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Office of Diversity and Equity

Diversity Events Calendar – Spring 2020

*Update 3/11/2020:

In light of the recent CSCU/WCSU guidance and CDC situation summary on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus), cancellation and/or postponement of the below identified events/workshops has been identified to minimize risks to others in close contact for anyone attending events and/or workshops on campus.  The event cancellation(s) and/or postponement(s) are in effect until April 30th.

While it is understood that this action may cause an inconvenience to many, the WCSU Office of Diversity and Equity (“ODE”) wishes to exercise caution to ensure that proper precautions are taken to control any impact sustained from any risk of exposure of others. 

The cancelled/postponed events and/or workshops will be evaluated in order to reschedule at a later date.

Announcement(s):

Girl Talk Support Group

*(Postponed until after April 30th)

Sponsored by the Women’s Center for Greater Danbury

Every semester the Women’s Center facilitates a group called Girl Talk as a safe space for college students at WCSU can talk about topics such as self-esteem, relationships, goals, sexuality/identity, personal goals, peer support, and more.  It is a great space for student to connect with other students and talk about things they are facing day to day. We will meet for one hour a week for over an 6-week period. The time and day is still TBD, but the group begins meeting on the week of March 2, 2020. In order for us to determine a time that works for the greatest number of people we are asking students to participate in our doodle poll: https://bit.ly/38ww6Lh.

If you know of a student whom you think might benefit from a support group, please encourage them to contact Sydney Trezza, Director of Campus Counseling and Advocacy with the Women’s Center for Greater Danbury at (203) 837-3939 or by email at trezzas@wcsu.edu or you can fill out the doodle poll.

Hope and Healing Support Group

*(Postponed until after April 30th)

Sponsored by the Women’s Center for Greater Danbury

The Women’s Center facilitates a group called Hope & Healing for student survivors of sexual violence, dating abuse and domestic violence.  This group welcomes all students of all identities to join.  This group is free, confidential and meets once a week in White Hall, Room 003A.

For more information on when the group will meet and for group registration, students must contact Sydney Trezza by email at trezzas@wcsu.edu or by.phone at (203) 837-3939.

 

Upcoming Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee Project(s):

With members of the committee appointed by Dr. John Clark, President, and working in  conjunction with the Office of Diversity and Equity, the AAUP/SUOAF minority recruitment/retention committees endeavors to make available in any way it can to achieve the University’s goal of recruiting and retaining minority faculty.  According to the Collective Bargaining Agreements for SUOAF and AAUP, the role of the Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee(s) are to assist search committees and employees in their recruitment and retention of minorities, women and other protected groups, as well as support departments in the retention of said individuals through available funding opportunities.  To learn more, please click here to visit Office of Diversity and Equity website for more details. 

Micro-aggressions and Micro-affirmations on Campus

Sponsored by the WCSU/AAUP Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee (“MRRC”)

Members of the Department of Social Work will be conducting a research study with student-based focus groups to collect data in answer to research questions related to the effects and experiences of micro-aggressions and micro-affirmations for students from marginalized social groups on campus.  If you wish to participate or learn more about this research study, please contact either Professor Karen McLean by email at mcleank@wcsu.edu or by phone at (203) 837-8937 or Professor Lorraine Moya Salas by email at salasl@wcsu.edu or by phone at (203) 837-8779.

More information will follow in the coming weeks of the Spring 2020 semester to announce either a schedule of events and/or focus group sessions on campus. 

Roundtable event(s) on cultural and campus responsiveness to ethnic hair discrimination 

Sponsored by the WCSU/AAUP Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee (“MRRC”)

A member of the Department of Social Work will be conducting roundtable discussions with WCSU students to gain insight about student’s experiences with ethnic hair (i.e., ethnic hair texture, hairstyles or coverings) and explore ways to address the issue/increase awareness of micro-aggressions and make recommendations to encourage inclusion on campus.  If you wish to participate or learn more about this study, please contact Professor Karen McLean by email at mcleank@wcsu.edu.

Please click here to view the flyer/announcement for the first scheduled focus group for this project.  A scheduled focus group will be held on Monday, March 2, 2020 at 12:00 p.m., White Hall, Room 122.  Light refreshments will be served.  Participants are invited to attend a documentary event/panel discussion  scheduled for Monday, March 2, 2020 at 4:0o p.m., White Hall, Room 127 as a follow up to this project. 

 

FEBRUARY

February marks Black Heritage/History Month (“BHHM”), a federally recognized, nationwide celebration that calls on all Americans to reflect on the significant roles that African-Americans have played in shaping history in the United States. February marks Black Heritage/History Month, a tribute to African-American men and women who have made significant contributions to America and the rest of the world in the fields of science, politics, law, sports, the arts, entertainment, and many other fields.  While Black Heritage/History Month is synonymous with prominent figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, and President Barack Obama, there are countless other African-Americans who’ve made a profound impact in history: self-made millionaire Madam C.J. Walker, world-renowned sculptor Edmonia Lewis, carbon filament light bulb inventor Lewis Howard Latimer, open-heart surgeon Daniel Hale Williams, science-fiction writer Octavia E. Butler, and “Father of Black History” Carter G. Woodson, who lobbied extensively to establish Black Heritage/History Month as a nationwide celebration, among many others.

Below, please look at a posted video that highlights the importance of Black Heritage/History Month and it’s significance in higher education.

Western Connecticut State University is hosting campus events, lectures and activities in recognition of the month-long celebration and achievements in history.

BHHM Event: WCSU Black History and Heritage Month Food Showcase

 

Wednesday, February 5th, from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Midtown Campus, Student Center Restaurant

Friday, February 14th to Sunday, February 23rd (All-Day Special of Chicken and Waffles)

Midtown Campus, Student Center Restaurant West Side Campus, Student Market Place

 

Thursday, February 27, from 4:30 p.m to 8:00 p.m.

West Side Campus, Student Market Place

Sponsored by Sodexo Food Service, the Division of Student Affairs and the InterCultural Center.

Sodexo will be serving authentic cuisine in honor of Black History and Heritage Month.  Students can use a meal swipe or Flex Points. These events are also open to the public with a surcharge of $10.00 per person.

Event: Love is Sweet – Healthy Relationships

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Campus Center, Second Floor Lobby Area (West Side Campus)

Sponsored by the Women’s Center for Greater Danbury

The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury is sponsoring the Love is Sweet: Healthy Relationships event to allow members of the campus community to learn more on the importance of identifying issues of domestic violence and/or interpersonal violence in a relationship.

 

MARCH

A nationally recognized celebration throughout March, Women’s History Month originates back to 1981, when Congress authorized and requested President Reagan to proclaim the week starting March 7, 1982, to be Women’s History Week. The week in March was selected to commemorate an 1857 strike for better pay and working conditions held by women working in a garment factory. In 1987,  the National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned for Congress to designate the month of March to be Women’s History Month.

Below, please look at a posted video that highlights strong, memorable women in history and how the value of women’s history is recognized.

ONLINE ACTIVITY: Participants (known or anonymous) are asked to share a personal story on what has been discovered about the challenges and opportunities you’ve come to see about the strength and courageous lessons learned from women honored this month. Participants are asked to explore the ambivalence so commonly felt about what it is to be a woman.  You can write this as a letter to your younger self on issues such as sex, sexuality, relationships and body image, and reflect on individual/personal growth.

The Office of Diversity and Equity (“ODE”) will accept a one-page (or less) written story to post on social media.  If you are interested in participating, please submit your written story to ode@wcsu.edu by Friday, February 21, 2020 to view as a post on the ODE social media (i.e., Twitter and Instagram) in recognition of Women’s History Month (“WHM”) at WCSU.

WHM Event: Unfinished Business: A Celebration of Women TrailblazersImage result for women trailblazers

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

President’s Reception, Room 218, West Side Classroom Building (West Side Campus)

Reception sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Equity

This event celebrates the accomplishments of women in their respective fields and their contributions to the women’s movement.  The event will include Acapella performances, a fashion show and informational videos and tables as well as speakers from Mom’s Demand Action and Connecticut State Representative Julie Kushner to discuss the different stages of the women’s movement including its history, where we are now and where the movement is headed. A reception will be held after the festivities and the event is open to the public.  Please click here to view the flyer/announcement.

WHM Event: Jane Doe No More Project: Escape Alive Survival Skills Program

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Saturday, March 7, 2020

1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Campus Center, Campus Center Ballroom (West Side Campus)

Sponsored by the WCSU Police Department and Division of Student Affairs

This 4-hour self-defense program is designed to empower women and girls to be prepared and able to defend themselves in the face of an attack. It combines a one (1) hour educational awareness course along with three (3) hours of physical skills training.  Please attend in comfortable attire.  The program is free and open to the public.  

Please click here to view the flyer/announcement for this event.

 

WHM Event: The Clothesline Project

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Midtown Student Center First Floor Lobby Area (Midtown Campus)

Sponsored by the Women’s Center for Greater Danbury

The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury is sponsoring the Clothesline Project to allow members of the campus community to write messages to survivors of sexual assault on the back of T-shirts that will be hung for viewing.

WHM Event: Women’s Center Information Table

*(CANCELLED 3/11/2020)

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Midtown Student Center First Floor Lobby Area (Midtown Campus)

and

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Campus Center, 2nd Floor Lobby Area (West Side Campus)

Sponsored by the Women’s Center for Greater Danbury

The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury is sponsoring a tabling session to educate everyone in the university community about the available resources, services and events on campus.

Event: 2020 Marcricostas Lecture Speaker on Entrepreneurship with WCSU Alumni 11′ Jasson Arias

*(CANCELLED 3/11/2020)

Thursday, March 26, 2020

5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

West Side Classroom Building, Room 218 West Side Campus)

Sponsored by the Office of Institutional Advancement 

The featured lecturer, Jasson Arias, earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration at WCSU in 2011.  Jasson drew from the culinary traditions of his parents’ native Guatemala, his Western education and his experience at Mezon Tapas Bar and Restaurant in Danbury to found his Rice and Beans food truck business in 2016.  Serving weekly at sites in Danbury and Stamford as well as private parties and community events across Fairfield County, his signature yellow trailer specializes in white, brown or green rice served with black beans and tortilla chips as well as slow-cooked beef and chicken and roasted vegetable dishes. A portion of profits goes to his “Share Your Beans” charitable fund to help those in need.

Jasson’s primary promotional vehicles has featured extensively on the Internet and social media, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. In this lecture, there will be discussion about lessons learned as a student.  Now, as an alumnus, Jasson will share how presenting a focused and limited menu, streamlining the operations and reducing costs to maintain a successful business.

In early March 2020, Jasson Arais will talk about the opening of his first full service restaurant on Stony Hill Road in Bethel CT.  This event is open to the public.

 

Workshop: No Role Models – A Workshop for WCSU Students

*(CANCELLED 3/11/2020)

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Monday, March 30, 2020

2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Center Ballroom (Westside Campus)

Sponsored by the WCSU Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club

This workshop is geared to offer students insight into unpacking the principles of healthy relationships for LGBTQ+ students.  For more information about the student-center workshop, please contact Erika Sabovik, GSA President by email at sabovik001@wcsu.edu.

Please click here to view the flyer announcement.

Event: Trystan Reese: Creating Change Keynote Address and Workshops

*(CANCELLED 3/11/2020)

Monday, March 30, 2020

6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Ives Concert Hall (Midtown Campus)

Sponsored by the WCSU Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club

Trystan shares his story of life, family and transition with us.  Trystan Reese sprang into the public consciousness in 2017 when he decided to tell his trans-pregnancy story in the mainstream media. He and his partner, Biff, are also the adoptive parents of Biff’s biological niece and nephew. They are proud to have expanded the public conversation about trans-reproductive justice, queer families, and what it means to be a father.  He regularly tells the unique story of his family’s creation to audiences across the country.

This event is open to the public, but an RSVP is requested at http://forms.gle/RQoFCSomP3deJCGh9

Workshop: Open Doors – A Workshop for WCSU Faculty and Staff

*(CANCELLED 3/11/2020)

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Center Ballroom (Westside Campus)

Sponsored by the WCSU Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club

This workshop is geared to offer faculty and staff awareness and strategies in preparation for you to become an ally to the LGBTQ+ community.  This workshop will address the ever changing terminology in the community, the messages that are generated in society about LGBTQ+ lives, the coming out process, and other skills necessary to being a successful ally.  For more information about this faculty/staff workshop, please contact Erika Sabovik, GSA President by email at sabovik001@wcsu.edu.

Please click here to view the flyer announcement.

Event: WCSU 5th Annual Health, Fitness and Wellness Fair

*(CANCELLED 3/11/2020)

Image result for WCSU Health Fair

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Bill Williams Gym in Berkshire Hall (Midtown Campus)

Sponsored by the CHOICES, WCSU Counseling Center, Office of Health Services, Health Promotion and Exercise Science Department (HPX), and the IHHS Wellness Center and Recreation.

The fifth annual health, fitness and wellness fair will feature various information tables, food samples, local vendors and a variety of fitness and wellness demonstrations.  There will be free massages, raffles and giveaways on hand to participants.  

Please click here to view the flyer and this event is open to the public.

 

APRIL is

 MONTH AT WCSU

Our planet is filled with a rainbow of races and religions — all equal in every way. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand them all or even know they exist, but it does matter that you accept them all and do not judge any of them as less than worthy. We are all in this together, and our ignorance of other’s beliefs is no excuse for intolerance in any form.

As we enter April, I’d like everyone to take some time to celebrate Diversity Month.

COMMUNITY ACTIVITY: Take the time to INVOLVE yourself and others in learning about cultures and religions that are not part of your daily life. Involve your children, family, friends and neighbors; so that we may all gain a better understanding of our global family. Talk about, show examples of and become involved in celebrating diversity today and every day. There are endless possibilities of how you can do this, but here are five simpleexamples if you need a bit of inspiration:

  1. Create a craft with your friends and family that represents different cultures.
  2. Invite friends and family over for a pot luck meal where participants bring in dishes that represent ethnic foods.
  3. Explore different cultures through art forms, poetry, music, crafts, traditional costumes, language, etc. Have an art show featuring local, diverse artists, or a poetry reading, or a concert.
  4. Rent movies that deal with diverse topics.
  5. Read about a religion you have heard of, but don’t know much, if anything, about.

The Office of Diversity and Equity (“ODE”) will accept a one-page (or less) written story about your community activity to post on social media.  If you are interested in participating, please submit your written story to ode@wcsu.edu by Friday, March 27, 2020 to view as a post on the ODE social media (i.e., Twitter and Instagram) in recognition of WCSU Cultural Diversity Month.

The Intercultural Center at Western Connecticut State University is hosting student-centered campus events throughout the month of April to recognize and pledge our commitment to diversity and inclusion within our university community.

Event: LiveSafe App Workshop

*(CANCELLED 3/11/2020)

Wednesday, April 1, 2020 and Thursday, April 2, 2020

Every 30 minutes from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

University Police Headquarters (Midtown Campus)

Sponsored by the WCSU Police Department and the WCSU Office of Emergency Management

LiveSafe App Workshops, hosted by the WCSU Police Department and the Office of Emergency Management, to review and assist in learning more about this free downloadable app that mobile users can use to initiate contact with emergency responders around the campuses. Light refreshments will be served.

 

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Sexual Assault Awareness Month (“SAAM”) is an annual designation observed in April.  During this month, WCSU raises awareness about sexual violence in Connecticut and educates our community on how to prevent it and be active bystanders in prevention and awareness.

Below, please look at a posted video poem that highlights how important it is to be an active bystander and learn from the value of your voice as a survivor of sexual violence and/or as a friend and/or relative of a survivor of sexual violence.

This poem, “Dear Young Woman” was written and performed by Britta Badou, Kingston born and Toronto based spoken word poet, teaching artist, about the importance of female ’empowerment and recognizing value in your voice.

Western Connecticut State University is hosting campus events, film screenings, interactive workshops and lectures throughout the month of April to recognize and pledge our commitment to survivors and allies in combating sexual violence.

SAAM Event: “Can I Give You a Kiss” Consent Event

*(CANCELLED 3/11/2020)

Monday, April 6, 2020

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

2nd Fl. Lobby Area, Campus Center (West Side Campus)

Sponsored by the Women’s Center for Greater Danbury

The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury is sponsoring a tabling session to educate everyone in the university community about the available resources, services and events on campus about affirmative consent.  Hershey “kisses” will be handed out.

 

SAAM Event: Step Up Against Sexual Assault

*(CANCELLED 3/11/2020)

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Midtown Student Center, First Floor Lobby Area

Sponsored by the Women’s Center for Greater Danbury

The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury is sponsoring this event to allow members of the university community to write messages to survivors on flags that will be placed in the quadrangle on the Midtown Campus. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and this event is one of the ways that we recognize the importance of this month

 

SAAM Event: Denim Day

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

All Day

2nd Fl. Lobby Area, Campus Center (West Side Campus)

Sponsored by the Women’s Center for Greater Danbury

The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury is sponsoring this event to allow members of the university community to wear denim all day in order to raise awareness about sexual assault.

MAY

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).

Like most commemorative months, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month originated with Congress. In 1977 Reps. Frank Horton of New York introduced House Joint Resolution 540 to proclaim the first ten days in May as Pacific/Asian American Heritage Week. In the same year, Senator Daniel Inouye introduced a similar resolution, Senate Joint Resolution 72. Neither of these resolutions passed, so in June 1978, Rep. Horton introduced House Joint Resolution 1007. This resolution proposed that the President should “proclaim a week, which is to include the seventh and tenth of the month, during the first ten days in May of 1979 as ‘Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.’” This joint resolution was passed by the House and then the Senate and was signed by President Jimmy Carter on October 5, 1978 to become Public Law 95-419 (PDF, 158kb). This law amended the original language of the bill and directed the President to issue a proclamation for the “7 day period beginning on May 4, 1979 as ‘Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.’” During the next decade, presidents passed annual proclamations for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week until 1990 when Congress passed Public Law 101-283 (PDF, 166kb) which expanded the observance to a month for 1990. Then in 1992, Congress passed Public Law 102-450 (PDF, 285kb) which annually designated May as Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

ONLINE ACTIVITY: Participants (known or anonymous) are asked to share a personal story on what has been discovered about the challenges and opportunities to retain cultural identity either growing up (in a predominant Asian-American and/or Pacific Islander family) or having immigrated to the United States. Participants are asked to explore the ambivalence so commonly felt about being from a different cultural background, descended from roots and/or immigrants’ heritage and faith.

The Office of Diversity and Equity (“ODE”) will accept a one-page (or less) written story to post on social media.  If you are interested in participating, please submit your written story to ode@wcsu.edu by Friday, April 24, 2020 to view as a post on the ODE social media (i.e., Twitter and Instagram) in recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at WCSU.

 

Jewish American Heritage Month is celebrated in the month of May,  and at Western Connecticut State University, we are commemorating this month by promoting the theme in highlighting stories of people from all backgrounds and ages who came to the United States looking for a new world to build their futures.  Jewish American Heritage Month provides us with a time to reflect on our roots, our families and our proud heritage as Americans.  Some of us arrived in massive numbers in the late 1800’s into the early 20th Century from Europe or from North Africa and the Middle East, others through the ashes of the Holocaust, and others arriving from the Former Soviet Union in more recent years. But all of us, our parents, and grandparents came here seeking a better future.

ONLINE ACTIVITY: Participants (known or anonymous) are asked to share a personal story on what has been discovered about the challenges and opportunities to retain cultural identity either growing up (in a predominant Jewish family) or having immigrated to the United States. Participants are asked to explore the ambivalence so commonly felt about being from a different cultural background, descended from roots and/or immigrants’ heritage and faith.

The Office of Diversity and Equity (“ODE”) will accept a one-page (or less) written story to post on social media.  If you are interested in participating, please submit your written story to ode@wcsu.edu by Friday, April 24, 2020 to view as a post on the ODE social media (i.e., Twitter and Instagram) in recognition of Jewish American Heritage Month at WCSU.

LUNCH WITH A LEADER SERIES

Sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Equity, What is Lunch with a Leader? Chief Diversity Officer, Jesenia Minier-Delgado will invite guest speakers to present and share stories of their professional journeys. Each invited guest(s) /speaker(s) holds leadership positions in higher education, law enforcement, social services and the business fields in Danbury and/or in the surrounding regions of Connecticut. Each of the invited guest(s) will share their personal anecdotes about how they succeeded, challenges faced, and also offer tips and career advice to students, faculty and staff. The attendees will have an opportunity to build a network and better understand the requisite skills to succeed in various career fields.

Please contact Ms. Keisha Stokes by phone at (203) 837-8278 or by email at stokesk@wcsu.edu to register and attend any of the listed series date(s). Attendance is limited to up to 15 participants each session. Students are highly encouraged to attend and register, but faculty and staff are welcome to attend and register as well. Lunch will be provided for registered guests and you will receive a confirmation email upon your registration.

UPDATE: Due to the unforeseen issues with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), all featured speakers and event date(s) and time(s) for the Lunch with the Leaders series will be postponed until the Fall 2020 semester.