About Us

About JW Wiley

Dr. J.W. Wiley currently has a joint appointment as the Director for the Center for Diversity, Pluralism, and Inclusion at State University of New York - Plattsburgh and a lecturer in Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies. Within Academic Affairs, J.W. works with all constituencies to assist with their implementation of strategies and policies for the inclusion of diversity and social justice. J.W. completed his doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Vermont in Burlington. His dissertation topic is titled: An Evaluation of Film for Development of Leadership Moments within a Context of Diversity and Social Justice. J.W. also holds a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy from Claremont Graduate School, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cal State Long Beach in Philosophy and an Associate in Arts degree from Cerritos College in Natural Science.

During a seven year period at Southern California's Claremont Graduate University (CGU) where he completed all the coursework for a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Cultural Studies while a full time graduate student, J.W. also served as Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, founder and director of the CGU Diversity Office, Director of, the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Scholars Program (an undergraduate research program); founder and director of the Minority Mentor Program; Special Assistant for Diversity (a position created for him); Chair of the CGU Diversity Task Force, and Director of Recruitment. Under his direction, Claremont Graduate University's McNair Scholars Program was awarded a one million dollar continuation grant. In 1996 J.W. was co-author and co-coordinator of the 8th Annual National Black Graduate Student Conference hosted by Claremont Graduate University which brought over 500 Black students to Claremont's campus.

Dr. Wiley has taught as an adjunct professor of Philosophy at Cerritos College and an adjunct professor of Humanities at Citrus College, both in Southern California. During his current appointment as a lecturer at SUNY-Plattsburgh J.W. has designed three courses that he taught in the Honors Program that allowed him to pass on to his students some of his academic passions. Those courses are 'The Philosophy of W.E.B. DuBois,'  'Philosophy and Film,' and ‘Philosophies on Romance, Sex, Love, & Marriage.’ J.W. also teaches a general education course called Moral Problems-Societal Dilemmas and a course in African American Studies titled  'African American Culture from 1865 to the Present.' The course he considers the true game changer is 'Examining Diversity through Film' (EDTF) which is a general education course he conceived, co-developed, and co-teaches every semester. EDTF, aside from being a general education course, is both a professional development opportunity for faculty and a student leadership opportunity. The EDTF course is now also being taught at local high schools and will soon be taught at other colleges.

Dr. Wiley lectures, keynotes, or recite at many colleges and universities. He has tremendous success with his interactive presentation titled Diversity Enlightenment, where he educates and explicates the concept of diversity and has taught workshops on Examining Diversity through Film for various clients, both academic and professional. He is enjoying success as a consultant with his company, Xamining Diversity, which allows him to educate and explicate the concept of diversity to various organizations. JW’s client list includes Wyeth Pharmaceuticals; Princeton’s Jr. Scholars Institute; Norwich University in Vermont; New York State Nursing Association; Excelsior College; PACE University of New York City; University of Vermont; Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital; Paul Smith’s College; Clinton Community College; various high schools and middle schools throughout the North Country of New York and Vermont; Homeland Security; Bombardier Corp. in New York City; Girl Scouts of the North Country; Joint Council for Economic Opportunity (JCEO); North Country Legal Services; Northern Adirondack Planned Parenthood; and the Plattsburgh New York Mayor’s Office, City Council, and Police Department.

Dr. Wiley has a blog on the largest newspaper in the North Country of New York State, the Press Republican’s website titled: Wiley Wandering, where he creates conversations about diversity & social justice. He consulted, co-wrote and co-directed a widely viewed bullying documentary in conjunction with Mountain Lake PBS titled: Dissed-Respect: The Impact of Bullying. J.W. was also prominently featured in the DVD titled: Don’t Hate, Appreciate: Diversity which was a study of a diversity initiative at Vermont’s Winooski school. Dr. Wiley will also be featured in the soon to be released film Men, Misogyny, and the Future: When Men Challenge Sexism. He is an accomplished writer, lecturer, and poet. He was prominently featured in the book, Brothers of the Academy with his chapter titled: Institutional Ethics, Forty Acres of So-Called Morality and Still No Mule. He was a contributing author to the book Retaining African American Administrators in Higher Education with his chapter titled: African-American Administrators\' Retention: A Subconscious Deluge of Neglect, or Conscious Subterfuge to Reject? He also was a contributing author to the book When Minorities Are Strongly Encouraged To Apply with his chapter titled: Affirmative Actions at PWIs: Explicating the Glass as Half Full by Pouring Something They’re More Apt to Taste. He was distinctively featured in the October 28th, 1999 issue of Black Issues in Higher Education, and has recently completed a manuscript titled: Searching Beyond the Rhyme, which is a compilation of poetry and short stories.

Dr. Wiley was reared in southern California's South Central area of Los Angeles. One of four children to a single mom, he survived the streets by a little luck and a lot of literature. As a product of the inner city, J.W. witnessed things that many youth only see on television or in films. Educated in the parochial school system, J.W. discovered early that there was life beyond the streets if one chose to look for it. Prior to his academic career, J.W. worked for three Fortune 100 companies, Hughes Aircraft Co., Rockwell International, and McDonnell Douglas Corp. where he attained the level of Sr. Specialist for the Long Beach, Ca Company. J.W. is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and has had the poem he wrote immediately after joining the fraternity (Dare to Be and Alpha Man) repeatedly published in the fraternity’s national magazine, The Sphinx.


                                    About Deb

Deborah Light is an educator and counselor with a background in Anthropology, Gender Studies, and Mental Health.  She holds an M.S. in Counseling and joined the staff of the Center for Diversity, Pluralism & Inclusion (CDPI), at the State University of New York, Plattsburgh in 2001. 

 As Assistant Director of CDPI her work is largely focused on the development and implementation of social justice education programs for students and faculty in support of a campus-wide curriculum inclusion initiative.  The centerpiece of her work on this initiative has been in the collaborative development and teaching of the General Education diversity course, Examining Diversity through Film, which brings undergraduates, graduate students and faculty together to explore and dialogue about construction of identity, dynamics of privilege and oppression, and social justice. 

 Prior to beginning her work in higher education, Ms. Light’s professional background included six years in HIV/AIDS education, services and advocacy in the community and in the NYS Prison system, and five years with the Violence Intervention Program of Behavioral Health Services North facilitating group work with male offenders of domestic violence, from a gender theory  perspective. Ms. Light credits these parts of her professional history as having deepened both her understanding of human potential and her insight into the injustices and dysfunctions of a society based on inequality.  Ms. Light’s present work in social justice education is also significantly influenced by on-going pursuits in both cross-cultural learning and sustainable living.  In intercultural learning, Ms. Light’s endeavors have focused on experiences that bridge relationships between Western Society and Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, including bearing witness to stories of war and oppression among Mayan refugee women and other forced immigrants of Central America, authoring an article entitled, Guatemalan Refugee Women as Political Activists, (published in, Refugee Women and Their Mental Health: Shattered Societies, Shattered Lives, Routledge,1992), and continuing study of indigenous worldviews with Native teachers.  In environmental and social sustainability, Ms. Light and her family have lived ‘off the grid’ for over 30 years, forging sustainable relationships with the earth through green building, solar power, and organic gardening among a small group of like-minded neighbors.

Working with Xamining Diversity as a consultant in social justice education since 2006, Ms. Light has had the exciting opportunity to facilitate diversity and inclusion dialogues within the larger community.  Her participation focuses primarily on professional development programs for hospitals, healthcare organizations, public school faculty/staff, and university faculty/staff.


About Angel

Angel Acosta is currently a program director for College for Every Student (CFES) which is an organization dedicated to helping raise the academic performance and educational aspirations for K-12 underserved students. Through CFES, Angel has been able to speak in dozens of K-12 schools and has reached several hundred kids with the goal of ultimately ensuring that these students graduate from high school and succeed in college.

While pursuing a higher education, Angel Acosta managed to study anthropology and leadership in Mexico, Senegal, Czech Republic, Germany and Canada through—SUNY Plattsburgh.  While enrolled in his Alma Mater, he was deeply involved with the Center for Diversity, Pluralism and Inclusion as a volunteer, student and graduate assistant.  Angel’s commitment to social justice motivated him to join Dr. Wiley and the CDPI staff to co-teach the course Examining Diversity Through Film and facilitate workshops at the National Conference On Race & Ethnicity and at the Champlain Valley Physicians Medical Center. 

As a student leader, he received the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence and was nominated for the Leader of the Year award by the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society in 2008.  From student body President and Resident Assistant to Peer Recruiter and Director for Diversity for the SUNY Student Assembly, Angel went from theory in the classroom to action on and off campus.   

To further his commitment to change, Angel as been working on creating an international youth retreat that will host a 2-week leadership development camp in Prague, Czech Republic, for a dozen promising high school students in the New York State area.  He developed this project while serving as an intern for the Global Leadership Institute for Civic Development during their fall 2009 semester Global Leadership Program in Prague.  Angel has also had the privilege of traveling to Dubai to attend the 2009 Education Without Borders Conference, which is a biennial international student conference creating networks across cultures in order to understand, and generate solutions for some of the world\'s greatest challenges. 

Angel is extremely excited to continue on gaining experience, building alliances and engaging students and professionals in dynamic conversations that transform people’s perspectives on issues surrounding diversity, social justice and global problems.