cephas archie

James Brown / WXXI News

In response to the Black Lives Matter protests locally, leaders from Monroe County and the City of Rochester announced a new commission Thursday to address structural racism on a government level.

County Executive Adam Bello and Mayor Lovely Warren said they’ve been in constant contact since the COVID-19 pandemic began. After the death of George Floyd, they say their conversations shifted to creating the Commission on Racial and Structural Equity (RASE). 

College at Brockport

Cephas Archie, the former Chief Diversity Officer at the College at Brockport has been hired by the City of Rochester to be its Chief Equity Officer.

Archie’s firing in January from the Brockport position created an uproar on campus, including criticism from Mayor Lovely Warren who had said at the time that it was “unfortunate when the people that work toward diversity and inclusion across the collegiate spectrum also face it themselves.”


There are some new questions being raised about how the firing of a diversity official at the College at Brockport has been handled.

The law firm representing Cephas Archie, the college’s former chief diversity officer who was fired from his job three weeks ago, says that last Friday the Chief of Police at the college had contacted Sabrina Lewis, who had previously worked with Archie at a community college in Houston.

Cephas Archie was fired from his position as the chief diversity officer for the SUNY Brockport last month. The college has not disclosed why, despite outcry from the public, including Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren.

For the first time, Archie sits down at length to discuss his work and what he understands about his dismissal. We're also joined by Shaun Nelms, superintendent of East High School, who addresses the value of diversity work. In studio:

  • Cephas Archie, former chief diversity officer at SUNY Brockport
  • Shaun Nelms, superintendent of the East EPO, and associate professor and William & Sheila Konar Director of the Center for Urban Education Success at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education

SUNY Brockport declined an invitation to join this discusson.


The former chief diversity officer at The College at Brockport who was fired Friday issued his first public statement on the matter Monday.

Cephas Archie received a wave of support from people across the community, including East High Superintendent Shaun Nelms and Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren. Students and community members protested on campus and online using the hashtag #weseeyou, or the phrase: "We stand with Dr. Archie."