The Office of the President
February 15, 2021

Dear Members of the Oswego Campus Community,

I am pleased to announce that the next Grand Challenge focus for SUNY Oswego will be on the topics of Race, Racism and Social Justice.

Beginning in fall 2021 and for the next three years – across all disciplines, departments and divisions – our campus will deeply engage with multi-dimensional issues of the social construction of racial identities, complex systems of oppression and privilege, and societal transformation. Our next Grand Challenges effort will give Oswego students, faculty and staff a unique opportunity to address the impact that race, racism and social justice have across every aspect of our global community. This topic selection was made in collaboration with the Grand Challenges Oversight Committee after a careful and extensive review of the many survey responses received from students, faculty and staff this past year.

Recently, and far too often, we have witnessed our nation wrestle with issues of racism and social justice. I have called on all Lakers to continue to stand together to root out racism and enact positive change for our community, and many of you have repeatedly answered this call. But we can and must do more. We must be agents of a vastly better future. With this endeavor, we will formally deploy the wide and deep scope of our work in the academy as a powerful platform for that agency, finding greater insight, understanding and means to positive change.

Over the course of the spring 2021 term, the Grand Challenges Oversight Committee in conjunction with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion will be engaging stakeholders across our campus community to develop multidisciplinary and multimodal initiatives related to race, racism, and social justice. Look for the committee’s upcoming “Request for Grand Challenge Project Briefs” if you’re interested in a micro-grant to add content to your existing syllabi, learning outcomes to courses, or are interested in a collaborative, interdisciplinary or civic engagement project involving the topic.

Martin Luther King, Jr. urged us to “be those creative dissenters who will call our beloved nation to a higher destiny ... to a new plateau of compassion, to a more noble expression of humanness.” So let us move forward in alignment with our strategic plan as an inclusive and vibrant community of students and scholars, applying the powers of learning and knowledge toward finding solutions for the grand challenges of Race, Racism and Social Justice.


Deborah F. Stanley

Office of the President
706 Culkin Hall
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