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Engagement, Inclusion & Diversity at the Union

The Wisconsin Union has a dedicated Council to address ongoing engagement, inclusion and diversity (E.I.D.) efforts.

To be the curators of and catalysts for creating a more diverse, inclusive, and socially just culture at the Wisconsin Union.

Mobilizing professional and student staff in creating substantial and lasting organizational change that seeks diversity, embraces inclusion, and engages all employees.


  • Commitment.  We are committed to furthering engagement, inclusion, diversity, and social justice initiatives within the Wisconsin Union.
  • Understanding. We will work to increase levels of awareness and understanding of ourselves, our colleagues, and our communities.
  • Respect.  We honor the viewpoints and experiences of all.
  • Transparency. We are open and candid about the work we are doing and why we are doing it.
  • People-centered.  We recognize that our human capital is our most important asset and initiatives will consider people first.

Current Council Members
Susan Dibbell
Rod Rotar
Stephanie Diaz De Leon
Jen Brown
Mo Kappes
Courtney Byelich
Sandy Peterson
Monica Slater
Jason Powers
Sabi Atteyih

Resources and Events

Black History Month: Afrofuturism B(l)ack to the Future, Feb. 2020—Various Events


Afrofuturism is the (re)imagining of the future for Black people through various mediums such as the arts, media, and literature. While Afrofuturism’s origins stem from the erasure of African traditions and identity from the science fiction genre, its reach is far more expansive. It’s a cultural movement that uses the future as a way to (re)imagine the realities and possibilities for those part of the African diaspora.

This year, we will celebrate the theme of Afrofuturism: B(l)ack to the Future by presenting a cohesive set of programming designed to educate, celebrate, and support the imagination of Black existence in 2020 and the years to come. Our theme for the month aims to show how the voices of our ancestors from the past continue to live in the present, while guiding us into the future.

See all events & learn more: wisc.edu/black-history/

Living the Seasons: Using Treaty Rights to Feed the Community--February 25

875 Bascom Mall, #2260 | 6:30 pm

Presentations from:

Biskakone Greg Johnsin, Lac du Flambeau
Jon Greendeer, Ho Chunk

Sponsored by:

Wisconsin Experience and Our Shared Future Heritage Marker Grant Program
American Indian Studies (AIS)
Wunk Sheek
University of Wisconsin Law School


Living the seasons

HARRIET Film Screening: Fri. 2/28 @Monona Terrace (Free)

In celebration of Black History Month, the City of Madison Department of Civil Rights and Monona Terrace present the film, HARRIET.

Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, HARRIET tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity, freed hundreds of enslaved men, women, and children and changed the course of history.

The event is free and open to the public. There will be a short Q&A discussion following the film. Seating is available subject to venue capacity and is available on a first come first serve basis.

Friday, February 28, 2020
Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center
1 John Nolen Dr. Madison, WI 53703

Doors open at 7 p.m.
7:30 p.m. Film
9:30 p.m. Q&A Discussion

Parking is available in the state owned ramp attached to Monona Terrace. There is a flat rate of $5 after 5 p.m.

Help us spread the word about this free event by sharing this email and our event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/125737932096775/.


Spring 2020 VCFA EID Retreat: Mar. 6, 9a - 12p

This event will be an opportunity to learn about and discuss the current state of the EID initiative and ways to leverage EID data.  All UW-Madison employees with an interest in employee engagement, inclusion and diversity are welcome to register and attend!

9 am – 12 pm
Great Hall, Memorial Union

Check in and breakfast begins at 8:30 am

Register Here

Institutes for the Healing of Racism: March 16-May 18--Urban League

Institutes for the Healing of Racism

Mondays, March 16th-May 18, 6:30-8:30 pm
The Urban League of Greater Madison , 2222 S Park Street
Registration Fee: $50.00, register HERE

Facing racism with knowledge, love, compassion, courage, forgiveness, action and intervention.

This 10-week series aims to raise consciousness about the history and pathology of racism and help heal racism in individuals, communities, and institutions in Madison. We work cooperatively to educate ourselves about the disease of racism through facilitated and voluntary sharing. Please come with an open mind and open heart. For more information, email healingracisminstitute@gmail.com.  

2020 UW-Madison Diversity Forum: Oct. 27 & 28

The Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement is pleased to announce a call for proposals for breakout sessions at the annual UW–Madison Diversity Forum, to be held on October 27 & 28, 2020 at Union South.

An event with 20 years of history on the UW–Madison campus, the Diversity Forum is the university’s premier two-day conference focused on the most pressing issues facing Americans today. The event is free and open to the entire community.  The goal of the Diversity Forum is to update attendees with the latest knowledge and research in the diversity and inclusion fields, educate them about perspectives and best practices for equity and social justice, and activate attendees so they go on to make positive changes in the world.

Robin DiAngelo, author of the widely acclaimed bestseller “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism,” will provide the keynote address.

More Information

Wisconsin Union 2017-18 Report

Read about efforts the WU EID team worked on and completed in the 2017-18 academic year.

2017-18 Annual Report 

Diversity Best Practices

Here are some resources from Diversity Best Practices that you can leverage to provide additional tools to your employees to ensure that the conversations and commitment to LGBTQ inclusion continues. A couple highlights are listed below:


A step to a more inclusive community or organization is inclusive language. Understanding and using personal pronouns in the workplace acknowledges and validates someone’s gender identity and expression. Learn more about Talking About Pronouns in the Workplace and why Getting the Language Right is so important.



Diversity Best Practice presents key data about LGBTQ buying power and media/internet usage in an accessible and concise one-page resource.


CNN.com also recently updated their LGBT rights ‘fast facts’ list. The list highlights key milestones in the fight for LGBTQ rights in the United States.

'13 Demands' Website Revisits 1969 Black Student Strike

Fifty years ago, black students at UW–Madison called for a campus-wide student strike until administrators agreed to a series of demands. Joined by white allies, thousands of protestors boycotted classes, took over lecture halls, and blocked building entrances. In an unprecedented response, the governor deployed the Wisconsin National Guard to campus. To capture and commemorate those tumultuous weeks on campus, University Communications and University Marketing partnered with the Black Cultural Center and The Black Voice publication in February to launch an interactive website that includes an oral history with activists of the time.

Visit the 13 Demands website

See Also: UW students at the center of the project

The Leadership Institute (LI) Learning Community - Apply by June each year

Commitment to diversity and inclusion as a core principle of the University requires taking a critical look at personal biases and noticing how different intersections of class, race or gender identity can influence ones learning process.

During weekly meetings, participants of the Leadership Institute co-create inclusive learning environments as they share experiences, confront assumptions, and deconstruct historically dominant social constructs and paradigms. In doing so, participants develop their personal leadership capacities to interact more effectively across multiple perspectives and social identities.

Click here to visit the Learning Communities website and apply! 


Article: Women & Minorities Lack Representation Among Highest-Paid Deans

The highest-paid dean position, dean of medicine, has the lowest representation of racial/ethnic minorities among all 42 dean positions surveyed. In contrast, minorities make up more than one-quarter of deans of students, which is one of the lowest-paid dean positions.

Read the Article

New York Times Race/Related Newsletter

"Explore the countless ways race affects our lives, with provocative reporting and discussion."

Subscribe to NYT: Race/Related