More than 150 student leaders and aspiring student leaders gathered on a Saturday morning in October to learn ways to strengthen Stony Brook’s diverse campus community through inclusive practices in the first Student Diversity Leadership Conference.
Left to right: Kiara Arias, USG Director of Diversity Affairs; Keynote Speaker Christina Vargas; Dr. Rick Gatteau, VP for Student Affairs and Dean of Students; and Cheryl Chambers, Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs.
The conference, spearheaded by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and in collaboration with Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, Faculty Student Association, Undergraduate Student Government, and other campus areas, was conceived as a learning opportunity where students could not only develop their leadership skills through the lens of intersectionality, but also enhance students’ understanding of how diversity and inclusion apply to the development of their life skills and career goals.
Primary funding for this initiative was provided by a Presidential Diversity Initiative Grant.
The theme “Ignite The Student Leader in You!” was chosen by the planning committee to represent the goals of this conference, the first of its kind at Stony Brook.
“This conference was designed to inspire students to become campus leaders who will help shape Stony Brook as a diverse learning environment where everyone feels they belong and have a place,” explained Cheryl Chambers, Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs.
“This event is important to me because it’s an opportunity for student leaders to come together and really work together to create a more inclusive environment on campus,” said Kiara Arias’ 21, Political Science student and one of the event organizers.