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Introduction and Welcome

Inclusive Equity Works: Promoting Diversity, Excellence and Innovation

Arlene Torres is an academic in the discipline of anthropology and in the interdisciplinary fields of African American and Latina/o Studies. Torres is a scholar of race and ethnicity. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Africana, Puerto Rican/Latino Studies at Hunter College at the City University of New York (CUNY). 

Torres has been involved in the American Anthropological Association’s national project on race which includes a book on curriculum development for k-16 educators, a major website and scholarly articles. Her scholarship has helped to contextualize her new professional role as a university administrator, one that takes into account the relationship between compliance and the practice of diversity, noting that effective practices have the power to change mindsets.

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Dr. Torres is currently the Principal Investigator and Director of the City University of  New York (CUNY) Mellon Faculty Diversity Career Enhancement Initiative, an exciting four year initiative that will work in conjunction with the four Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow serving institutions at CUNY to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

As a faculty mentor, she coordinated and directed the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program at Hunter College, CUNY. She also served as the Director of the Chancellor’s Latino Faculty Initiative in Academic Affairs, CUNY.  Her most recent appointment was as University Dean for Recruitment and Diversity in the Office of Human Resources Management in the Central Administration where she mentored and supported a diverse faculty and staff. 

"Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar." Antonio Machado

Dr. Torres is Past President of the Puerto Rican Studies Association (2014-2016) and Past-President of the Association of Latina and Latino Anthropological Association, a division of the American Anthropological Association. Professor Torres has also held post-doctoral fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy, Princeton University and the Museum of American History at Smithsonian Institution. 

Torres works on several University-wide and community organizations to support the educational advancement of underrepresented communities in higher education. She serves on the Mission Effectiveness Committee of the Cornelia Connelly Center, a vibrant middle school for girls on the lower east side of New York City, whose mission is to support young girls in their academic pursuits. 

She received her  Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she held positions as an administrator and member of the faculty. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology at Colgate University and believes in the transformative possibilities of an education in the Liberal Arts and Sciences. 

Mellon $541,000 To CUNY To Enhance Faculty Diversity 

The City University of New York has received a $541,000 four and one-half year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a program to enhance faculty diversity.  The CUNY Mellon Faculty Diversity Career Enhancement Initiative, a Mellon collaboration with four CUNY senior colleges, is tied to University-wide efforts to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion.  Sited at Brooklyn College, City College of New York, Hunter College and Queens College, which also serve Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows, the grant will support a program for faculty mentoring and professional development. A cohort of faculty on each campus will attend research/writing seminars aimed at producing peer-review publications for a year and workshops to increase the retention rate of a diverse professoriate. Dr. Arlene Torres serves as Principal Investigator. 

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"Education leads to enlightenment, Enlightenment opens the way to empathy. Empathy foreshadows reform."  Derrick Bell