Student Mike Horgan shared the following impressions of the second annual Pride Basketball Rally and Game held Saturday, February 27. The event was co-sponsored by the CEC, along with the Student Senate Inclusion Committee, the Pride Center for Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, Athlete Ally, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
"The Pride Basketball Rally and game was a great event not only because of the signal it sent to the LGBT community that many Lehigh students support them but because the event also served as a means to reach out to Bethlehem community members. The large attendance and fun atmosphere at the rally was a powerful sign that the Lehigh community embracing a group that often feels marginalized on campus. At the rally, I also got to meet a Lehigh staff member and play basketball with her lively son. These connections are important and beneficial to our community. At the game, we were able to bring 50 Bethlehem school children and their families to the game and treat them to dinner beforehand. Watching the children wear the Pride event shirts and wave rainbow flags at the game was an amazing sight and hopefully fostered a conversation among the children and their families about LGBT awareness."
On Thursday, February 25, NYC based performance company The Black Latina Movement will perform an original work of theatre, Of Mothers and Men, at Lehigh University (see below for event details).
Of Mothers and Men presents a set of monologues spoken by women about their relationships with their mothers, motherhood, and the men in their lives. The play tells of love and struggle through an exploration of a spectrum of relationships, from healthy to unhealthy romantic partnerships to complex family bonds.
Of Mothers and Men highlights the diversity, pain, and beauty of Black Latina women and their experiences. Crystal Shaniece Roman, Black Latina Movement founder and CEO, who also appears in Of Mothers and Men, created the show to honor the “many paths these intricate relationships often take.” As such, Of Mothers and Men exemplifies the larger project of The Black Latina Movement to “advance the Black Latina voice” through the arts (BlackLatinamovement.com).
Of Mothers and Men is brought to Lehigh’s campus by a collaboration among the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Office of International Affairs, and the Women’s Center. The play is also supported by multiple campus partners, including the Council for Equity and Community. In addition, because of the nature of some of the monologues, representatives from Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley and the Lehigh University Counseling Center and Advocates will be present and available to talk with anyone immediately affected. Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley will be accepting donations. Donations are voluntary. No donation is needed to attend the play.
The organizations and individuals who have worked to bring Of Mothers and Men to Lehigh hope that the play will spark campus and community wide conversations about the experiences of women of color as well as the diverse roles of the women in our lives and communities. A 30 minute Question and Answer session with the cast will directly follow the performance, and the discussion will continue on Friday, February 26 at a Brown Bag Lunch meet-up in the M-Room at noon.
Both the play and the post play meet-up are free and open to Lehigh students, faculty, staff and the general public. Come out to hear the stories of Black Latina women and join in the conversation about relationships, love, and struggle.
For more information, contact Rita Jones, Director of the Women’s Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
The Black Latina Movement Presents: Of Mothers and Men
Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016
Admission is Free!
Post-Play Brown Bag Lunch Conversation:
Friday, Feb. 26, 2016
M-Room (2nd floor of the University Center)
Event is free, bring your lunch and responses to the play!
The CEC’s recommendations to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) which resulted from The Lehigh Survey are now available for students, faculty, and staff to review on the Diversity and Inclusion Updates page. Please take a moment to read this important material which came out of a great deal of work on the part of CEC members during the month of January 2016.
Now it’s your turn. Do you have any questions or thoughts about the CEC recommendations? Would you like to participate in implementing and supporting them? Do you have any thoughts or suggestions to share about The Lehigh Survey? We want to hear from you.
Commenting on the CEC blog is open to Lehigh staff, faculty and students (graduate and undergraduate). To post, simply log in below.
Thank you to everyone who responded to The Lehigh Survey and for all you do to help foster inclusivity and equity at Lehigh.
Lehigh's MLK Planning Committee is excited to share the news that this year's commemoration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will include some of the nation's most significant voices in social justice today.
In late January, Lehigh University will welcome multiple Grammy Award-winning rapper Macklemore, Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometiand activist Bree Newsome. This powerful lineup of speakers is a result of the MLK's focus on social activism that will span this academic year and the next, and will no doubt provide an engaging and thought-provoking roster of events.
Bree Newsome, in an act of civil disobedience, removes the Confederate battle flag from its pole in front of the South Carolina state house.
This year's schedule includes the following:
January 24th: Activism: A Conversation Between Opal and Macklemore,moderated by Lehigh Professor James Peterson in Baker Hall 1 to 2:30 p.m. (Tickets for this event will be free and will be able to be reserved inadvance - more details to come.)
January 27th: "WAKE" Brown Bag and Talk Back, moderated by Lehigh Professor Darius Omar Williams at a campus location to be decided.
January 28th: Bree Newsome, Activism and Her Climb for Justice: Baker Hall 7 p.m.
The MLK Celebration at Lehigh will kick off with the Lehigh Valley Multicultural Student Leadership Conference that will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, January 16, 2016, in Iacocca Hall. The event is organized through Lehigh's Office of Multicultural Affairs, in conjunction with local school principals. It is geared toward high school students engaged in and looking to enhance their leadership capabilities.
The Committee be sharing more information as these events approach. This year's celebration is certain to be extraordinary.
As a sponsor of the upcoming VISIONS workshops, The CEC wants to share President John Simon's recent invitation and encourage interested Lehigh community members to sign up.
Dear members of the campus community,
We are pleased to announce that Deborah J. Walker, senior consultant at VISIONS, Inc., is returning to campus in January to conduct additional workshops. The "Introducing VISIONS' Multicultural Process of Change" sessions are once again being sponsored by the Council for Equity and Community (CEC). Dr. Walker will be conducting 4-hour sessions designed to introduce Lehigh staff and faculty to the framework and common language being used by the CEC and senior leadership to enhance the university's internal capacity to create an equitable campus community. If you have already participated in an introductory workshop but would like a "deeper dive," there will also be a full-day follow-up session offered.
To date, nearly 250 faculty, staff, and students have benefited from VISIONS workshops. If you have not yet had the opportunity to take part in one, the next set is scheduled for January 19, 20, and 21 (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday). To sign up, send an email to the CEC at email@example.com.
We encourage supervisors to make work time available to those who wish to engage in this training. Those staff who need their supervisor's approval for this kind of activity during work hours should seek that prior to signing up for one of these sessions.
For additional information about VISIONS, feel free to ask any member of the CEC. They would be happy to answer your questions. Thank you for your support as we continue to work together to create a respectful campus environment, where diversity in all its forms is recognized, understood, and celebrated.
Sincerely, John Simon, President Pat Farrell, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Yom Kippur is the holiday in Judaism where we are asked to reflect on the past year, recognize when we have done something wrong, and ask forgiveness for it. It is often called the “Day of Atonement.”
The Jewish understanding of atonement includes not only apologizing for your misguided actions, but having a plan in place so that you will not repeat them. This year on Yom Kippur, I reflected on how the events leading up to and during the emergent Black Lives Matter movement affected me this past year, and how I did and didn’t act.
The official launch of the Lehigh Survey by President Simon on October 12 was an historic moment for Lehigh, and an especially proud moment for the two of us. As two of the developers of the survey (along with Professors Gordon Moskowitz and Dominic Packer from the Psychology Department and Jennifer Jensen, Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs), we were happy to see our hard work coming to fruition. And as members of the CEC and the broader campus community, we see the survey as an important step toward the goal of a more diverse and inclusive campus environment.
The Lehigh Survey is one-of-a-kind – developed by members of the Lehigh community to capture the unique aspects of climate and culture that make Lehigh what it is. The survey is ambitious in its scope – with a much broader focus than was specified in the university’s agreement with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). At the outset, we thought we might face resistance in trying to “go big” with the survey rather than simply meeting the narrow requirements of the OCR agreement. However, we felt supported and encouraged at all levels in broadening the scope of the survey. In fact, the biggest limiting factor was keeping the survey to a manageable length in order to achieve a high rate of completion across all segments of the campus community – including students, staff, and faculty.
Several features of the survey are worth highlighting.
First, we tried not to reinvent the wheel. We pulled some key questions from the previous campus climate survey so we can see, for instance, how the prevalence of harassment and discrimination on the basis of a wide range of social identities is changing over time. Looking at responses to these questions can help us see where progress is being made and where future efforts need to be targeted.
Second, we tried to strike a balance between asking about personal experiences and beliefs and more general perceptions of the campus climate. This approach recognizes that people’s thoughts and behaviors are influenced not only by their own experiences or beliefs, but also by what they see as acceptable or unacceptable in a given context.
Third, we incorporated questions about what is working well in addition to questions about existing challenges. Sitting on the CEC allows us to see many of the great things happening around campus related to diversity and inclusion, and we wanted to make sure the survey provided a platform for sharing these strengths.
Fourth, the survey is action oriented. It is not meant to be done and filed away on a shelf to be forgotten. It is meant to help provide a roadmap for future efforts to improve the campus climate. The CEC in particular will be paying close attention to the survey results and thinking about how to translate the results into action steps.
Finally, it encourages your participation. We knew we couldn’t ask all of the questions we wanted to ask, and we also recognized that we might not think to ask all of the relevant questions. The survey includes several open-ended questions that allow you to provide your own personal insights, experiences, and recommendations to fill some of these gaps.
Although we have much to be proud of on our campus, hearing our students and colleagues share their own experiences of the campus climate has sometimes been disheartening. This survey is not just a response to the OCR but our effort to contribute to continued growth of our campus. If you have already completed the Lehigh Survey, we thank you for your time and participation and ask you to encourage others to do the same. If you have not yet completed the survey, we invite you to add your voice to those of your friends, coworkers, classmates, and students in helping to shape the campus climate at Lehigh in the years to come.
Christopher Burke, Assistant Professor, Psychology
Christopher Liang, Associate Professor, Education and Human Services
Editor's note: The Lehigh Survey remains open until November 10. If you accidently deleted the email, no need to worry. Additional emails in the form of a reminder will be sent to all those who have not completed the survey on Sundays, October 18, 25, November 1, and November 8, 2015. If you do not see the email in your INBOX, then please check the SPAM folder in your email account. The emails related to the survey will have the title The Lehigh Survey or A reminder to complete “The Lehigh Survey” and will come from the following email account: firstname.lastname@example.org.