Student Voices at CU: Racial and Ethnic Inclusion Conversation Happening February 11th

Published: Jan. 25, 2016
Student Voices at CU: Racial and Ethnic Inclusion Conversation Happening February 11th

CU Engage, together with several partner groups, invites you to join a creative research presentation followed by facilitated small group conversations about racial and ethnic inclusion at CU Boulder. CU Engage Faculty Director Ben Kirshner comments, “I’m pleased that EMAC is sponsoring a forum for students to communicate their views about optimal policies and practices that support racial and ethnic inclusion.”

The event, entitled “Student Voices at CU: What Racial and Ethnic Inclusion Means for Our Campus”, will take place Thursday, February 11th from 4 - 5:30 PM in the UMC Aspen Rooms. Light snacks will be provided. 

Although centered on the experience of Students of Color, this interactive event is intended for all members of the campus community 
-- students, staff, faculty, and administrators of all backgrounds -- to discuss policies and practices that support racial and ethnic inclusion at CU Boulder.

“This event is a great opportunity for the campus community to continue our efforts in creating an inclusive community,” explains Victor Hernandez, Assistant Director of the Cultural Unity and Engagement (CUE) Center and one of the event organizers.

The purpose of the “Student Voices” event is to bring different members of the campus together to discuss what inclusion means and discuss implications for policies and practices on the CU campus. Participants will learn strategies from each other and share their experiences so that together we uphold the Flagship 2030 commitment to a campus environment that exemplifies diversity, intercultural understanding, and community engagement.

Student voices are critical to ensuring that campus efforts at inclusion achieve their goals. This event follows on a report completed in 2015 by CU Engage students called, Students of Color are Motivated Agents of Change: Why Aren’t We Joining Your Programs?  Student organizer Yohannese Gebremedhin explains that "this event is part of an ongoing conversation about racial inclusion issues happening at CU, in the context of what's happening across the country. CU is being proactive and it's important to keep this ball rolling, to continue this conversation."

Another student organizer, Vanessa Roberts, a PhD Student and Graduate Instructor in CU Boulder’s Department of Sociology, notes that she "hopes participants will gain a greater awareness of the current efforts already underway to make CU a more inclusive campus. Ideally, folks will leave this event inspired to not only take personal action, but also to hold their peers and our institution accountable for putting in the work it will take to achieve inclusive excellence here at CU."

Roberts continues: Students are encouraged to attend and share their insights.  In light of the recent release of the campus climate survey results, this event has taken on a new level of importance. “Student Voices” is an event intentionally designed to move us past dialogue and into action, a shift students are calling for across our campus. While no one event can ever “do everything,” I hope that “Student Voices” provides one venue for our campus community to begin to find answers to the question: “What do we do now?”  I hope the event motivates participants to take an active part in improving the student experience here at CU.

This event is sponsored by the system-wide Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee (EMAC) and has been planned by students, staff, and faculty in coordination with multiple campus entities, including: CU Engage, Center for Unity and Engagement, the Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement, and the BOLD Center. 

Please RSVP for this event by emailing cuengage@colorado.edu or by joining the event on Facebook.