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Communications from UNC's Chief Diversity Officer

Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

As we begin the month of May, we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The following reflection and commemoration, with support from the staff of the Asian Pacific American Student Services (APASS), of this heritage month, is written by third-year Criminal Justice Major Gabby Galamgam (He/Him). Gabby is involved with Air Force ROTC, and his hometown is the Island of Oahu, Hawai‘i. [READ FULL POST]

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) occurs next week and has significant meaning for Mexican immigrants in the United States and has become a way to share their pride and heritage of the Mexican culture. Although not a major holiday or celebration throughout Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in the state of Puebla, Mexico. Puebla was the site of the 1862 Battle of Puebla, which ended when Mexico defeated French troops in an attempted takeover. The battle of Puebla is regarded as a sign of Mexican strength and perseverance. [READ FULL POST]

Respectful Behavior Statement and Bears in Solidarity

Rowing, Not Drifting 2030 guides our direction and aspirations for the next decade of serving students and our community. Our vision takes shape in the form of five elements that serve as our foundation over the next 10 years in support of and service to our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community. These five elements include: (1) Students First, (2) Empower Inclusivity, (3) Enhance & Invest, (4) Innovate & Create, and (5) Connect & Celebrate. UNC is dedicated to strengthening and advancing our collective work related to diversity, equity and inclusion. [READ FULL POST]

Marcus Garvey Director Search

The search for the Director of the Marcus Garvey Cultural Center is currently underway. The search committee, chaired by Shawanna Kimbrough-Hayward, includes Angie Henderson, Sociology Professor; Myria Davis, Interim MGCC Director and Graduate Student; Tammy Ortiz, Graduate Student; and Rudy Vargas, Coordinator of Undocumented Students and the DREAMer Engagement Program. First-round Zoom interviews included ten selected candidates, and concluded earlier this week. [READ FULL POST]

The Holy month of Ramadan will soon be upon us, and many within our UNC community will embark on spiritual reflection and observe the five pillars of Islam. Ramadan will begin the evening of April 12 in the U.S. and will be celebrated for the next 29-30 days. [READ FULL POST]

Involvement Opportunities: GSRC Mentorship Program and Book Discussion

The Department of Equity and Inclusion would like to share two opportunities for involvement for the 2021-2022 academic year. In partnership with the University Libraries, you are encouraged to provide your input on possible titles for the fall campus book discussion / summer book club. Title suggestions are provided by various authors including: Yaa Gyasi, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Elizabeth Acevedo, Stephan Graham Jones, Michael Bennet, and several others. The survey also provides you the opportunity to make additional book suggestions. Please take a moment to complete the survey by April 16. [READ FULL POST]

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

This month is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Please show your support for survivors in the UNC community by attending the events hosted by UNCs Assault Survivor Advocacy Program (ASAP). Everyone is affected by sexual violence. For a greater understanding of sexual violence, please see the statistics below from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and RAINN. [READ FULL POST]

Joy Harjo

Campus members are invited to join President Feinstein and Tobias Guzmán, chief diversity officer and associate vice president of Student Affairs at UNC, to a special virtual presentation featuring sitting U.S. poet laureate, Joy Harjo. The presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, April 6, beginning at 3 p.m. Harjo, a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, became the first Native American appointed U.S. poet laureate in 2019. She will present from her home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, sharing her poetry and speaking about social justice, as well answering questions from the audience. [READ FULL POST]

Free Speech and Censorship on College Campuses

Free speech and censorship on college campuses, including UNC, can often times lead to both controversial and educational conversations. What constitutes ‘free speech’ and should a university regulate faculty members? Join Tobias Guzmán for a thought provoking debate and discussion on the evening of March 31 for “Making Space for Diversity of Ideas: Should the University Censor Speech and , if so, on What Basis?” [READ FULL POST]

Women's Herstory Month

Starting today and throughout March, we highlight Women's History Month. Additionally, we feature the scholarly work of one of our esteemed faculty members, Dr. Ather Zia. Organized by the school district of Sonoma, California, in 1978, Women's History Month was created to reshape American patriarchal history that largely neglected women's achievements. As we recognize Women's History Month, try to learn more about pioneering women, explore unfamiliar women like Hypatia and the profound influence she had, and seek out data that reveals today's gender inequality. Self-work (educating oneself), questioning conventional paradigms, and self-change disrupt the social norms that define women as inferior; therefore, discrimination, disregard, control, oppression, exploitation, and violence of women must be eliminated. [READ FULL POST]

Dreamer Awareness Month: Scholars in the Making

In March, we celebrate DREAMer Awareness Month. The term DREAMer is commonly used by students who relate with the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act movement. The movement also allows students to interrupt socialized ideas and terminology that are often used to describe them, such as illegal, alien, criminal, and so forth. In 2012, the Obama administration provided a reprieve from deportation and initiated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program allows students to apply for a driver's license, social security number, and work permit. Under this program, approximately 680,000 DACA students are attending college and universities in the United States. [READ FULL POST]

Name in Use Policy

We are happy and excited to announce a policy update for students, faculty, and staff. Our Name in Use (formerly the Preferred Name) Policy has been updated not only in accuracy of name but also for ease of use. As a reminder, “A first name by which an individual wishes to be identified, that is other than the individual's legal name, is a Name in Use. Beginning February 15, 2021 students, faculty, and staff may, if they wish, indicate a Name in Use via their URSA account. UNC students, faculty, and staff who wish to indicate a “name in use” should simply sign in to their URSA account, click on the “Update Name in Use or Personal Pronoun” link on the My Account tab. [READ FULL POST]