To encourage learning, we aim to create a climate of respect for the free exchange of knowledge and ideas dedicated to problem-solving in a diverse, rapidly changing, and increasingly technological global society. Additionally, we view UAB as more than a space to learn by simply accepting dictated knowledge; we understand our institution to serve as a laboratory to engage and reflect through your own experiences, interactions, and observations. Through our office, provide learning opportunities through small to large group discussion series, service initiatives, trainings, workshops, and more.

In case you missed them, view our Campus Engagement initiatives here.  

  

Critical Conversations: Community Wide Civic Dialogue Forum

 

Critical Conversations: The Pandemic, One Year Later: George Floyd, Race and Policing

Critical Conversations: The Pandemic, One Year Later: George Floyd, Race and Policing

Critical Conversations: The Pandemic, One Year Later: George Floyd, Race and Policing

It’s been a year and three months since George Floyd was murdered by the Minneapolis police, sparking nationwide protests over the destructive and often deadly violence too often inflicted with impunity upon minoritized communities by the police officers charged to serve and protect them. Communities openly debated how to root out racist police practices and achieve just policing.

Join us as we welcome a panel of scholars and activists to reflect and discuss police reform and defunding efforts locally and nationally. Panelists include: Brandon Blankenship, Former Police Chief Annetta Nunn, and Andrew Baer.

Watch the live video here.

Critical Conversations: White People Talking About Racism

Critical Conversations: White People Talking About Racism

Critical Conversations: White People Talking About Racism

In 2020 we witnessed a Black Lives Matter movement that has been arguably more inclusive and cross-cultural than any movement prior. As more white people show up in the streets supporting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in the fight for social justice and racial equality, their presence has been met with a mixture of both acceptance and skepticism. For some, this is a shift from a long tradition of whites being silently complicit about racist ideas and practices upon BIPOC communities and bodies. For others, the genuineness of the solidarity we witnessed from white activists is questioned.

In this conversation, we invited our white colleagues to the table to unpack these thoughts amongst themselves and discuss the challenges, opportunities, and what’s next in engaging one another in anti-racist work.

Watch the live video here.

Post-Election America: What's next for our communities?

Post-Election America: What's next for our communities?

Critical Conversations - Post-Election America: What's next for our communities?

The year 2020 introduced challenges and opportunities that tested the strength of our institutions and social systems. Together, we witnessed the sacrifices made in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, held uncomfortable conversations, challenging racial and economic inequities, and ended the year by producing the biggest turnout of voters in the history of U.S. elections.

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the UAB Institute for Human Rights hosted this conversation to explore community engagement, education, economics, and healthcare equity, while attempting to answer the question “What’s next and how do we heal?”

Watch the live video here.

Police Reform: A Conversation with Derecka Purnell

Police Reform: A Conversation with Derecka Purnell

Police Reform: A Conversation with Derecka Purnel

The UAB Institute for Human Rights, in partnership with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, hosted Police Reform: A Conversation with Derecka Purnell on Thursday, October 15, 2020.

Derecka Purnell is a human rights lawyer, writer, and organizer. She works to end police and prison violence by providing legal assistance, research, and trainings to community based organizations through an abolitionist framework. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Derecka co-created the COVID-19 Policing Project at the Community Resource Hub for Safety Accountability. The project tracks police arrests, harassment, citations and other enforcement through public health orders related to the pandemic.

Watch the live video here.

Critical Conversations: Academic Freedom, Free Expression, and Civil Discourse Workshop

Critical Conversations: Academic Freedom, Free Expression, and Civil Discourse Workshop

Critical Conversations: Academic Freedom, Free Expression, and Civil Discourse Workshop

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion welcomed Dr. Lara Schwartz to campus to provide two separate workshops on academic freedom, free expression, and civil discourse for students and faculty and staff. In addition to exploring the many ongoing debates about free speech (and its boundaries), Dr. Schwartz addressed surrounding issues including but not limited to protests and boycotts, whistle-blowing, coded language, difficult conversations, ethics of partisanship and compassion.

Watch the live video here.

Policing, Citizen Activism, + Human Rights in Times of Distress - Part II: How Do We Envision Reform

Policing, Citizen Activism, + Human Rights in Times of Distress - Part II: How Do We Envision Reform

Policing, Citizen Activism, + Human Rights in Times of Distress - Part II: How Do We Envision Reform

The UAB Institute for Human Rights and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion hosted a conversation to discuss policing and citizen activism. Part II of this discussion prompts the question: How do we envision reform?

Panelists for the conversation included:

  • Dr. Andrew Baer, Assistant Professor of History at UAB, Author of Beyond the Usual Beating: The Jon Burge Police Torture Scandal and Social Movements For Police Accountability in Chicago
  • Dr. Derick A. Wilson, U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at St. Philip's College, San Antonio, Texas
  • Ms. Annetta Nunn, retired Birmingham Police Department Chief
  • Dr. Duncan Morrow, Professor of Politics at Ulster University in Northern Ireland, former Chief Executive on the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council

 

Cultural Lens: Film & Speaker Series 

 

An Evening with Alice Walker

An Evening with Alice Walker

An Evening with Alice Walker

An Evening with Alice Walker was a part of ODEI’s Cultural Lens: Film & Speakers Series and held on March 18, 2021.

Alice Walker is an internationally celebrated writer, poet and activist whose books include many collections of short stories, children’s books, and volumes of essays and poetry. Walker made history as the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Literature as well as the National Book Award in 1983 for her novel "The Color Purple". The award-winning novel served as the inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s 1985 film and was adapted into a New York City Broadway Theatre stage play in 2005.

This event was co-sponsored by: UAB Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, UAB Student Multicultural and Diversity Programs, UAB Institute for Human Rights, UAB Commission on the Status of Women , UAB African American Studies Program, UAB Graduate School, University of Alabama's Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, University of Alabama in Huntsville's Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Samford University's Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives.

Cultural Lens: Film and Speaker Series, "Social Media and Racial Trauma"

Cultural Lens: Film and Speaker Series,

Cultural Lens: Film and Speaker Series, "Social Media and Racial Trauma"

Join us for Cultural Lens: Film & Speaker Series, "Social Media and Racial Trauma," as we explore the effects of social media on race-based trauma, self-assessment/diagnosis, and healing.

To some, the news of the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and others simply marked another viral police killing—tragic, but like most trending topics, short-lived and inconsequential. But for others, every shared tweet, image, video, headline, and comment around this news builds into a daily deluge of trauma—flooding our psyche, leaving us afraid to drown. It’s a familiar pain of a communal PTSD and a secondary trauma of not only witnessing the trauma of others, but the lack of justice toward these situations. Research into secondary racial trauma is relatively new, but the data is there. In the U.S., Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) are most vulnerable to race-based traumatic stress (RBTS) due to living under a system of white supremacy. This event was free and open to the public.

Cultural Lens: Film & Speaker Series - The History of Trap Music

Cultural Lens: Film & Speaker Series - The History of Trap Music

Cultural Lens: Film & Speaker Series - The History of Trap Music

In honor of Black History Month, the University of Alabama at Birmingham opened up its course catalog to invite you to join us for a one hour sneak peek into Dr. Olivio Clay’s “Psychology of Trap Music.” The course aims to provide an extensive study into the Deep South origins of Trap Music and its evolution over time. It explores how aspects of the built environment and other social determinants of health such as poverty, living conditions, and access to resources influence the music and the culture. From psychosocial to economic impacts, as Trap Music continues to grow in popularity, its influence on music is felt in other parts of the global community. The topic for the featured session is focus on “Trap Music and the Brain”. This event was free and open to all.

A Conversation with Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum

A Conversation with Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum

A Conversation with Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum

A Conversation with Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, part of ODEI’s Cultural Lens: Film & Speakers Series was held Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020.

Tatum, Ph.D., president emerita of Spelman College, is a clinical psychologist widely known for both her expertise on race relations and as a thought leader in higher education. The author of several books including the best-selling “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” and Other Conversations About Race and Can We Talk About Race? and Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation.

The conversation was hosted by Dr. Kecia Thomas, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at UAB, with an introduction by Dr. Paulette Patterson Dilworth, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at UAB.

Cultural Lens Film and Speaker Series featuring Dr. Andrew Baer

Cultural Lens Film and Speaker Series featuring Dr. Andrew Baer

Cultural Lens Film and Speaker Series featuring Dr. Andrew Baer

On September 17th, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion hosted Dr. Andrew Baer to discuss his latest book Beyond the Usual Beating: The Jon Burge Police Torture Scandal and Social Movements for Police Accountability in Chicago and its implications for police reform in the United States. The conversation explored and unpacked how local social forces coinciding with issues of the 60s and 70s influenced this scandal, the resistance movement that led to Burge’s exposure, and the lasting impact on those communities, paralleling between then and now.

 

Co-sponsored Events 

Latinos in the U.S. and Deep South

Latinos in the U.S. and Deep South

Latinos in the U.S. and Deep South

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and view the conversation with Jens Manuel Krogstad, a senior writer and editor at Pew Research Center who focuses on Latino trends and global migration and demography. Mr. Krogstad presented on key facts about U.S. Latinos for National Hispanic Heritage Month and demographic information on Latinos in the deep South and Alabama.

Watch the live video here!

Post-COVID: The Long Haul

Post-COVID: The Long Haul

Post-COVID: The Long Haul

On June 29, 2021, the UAB Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, in partnership with Disability: IN Alabama and the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, hosted Post-COVID: The Long Haul, "The Medical and Psychological Aspects of Post COVID-19 Syndrome in the Workplace."

This virtual webinar focused on the medical, pathophysiology and psychological aspects of Post-COVID syndrome. Featured panelist included: 

  • Michael S. Sagg, M.D., Associate Dean for Global Health, Director of the UAB Center for Aids Research, and Professor of Medicine
  • Gitendra Uswatte, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Physical Therapy, UAB
  • Kristine Lokken, Ph.D., Director of Psychology Consultation-Liaison Service, Associate Professor, UAB 

Watch the live video here!

A Call for Humanity: Virtual Vigil Against Hate

A Call for Humanity: Virtual Vigil Against Hate

A Call for Humanity: Virtual Vigil Against Hate

As the world awaited a verdict of the Derek Chauvin trial, we became increasingly aware of the mounting frustrations and angst around injustice. The UAB Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, along with campus and community partners, hosted a virtual vigil against hate.

The vigil included a discussion of the trial and what we can do to be anti-racist while working for positive change, as well as process, reflect, talk, listen and – most importantly – remember and honor George Floyd and others whose lives have been senselessly cut short. Our hope is that our collective emotion and energy propel further action to address the root cause of injustice.

Watch the live video here!

Conversations about Mental Health: Mental Health and Wellness

Conversations about Mental Health: Mental Health and Wellness

Conversations about Mental Health: Mental Health and Wellness

On Wednesday, April 7, 2021, the UAB African American Studies Program hosted a discussion of mental health in the Black Community, featuring licensed psychologist and founder of the Therapy for Black Girls Podcast, Dr. Joy Harden-Bradford. Dr. Nadia Richardson joined Dr. Harden-Bradford to facilitate the discussion on the topic: Mental Health and Wellness.

This conversation was a part of the virtual series "Conversations About Mental Health," sponsored by the African American Studies Program, the College of Arts and Sciences and The Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The virtual event was free and open to the public.

Watch the live video here!