic offerings and student events/activities.

Building on SUNY and SUNY Empire's partnership with The University of the West Indies, "Year of the Caribbean" was the first theme, in 2017-18, of this initiative, which explored a topic intensively through linked courses, cultural events and celebrations, art exhibits, webinars, seminars, service learning projects, student and alumni gatherings, speakers, articles in the college magazine and other experiences.

In 2018-19, the college will investigate The Indigenous Peoples of the Americas broadly as part of a long-term collegewide commitment to foster cultural diversity within both the institution and the greater community.

Year of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas - Cultural Initiative

The Empire State College Common Read for 2018-19

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz was selected as the Empire State College Common Read for 2018-19 and connects with the College’s Year of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Cultural Initiative

ESC Reads Co-chairs Nadine Wedderburn and Sophia Mavrogiannis announce the Empire State College Common Read for 2018-19

ESC Reads presents the SUNY Empire State College Common Read for 2018-19: An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.  Winner of the 2015 American Book Award.

To request a free copy of Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, please visit: https://esc.formstack.com/forms/esc_reads_book_request_form

After two successful iterations of ESC Reads during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years featuring Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me and Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place, respectively, ESC Reads returns for another year with a new book, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States.

What exactly is ESC Reads?

ESC Reads is SUNY Empire State College's common-read initiative. The concept of a collegewide common read is not new. Colleges and universities have been hosting common read programs for decades. These programs generally aim to provide students, faculty and staff with a common intellectual experience, to encourage them to think about ‘big issues’ and connect the entire college community across disciplines and roles. In an effort to fulfill this mission, each year ESC Reads offers a limited number of free copies of the selected book for students to read.

More about the book!

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz was selected to connect with ESC’s “Year of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas” initiative. Told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples, this non-fiction book is a necessary telling of American history discussing Native American peoples’ ongoing resistance against an ever-expanding US.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States will be presented and discussed with 8 documentaries with Indigenous/Native themes that are featured on the PBS Independent Lens website including Reel Injun.

Participate?

A limited number of free books are available to students; however, books may also be purchased through online book retailers, at bookstores nationwide, or borrowed through local libraries. To request a free book fill out the ESC Reads Book Request form.

If there is a need for alternative access to print materials due to a diagnosed sensory, learning or medical disability, the College’s Office of Accessibility Resources and Services will provide you with information about requests for an alternative format.

Keep an eye out for an email from ESCReads@esc.edu for information about our next event.

Happy reading, and hope to see you at one of our upcoming events!

More information about the Year of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Cultural Initiative is available.

Year of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas - Cultural Initiative

Announcement from Rhianna C. Rogers, Mentor, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Interdisciplinary & Multidisciplinary Studies Coordinator at SUNY Empire State College at Cheektowaga, NY

Recording of Year of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Virtual Keynote Lecture now available on LearnScape.

On November 13, 2018 at 11:30AM, Mr. Roberto Borrero gave a keynote lecture on Indigenous Knowledge and Indian Education as part of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Virtual Residency.

Picture of Mr. Roberto Borrero

Mr. Roberto Mukaro Borrero is a cultural consultant, advisor, human rights advocate, writer, historian, artist, and musician. He offers particular expertise in Caribbean and other Indigenous Peoples issues. His unique perspective draws from multiple sources including his indigenous Taíno heritage, mentorship from indigenous leaders and elders from around the world, and real-time experience in the arts, as well as human rights and environmental advocacy. With over twenty years experience in the non-profit/non-governmental sector, over a decade of experience as Senior Programs Coordinator for Public Programs in the Education Department of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and as a former radio host and producer for WBAI Pacifica Radio’s “Circle of Red Nations,” Mr. Borrero maintains a diverse resource network locally, nationally, and internationally in the civil, business, and governmental sectors.

A cultural consultant and or advisor, Mr. Borrero has shared his expertise in various capacities within the United Nations system, as well as with non-profit and for-profit entities such as PBS, BBC, the Institute for American Indian Studies, El Museo de Barrio, Tribal Link Foundation, the International Indian Treaty Council, Aveda Corporation, Natural Resources Stewardship Circle, and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, among others.

This keynote is part of the inaugural Year of Virtual Residency, a new modality of learning that provides a unique applied learning opportunities through virtual lectures and interactive student practical projects. “What’s really neat about this new virtual residency model is that this will be the first time where we have undergrad, grad and international education students represented in a single residency experience,” said Rogers. “Students are going to be able to see each other, engage with each other, ask each other questions, develop cross-cultural and global competencies from their joint experience and, at the same time, examine course content on top of it.” The first virtual residency will be offered in fall 2018 as part of SUNY Empire’s “Year of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas” initiative. This initial residency will feature three courses: First Peoples of North America (undergrad), Native American Art and Culture (undergrad/international education) and Introduction to Critical Pedagogy (grad).

Recording available on Learnscape

*New* Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Virtual Residency

The virtual residency offers online courses, and in place of the on-site meeting, you will meet online on specific dates to have joint discussions and attend a virtual keynote speech by Mr. Roberto Mukaro Borrero (Taino Cacique "Chief" from Puerto Rico and UN International Indian Council member), who will speak on the state of indigenous education. This is also the first time, undergraduates, graduates and international students will come together in one collaborative virtual environment to learn about a topic.

Students may register for one of the following courses:

  • First Peoples of North America (INDG 3015) Undergraduate
  • Native North American History and Art (ARTS 4055) Undergraduate
  • Colonization and Resistance (LACS 6996) Graduate – undergrad may register
  • Introduction to Critical Pedagogy (CURI 6005) Graduate

If you have any questions about the residencies, please contact Lori McCaffrey (Lori.McCaffrey@esc.edu or 518-783-6203) or your primary mentor.

Year of the Caribbean Cultural Initiative – 2017-18

SUNY Empire State College started the "Year of Cultural Initiative" as a way to overlay a cultural theme onto our academic offerings and student events/activities.

Year of the Caribbean Logo with multi-colored bird

Building on SUNY and SUNY Empire's recently formed partnership with The University of the West Indies, "Year of the Caribbean" will be the first theme of this initiative, which is designed to explore a topic intensively through linked courses, cultural events and celebrations, art exhibits, webinars, seminars, service learning projects, student and alumni gatherings, speakers, articles in the college magazine and other experiences.

During academic year 2017-18, the college will explore the topic broadly as part of our long-term collegewide commitment to foster cultural diversity within both the institution and the greater community.

To kick off this new initiative, we were proud to host Sir Hilary Beckles, vice-chancellor of the University of the West Indies, as the 2017 Boyer Family Lecturer during our annual All College Conference. Sir Hilary's address exploring "Reparatory Justice and Economic Development: Critical Support for the Social Growth Paradigm in the Caribbean," was the perfect mark to the beginning of our "Year of the Caribbean" initiative.

Sir Hilary Beckles Boyer Family Lecture All College 2017

The steering committee for the "year of" cultural initiative will meet regularly to decide on future themes. Suggestions for themes are welcome and should be forwarded to the Office of the President at President@esc.edu

The steering committee includes:

  • Francesca Cichello, executive director, International Education
  • Elliott Dawes, chief diversity officer for institutional equity and inclusion and Title IX coordinator
  • Pat DeCoster, executive assistant to the provost
  • Michael Mancini, chief of staff
  • Danielle Boardman, coordinator for Student Life
  • Megan Mullen, associate dean, Arts and Humanities
  • Roz Rufer, associate dean, School for Graduate Studies
  • Rhianna Rogers, mentor and coordinator, Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Chris Whann, director, Regional Operations

Take the Next Step

Ready to advance your education and career? There’s no time like the present. Apply now, or learn more about SUNY Empire at one of our information sessions.