The University of Oregon African American Workshop and Lecture series connects national experts with UO thought leaders and change agents. It is focused on helping our campus to better understand the most promising practices in this area and utilizing their expertise to institutionalize more effective environments, practices and policies. While some of the speakers will deliver large campus addresses, many of them will work with smaller groups of our campus community including advisors, deans, student leaders, faculty, staff, vice presidents and supervisors to raise awareness, hone existing practices and, in some instances, develop new skills. Equally as important is the fact that the speakers and their areas of expertise align very well with the President’s three priorities of excellence, access and a successful student experience as well as with the IDEAL framework for Inclusion, Diversity, Evaluation, Achievement and Leadership. We are grateful to the Black Student Task Force (BSTF) for their vision in bringing this series to our campus, to the President’s Office in providing generous support for the series and to our campus community for their support and active participation.
Empowered To Lead: Best Practices for Enhancing Campus Climate (May 26, 2016) with Dr. Benjamin Reese
Inclusive faculty recruitment and student success are important to our excellence as a university. To kick off the speakers’ series, we will explore these subjects with three workshops hosted by Dr. Benjamin Reese, VP for Equity and Inclusion at Duke University. Dr. Reese has more than 40 years of experience in the areas of organizational change, cross-cultural development, and conflict resolution. His first workshop will focus on search committees and institutionalizing best practices for ensuring excellent, diverse candidate pools. The second will focus on how implicit bias impacts assessments as they relate to performance evaluations and other feedback required from supervisors. The third workshop will focus specifically on how implicit bias can affect the way in which we advise students, the propensity to track students into certain majors and the assumptions that we make about experience, ability and mindset. In each of the workshops, participants will learn about the specific manifestations of implicit bias and how to counteract it in ways that lead to increased faculty diversity and better outcomes for selecting and engaging students.
A Deeper Black: Race in America, (February 3, 2017) with Ta-Nehisi Coates
Ta-Nehisi Coates is the author of “Between the World and Me” and winner of the 2015 National Book Award for nonfiction. Coates is the 2017 Ruhl Lecturer at the UO School of Journalism and Communication. Incoming UO freshmen are reading and discussing the book over the course of the coming school year as part of the 2016-17 UO Common Reading book selection. Coates’ lecture is titled “A Deeper Black: Race in America” and will tackle the systemic racism and racist policies that have been inseparable from the growth of the nation.
Show Me The Money: The Changing Landscape of Diversity in American Philanthropy (November 8, 2016) with George Zeno
Access to higher education comes at a price and as state resources continue to decline, colleges and universities are turning to philanthropy to help educate our future generation of leaders. Berkeley and University of Michigan, among others, have raised millions of dollars in support of African American scholarships and other diversity initiatives. As we seek to become more excellent, it is only fitting that we seek philanthropic resources in this area. To help the UO learn more about how to raise money for African American initiatives and support diversity work more generally, we are bringing to campus George Zeno, whose successful leadership has raised millions of dollars in funding at UW and now at Berkeley. On campus, he will meet with development officers, Deans, students, and prospective donors to ensure that we are not just effectively fundraising, but that our fundraising opportunities are as inclusive as possible.
Transforming Our Judiciary, Changing Our World (October 31-November 3, 2016) with Lady Georgina Theodora Wood
Around the world, the judiciary is a leading force for societal transformation and change. Among the global leaders in this area is Ghana’s first female Supreme Court Justice Lady Georgina Theodora Wood. She will visit our campus in early November 2016 to talk about the judicial reform that she has catalyzed in Ghana and other parts of the African continent, as well as her focus on alternative dispute resolution.
Envisioning, Attaining and Institutionalizing Diversity in STEM Education and Research (Monday, October 17, 2016) with Dr. Kelly Mack
Historically, African Americans have made important contributions to medicine, technology, science and math, but those contributions have lagged recently in the wake of inadequate K-12 education and poor pipelines to science opportunities. The UO seeks to be a leader in STEM education and research by educating and empowering the broadest array of talent. To that end, we have invited Dr. Kelly Mack, Vice President for American Association of College and University’s national project to reform undergraduate STEM education. Dr. Kelly will host a town hall meeting with faculty, community partners, staff and students on the most promising practices for engaging faculty, undergraduate and graduate students in STEM education and professions. She will also meet with leaders who are responsible for faculty development to share tips and strategies for persistence among women, African Americans, and other minorities in higher education.