The Council for Equity and Community (CEC) welcomes you to the 2017-2018 academic year.
The CEC is made up of colleagues, classmates, mentors and friends who share the goal of creating a more welcoming and inclusive Lehigh. We work to influence university culture and policy by encouraging conversation and collaboration on the wide range of issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The CEC is responsible for reviewing the results of the annual Lehigh Survey of campus climate and providing recommendations. The survey data for 2016 is now available online for all members of the Lehigh community to read: http://www.lehigh.edu/~inprv/communications/pubsreports.html#lehighsurvey. This summer, we hosted three workshops in which the Lehigh community discussed and sought solutions for the issues identified in the 2015 survey. We will host similar workshops for the results of the 2016 survey and hope you will participate. Each of us has a role to play in this work.
The Council also awards grants to Lehigh student organizations working to build a more inclusive Lehigh. Last academic year, we provided more than $12,000 in funding to develop programming through a selective process. Learn more about the CEC’s grant-making efforts and how to apply here: https://www1.lehigh.edu/diversity/cec/funding.
Recently, our membership met with Vice President for Equity and Community Donald A. Outing to affirm the CEC’s new role as an advisory group supporting the work of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity. Dr. Outing came to Lehigh in January from West Point to fill this newly created position dedicated to this important work, and we’re excited to align our work with his strategic vision for Lehigh.
We hope you had the opportunity to read President Simon’s letter to the Lehigh community regarding the recent tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia. We stand firmly with President Simon in recommitting to our shared values and in rejecting hatred, bigotry and intolerance. We ask you to join us in sustaining a welcoming and inclusive culture here at Lehigh.
We are pleased to be joined by newly elected tri-chair Liz Hill, Coordinator in Sociology and Anthropology, who replaces Lori McClaind in our leadership. Lori stepped down after several years of representing the Dean of Students Office on the CEC.
Best wishes for a successful and engaging semester.
Tri-Chairs of the CEC Elizabeth Hill, Coordinator, Sociology and Anthropology Cheryl Matherly, Vice President and Vice Provost, International Affairs Jennifer Swann, Professor, Biological Sciences
Executive Committee of the CEC Clara Buie, Program Director, International Affairs Christopher Burke, Associate Professor, Psychology David Caruso, Project Manager, President’s Office Karen Salvemini, Equal Opportunity Compliance Coordinator, Office of General Counsel Sarah Stanlick, Professor of Practice, Sociology and Anthropology
As the school year begins, the nation is facing a critical juncture in its progress toward a more inclusive society. As President Simon noted in his letter to campus about the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, home to the University of Virginia:
"Many among us are deeply disturbed and fearful as a result of what occurred. In times such as these, universities have an important role. We have a responsibility to give voice to the next generation and to enable them to engage around contentious societal issues through peaceful means and to work toward a more just and fully prosperous society."
The Southern Poverty Law Center has produced two new resources designed to help communities and universities take actions that address hatred and stand against intolerance. We're sharing these guides here on the CEC blog for faculty, staff and students to make use of on campus and off.
The LTS Diversity and Inclusion Outreach and Awareness Committee will be screening the documentary film,I Am Not Your Negro, for Lehigh students, staff and faculty on Friday, July 14 from 12-2 p.m in Rauch 184.
This film is premised on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript about his close friends - Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. The filmmaker envisions Baldwin’s work and provides us with rich historical context that connects us with the present. We believe this moving and beautifully crafted film will encourage a post-viewing discussion on the past and future of race in America and will be facilitated by Professor James Peterson, Director of Africana Studies.
This film screening is a staff development opportunity and complies with Lehigh University's Principles of Our Equitable Community. Talk to your supervisor if you have any questions about attending this event.
*Due to the licensing agreement this film screening is open to Lehigh University Students, Faculty and Staff Only
Natanya Duncan, Assistant Professor of History and Africana Studies, recent shared feedback from participants in two CEC-sponsored events - the Revolutionary Sister Tea and Fruits of the Same Tree, an intergenerational dialogue. These events featured some of the nation's most prominent civil rights and social justice activists and scholars, including:
Former Black Panther Ericka Huggins
Joan Trumpauer-Mulholland (the first white woman to belong to an African American Greek Organization)
Poet laureate Sonia Sanchez
Former Young Lord and Professor Denise Oliver-Velez
Professor Robyn Spencer of Lehmann College, author of The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender and the Black Panther Party in Oakland
Professor Johanna Fernandez of Baruch College who recently assisted the NYC Police department in “finding” lost records on the prosecution of the Young Lords
Duchess Harris, professor and chair of American studies at Macalester College, and author of the books Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Obama and Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA
"Thank you so much for giving me The Revolution Has Come and An Ordinary Hero. I'll be sure to get started on them this coming weekend. The Sister Tea was amazing. The sisterhood and activism that I both heard and felt from the speakers showed me, a Black guy from Philly, some of what we as Black people have overcome during our fight for equity, but also what we have to continue to fight for. The strength and intelligence that the finalist showed during both the Tea and the Q & A were mindblowing and after going to the talk I have already started looking back on what I can do to the change the world."
"I just wanted to reach out to you and say that you and all of the amazing women at the Sister Tea have inspired me. Their wise words, along with Professor Peterson's class, have made me think about the racial divide on the Lehigh campus. I always thought that activism had to be an immediate and prominent statement. Now I know that it is just the small things that lead to a greater change. All of that being said, I was wondering if you had any advice on what steps I can begin to take in order to change this divide on campus. Thank you, and all the sisters, for inspiring me!"
"I called my Mother and told her I rode the shuttle bus with a Freedom Rider! I rode the bus with Sister Joan Muholland. I rode the bus with a Freedom Rider! YEAH!”
Monica Najar "It was a true pleasure for me. It was a wonderful event. One of the most wonderful events I have been to in my 16 years at Lehigh."
"Thank YOU, Nat, for the extraordinary gift of the Revolutionary Sisters' events! Yesterday evening was such a beautiful, moving, energizing occasion in so many ways. It lifted my spirits, and was such a powerful affirmation of the tradition of revolutionary hope, endurance, and imagination. I know that many students were transformed by what they heard, and by feeling part of the tradition. Thanks for all your work bringing these extraordinary thinkers and activists to campus!"
"The two events were incredibly rich and meaningful, and I must say, for me, very poignant! So valuable for us all to hear from the four activists, their stories from back in the day as well as how richly they have aged. I connected with several of the students who remain from my 1960s class (experiencing serious deja vu). Also great to hear of (and start reading!) the work of the three scholar activists. I trust these sessions will reverberate with our students for a long time."