barber william300The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is proud to host “An Evening with Reverend Dr. William Barber, II” on Friday, January 20, at 6:00 p.m. at the historic 16th Street Baptist Church.

The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II is the President and Senior Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach; Co- Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival; Bishop with The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries; Visiting Professor at Union Theological Seminary; and Senior Fellow at Auburn Seminary. For more than a quarter century, he has pastored the Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

Dr. Barber comes to Birmingham to conclude UAB's annual recognition of Birmingham King Week by sharing his efforts to preserve Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy of a Poor People's Campaign. Dr. Barber will share how to embody the moral and socially just principles, inspired by Dr. King, and everyone's responsibility to continue its legacy.

The event is co-sponsored by UAB’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Institute for Human Rights, Division of Student Affairs, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and the City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Register at bit.ly/uab-williambarber. To request accessibility accommodations, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Inclusive Winter Holidays The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) celebrates the rich diversity of our students, faculty, and staff and recognizes the diversity in our community during the holiday season.

As you prepare to celebrate the holidays, the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) provides tips and strategies to ensure that you are creating an inclusive environment and planning appropriate activities and gatherings.

Educate, then Celebrate

An inclusive holiday season should not be limited to decorative flags and potluck dishes from different cultural and religious backgrounds. Consider an educational panel discussion, poster board presentations, or a shared slide show that allows employees to learn about underrepresented faith-based systems or religions. Also, consider that some of your employees may be non-religious, and provide opportunities to celebrate days that focus on advocating for all human rights.  Given the wide range of ways people celebrate the holiday season, it is important to avoid giving the impression that one or some holidays take precedence over others. 

 

Know Your Office

Engage in data collection (survey, email, direct communication) where employees can share the faith-based or religious holidays they celebrate. Be sure to communicate to employees that sharing information about their faith or winter holidays is voluntary. Ask participants to share the dates and methods of celebration of those holidays; the goal of collecting this information is to spread cultural awareness and foster inclusion during the winter holiday season.

 

Personal Holidays

Regular full-time employees in Workgroups A and F (Faculty) receive nine designated holidays and three personal holidays in 2022. UAB will be closed on December 23rd, December 26th, December 30th and January 2nd.

Personal Holidays or Vacation time may be used for faith-based holidays and cultural celebrations that take place on days when the University is open. As a reminder, all leave requests are approved at the discretion of the immediate supervisor.

 

Not a Zero-Sum Scenario

Remember that being inclusive of underrepresented winter holidays does not mean that you cannot celebrate Christmas. Inclusive excellence calls for collaboration and cohesion. Expanding the winter holiday festivities that your office celebrates asks participants to be mindful and compassionate towards all faith-based holidays. 

 

Ignoring Faith and Religion can be harmful

Some might think that completely ignoring all religious and faith-based holidays is the best way to be inclusive. Faith and religion are important components of many employees’ lives and an important facet of diversity. It can impact how they approach their role, how they interact with their colleagues and students, and may underpin many other aspects of their identity.

 

Host a Two-Part Event

If you decide to host a holiday gathering for your employees, consider hosting a two-part event. The first phase of the celebration should be free of alcohol consumption and feature secular music. This could benefit employees from different religious groups, people who have experienced substance abuse disorders, or people who prefer to abstain from alcohol consumption. The event could feature words of appreciation, positive remarks, and moments of reflection. But always respect an employee’s decision not to participate in a holiday event or other celebration.

 

Inclusive Food

Be sure to provide food that is inclusive of the cultures and faiths that are represented in your department. Provide options that meet the dietary needs of your employees, including meals that are kosher, halal, vegan, or gluten free. Additionally, be mindful of the placement of food dishes. For example, you would not want to place shrimp or pork near vegan dishes.

 

Interfaith Calendar

Locate and distribute an interfaith calendar to promote awareness and intentional inclusion of underrepresented winter holidays. Be sure not to schedule any celebrations on any of the holidays. Click here to view an example. 

 

Download the full list here. See additional resources here

NADOHE Centered Logo w signatureStatement By NADOHE President Paulette Granberry Russell on Race-Conscious Admissions Practices

Earlier today, the Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases that could affect the ability of colleges and universities nationwide to utilize race-conscious admissions practices.

A broad overturning of precedent that allows for the careful consideration of race as one of many factors in admissions would have a ripple effect throughout our society. As we have stated before, the outcomes of these cases will significantly affect access to higher education, including those colleges and universities that produce the largest volume of policymakers and leaders and influencers in the private and public sectors. They will determine whether students will be able to benefit from a diverse learning environment. The educational excellence that results from diversity and that fuels national and global excellence is at stake.

Like clockwork, every quarter century the Court takes up the issue of educational opportunity — in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, the Court overturned Plessy and found that separate education is inherently unequal, then Bakke in 1978, and Grutter in 2003, when the Court upheld the educational benefits associated with a diverse campus community. Yet based on what we heard this morning, we are not optimistic that this Court will continue to preserve precedent.

Only a few generations separate us from legal segregation in schools. The racial traumas from our country’s past linger. The recent gains of continued anti-racist work at many of our colleges and universities have been centered in our shared understanding that race and specifically racial exclusion have and continue to play a central role in the evolution of democracy in the United States. The central goal of diversity and inclusion work past and present is that all leaders engage in critical self-reflection on issues on race, diversity, and increased access and opportunity. It is our great hope that as the Court considers arguments in these cases, they consider not only our past, but our present, as it is clear that our society is not at a point where we can ignore race and the legacy of racism in this country. The pandemic’s uneven effects on Black and Brown people in this country made visible these inequities. Race has undeniably bestowed advantages and disadvantages in this country, and we hope that our country’s history is ever present in the minds of the justices as they consider these cases.

Where do we go from here, as the Court marches down a path that could lead to a gravely unfortunate outcome for race-conscious admissions practices? While we cannot yet fully know what the ramifications of these cases will be, NADOHE pledges its unwavering commitment to the importance of racial diversity on campuses, and it will continue to provide guidance to assist members in designing inclusive, legal ways to promote that diversity. Drawing on its national membership network, NADOHE will create opportunities to learn best practices from members who live in the nine states that already ban race-conscious admissions practices. Under all circumstances, we will continue to act with empathy and urgency to help students of all racial identities feel supported, valued, and welcomed on their campuses. We renew our call on the Supreme Court to affirm the legality and morality of race-conscious admissions.

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The National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) is the preeminent voice for chief diversity officers. As the leader of the national conversation on diversity, equity, and inclusion, it investigates, influences, and innovates to transform higher education so that inclusive excellence lives at its core.

diversity awardThe President and the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are currently seeking nominations for the 2023 President’s Diversity Champion Award, an annual honor recognizing significant achievements of faculty, staff, students and student organizations toward developing a more culturally diverse and inclusive university community.

The 2023 President’s Diversity Champion Award will include a new category, the Small Business Inclusion Advocate of the Year Award, to recognize an individual or department’s outstanding efforts in advancing purchasing, construction and professional service opportunities for diverse business enterprises.

Awards will be given in each of six categories (faculty, staff, undergraduate, graduate/professional student, student organization, and small business inclusion advocate of the year) for projects or activities that best reflect the implementation of unit and/or campus diversity goals. Nominees in each area must address the significance, implementation, and impact of the nominee’s action or project.

Any member of the UAB community can nominate a faculty member, staff member, student, student organization, or department for the awards. A nomination packet should include a completed nomination form, nomination letter, letters of support (up to three) and supporting evidence of the nominee’s work.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, Jan. 13, 2023.

Recipients of the award will be selected by the President’s Diversity Champion Award Selection Committee.

Click here to read the full guidelines and complete the nomination online.

NCFDD Publicity

The Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is proud to share that the University of Alabama at Birmingham is a member of the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD) and offers access to mentoring tools and support to be successful in the academy.

The NCFDD is a nationally recognized community, comprised of over 450 colleges and universities. As an independent faculty development center, the NCFDD is dedicated to supporting academics in making successful transitions throughout their careers and provides monthly webinars, multi-week courses, and writing challenges designed to help faculty, postdocs, and graduate students thrive in the academy. 

"UAB is committed to supporting faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students with access to development opportunities and resources for their career success," said Pam Benoit, Ph.D., senior vice president for Academic Affairs and provost. "NCFDD programs provide members of our campus community with essential tools to enhance their skills, cultivate meaningful relationships, improve their productivity and establish a healthy work-life balance."

New UAB faculty, postdocs, and graduate students can activate their free membership by visiting www.facultydiversity.org/join. Returning faculty are encouraged to log in to view new resources and upcoming events. 

“Our goal for the university’s NCFDD membership has always been to see faculty members, postdocs and graduate students elevate their work and research by tapping into the unlimited resources available to them,” says Paulette Patterson Dilworth, Ph.D., UAB’s vice president for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

To learn more about NCFDD, visit www.uab.edu/dei/about/faculty-resources.