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Thursday, November 11, 2021

Today's Message

Posted: Wednesday, November 10, 2021

CUMU Learning and Sharing Virtual Series - 'Intentional Procurement: Linking Procurement to Racial Equity and Economic Development' - November 11

Please join the Civic and Community Engagement Office for the webinar "Intentional Procurement: Linking Procurement to Racial Equity and Economic Development," presented by Shea O’Neill from U3 Advisors; Antonina Simeti from the Buffalo Purchasing Initiative; Linda Deni from the University at Buffalo; and Sue McCartney and Mauricio Canton Diaz from Buffalo State College, on Thursday, November 11, at 2:00 p.m. 

This presentation will discuss the formation and ongoing implementation of the Buffalo Purchasing Initiative, a collaborative effort between 14 major organizations in the Buffalo area to drive more spending opportunities to local businesses owned by people of color. In operation a little over two years, BPI has more than doubled the dollars spent with local businesses of color by the founding members. We will discuss the history of BPI, the tactical steps taken to launch and operate, as well as the day-to-day challenges and opportunities that underpin the work. The presentation will also leverage our relationship with the University at Buffalo and Buffalo State College, two of the core partners, to drill down the relevancy of this work at a university level and to share the value universities can achieve in linking their supplier diversity operations with other major employers, regardless of industry.


Immediately following is "Chief Diversity Officers in Higher Education: More Relevant Now than Ever," presented by Tanisha Stevens from the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

Over the last few years, appointments of chief diversity officers (CDO) at institutions of higher education have increased significantly, and it is not uncommon that a quick search will yield a number of job opportunities, not only in higher education, but in K-12 education, health care, and corporate and business entities as well. Unfortunately, it is often the case that an individual hired into this position will be the first in the newly created role and oftentimes viewed as a “crisis manager” in response to an event or occurrence, such as a series of racial incidents on a college campus.

Despite this, there needs to be an institutional commitment and acknowledgment for the importance of the work that CDOs undertake for a university—work that should not be diminished or devalued. As institutions of higher education and the nation as a whole continue to address issues regarding equity, race, diversity, inclusion, and social justice, quite simply, CDOs are essential in maintaining a welcoming and inclusive campus environment.

The purpose of the session is to (1) examine the ever-changing roles of chief dversity officers in higher education, through the experiences of a newly appointed CDO, (2) provide examples of opportunities and initiatives that have proved successful at the institution, (3) provide opportunities for others to engage in conversations on their respective campuses to move the needle forward on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

This hour-long event is presented by the CUMU Learning and Sharing Virtual Series and is free to members of the Buffalo State community. Please register online for this webinar and any others in the series you may be interested in.

Submitted by: Naomi W. Hall
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Thursday, November 11, 2021