Category: Events

Don’t Miss the Appleby Hall Block Party!

Don’t Miss the Appleby Hall Block Party!

Greater Than 7 is over, but the opportunity to make meaningful connections continues with the Appleby Hall Block Party!

Thursday, October 6, 2016
12:00-2:30 p.m.
Appleby Hall

Everyone is welcome to come explore the resources housed in Appleby Hall (including three OED units, which are in bold below), enter to win a raffle prize, and enjoy free food and music!

Initiators:  Office for Equity and Diversity and Office for Student Affairs through Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence, The Aurora Center, Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life, Women’s Center, Student Counseling Services, Multicultural Student Engagement, Housing and Residential Life, Orientation & First Year Programs

Co-Sponsored with Appleby Partners and Participants: Center for Community Engaged Learning/Leadership Minor/MLK Program/Office for Fraternity & Sorority Life/Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity/Parent & Family Program/President’s Emerging Scholars/Student and Community Relations/Student Conflict Resolution Center/Student Parent Help Center/Student Writing Support

For more information:

Greater Than 7 Kickoff: Intersectionality U

Greater Than 7 Kickoff: Intersectionality U

Join us as we kick off the third annual Greater Than 7 event:

Monday, September 26, 2016
12:00-1:00 p.m.
Northrop Plaza

Intersectionality. What is it?!  And what does it have to do with me?!  Come discover the answers to these and other intriguing questions at our third annual Greater Than 7 Kickoff event, featuring a performance by social justice activist Olmeca.

We invite all attendees to participate in a facilitated discussion on Northrop Plaza after the performance where you and your U of M community peers will get a chance to discuss various topics and issues on intersectionality, equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice and how these are all affecting and influencing our daily lives locally, nationally, and globally.

Come meet someone new and help spread the awareness and understanding that can help unify our campus and community!

Free Domino’s pizza while supplies last. To request disability accommodations, please contact the Office for Equity and Diversity at or 612-624-0594.

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Thanks to our co-sponsors:

Domino's Pizza Logo  Coca-Cola LogoTCF Bank Logo


Submit Your Event to the 3rd Annual Greater Than 7 Week

Submit Your Event to the 3rd Annual Greater Than 7 Week

What is Greater Than 7?

In September 2014, the Office for Equity and Diversity (OED) launched the inaugural Greater Than 7 week, which encouraged courageous conversations and highlighted the equity and diversity work that’s happening across campus. In 2014 and 2015, this weeklong event featured around 45 events sponsored by departments, units and student groups.

Why is it called Greater Than 7?

Greater Than 7 always takes place over a week in September/October. We know that a week is only 7 days, and that 7 days represent only the beginning of a multitude of conversations about equity and diversity and how they impact your life. Greater Than 7 is a call to action to all members of our University community: start here, but make your efforts greater than these 7 days. (After all, equity and diversity is everybody’s everyday work.)

That sounds awesome! How do I get involved?

We invite University departments, units and student groups to submit their events for inclusion in the week. You can do this online at Potential ideas include (but are not limited to): a workshop, a guest speaker, a student-specific event, or maybe just an open house for a particular unit, group or department, highlighting its work regarding equity and diversity. (Please note: the event could be something already planned OR a new idea.) Your event will be listed on the Greater Than 7 calendar, and you can take advantage of other partner tools to help market your event.

OK, I’m in! What else do I need to know?

Hopefully, you will also join us for the Greater Than 7 Kickoff, which takes place on Monday, September 26, from 12:00-1:00 p.m. on Northrop Plaza. The Kickoff will feature a performance by social justice activist Olmeca. (Free pizza while supplies last.) You can also view the Facebook event:

An Empire’s State of Mind Muslims, Race and the Surveillance State

An Empire’s State of Mind Muslims, Race and the Surveillance State

Thursday, April 21
4:30-6:00 pm
355 Peik Hall

Dr. Arshad Ali will draw upon extensive research with Muslim communities in the US and the UK to explore the historical construction of Muslim identities in the USA and discuss how contemporary representations of Muslim bodies draw upon longstanding narratives of Blackness, Indigeneity, and Muslim otherness in the Western world.

Dr. Ali will also conduct a workshop for students on April 22nd. The workshop will focus on ethical dilemmas of doing research in a high surveillance environment.

Arshad I. Ali is Assistant Professor of Educational Research at The George Washington University. Dr. Ali is an interdisciplinary scholar who studies youth culture, race, identity, and democratic engagement in the lives of young people.

This talk is sponsored by the Department of Curriculum & Instruction and co-sponsored by the Birkmaeir Critical Literacy & Urban Education Speaker Series; the Institute for Diversity, Equity & Advocacy (OED); the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy & Development; the Youth Studies Program; and the Race, Indigeneity, Gender & Sexuality Studies Initiative.

For more information, contact Nimo Abdi, Light refreshments will be served.

View the event on Facebook »


Sharing A Great IDEA

Sharing A Great IDEA

A Conversation with Dr. Michael Goh & Dr. Priscilla Gibson

March, 2016

“The idea around IDEA – pun intended – is that we can grow a community of scholars who care about equity, diversity and social justice issues.”

That’s how Professor Michael Goh answered the question, “What is the Institute for Diversity, Equity and Advocacy, (IDEA) and what does it do?”

Dr. Goh is a professor in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development in the College of Education and Human Development and he is just beginning his second year leading the institute within the Office for Equity and Diversity. Dr. Priscilla Gibson in the School of Social Work is just concluding her third year as the IDEA Faculty Development Fellow. They talked about the work being done through IDEA.

As with all units within the Office for Equity and Diversity (OED), Goh tells us his work with IDEA follows the tenet that “at the University of Minnesota, diversity is everyone’s everyday work.”

IDEA works behind the scenes through Bridge Funding and in pre-doc and post-doc programming, towards their mission to recruit and retain a diverse faculty.

But Goh feels these terms are inadequate in defining the goals of IDEA. He prefers the terms “attracting and thriving.”

“Attracting means more than just putting out a job ad and looking at applicants. It’s about actively seeking out diverse candidates through colleagues and national networks and developing relationships with potential leads,” Goh explains. He feels that that faculty candidates need to “feel that there’s a future at this university, in this community, for them to succeed.

Goh adds that he feels the term “retaining” has a survival feel to it. He prefers to be proactive in helping faculty to “thrive” here.

Gibson is helping faculty to thrive through her Faculty of Color writing workshops and through social events to help create a sense of community. “I love this term ‘thriving’”, she declares, “because I feel it is connected to welcoming and belonging.”

Gibson shares that the literature shows that faculty of color don’t always feel they belong. But forming relationships helps. And bringing people together helps form relationships.

“That’s why I think the writing group is so important,” says Gibson. “We are asking them to leave the convenience of their office or their home to come and write as a group.” Research has shown that this kind of activity, routinely gathering to work on their writing, helps writers to be much more productive and successful.

One of the most prominent programs IDEA supports is the Multicultural Research Award (MRA). This award is open to all faculty engaged in research on equity and diversity issues. Since it began in 1996, the MRA has been awarded to more than 180 faculty members. For many junior faculty, this award is often a springboard to larger, external research awards.

The MRA research is presented each spring in the Diversity Through the Disciplines Symposium, scheduled this year for May 5, 2016. These presentations highlight the interdisciplinary breadth of multicultural research and are open to the public. They provide the presenters a forum to share their discoveries with colleagues and engender future research collaborations.

Faculty seeking guidance in adding diversity into teaching methods, find it in the Diversity in the Curriculum workshops. These sessions are offered twice a year and represent a partnership between Gibson (IDEA) and Dr. Anita Gonzalez at the Center for Educational Innovation.

Recently Goh and Gibson have been working with Virajita Singh, Assistant Vice Provost with OED. They are trying to learn more about faculty’s perception of the work of equity and diversity in higher education, how have they been involved, where are we now and – what does this indicate for the future?

Goh is pleased that, “there is a lot more interest from administrators, faculty, staff, and students,” about equity and diversity work. Goh explains that, “student, faculty, and community activism clearly signal different ways in which we all seem to go about this work.”

This research project, says Goh “is not trying to intellectualize the issue but is a genuine attempt to learn about what motivates the different ways we engage in equity and diversity work so that we can potentially coalesce rather than collide in our efforts.”

Their findings from this research will be presented at the upcoming Keeping Our Faculty Symposium VII (April 17-19, 2016). This biennial conference has been held since 1998. So – why is this gathering still so important?

Goh tells us the symposium founders recognized the need to work together to create change. “And they recognized that no one university, no one office, no one group of scholars has the answers. Hence, the need to confer nationally about how to address this issue.”

“Issues continue to be identified,” adds Gibson, “as people become a little more comfortable, a little more empowered to talk about their lived experience as underrepresented faculty”

This makes Gibson especially excited that for this symposium “we have some of the best minds coming here to discuss, to critique and to analyze.”

“We are bringing up the next generation of scholars, and university administrators”, Gibson says. “We still need to develop that cadre.”

Goh feels, “there are a lot of good ideas being generated by higher education scholars locally and around the country that we can learn from. We need to cultivate the wisdom that is already out there and we need to be committed to moving to action.”

“Our goal for this symposium,” Goh says, “is to provide a space for scholars, campus leaders, and students to critically and honestly engage on urgent issues confronting faculty diversity so that we can discover meaningful, practical, and effective solutions for our campus and beyond.”

[Header photo credit: Amelie Hyams]