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Untold Stories: Surmounting the Disinformation of Native American Legacies
November 10, 2022 - 9:00am to 11:30am (PST)
Presenter: Jennie Marie 

Where are Native Americans in DEI change frameworks? Indigenous people, Native Americans, American Indians, have not had the same presence in organizational DEI efforts as other groups. Many reasons may account for this omission, such as:

  • Wide-ranging disinformation taught to white people about the history of how this land, now known as the United States of America, came to be considered “ours”, the white people’s.

  • Destruction of in-tact tribal communities by the U.S. Government (and other entities)

  • Failure of history to tell the true story of Native Americans response to the colonization of their land, from cooperation to indignation to revolt.

This session is designed to counter the BS associated with indigenous people of this land, and instead, to instill an understanding and appreciation of its original occupants, and their contributions to the country. We will seek out current practices where companies and organizations are making progress in recognizing and including Native Americans in their DEI efforts.

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Meet the Presenter:

Jennie Marie Durán, J.D. is an Assistant Vice Chancellor and SUNY's System-wide Affirmative Action Officer. Jennie has almost two decades of experience working with policies and regulations related to affirmative action, equal employment opportunity, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and diversity management. The crux of her work has been providing diversity and equity compliance guidance to higher education institutions.


Prior to joining SUNY, Jennie served at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northern Arizona University. Outside of education, Jennie has held many roles, including serving as a tribal lawyer for the Havasupai Nation in Arizona and as the President of the Association for Chicanos in Higher Education (AACHE). Jennie also worked for the U.S. Department of State and the public interest law firm Public Counsel Law Center in Los Angeles, where she led children's rights and homelessness prevention programs. When Jennie was in law school, she worked with migrant farmworkers in rural Colorado and then for Human Rights Watch in Mexico City.

Jennie has a juris doctorate from the University at Buffalo Law School, a master's degree in library information science from the University of Illinois, and a bachelor of arts degree from Northern Arizona University. She holds certifications in EEO Counseling, EEOC Investigation, and is a Certified Diversity Management Professional from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Jennie is White Mountain Apache and Chicana, a first-generation college graduate and the proud mother of twin daughters Preeya and Paloma.

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