Message from the guest editor

The summer 2021 Cornell Report is not a typical issue. With the theme, “I See You,” the goal is to begin to construct a necessary platform for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)-related work and amplify as many alumni of color voices as possible. For some, these pages will affirm experiences, and for others, there may be a temptation to question the need for transformation. For the latter, I ask you to invite humanity into your homes. Heather-'Byrd'-Roberts-'09 writes about inclusionSome articles will require you to pause, reflect, reread, and sit in your discomfort. I ask you to resist the urge to dismiss people’s experiences and invite curiosity and understanding. I welcome respectful and courageous conversations. Understand for some of us, we’ve been having this dialogue for decades, and the labor is substantial. 

By no means does this issue cover the entire spectrum and complexity of DEI work. We desire to continue highlighting diversity and the wide range of stories represented on Cornell’s campus and beyond. I want this work to live on past this particular issue. 

I could not have done this without the contributors’ trust and vulnerability in my vision. I spent many days in tears of joy. The stories presented here are real—believe them. 

I am honored to share this space with you as the Cornell Report’s first guest editor. The contents in these pages are just the beginning. 

I dedicate this special issue to all Cornellians, especially the overlooked, the invisible, or the disregarded. You are not alone. I see you. 

Let the conversations begin. 

Heather ‘Byrd’ Roberts ’09

We are planning talk backs on this issue of the Cornell Report with Heather ‘Byrd’ Roberts ’09. We invite respectful and courageous conversations. Email to get started.