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Chapter 4: Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit

Diversity and inclusion

This DEI toolkit is a student-led initiative created by student leaders to address the need for additional DEI training, resources, and initiatives for student organizations. Campus Activities and the office of the Dean of Students provided support for these materials. 

As student leaders, we are responsible for facilitating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment where all members, prospective members, students, and community members feel valued.  The purpose of this toolkit is to help student leaders:

  • strengthen their organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)
  • recognize implicit bias and identify microaggressions
  • increase cultural competency and generate ideas to improve inclusion efforts
  • reflect on how to modify our actions so as not to perpetuate stereotypic assumptions

Marginalized voices in professional spaces are often victims of microaggressions and systemic barriers. Although it may not directly result in intentionality, this does not negate the impact. Through this toolkit, we urge student leaders to step back and assess where their privileges lie and how it manifests in their respective organizations. 

The toolkit provides education and guidance on fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in student organizations. The work does not end with this toolkit. Student leaders must be willing to engage in and practice these efforts beyond the toolkit to ensure anti-performative measures. By constantly reflecting on implicit biases and how to improve diversity and inclusion efforts, student organizations can transform into a safe space for individuals deriving from all communities. 

You can navigate the resources in the toolkit on the left.

Additional resources:

The Campus Activities Leadership Workshop Series can be found here.

The Dean of Students office has additional resources that can be found here.

About the authors

As noted in the introduction, this DEI toolkit was primarily developed by a group of student leaders with support from Cornell staff. Here is information about the authors who assembled the original DEI toolkit in the summer and fall of 2022.

Headshot for Yasmin Ballew '22

Yasmin Ballew '23, head co-writer

Yasmin is a senior in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations with minors Inequality Studies and Law and Society.  She serves as Gamma Chapter President of Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity and the Convocation Chair of the Class of '23. 

Headshot for Amisha Chowdhury '23

Amisha Chowdhury '23, head co-writer

Amisha Chowdhury is a senior in Arts and Sciences studying Government and Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. She serves as the President of the First Generation Student Union and the Student Advocate for Student Assembly Office of the Student Advocate.

Student contributors to the toolkit (2022-2023 academic year)

  • Selam Woldai is a member of the Class of 2023 in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. On campus, most of her time is dedicated to being the Undergraduate Student-Elected Trustee.
  • Valeria Valencia is a senior in the ILR School from Los Angeles, CA. Valeria serves as the President of the Student Assembly as well as President of ALANA Intercultural Board.
  • Zene Willoughby is a senior Industrial and Labor Relations major from Brooklyn, NY. On campus. Zene is a Convocation Committee member and a Becker House Active Citizen.
  • Olay Ajayi is a senior in ILR and co-president of Cornell Students for Black Lives. She's dedicated to legal advocacy and social justice for underserved groups.
  • Claudia León is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in American Studies with minors in Latino Studies and History. She served as Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion to the Student Assembly for the 2021-2022 academic year, and is the current President of the Puerto Rican Student Association.