Richard Santana, the “homeboy” who “went Harvard,” is coming to Penn State to speak about diversity at the Commission of Racial/Ethnic Diversity’s (CORED) open house.
The open house will take place from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Wednesday in Hintz Family Alumni Center, said Barbara Welshofer, CORED’s liaison to educational equity and senior diversity planning analyst .
The open house will have two parts. The first — scheduled from 12:30 to 2 p.m. — will be a presentation given by Santana . The second portion will be a reception-type event with information sessions about joining the commission of racial/ethnic diversity.
The open house will feature a presentation by Santana that will be geared toward students, discussing topics such as stereotyping, self-image, prejudices and the difficulties of moving from being a gang member into productive society, CORED Co-Chair David Cranage said. According to his website, Homeboygoesharvard.com, Santana began life as a third generation gang member.
But instead of continuing the cycle, he earned a master’s degree from Harvard University.
The information sessions will explain how the commission works to achieve its goals through its four teams. The four teams include academic, outreach, staff and student. Additionally, Co-Chairs of CORED Marsha Perry and Cranage will give an informational talk about the commission.
The main goal of the open house is to encourage people to join, so they can be part of CORED’s mission to educate and to deal with issues about diversity, said Cranage.
Welshofer said the goal of the open house is to gain new membership in the commission. Applications for next year are due by March 22.
“There’s an awful lot of change right now, so this is a prime time to make sure that diversity and the importance of diversity stays on the forefront of peoples minds,” Welshofer said. “It’s always at the front of our work and the most important thing that we do.”
According to the Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity’s website, CORED began in 1989 and was appointed by Bryce Jordan, Penn State’s president at the time. The goal of CORED is to maintain racial equality on all of Penn State’s campuses. The main function of CORED is to advise each current president of the university on all decisions pertaining to race or ethnicity issues. CORED members hold regular meetings with the president.
“The commission works to provide guidance and advice to the university president and the university as a whole on the climates for diversity at Penn State to improve the climate for diversity,” said Lissette Szwydky, CORED staff team member and strategic initiatives coordinator for the University Office of Global Programs.
Additionally, members evaluate university programs to ensure all races are equally represented. They hold activities that improve the atmosphere for all racial groups on campus.
Finally, they make sure all activities on campus hold equal opportunity for all people through regulating policies and procedures.