Editor’s note: This is part of a series of updates on campuswide diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives that will continue throughout the year.
Read about the Adelante employee affinity group and the DEI Impact Grant Summit, as well as National Hispanic Heritage Month, Indigenous Peoples Day and other campus events happening through October.
Adelante, other employee affinity groups champion community-building
CU Boulder’s employee affinity groups enable staff, faculty and their allies to meet on campus, network, share resources and support each other. Upcoming employee affinity group events include:
- Sept. 21 Employee Affinity Group Summit: Faculty and staff can learn more about all employee affinity groups by attending this summit—sign up in advance. The summit will take place 11 a.m.–1 p.m. in the C4C Abrams Lounge.
- Sept. 25: Join the Adelante employee affinity group for its first community event this semester, 11 a.m.–1 p.m. in the C4C Abrams Lounge.
Recently, the staff lead of Adelante, an affinity group for staff and faculty who identify as Latine, Latinx, Latina, Latino or Hispanic—and their allies—answered a few questions about the group’s purpose and its hopes for the future.
5 questions for María Castro Barajas
When she isn’t working to recruit, retain and graduate first-generation and other minoritized students as director of the campus’s Precollege Bridge Program, María Castro Barajas champions the success of her peers and colleagues.
What is your affiliation with Adelante, and why did you decide to get involved with this employee affinity group?
I am currently the lead for the Adelante Latina/x/o staff and faculty affinity group. I decided to be involved with this group to champion others, to provide a sense of connectedness and to create a supportive and sustaining community at CU Boulder.
How many faculty and staff members belong to Adelante, and what are the group’s priorities for the 2023–24 academic year?
We currently have 90 faculty and staff members but believe our membership will continue to grow as other Latina/x/o employees learn about our organization. Our first community event will be on Sept. 25.
We are still developing our priorities for the upcoming academic year. However, we will be guided by our overall mission, which is to bring CU Boulder Latina/x/o staff and faculty together to build community; dialogue around our vision and concerns; and recognize our brilliance, contributions and successes. We will also advocate for one another and for the interests of other Latina/x/o staff and faculty on campus to best support and retain our sisters and brothers within this community.
‘Adelante’ means ‘forward’ in Spanish. What do you hope members will take from the name of this employee affinity group?
“Adelante” symbolizes our shared commitment to advancement and growth. We envision a community where each member is on a journey of self-improvement, education and support for one another. It also serves as a call to action and a reminder that, together, we have the strength to overcome challenges and propel ourselves toward a brighter, more inclusive future. It embodies our shared values of unity, empowerment and progress.
What added value do employee affinity groups bring to the faculty and staff experience in higher education?
Employee affinity groups like Adelante enhance the higher education experience by fostering a sense of belonging and authenticity among faculty and staff. This inclusivity improves engagement, performance and retention rates. Additionally, these groups contribute to the diversity of thought within academic institutions, leading to more innovative approaches to education and research.
What do you hope staff and faculty take away from their experience as members of Adelante?
I hope Adelante provides staff and faculty with a profound sense of collaboration, diversity and inclusion. It should be a place where members can thrive personally and professionally. Adelante aims to be an organization that appreciates and celebrates the invaluable contributions that Latina/x/o individuals have made to our university, fostering a vibrant and inclusive community.
DEI Impact Grant recipients to share experiences at summit
The DEI Impact Grant Summit is an opportunity for grantees to share stories of their successes and challenges as they prepare for the next funding year and for prospective grantees to learn about application and review cycle details. For faculty and staff interested in submitting DEI Impact Grant proposals:
- Sign up in advance to attend the inaugural Impact Grant Summit taking place on Oct. 25, 1:30–3:30 p.m., in CASE E422.
- Log in to the DEI Resource Hub to obtain more information about how the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion can support you through the proposal and grant process.