Diversity Statement

The Department of Geography at UB is committed to providing an open, supportive, and inclusive environment for all of our students, faculty, and staff members, and we are committed to increasing diversity in all parts of our department. We view this diversification goal as one that is long term and continual, and attends to many elements of background and identity, particularly those characteristics associated with historical underrepresentation in our department and university and all individuals who have protected class status.

As geographers who study natural and social phenomena throughout the world, we understand the value and importance of diversity for society and our discipline. We see diversity and inclusion as not just goals but also approaches to advancing the mission of UB Geography. We believe the perspectives, knowledge, expertise, and experiences brought by members from diverse groups are critical for enhancing the quality of our research, the effectiveness of our teaching, and the impact of our service to our local and global communities. We acknowledge that our discipline’s history, particularly the Anglophone/Anglo-American tradition that most of us work in, is deeply intertwined with colonial projects. Furthermore, as scholars whose fundamental focus is on terrain and space, we are especially aware that our university sits on the territory of the Seneca Nation, Haudenosaunee/Six Nations Confederacy, covered by The Dish with One Spoon Treaty of Peace and Friendship and the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua.

We view our rigorous, ongoing attention and commitment to increasing our diversity and promoting inclusion in all of our activities and interactions as a critical step in redressing past harms, the effects of which persist today. To pursue this vision, we aim to:

  • Continue and expand how we teach on these themes in our courses whenever possible, demonstrating for our students the value of diversity, inclusion, and equity.
  • Mentor students from underrepresented groups and provide them with an inclusive learning environment that values their unique perspectives and supports their needs through personalized advising.
  • Promote research participation for individuals and groups who have been historically excluded from geographic research.
  • Continue to actively support UB initiatives and activities that aim to enhance diversity and inclusion at UB.
  • Continue and expand our community-oriented programs, for example, our Buffalo public school programs.
  • Minimize bias related to background and identity in recruitment, student admissions/faculty hiring, promotion, mentoring, and all other forms of student, staff, and faculty treatment.
  • Maintain an open and respectful atmosphere in classes, meetings, and other spaces so that everyone feels comfortable participating and contributing.
  • Regularly review how we are meeting these commitments and aims.

We recognize that living up to these commitments will require a concerted effort from our department and a willingness to change. Just as UB Geography has evolved since its beginnings, we will proactively implement initiatives that couple our diversity vision with our mission of excellence in education, research and service.

In addition, the Department of Geography supports the diversity commitment of UB and the initiatives in the field of geography, such as those from the American Association of Geographers (AAG).