We continue to work in partnership with students, faculty and staff to develop actionable antiracism plans that work toward dismantling racial inequities and demonstrating our authentic commitment to racial justice.

To Our Adelphi Family,

Many of you have read and thanked us for our recent communication denouncing hatred and racism, and emphasizing past, current and future actions being taken by our community to create equitable, diverse and fair opportunities for all students, faculty and staff.

We appreciate your commitment to continuing this critical work and know that this type of change does not happen overnight. Since 2015, we have demonstrated time and time again that we will not rest until injustices are corrected and eliminated.

We continue to work in partnership with students, faculty and staff to develop actionable antiracism plans that work toward dismantling racial inequities and demonstrating our authentic commitment to racial justice.

To expand upon our last email and actions ahead, our community’s relentless fight for equity and an end to racism can be organized into four action buckets:

  1. Expanded Task Forces, Working Groups and Spaces Dedicated to Action and Community
  2. Growing Our Professional Community to Reflect the Diversity of Our Students and Our Diverse Hiring Practices
  3. Improved Recruitment, Retention and Graduation of Diverse Students
  4. Increased Training and Resources for Faculty, Staff and Students

Each of these areas is expanded upon below.

  1. Expanded Task Forces, Working Groups and Spaces Dedicated to Action and Community
    • An Academic Diversity Implementation Team, co-led by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, has been created and will be responsible for implementing and benchmarking University-wide actions related to curricular enhancement and the hiring, mentoring, retention, teaching, scholarship and tenure of a diverse faculty body—growing and giving our diverse faculty members the support and resources they need to thrive at Adelphi. More information about this group will be shared this coming Friday as part of a special dedicated edition of the Provost’s Weekly Update.
    • Under the leadership of our Center for Student Involvement in the Division of Student Affairs, we have launched an Equitable Adelphi Action Team—a student-centered council that will provide the University with recommended action steps and suggested strategies for how our community can address and combat racism and other forms of oppression, implicit biases and microaggressions. See our most recent message to students here, shared by Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Bakari.
    • All schools and colleges of the University will have an active School/College Diversity Council by August 2020, facilitating evidence-based strategic diversity plans in each individual area, exploring curricular enhancement and continuing to inform the University’s overarching commitment to becoming a model of diversity, equity and inclusion.
    • The Faculty of Color Network is expected to grow in size and activity. This group of leaders actively engages faculty of color with the broader academic life of Adelphi’s campus.
    • We will continue to meet frequently with the Garden City and Nassau County police, as well as Garden City’s Village Board of Trustees to discuss issues of concern and areas for partnership, including the creation of an equitable community surrounding our Adelphi campus.
    • Additional planned virtual forums will continue to serve as a safe space in the months ahead to come together as a community to review progress and necessary pivots on these very action plans designed to eradicate racism. For more information on upcoming forums, email
  1. Growing Our Professional Community to Reflect the Diversity of Our Students and Our Diverse Hiring Practices
    • Launched in 2015, implicit bias training remains a requirement for all faculty and executive/senior-level search committees to complete during the hiring process. This has already resulted in the growth of diversity among new faculty by 50%, and among all faculty by 23%. It has also transformed our Executive Leadership team from all-white to 43% nonwhite, as well as 57% women—including the first black woman, the first black man and the first Asian American woman. Additionally, our first black man has been elected as vice chair to the University’s Board of Trustees. Expansion of this process to all hiring at Adelphi, including staff positions, will continue the positive growth in our diverse and talented community of professionals. 
    • The Diversity Certificate Program, which has attracted more than 1000 employee participants to date, will be completed by our executive leaders, deans and department chairs. Advancing education on racism, microaggressions and inclusivity, the certificate program is also being expanded to several local school districts.
    • We are working with our unions to incorporate diversity and inclusivity training as part of the required professional development.
    • Anne Mungai, PhD, associate provost for strategic initiatives and graduate studies, will expand her work focused on issues surrounding faculty diversity in coordination with our colleges and schools.
  1. Improved Recruitment, Retention and Graduation of Diverse Students 
    • Our Enrollment Management team continues to thoughtfully design and improve its diversity recruitment plan, inclusive of efforts within predominantly underserved communities of black and brown students throughout the five boroughs, Nassau and Suffolk counties, and other pockets throughout the country. These efforts have been effective, increasing the diversity of our student body by 20% from Fall 2015 to Fall 2019. 
    • Our University remains committed to programming and support for historically underrepresented communities, including growing the success of our semiannual, on-campus 400-plus attendee College Awareness Day, expanding our bilingual financial aid materials and information sessions, and increasing involvement in community-based panels and presentations on college readiness and access for underserved schools and students.
    • While Adelphi does not meet 100% of student need, as we do not have the resources available to provide full aid packages to all students, we have placed an increased effort on raising funds for the President’s Student Success Scholarship and Multicultural Scholarships to help close financial gaps for many of our diverse students.
    • Financial literacy remains an important component of the college search, enrollment and retention process. We are committed to educating students on reasonable college debt and the loan process from the outset, offering hundreds of one-to-one counseling sessions with newly admitted students annually. Similarly, we redesigned, simplified and will continue to modify as needed, the financial aid package for better understanding among our students and families.
    • Efforts to improve retention and graduation rates, particularly among our diverse student groups, are ongoing. Early results have demonstrated improvements in the four-year graduation rate of our black students, increasing from 39.3% in Fall 2015 to 51% in Fall 2019. While this does show improvement, we must continue to do more to retain and graduate our talented pool of diverse students. This is why the University is undertaking the implementation of a Student Success Coaching Model, designed to help students from a proactive and holistic standpoint of multidimensional coaching.
    • Offering and expanding our diverse array of multicultural clubs and organizations will promote retention, community and support among students with similar interests and passions. This includes an extensive list of historically culturally based fraternities, sororities and social fellowships governed by the Multicultural Greek and Fellowship Council. Among these are historically black Greek letter organizations that make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council and Divine Nine.
    • An evidence-based practice, proactive mentoring is known to improve the retention and outcomes for students of color. And so, Adelphi continues to grow our University Mentoring Program to help ensure academic success, especially for students of color who may be the first in their families to attend college.
  1. Increased Training and Resources for Faculty, Staff and Students   
    • We are adding to our growing list of counseling resources, both on and off campus, for our students of color. Our own institutional resources, coupled with national resources, aim to provide culturally sensitive treatment and promote awareness for issues encountered by students of color.
    • Our University Libraries, in collaboration with our Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, is working to build our collection of books and resources highlighted specific to the antiracism educational efforts, many of which are now featured in this designated section of our website. Additionally, both teams are in partnership to develop a LibGuide that will profile the work of our faculty on the topic of racism and inclusion.
    • During our June 3 discussion of racism with our community, our Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion called for submissions of creative and scholarly work by our black and brown community members, especially those works that discuss the subject of racism. This will help enhance our collection of resources for our community on this topic.
    • Selected as a Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center through a competitive process by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, Adelphi will serve as one of only 24 institutions of higher education nationwide to work toward the goal of erasing structural barriers to equal treatment and opportunity on campuses, in our communities and for our nation around the pillars of the TRHT Framework: narrative change, racial healing and relationship building, separation, law, and economy.

These four pillars and the subsequent action plans underneath will continue to be monitored against benchmarks set to achieve racial equity goals—many of which exist as part of our strategic plan, goal 3—Become a Model of Diversity and Inclusion. Monitored through our annual implementation plan and measured through our annual scorecard, our results to date were last shared in our midpoint update this past fall.

We continue to call on you as members of our community to be collaborative and productive members of these conversations and actions. To join in the efforts listed above, please reach out to any of us as executive leaders or to our Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at or 516.877.3182.

Together, we will work to eliminate injustices, end systemic racism and advance racial equity within our own community and those that surround us.


Christine M. Riordan, PhD, President
Steve Everett, DMA, Provost and Executive Vice President
Jim Perrino, Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration
R. Sentwali Bakari, PhD, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Kristen Capezza, MBA ’12, Vice President for Enrollment Management and University Communications
Jacqueline Jones LaMon, JD, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Maggie Yoon Grafer, ’99, MA ’08, Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for External Relations

For further information, please contact:

Todd Wilson
Strategic Communications Director 
p – 516.237.8634
e –

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