Cornell University played host this weekend to a conference of unprecedented significance for the cause of racial diversity and inclusion on campus. The dual goals of the Cornell Mosaic program were to celebrate racial diversity and advance inclusion in the form of a three-day conference, packed with workshops and opportunities for discussion between the 600 attendees. Registrants ranged from alumni as far back as the class of 1955 to current undergraduate and graduate students.
The Minority Alumni Initiatives Implementation Committee (MAIIC) planned the conference with the hope of increasing alumni involvement and encouraging interaction between alumni and current students. Attendees of Cornell Mosaic had the opportunity to attend a student entertainment showcase, or listen to a panel of alumni speak about key legal concerns facing communities of color, or hear alumni with expertise on the topic of what it takes to make it in Hollywood, among many others. Workshops were conducted alumni and faculty on issues such as racism, immigration, health and wellness. The undergraduate admissions office gave a presentation on their decision-making process, emphasizing the goal of racial integration and diversity.
Attendees of the conference generally found the conference to be a positive experience where alumni and students found new opportunities to network, to reconnect and to discuss the topics of racial diversity.
“We’re building a minority multicultural network right now,” said Sheryl WuDunn ’81, trustee. “This conference has really launched us.”
Denise Meredith ’73 called the conference “fantastic.” An alumni event of this scale involving all the different colleges has been “a long time in the making,” she said.
“All in all, it’s been an absolutely wonderful experience. I’ve met alumni who haven’t been on campus for 10 or 15 years who came here,” said Elizabeth Moore ’75, trustee and chair of MAIIC.
Moore said she hopes to hold the Cornell Mosaic conference every few years and at the same time increase alumni activities throughout the country.