Main menu:


Any opinions expressed here, except as specifically noted, are those of the individual authors or commenters and do not represent the views or policies of University of Rochester.


Diverse Voices is a forum for members of the Rochester community who are engaged, or have an interest in, diversity at the University of Rochester.

“The Rules”: Open and frank discussions of the topics raised here are encouraged and welcome; however, we ask that individuals who participate in these discussions are respectful and do not abuse this forum. In that spirit, we reserve the right to remove any material that:

  • Is posted anonymously
  • Harasses, degrades, intimidates, is hateful, abusive, obscene, defamatory or constitutes a personal attack
  • Is spam, junk mail or any other form of advertising or solicitation
  • Is off topic (if you have an issue that you would like to be raised on this blog, please contact one of our bloggers)

If you encounter any material on this blog that you find offensive or believe violates any of the guidelines above, please contact

Our Bloggers

Nancy Ares- Warner School of Education Faculty Diversity Officer and Associate Professor of Teaching and Curriculum

Nick Bigelow- Lee A. DuBridge Professor of Physics and Chair, Professor of Optics, Senior Scientist, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, Quantum Optics and Quantum Physics

Stan Byrd- Human Resources Manager of Multicultural Affairs & Inclusion

Maggie Cassie- Assistant Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity and Special Projects Researcher

Lynne Davidson- Deputy to the President and Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity

Mary Dombeck- School of Nursing Faculty Diversity Officer and Professor of Nursing

Jerry Gardner- University Trustee and Diversity Advisor

Dan Horsky- Simon School of Business Faculty Diversity Officer and Benjamin L. Forman Professor of Marketing

Frederick Jefferson- Professor Emeritus, Warner School and University Intercessor

Ellen Koskoff- Eastman School of Music Faculty Diversity Officer and Professor of Ethnomusicology

Ralph Kuncl- Provost

Vivian Lewis- School of Medicine and Dentistry Faculty Diversity Officer, Associate Dean for Faculty Development- “Women and Diversity, and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Beth Olivares- College of Arts, Sciences & Engineering Assistant Dean for Diversity Initiatives

Kathy Sweetland-University Intercessor


Comment from Susan Mary Gardner
Time: December 2, 2008, 10:12 am


I am sharing a thought-provoking poem that may open the door for reflection, discussion and transformation. Enjoy!

The Cold Within

Six humans trapped by happenstance
In black and bitter cold;
Each one possessed a stick of wood,
Or so the story’s told.

Their dying fire in need of logs,
The first woman held hers back,
For on the faces around the fire
She noticed one was black.

The next man looking cross the way
Saw one not of his church,
and couldn’t bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.

The third one sat in tattered clothes,
He gave his coat a hitch.
Why should his log be put to use
To warm the idle rich?

The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store,
And how to keep what he had earned
From the lazy, shiftless poor.

The black man’s face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from his sight.
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.

And the last of this forlorn group
Did naught except for gain.
Giving only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.

The logs held tight in death’s still hands
Was proof of human sin.
They didn’t die from the cold without;
They died from the cold within.
~ James Patrick Kinney

Thoughts to Ponder:

*What would you do to create the warmth within?
*How would you share that with others?
*What inner gifts can you share to create a peaceful and kind home? neighborhood? community?

Comment from Alton Johnson
Time: December 2, 2008, 11:14 am

Hello bloggers, in viewing your blogs I noticed a lot of upper level mamagement on the campus committing their time and talents to establishing dialog While this may be a good approach to dealing with some tough issues concerning diversity, there’s a desperate need (within your blog) for a more ground leveled approach. These ground leveled individuals you work for (our students) and individuals who work either for you directly or indirectly. They are also hourly paid staff, entry level individuals and facilities whom also face these issues on a daily bases. If inclusion is the way to go then maybe, midlevel and lower level inclusion should also be a part of the blog as well. Just a thought put into words; not meant to dispel your efforts of change, for change is good if done in measures which include all.

Thank you,


Comment from Lynne Davidson
Time: December 4, 2008, 9:14 pm

Alton, thanks for your comments. The “official” bloggers are those involved in our faculty diversity initiative University-wide, because the primary intention of this blog is to inform the University community about the activities, programs, and policies associated with the University’s faculty diversity initiative, and to get feedback on this initiative from ALL interested parties – students, faculty, and staff. So yes, we do want to hear from all of you! Please send us your comments. We hope to engage in a meaningful (and inclusive!) conversation about faculty diversity at the University.

Lynne Davidson

Comment from vivian lewis
Time: May 1, 2011, 10:29 am

In many universities, the alumni play an important role in garnering interest among potential students, faculty, research collaborators and donors. How can the University of Rochester reach out to alumni of color to help them feel more included in the campus community?

Write a comment