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Cephas Archie, discarded by SUNY Brockport, finds work with the city of Rochester

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Cephas Archie, the former chief diversity officer at SUNY Brockport whose abrupt firing stirred controversy on campus and beyond, has been hired by the City of Rochester to be its chief equity officer.

Cephas Archie - PHOTO PROVIDED BY SUNY BROCKPORT
  • PHOTO PROVIDED BY SUNY BROCKPORT
  • Cephas Archie
Archie's firing in January prompted harsh criticism from Mayor Lovely Warren, who 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."

The Brockport college did not detail reasons for Archie's firing, saying that it could not comment on personnel matters, but affirmed its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

A statement issued Tuesday by the city's communications director, Justin Roj, read that the city is mandated by state and federal law to have a manager oversee its Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action programs.

Roj said that Archie’s hiring fills that role after his predecessor accepted a promotion. His start date was April 27, and Roj said that Archie was offered his position on March 4, prior to the start of the COVID-19 crisis locally.

Roj called Archie "a recognized leader in his field."



"We welcome him to city government to help us and our residents build a more just and equitable community," Roj said.

The Chancellor of the SUNY system, Kristina Johnson, visited Brockport in March and also met with Mayor Warren. Johnson talked about a five-point plan at Brockport to address race issues.

Randy Gorbman is the news director at WXXI News, a media partner of CITY. He can be reached at rgorbman@wxxi.org.