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Office of Diversity and Equity

Diversity (Virtual) Events Calendar – Spring 2021


Spring 2021 is here!  WCSU welcomes you to the spring semester.  While the university continues to operate according to the university and state COVID-19 guidelines, there are various university officers that are still available to support our campus community through engaging programs and student initiatives.  Please review our virtual calendar for heritage month(s) and cultural diversity programming (additional information will be updated and forthcoming).


University Announcement(s)


Speak Your Truth, Own Your Truth: Roundtable Discussion Series

Sponsored by the WCSU SUOAF-AFSCME Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee 

In this far-reaching roundtable series, discussion about the varying issues the pandemic locally and globally, have surfaced particularly with regards to mental health and isolation.   Each virtual discussion addresses that sort of psychological and social toll the pandemic has taken on various ethnic/racial groups, in the context of civil unrest and anti-racist protests, such as:  

  1. How do people, in this country and elsewhere, manage the responsibilities and strains of living in multigenerational homes, and the attendant risks of transmission vulnerable generations?
  2. What challenges have the social, environmental, ethical, and political landscape posed to managing and combatting the pandemic, here and abroad?

For more information, please click here to view the poster/flyer and information to virtually attend the scheduled sessions on Wednesdays, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., on March 3, 2021, March 24, 2021 and April 21, 2021.


CREATING CALM  (Virtual) Group

Stress is everywhere, we all experience it and depending on what’s going on in our lives we have more or less of it at times. Drop-in and have a conversation about ways to create more moments of calm during stressful times and learn simple techniques such as mindfulness and breathing to aid in the process. No registration is needed!

Facilitated by: Deborah Augenbraun, PsyD

Every Tuesday, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00pm, beginning on January 26, 2021

Webex URL:  https://wcsu.webex.com/meet/counselingservices


Coping through COVID-19 

COVID-19 has led to significant changes in daily life. Drop-in and connect to share, process, and learn ways to navigate these challenging times.

Facilitated by: Kelly Copeland, PsyD

Every Wednesday, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., beginning on January 27, 2021

Webex URL:  https://wcsu.webex.com/meet/counselingservices

Let’s Talk Support (Virtual) Group

Do you have a specific problem related to yourself or a friend? Would you like the perspective of a Counselor, but are not interested in attending ongoing counseling? Would you like to learn more about WCSU Counseling Services? Drop-in for a free and confidential informal consultation with a WCSU Counselor. No appointment is needed!

Simply use the Webex URL below during the time of the program to connect with a Counselor. If the Counselor is speaking with another student, the Counselor will be notified that you are waiting and will be with you shortly.

Every Thursday, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00pm, beginning on January 28, 2021

Webex URL:  https://wcsu.webex.com/meet/counselingservices


Girl Talk Support (Virtual) Group

Sponsored by the Women’s Center for Greater Danbury

Signs: Help, Support, Advice, GuidanceEvery semester the Women’s Center facilitates a virtual 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. In the Spring 2021 semester, these meetings will be (virtually) held for one hour a week for over an 6-week period. The time and day is still TBD, but the group will begin meeting on and after February 17, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.  In order to determine a time that works for the greatest number of people, students will be asked to participate in our doodle poll link that will be sent by a member of the Women’s Center.

If you know of a student whom you think might benefit from a virtual support group, please encourage them to contact a member of the Women’s Center for Greater Danbury either by email to Ms. Holly Berlandy at holly.b@wcogd.org or call by phone at (203) 837-3939 for more information.


Hope and Healing (Virtual) Support Group

Sponsored by the Women’s Center for Greater Danbury

The Women’s Center facilitates a virtual 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 (virtually) through ZOOM.

For more information on when the group will meet and for group registration, students can contact the Women’s Center for Greater Danbury either by email to Ms. Holly Berlandy at holly.b@wcogd.org or by phone at (203) 837-3939 for more information.



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.

Coming into 2021, this month takes on a significant meaning to how our university community can delve into these upcoming list of virtual offerings on and off our campuses.


 On-Campus (Virtual) Event(s)

BHHM Event: History and Heritage Month Lunch/Dinner Campus Showcases

BHHM Lunch Special

Saturday, February 13th, from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

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

BHHM Dinner Special

Wednesday, February 17th, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Midtown Campus, Student Center Restaurant 

BHHM Dinner Special

Thursday, February 25, from 4:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m.

West Side Campus, Campus Center Market Place

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

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.


BHHM Event: Communicating with Students of Color

computer and laptop for virtual communicationWednesday, February 3rd, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Sponsored by members of the WCSU Racial Justice Coalition and SignalVine

While communicating with students poses its own challenges, overcoming those barriers and reaching out to underrepresented students is an integral part of higher education. Students of color have been disproportionately impacted by COVID and the increasing levels of social unrest in 2020. These add heavy burdens on these students not only physically and emotionally, but also can impede them from attending and completing higher education degrees. This is why it is especially urgent to implement personalized and relationship oriented communication to ensure that these students feel fully seen and heard.

Students from every background will benefit and are encouraged to attend.  Please click here for more information or to register for this virtual event.


BHHM Event: Dear Black Male

Monday, February 8th, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Sponsored by the faculty of the Social Work Department and the Office of Diversity and Equity

This webinar will focus on how historical and systemic inequity continues to exist for Black Males. Although some of these biases may be unconscious, stereotypes and the misrepresentation of Black Males in the media often interferes with their ability to receive fair treatment. Some Black males develop a sense of distrust towards community supports such as law enforcement and mental health providers, which can hinder their willingness to seek and engage in services.

Participants will:

  • Explore how systematic oppression, implicit bias, and unaddressed physical and mental health can impact Black Males.
  • Identify how cultural responses to mental health can impede Black male’s willingness to participate in counseling.
  • Discover specific skills intended to engage with Black Males more effectively.
  • Learn skills to promote psychological safety of the Black male.
  • Be offered skills and techniques to assess and evaluate how their own values and experiences with Black Males contribute to service delivery.

Please click here for more information and to register for this virtual event.



Sponsored CSCU Event:

BLACKBALLED: The Black and White Politics of Race on America’s Campuses with Mr. Lawrence Ross

Wednesday, February 10th, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Sponsored by the Student Government Association at various CSCU institutions (see below)

The Student Government Associations at Manchester Community College, Asnuntuck Community College, Capital Community College, Eastern Connecticut State University, and the Naugatuck Valley Community College are proud to present an afternoon with Mr. Lawrence Rossi, bestselling author, lecturer, writer, filmmaker, and social media and consumer trends expert.  Mr. Ross will be presenting material from his book “Blackballed: The Black and White Politics of Race on America’s Campuses.”  Mr. Ross will be on hand to answer questions immediately following the presentation. 

Anyone interested can send questions in advance via email ( to tbarber@manchestercc.edu), or via WebEx chat to Trent Barber (host) during the virtual event so that any pre-advanced questions can be relayed to Mr. Ross. This virtual event is open ONLY to students, faculty, and staff of the CSCU System and requires logging in using your CSCU net credentials to gain access.

Click the provided link to access the virtual program: https://ctedu.webex.com/webappng/sites/ctedu/dashboard/enforceVerifyEmail?userId=602948607

For more information on Mr. Ross and his work, please click the link found here: https://thelawrenceross.com/


Sponsored Department/Office Event: WRONGFULLY IMPRISONED

Wednesday, February 17th, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Sponsored by members of the Social Sciences Department, WCSU Alumni Association, UndocuAlly Taskforce and Racial Justice Coalition

The Department of Social Sciences will host a social hour via WebEx. “Wrongfully Imprisoned” will feature Exoneree Fernando and his wife, Crystal Bermudez.  Bermudez spent eighteen (18) years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Members of the campus community are invited to hear his powerful story and the PTSD experienced since being exonerated in 2009.  

For more information on this story, please click the provided link:  www.representjustice.org/speakers/fernando-bermudez/.

For the link to join, send an email to bandhauerc@wcsu.edu 



Sponsored Office Event: Love Better Instagram Live Event 

Thursday, February 18th, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Sponsored by the Women’s Center for Greater Danbury

The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury is sponsoring the this virtual event to discuss how couples can enhance an already healthy and loving relationship, conflict resolution techniques, love languages, and more!  

To join: please click the Instagram link at: @wcogd_oncampus





Virtual Tour(s), Article/Book Recommendation(s) and Videos

Link to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture: https://nmaahc.si.edu 

In celebration of African American/Black History Month, the Museum has an array of digital resources to preserve, digitize and share African American history.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

There are four pillars upon which the NMAAHC stands:

  1. It provides an opportunity for those who are interested in African American culture to explore and revel in this history through interactive exhibitions
  2. It helps all Americans see how their stories, their histories, and their cultures are shaped and informed by global influences
  3. It explores what it means to be an American and share how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American/Black history and culture
  4. It serves as a place of collaboration that reaches beyond Washington, D.C. to engage new audiences and to work with the myriad of museums and educational institutions that have explored and preserved this important history well before this museum was created.

The NMAAHC is a public institution open to all, where anyone is welcome to participate, collaborate, and learn more about African American/Black history, culture and available book listing(s).


Link to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (“ASALH”): https://asalh.org/festival/

This year the ASALH theme is “The African American/Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity”

The black family has been a topic of study in many disciplines—history, literature, the visual arts and film studies, sociology, anthropology, and social policy.  Its representation, identity, and diversity have been reverenced, stereotyped, and vilified from the days of slavery to our own time. The black family knows no single location, since family reunions and genetic-ancestry searches testify to the spread of family members across states, nations, and continents. Not only are individual black families diasporic, but Africa and the diaspora itself have been long portrayed as the black family at large. While the role of the black family has been described by some as a microcosm of the entire race, its complexity as the “foundation” of African American/Black life and history can be seen in numerous debates over how to represent its meaning and typicality from a historical perspective—as slave or free, as patriarchal or matriarchal/matrifocal, as single-headed or dual-headed household, as extended or nuclear, as fictive kin or blood lineage, as legal or common law, and as black or interracial, etc. Variation appears, as well, in discussions on the nature and impact of parenting, childhood, marriage, gender norms, sexuality, and incarceration. The family offers a rich tapestry of images for exploring the African American past and present.

The ASALH has a host of virtual events and offerings during the month of February that will offer education and insight into this year’s theme and how we can better understand African American/Black Life and History.


A Timely Bit of Black History
Check out an interview with Sylvester Boyd, Author, Actor, Speaker, and Historian which highlights the lives of over fourteen notable African Americans. This is a timely 5-minute video will illustrate and spark up the conversation in classrooms and/or in your communities around Black history.

Bias in Automation is a Growing Problem that Desparetly Needs Your Attention
Although respondents to a recent study named bias in programming and data as the second-most important ethical issue, almost half (45%) of businesses do not check their technology for gender or racial bias. Furthermore, in a recent survey by the CDO PowerCircle, we learned that over 60% of senior leaders believe that automation and artificial intelligence known as “AI” will automatically lead to a more bias free workforce, workplace and marketplace. This means that more people and business analytics reports are very likely tainted with biases and senior business leaders that are not actively “minding the store.”
To learn more, please click this link about how we can (either in the classroom or workspace) incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion: https://www.hrdive.com/news/as-companies-prioritize-tech-in-strategic-planning-data-bias-is-a-risk/593820/
A Subtle and Harmful Microaggression: Untitling and Uncredentializing Professional Women
Omitting titles and credentials like Doctor and/or Congresswoman for women (especially more so for women of color) while using them for men is a practice that diminishes women’s perceived authority and credibility. This is a behavior that needs to be corrected.
Growing From Our Unintentional Exclusion Experiences
How we react to someone who points out a behavior on our part that results in unintentional exclusion will determine whether or not we grow as inclusive leaders. Either we will retreat to a defensive position or we will step up and grow.
To learn more, please click on this link on this insightful Forbes article:


(Virtual) Activities and Event(s) In Danbury


Danbury Library (Facebook): https://danburylibrary.org

170 Main Street
Danbury CT 06810203-797-4505
Google Map

Virtual Event: African American Heroes 

Tuesday, February 9, 2021, from 2:00 pm – 2:15 pm

Leaders, activists, scientists, authors, musicians, actors, explorers, athletes… celebrating African American heroes who’ve made history!  Each listed video, a user will learn about a different person and the achievements in history. Registration is not required. Please note, this is a pre-recorded virtual event on Facebook. Tune in when it airs live, or visit our Facebook at a later time and watch it then. You do not need a Facebook account to participate. To join: please click the link at https://www.facebook.com/danburylibrary/videos.


Featured African American Hero: Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson’s performance at the Lincoln Memorial:

Marian Anderson was an African-American contralto and one of the most celebrated singers of the 20th century. In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused permission for Anderson to sing to an integrated audience in Constitution Hall. The incident placed Anderson into the spotlight of the international community on a level unusual for a classical musician. With the aid of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt, Anderson performed a critically acclaimed open-air concert on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. She sang before a crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions. Anderson continued to break barriers for black artists throughout the United States.



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 about empowerment and strength to post on social media.  If you are interested in participating, please submit your written story to ode@wcsu.edu by Wednesday, February 24, 2021to view as a post on the ODE social media (i.e., Twitter and Instagram) in recognition of Women’s History Month (“WHM”) at WCSU.


On-Campus (Virtual) Event(s)

internationalwomensday-planoly-blog-coverWHM Event: International Women’s Day Photo and Story Submission

Sponsored by the Women’s Center for Greater Danbury

Students can send a photo of a woman that inspires them and a short paragraph that explains why or how they inspire them. The woman they choose to highlight can be someone they know or a historical figure. Submissions can be sent to Ms. Cara Mackler at cara.m@wcogd.org no later than Friday, March 5th, 2021 and submissions are automatically entered into a raffle for an Amazon Echo Dot.


WHM Event: The Clothesline Project

March 2020 TBD

Sponsored by the Women’s Center for Greater Danbury and WCSU Library

The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury is in the process of sponsoring the Clothesline Project in collaboration with the WCSU Library 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.

More information will follow with this on-campus event on or after February 22, 2021


Sponsored Department/Office Event: Boys in the Band

Thursday, March 18th, time TBD

Sponsored by the Theater Arts Department and the Office of Diversity and Equity

Theater (virtual) panel discussion on Queer Theater and social intersectionality with the NETFLIX drama “Boys in the Band”.

More information to follow about this new and exciting virtual event on or after March 1, 2021.



Sponsored Office Event: Jeopardy with the WCSU Library 

Friday, March 26th, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.Jeopardy logo

Sponsored by the Women’s Center for Greater Danbury

The Women’s Center, in collaboration with the WCSU Library, are hosting a Women’s Center themed Jeopardy.  The participating winner will receive a wireless HP Printer!

For more information, virtual event details will be posted on the Women’s Center Instagram page: @wcogd_oncampus.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ms. Cara Mackler at cara.m@wcogd.org.


WHM Event: Virtual Coffee with the New WCSU Diversity Council

The next Coffee with the Council will be held on Saturday, July 20. Campus Discussion on Community/Personal Trauma & Self Care

Wednesday, March 31st, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Sponsored by the WCSU Diversity Council
Join us virtually to meet with our newly appointment members of the WCSU Diversity Council in an informal setting to give students, faculty and staff a chance to voice their concerns, share their opinions, and make an impact on the future of Western Connecticut State University as it pertains to the recent national tragedies and events and its impact on the WCSU community.  Members of the WCSU Diversity Council will serve as panelists to discuss strategies and proposed action on campus, but also to engage with participants on shared concerns and opinions about campus matters.  
This virtual event will be recorded and posted on or after April 1, 2021.


Off-Site (Virtual) Tour(s) and Book Recommendation(s)

Link to the Library of Congress virtual exhibits: https://womenshistorymonth.gov

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum collaborated in creating a public webpage commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.  

Please take an opportunity to virtually explore the various online exhibits and collections as well as book reading list(s) available.


(Virtual) Activities and Event(s) In Danbury

WCSU Ruth Haas Library archives: https://archives-library.wcsu.edu/suffragewomens-history-month-exhibit/

Suffrage/Women’s History Month Exhibit

Herb Janick Archives Fellow, Patrick Shea, has assembled an exhibit that documents the women’s suffrage movement in Connecticut and specifically in Danbury.  The items are on exhibit in the atrium of the Haas Library through the end of April.



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.

Image result for Sexual Assault Awareness Month image

Western Connecticut State University is hosting either on-campus and/or interactive (virtual) events, film screenings and lectures throughout the month of April to recognize and pledge our commitment to survivors and allies in combating sexual violence.


On-Campus (Virtual) Event(s)

SAAM Event: Consent Video Event

Sponsored by the Women’s Center for Greater Danbury

The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury is sponsoring this interactive activity that allows students to create a video (maximum 60 seconds) highlighting what consent should look like, sound like, or feel like; the most creative and positive video will win a set of AirPods Pro!

Please submit your video to Ms. Cara Mackler at cara.m@wcogd.org by Wednesday, April 14th, 2021.


SAAM Event: Virtual Denim Day

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

All Day

Sponsored by the WCSU Campus Response and Resource Team (“CaRRT”)

Members of the WCSU Campus Response and Resource Team are promoting action for this national event to encourage members of the university community to wear denim all day in order to raise awareness about sexual assault.

As a sign of solidarity, member of the university community are asked to send an inspirational message and photo wearing your denim jeans that explains your reason for becoming an ally in this protest. Submissions can be sent by email to the Office of Diversity and Equity at ode@wcsu.edu no later than Wednesday, April 14th, 2021 to post on the Office of Diversity and Equity Instagram: @WCSUODE .

For more information, please click here to view the National Denim Day “My Jeans Protest Violence” movement.


(Virtual) Activities and Event(s) In Danbury


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 matters that you accept everyone and do not judge anyone  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 26, 2021 to view as a post on the Office of Diversity and Equity Instagram: @WCSUODE in recognition of WCSU Cultural Diversity Month.


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

For more information, please go to the Office of InterCultural Affairs website: https://www.wcsu.edu/intercultural/