This is Morrisville
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Name Timothy Gerken, Ph.D.
Asst. Professor, Humanities
Phone (315) 684-6183
Flickr Gallery (Opens in New Tab)

This is Morrisville is a moment to confer importance on who we are, to notice our tensions, and to become different; to remember that we were all “born on the African savanna.”

Open Your Heart

When Sesame Street started on public television forty years ago, officials in Mississippi banned the show because it showed black and white kids playing together. At the time, very few streets in Mississippi or across the country looked like Sesame Street. And, despite the struggles of many people, there are still not that many today. However, imagining those streets is the key to creating them.

For many of us, higher education and/or the military are the places where we will first face the tension of our beliefs about race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, and class. Sharing the street with people different from us may make us feel uncomfortable, but this tension provides opportunities for imagination and communication.

What I see communicated here in both the signs and the photographs is joy; a pleasure in taking time to share. I imagine streets with people from this wall, all playing together.

  • SUNY Morrisville
    SUNY Morrisville Institutional Diversity Statement (Opens in New Tab)
    SUNY Morrisville is proudly committed to the continued work of creating and sustaining a diverse community that promotes equity and inclusion for all of its members. As part of the higher education system, Morrisville understands the importance of engaging students in activities that not only educate but also help them develop skills necessary to contribute to a global community. Faculty, staff, and the college encourage and celebrate diversity work that involves students as part of the college and surrounding community.
  • This is Oz
    This is Oz (Opens in New Tab)
    “This is Oz” is the diversity project that inspired This is Morrisville. Part public art project and part social justice campaign, This Is Oz is an Instagram gallery where participants can upload pictures or videos of themselves with messages that challenge homophobia and transphobia or celebrate diversity and social inclusion.

This is Morrisville is supported by the Sheila Johnson Institute.