Utah State University concluded its third annual Inclusive Excellence Symposium on Oct. 30. The 2020 symposium theme was “Black Lives Matter: A Community Calling.” The five-part symposium, hosted virtually by USU President Noelle Cockett and organized by Aggies Think Care Act, is available for viewing online in its entirety.
The archived symposium videos are accompanied by discussion guides designed to provoke thoughtful discussion and advance conversation within social circles.
The five recorded sessions include:
- Voices and Visions of Black Lives that Mattered – Dr. Marisela Martinez-Cola, Utah State University
- On the Issue of Mattering: Black Lives and the Changing Landscape of Resistance – Dr. Brandon Manning, Texas Christian University
- Black Experiences as Described in Art and Pop Culture – Professor Michael Ray Charles, University of Houston
- Involved to Evolve: Student Voices on Campus Climate and Sense of Belonging – USU Students Jamal-Jared Alexander, Amand Hardiman, Jessica Chatman, Kirk Napoleon and Theresa Botchway
- A Journey on Allyship – Dr. Lesther Papa, UC San Francisco
Aggies Think Care Act chose “Black Lives Matter” as the theme for this year’s symposium to encourage the academic environment to join the national conversation on race and inequality in the U.S. This theme is not a declaration that only Black lives matter. It is, however, a recognition that issues of equality, economic security and physical safety for members of the Black community persist today and must be a part of our nation’s civil dialogue.
“By focusing on ‘Black Lives Matter’ as the theme for the symposium, we’re building a foundation for our campus community to understand and counteract racism that affects all marginalized communities,” Cockett said before the symposium. “At USU, we acknowledge the negative impact of historical factors and their effect on bias, inequity and discrimination. As a land-grant university, access to education for all people and research that benefits society are the basis of everything we do. Enhancing a thoughtful understanding of racism and the varying perspectives of this issue better supports our students to be effective citizens and leaders, both locally and globally.”
USU’s Inclusive Excellence Symposium follows the tradition of promoting diversity, inclusion, and respect in the community by offering education, research, and training for understanding the experiences of underrepresented groups. Additional resources and diversity trainings are available at thinkcareact.usu.edu/trainings.
Continuing its aim of recognizing and celebrating inclusivity, USU is also seeking nominations for its 27th Annual Diversity Awards, which recognize individuals or organizations on campus and in communities served by USU who have made significant contributions to diversity and inclusion. Nominations are due by Nov. 30, 2020. Visit usu.edu/equity/diversity-awards for nomination criteria.
The 2020 Inclusive Excellence Symposium was sponsored by the Department of Psychology, the Latinx Cultural Center, the Inclusion Center, the Center for Intersectional Gender Studies and Research, and the Office of Equity.