Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Cornell University is located on the traditional homelands of the Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ (the Cayuga Nation). The Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ are members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, an alliance of six sovereign Nations with a historic and contemporary presence on this land. The Confederacy precedes the establishment of Cornell University, New York state, and the United States of America. We acknowledge the painful history of Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ dispossession, and honor the ongoing connection of Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ people, past and present, to these lands and waters.
This land acknowledgment has been reviewed and approved by the traditional Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ leadership.
Note: For pronunciation of the names of the original inhabitants of the Ithaca area, Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ is approximately Guy-yo-KO-no and Haudenosaunee is approximately Ho-di-no-SO-ni. Please also listen to Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ language teacher Steve Henhawk’s pronunciation in this video associated with his Gayogo̱hó:nǫɁ language course at Cornell.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice in the Department of Natural Resources & the Environment
We acknowledge that within academia and the field of natural resources and the environment there has been historic and systematic oppression that continues to impact individuals to this day. In light of this, we strive as a department to 1) reflect on and address our own exclusionary practices and structures, 2) elevate the people and perspectives that are often dismissed, 3) support one another within and outside of our academic responsibilities, and 4) listen to and adapt to the needs of our community.
We recognize that diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice is a long-term endeavor that requires continuous dedication and resources. We are committed to creating a community where all members experience robust feelings of belonging and are provided with the conditions necessary for their personal, professional, and academic pursuits to flourish.
DEI Structures: Advisory Council
To ensure that we actively make progress towards these goals, we elected our first DEI Advisory Council consisting of faculty, staff, and students (graduate and undergraduate) in March of 2021.The DEI Advisory Council aims to uphold and contribute to the DNRE community’s shared commitment to DEI by 1) increasing transparency of DEI decision-making processes, 2) developing and implementing DEI initiatives, programs, and accountability structures, 3) providing a safe space for individuals to provide feedback on DNRE’s culture and DEI progress, and 4) adapting to evolving community needs.
The Council is an important preliminary structure as we continue to reflect critically on our culture, practices, and goals. They are currently tasked with 1) identifying the DEI needs within DNRE, 2) developing a DEI strategic plan with SMART goals and associated evaluative structures, and 3) continuing to promote DEI programming within the department.
If you have any questions about the DEI Advisory Council or its tasks please contact us at: dnre-dei [at] cornell.edu.
Current Council Members
Aalayna Green (Graduate Student) – Co-Chair and Graduate Student Association DEI Officer
Barbara Knuth (Faculty) – Co-Chair
Ryan Franckowiak (Staff)
Marissa Garcia (Graduate Student)
Azwad Iqbal (Graduate Student)
Max Link (Undergraduate Student)
Nina Overgaard Therkildsen (Faculty) – Department Leader of Diversity and Inclusion
Note: These documents can be accessed by any Cornell faculty, student, or staff with a valid login. If you are not currently part of the Cornell community and are interested, please contact dnre-dei [at] cornell.edu.
Beyond DNRE DEI Resources
Report a Bias Incident
If you have seen, heard, or experienced bias, you can make a report with the Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX (OIETIX) in two ways:
- File a Bias Incident Form
- Contact the Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX at equity [at] cornell.edu ()
The Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX is responsible for collecting and tracking all reported bias activity that occurs at Cornell University that could potentially impact our commitment to diversity and inclusion, including all reports made by faculty, staff, students, and visitors to the Ithaca, Weill Cornell Medicine, and Cornell Tech campuses.