An update on Fordham’s efforts to carry out the University’s action plan, Addressing Racism, Educating for Justice.

Academic Affairs/Office of the Chief Diversity Officer (CDO)

With funding from the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Office of the CDO, this academic year we enthusiastically welcome sociologist Daniela Pila, Ph.D., our inaugural Postdoctoral Fellow in Critical Race Studies, in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Pila’s research and teaching focus on race, ethnicity, immigration, and the law, with a focus on the experiences of Filipino immigrants in the greater New York City area.

The Office of the CDO has awarded 22 mini-grants across more than 20 departments for exploring ways to integrate questions of race into their introductory and major/minor courses as part of the Teaching Race Across the Curriculum grant program, launched last spring.

In August 2021, during the annual planning retreat, the University Deans Council— which includes the deans of all of the schools, the Provost, and other academic leadership—participated in a Racial Justice Examen, connecting the work of racial justice to the goals of the division for the coming year.

This summer, Chief Diversity Officer Rafael Zapata helped create and facilitate a series of mission-based racial justice workshops for about 50 participants of Cohort 14 of the Ignatian Colleagues Program (ICP) held at Loyola University Chicago’s Retreat and Ecology Campus, focusing on the Racial Justice Examen created last year by a group of mission officers and chief diversity officers of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) network.

Building on the success of these workshops, the Office of the CDO will be piloting a series of mission-based community building/racial justice workshops adapted to Fordham students, faculty, and staff. The four workshops (roughly 2.5 hours each) are based on foundational Ignatian concepts and designed to foster action. They are titled: Building Community Toward Racial Justice, Developing Discerning Leadership in Service of Racial Justice, Discerning Leaders in Action, and Eyes to See: Committing to the Work of Racial Justice.

Office of Undergraduate Admission

In August, Fordham welcomed the most diverse class it has ever had—and also its largest ever, with more than 2,800 students. The Class of 2025 has more than 44% domestic students of color. The new Rams hailed from 45 states, 51 countries, and all five boroughs of New York City. More than 600 students in the incoming class are from New York City, including more than 160 from the Bronx—up significantly from last year. Finalized admissions numbers are as follows:

  • Hispanic 18%
  • Asian 14%
  • Black 7%
  • International 6%
  • Unknown <1%
  • American Indian/Alaska Native <1%
  • Pacific Islander <1%
  • Two + 4.5%
  • White 49%

As the office continues its hiring process for a new associate director of admission for diversity initiatives, Ike Uche has recently been promoted to senior assistant director and will be working on many of our DEI-related initiatives.

Fordham School of Law

In August, Fordham Law School launched its Realizing Excellence and Access in the Law (REAL) program to expand opportunities for first-year law students from historically underrepresented backgrounds, including underrepresented racial, ethnic, geographic, socioeconomic, LGBTQ, and first-generation college student backgrounds.

REAL will orient students to the study of law and help new first-year law students feel prepared, confident, and welcome in the Fordham Law community. It provides a pre-orientation program consisting of classes that introduce students to the foundation of law and focus on the basics of legal reasoning and analysis and fundamental legal concepts.

There is a wellness component to the program, which includes peak performance sessions to manage the personal aspects of navigating law school. Participants will also learn useful information from peer mentors during the program.

“The practice of law and our law school community benefit when students from all backgrounds are provided a real opportunity to succeed,” said Kamille Dean, Esq., director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Fordham Law. “We find that prospective lawyers thrive when they learn the skills they need from individuals with shared experience, and that’s what drives our new program.”

Student Affairs

New Student Orientation hosted a number of enhanced, annual programs for incoming students, including multicultural receptions for students and families, a reception and mixer for LGBTQ students, a presentation and video from the Office of Multicultural Affairs, DEI speaker Mohammed Soriano-Bilal from Stanford University, and DEI-focused small-group conversations facilitated by orientation leaders.

These conversations continued after orientation through the mandatory Civility Core Program for new students, in which students explore a number of DEI concepts and terms and receive an overview of the University’s bias policy and how to report a bias incident. Survey results indicated that 84% of students agreed, or agreed strongly, that the presentation was interactive and engaging.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs hosted its first OMA Block Party at the Rose Hill campus with various cultural clubs and committees advised by the office, followed by BIPOC student mixers at both Rose Hill and Lincoln Center.

The Office of Residential Life has continued to see progress in increasing the diversity of the resident assistants (RAs) and resident first-year mentors (RFMs). The percentages below represent the racial and ethnic breakdown by campus (identity categories differ by campus) for 2021-2022:

  • Lincoln Center total number of RAs and RFMs: 42
    • Asian 26%, Black 14%, Hispanic/Latinx 10%, White 29%, Mixed Race 21%, Total BIPOC 71%
  • Rose Hill total number of RAs: 95
    • Asian 12%, Black, Afro-Caribbean, or African American 21%, Hispanic/Latin/Latinx 19%, White 48%, Total BIPOC 52%

Office of Alumni Relations

Alumni Relations held its MOSAIC (Multicultural Organization Supporting Alumni Initiatives and Community) fall networking event on September 30 at the Princeton Club in New York City. MOSAIC  supports the inclusion and engagement of diverse Fordham community members in the life of the University—it is the premier annual event for alumni of color.

Recent Fordham DEI News

Fordham CSTEP: A Home for First-Generation College Students

STEPping into Biology with Hip-Hop

Fordham Welcomes First Diversity Fund Aid Recipients

Fordham Welcomes Most Diverse, Largest Class in History

Fordham STEP Receives ‘2021 Inspiring Programs in STEM’ Award

Dean of Students Jenifer Campbell on Holistic Care for All Students on Campus

School of Social Service Receives $1.9 Million to Support Graduate Students of Color and Help Underserved Youth