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Report of Regents Cultural Education Committee to The Board of Regents

Your Committee on Cultural Education had its scheduled meeting on February 14, 2022. Regent Roger Tilles and Regent Frances Wills, Co-Chairs of the Cultural Education Committee, submitted the following written report. In attendance were committee members: Regent Tilles, Co-Chair, Regent Wills, Co-Chair, Regent Cea, Regent Cottrell, Regent Collins, Regent Mead, Regent Hakanson, Regent Reyes and Regent Turner.

Regents, in addition to Cultural Education Committee members, in attendance were:  Chancellor Young, Vice Chancellor Finn, Regent Norwood, Regent Chin, Regent Mittler, and Regent Ferrer. Also in attendance were: Commissioner Rosa, Senior Deputy Commissioner Baldwin, Executive Deputy Commissioner Cates-Williams, and Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs Morton-Bentley.


Co-Chairs Regent Tilles and Regent Wills welcomed everyone. 

Deputy Commissioner’s Report - 

Deputy Commissioner Mark Schaming provided an update on the Office of Cultural Education’s programs and services including:

  • The State Archives located, within the voluminous court records in its collection, the original 1828 lawsuit filed by Sojourner Truth to free her son, Peter, who had been illegally enslaved. The successful lawsuit, filed under the name used by Truth at the time, Isabella Van Wagenen, resulted in Peter’s being returned to New York and no longer enslaved.  The document has been digitized and will be available for research on the State Archives web site.
  • In recognition of Black History Month, the Office of Cultural Education offers a variety of resources throughout February for students, educators, and the public. Resources include research from historians, access to digital collections, virtual lessons and activities for the classroom, CTLE certified professional development videos for educators, and information about upcoming public programming that relate to African American History.
  • In January the State Museum offered a CTLE accredited and NYS P-12 Science Learning Standards supporting teacher workshop, “Evolution and Ecology: Faunal and Human Responses to Climate Changes”. This virtual workshop directly served 70 teachers and provided 8 hours of CTLE credits.
  • The New York State Library has acquired the complete works of award-winning Abraham Lincoln scholar and historian Harold Holzer. The acquisition covers Mr. Holzer’s 49-year career as a writer, lecturer, and historian specializing in President Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era.

Assisting Libraries and Cultural Institutions in Addressing Digital Equity with American Rescue Plan Act Funds 

Lauren Moore, State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries, shared how $6.2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds are being utilized by libraries, museums, and other organizations to advance digital inclusion and expand student access to digital resources. 

Associated Agenda Item

Meeting Date: 
Monday, February 14, 2022 - 2:00pm