AAP Advancing Diversity and Inclusion Fund

Make a gift of any size to support the Office of Diversity + Inclusion at AAP!

Advance Diversity and Inclusion at AAP

The College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP) is committed to an inclusive and diverse community and an open learning environment that is free from bias. Over the last six decades, AAP has engaged deeply in efforts toward building a community that values and welcomes diversity across our faculty, staff, and students. In line with the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and in response to the occupation of Willard Straight Hall at Cornell, former AAP dean Burnham Kelly worked with architecture professor Henry Richardson to form the Office of Minority Educational Affairs (OMEA) in 1970. From then to now, our work toward equity has been taken up by students, faculty, and alumni groups that have all effected critical change.

Energized by the college’s new goals to take collective action toward meaningful change—and recognizing how positions created around equity and justice historically stall when not properly resourced—a group of OMEA alumni led by Black and Latinx graduates from the 1990s and 2000s, as well as external donors, recently helped to establish the AAP Advancing Diversity and Inclusion Fund to ensure permanent support for AAP’s newly created Office of Diversity + Inclusion.

Leading the college’s efforts to create, sustain, and continue expanding our diverse and inclusive community, the Office of Diversity + Inclusion offers a range of resources, including: 

  • training for students and staff;
  • academic support; 
  • mentorship opportunities; 
  • cultural celebrations; and 
  • educational reflections on a range of social justice issues.

The office also partners closely across all areas of the university to educate, empower, and advocate for all members of the AAP community.

“I am excited about the creative and innovative ways that OMEA's support will allow our office to raise critical consciousness around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging and am thankful to our alumni for inciting change through an equity lens,” shares Latesha Fussell, the inaugural director of AAP’s Office of Diversity + Inclusion.

AAP’s Office of Diversity + Inclusion hosts several social gatherings throughout the year to build community among cohorts, including meet-and-greet events for international students, bowling nights, and trips to the Lindseth Climbing Center; and to celebrate student successes, like a Kente Ceremony in May 2022 during the architecture thesis dinner (center photo). 

To continue our work together to build a community that grows stronger with greater inclusivity and diversity, we hope you’ll join a dedicated group of alumni supporters and make a gift of any size to the AAP Advancing Diversity and Inclusion Fund. Your generosity will help enable greater access to AAP for students and provide resources to ensure their success at Cornell.

“Meaningful and radical change in our college and communities is and must be a story of collective action,” says J. Meejin Yoon, the Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of AAP. “Our alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents, and friends all play a critical role in building a culture and community that embrace difference.”

For any questions, please contact Mark Weber, Assistant Dean, AAP Alumni Affairs and Development (mdw227@cornell.edu).