College Columns December 2021 - Page 10

The DEI Commission : Moving Forward Hon . Laurel Isicoff and Hon . Jeffery Hopkins

On October 6 , 2021 , as co-chairs of the Commission on Diversity , Equity and Inclusion , and , on behalf of all the Commissioners , we delivered the Interim Report of the Commission . The Interim Report reflects the great work the Commission has accomplished through our mid-way point of October , and includes a list of Recommendations and Proposals for consideration by the Board , and comment and input by all of you .
The Commission has been charged with a purpose – to show the College a pathway to systemic change so that our process for choosing and fostering our membership and our leadership reflects the College ’ s intent to improve in the areas of diversity , equity and inclusion , and ultimately to promote those ideals more broadly and advance our profession ’ s evolution to better reflect the world in which we live and work .
The Commission still has a great deal to accomplish , including working with our leadership on implementing the Commission ’ s recommendations , as modified and improved by input from all stakeholders .
Here are some excerpts from opening remarks of co-chair Judge Jeffery Hopkins
to the Board :
We come to the proverbial fork in the road . We can and should take the road welltravelled . And , we can , as the great American poet , Robert Frost , stated , also , “ take the road less travelled ”— and as the poem closes — that decision can “ make all the difference .”
The well-travelled road , we know , will produce beneficial results — funding for and creating of life-altering exposures to persons , places , and events for individuals who are normally foreclosed from such opportunities — because of the zip code they grew-up in , their skin color , nationality , gender , sexual orientation or , sense of “ other-ness ,” based on some defined immutable human characteristic — unrelated to intelligence , ability , hard work , skill or tenacity .
Facing the question which road the College should take — with apologies to Red Sox fans and injecting a bit of humor into this discussion — let us follow the advice of a wellknown philosopher , who also moonlighted as a HOF catcher for the NY Yankees , named , Yogi Berra . Mr . Berra was often quoted as saying : “ If you come to a fork in the road , take it .”
In all seriousness , I believe there is capacity in this College for us to do just as Yogi encouraged , to “ take the fork in the road .”
We can and we should take the path that promotes programs that will provide for sponsorship and mentorship opportunities predicated on principles of DEI . That is the easier path . We are working towards those solutions in the Proposals section of the Report .
However , by that same token , we can and