The State Of Diversity and Inclusion at Pace: A Deeper Look


Brittani Burns

Pace is accepting of all students, but why does that acceptance of diversity not reflect in the faculty roster?

Nigeria Belizario, Contributing Writer

With the climate of today’s society and the sensitivity surrounding racial issues, the topic of diversity and inclusion is often tiptoed around because individuals are hesitant to voice their opinions due to the backlash they may receive. This is unfortunate because in order to evoke change, individuals need to speak up about the injustices they witness. With that in mind, the new era of equality of recent years throughout institutions and their diversity shows what can happen when people speak up.

However, it is commonly debated what level of diversity we should strive for. Is one female in a male-dominated company acceptable? Is one African American employee enough? Does hiring one LGBTQ individual mean your company is accepting? The answer is simply no. That is not enough because that gives off the impression that the person hired is the token minority. A company can potentially say, “Look, we have one or two people that are different from the rest” if they are ever outed for their lack of diversity. People should never be hired as tokens; it gives off the wrong message.

The same message of the absence of true diversity occurs within many academic institutions. Hitting a little closer to home, at the Pace Pleasantville campus, the lack of variety among faculty is apparent. There are not enough professors who reflect the entire student body. Nearly half of the student population on the campus consist of people of color, according to the Pace fall 2017 census figures. And based off of Pace’s 2016-17 Human Resource information; out of the 486 total full-time professors at Pace, only 15% are people of color, while 362 are white.

Now the question becomes why? What is the main reason behind this huge gap? Is it HR and their tactics (or lack thereof) or is it not enough people of color applying for positions? It is a general consensus that HR needs to step up to the plate and do more specific outreach because there are plenty of potential applicants who are suited for positions that just need outlets to go to. Pace needs to make more of an effort to show people that this campus is welcoming to everyone, especially when it comes to faculty.

Looking at the bigger picture, having the student body and faculty mirror each other in terms of diversity will be extremely beneficial for everyone, especially the students.

“It’s important for students to see professors who look like them teaching, it gives inspiration and hope that they can one day achieve that level of success,” said Cornell Craig, Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion.

Kayan Petgrave, a senior criminal justice major, shared a similar sentiment.

“People of color need more positive representation, having professors who like me is definitely motivating and needed,” she said.

Freshman Diana Wooley advises the school to “seek diversity.”

“It will be beneficial and heighten the environment here on campus,” said Wooley.

While this topic is not one that can be fixed overnight, starting a dialogue can push the agenda forward. Diversity and inclusion should not be seen as taboo but rather a way of life. Everyone walking this earth should feel like they have a place where they fit in and are seen. Whether it is at a local restaurant, a law firm, or a college campus, representation is important across the board.

Remember: Be brave enough to speak out about the injustices happening whether it is major or minor. Change will not come when people remain hesitant.