Diversity & Inclusion
What happens when we create a more just, inclusive, and equitable community? A more sustainable and resilient future for all. Cornell is striving to create a diverse and inclusive campus environment where all community members can thrive. Human justice and social justice issues are central to Cornell’s sustainability framework. Recognizing that race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, ability, socioeconomic status, religious background, and other factors influence the experiences and opportunities of individuals and communities, our approach is to work for greater understanding, equity, and representation in sustainability governance structures, projects, and beyond.
Promoting Gender Equity
Cornell's Title IX web site provides access to Cornell's Title IX coordinators as well as reporting resources, policies, and procedures that promote a safe and nondiscriminatory environment.
How you can promote inclusive sustainability:
Honor First Nations: Cornell University is located in the traditional homelands of the Gayogohó:no (Cayuga Nation), one of the six Haudenosaunee nations. When opening an event on campus, facilitators may wish to acknowledge this history by stating “We recognize and honor the land of the Cayuga Nation upon which this building and University were founded.”
Understand and use University policies & guidelines: Use them for events and space planning, like the Restroom & Facilities guide which provides gender neutral bathroom guidance and a list of universal, accessible, and family-friendly bathrooms.
Cornell's History of Inclusion
Commitment to diversity dates back to the very beginning of the university’s inception, with Ezra Cornell’s 1865 statement, “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.” As years have passed, Cornell’s sustained dedication to diversity has been evident through many significant events, such as the 1906 founding of the first undergraduate African American fraternity, the 1916 founding of the first Asian fraternity in the Ivy League, and awarding the first PhD to an African American woman in 1936.
Diversity & Inclusion Resources at Cornell University
Policies & Initiatives
Continually improving Cornell’s demographic diversity by promoting a genuine sense of belonging for all members, preparing students for an interconnected world, and utilizing the diversity of thought, backgrounds, and identities of our constituents for innovation and scholarly excellence.
Focusing on inclusion and achievement across the Cornell campus, so students of all backgrounds can excel at their academic goals. OADI programs especially support low-income students, those who are the first in their families to achieve a college degree, and under-represented students of color.
Cornell's approach to addressing compliance and diversity issues is to do so holistically. As a result, programming is developed to be as inclusive of all populations as possible and to include addressing career/life issues. The Department of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity provides leadership in identifying strategies to address staff diversity issues, ensures compliance with federal affirmative action regulations, leads the university’s Title IX efforts, supports disability access efforts for the university, and implements programming to address the career/life challenges of students, faculty and staff.
Supporting students in the development of their social and cultural identities. Carrying out identity work with a focus on race and ethnicity while embracing the intersectionality of gender, sexuality, ability, class, and first generation status.
Annually, each Cornell college and administrative unit implements three diversity initiatives aligned with Cornell’s vision for “Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open Minds.”
Providing information about the policies and procedures regarding bias, discrimination, harassment, and inappropriate contact. Reporting this kind of behavior is encouraged and supported.
Providing information about Cornell’s compliance with federal laws that address affirmative action and equal opportunity.
Providing workplace resources for employees from all walks of life and opportunities for employers to improve diversity and inclusion efforts.
Information about Cornell’s diversity recruitment and retention programs and resources, including training and networking opportunities to support communities of color, disabilities, LGBT, military veterans, women, and religions.
An affirming and welcoming space on campus for any student regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. Working to incorporate principles of social justice into programs and services.
Fostering a more vibrant campus community by supporting the full and active participation of women-identified students in both their personal and educational pursuits at Cornell.
Providing information on matters of admissions, financial aid, campus resources, privacy, legal assistance and safety available to DACA and undocumented students.
The ISSO assists individual international students and foreign academic staff and their families by advising them concerning federal immigration, tax and labor regulations, and by providing counseling on personal, academic and cultural matters.
The university sponsors Colleague Network Groups (CNGs) as a way for traditionally underrepresented minorities and their allies to find support, both at Cornell and beyond. The CNGs enhance our community culture by providing engaging programs for Cornell faculty and staff.
The Intercultural Center at Cornell provides a supportive environment in which all Cornell community members can share, grow, and explore. Students can discuss issues, engage in cross-cultural communication, and foster cooperation among peers. You'll find open hearts and minds in a place where the doors are always wide open.
Cornell United Religious Work is the university's inter-faith department, coordinating the work of 29 member religious groups. CURW offers programs of worship, study, and social life, as well as opportunities for students to engage in interfaith dialogue.