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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 Snyder
Jacob Hahn
Courtney Byelich
Monica Slater
Lisa King 
Jason Powers 

Resources and Events

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.

Luvvie Ajayi: Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Luvvie Ajayi isn’t afraid to speak her mind or to be the one dissenting voice in a crowd, and neither should you. “Your silence serves no one,” says the writer, activist and self-proclaimed professional troublemaker. In this talk, Ajayi shares three questions to ask yourself if you’re teetering on the edge of speaking up or quieting down – and encourages all of us to get a little more comfortable with being uncomfortable.

View Her TED Talk

'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

Fall 2019 Institutes for the Healing of Racism

Fall 2019 Institutes for the Healing of Racism

Mondays, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
September 16 – November 18, 2019 

Urban League of Greater Madison
2222 S. Park Street, #200

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.  

Register Here


UW Arboretum Lecture Series: Indigenous Knowledge Inspired by the Land, October 2019

Free, No Registration Required.  
Suggested donation, $10 at the door.  

Tuesday, October 1
Seventh Generation and Native American Futurism
Patricia Loew, director, Center for Native American and Indigenous Research, Northwestern University.
The Seventh Generation philosophy obligates people to think about their impact seven generations into the future. Loew connects this to environmental solidarity movements as a way to think about past, present, and future.

Tuesday, October 15
Our Shared Future: Learning from the Hard Truths of Our Place
Omar Poler, American Indian Curriculum Services coordinator, School of Education, UW-Madison
UW–Madison School of Education. In June, UW–Madison publicly acknowledged the nineteenth-century forced removals of Ho-Chunk people from Wisconsin, human rights violations central to the founding of our community. Poler will speak about the University’s “Our Shared Future” heritage marker and ongoing efforts to share this story.

Tuesday, October 8
Cultural Significance of Nature and Gardening to Indigenous Tribal Peoples
Diana Peterson, PhD candidate, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, UW–Madison.
Peterson’s interviews with the Menominee and Ojibwe Tribal elders highlight the cultural significance of Manoomin (wild rice) along with the importance of preserving a vital natural resource for future generations.

Tuesday, October 22
Using Indigenous Experience and Knowledge to Guide Sustainable Forestry in the Twenty-first Century
Michael J. Dockry, assistant professor, Forest Resources, University of Minnesota.
Indigenous people have managed forests for generations using Indigenous science, values, and knowledge. Dockry will illustrate how Indigenous forestry is leading the way to solve some of the most complex environmental problems we face.

YWCA Racial Justice Summit: 10/15 & 10/16/2019

Save the Dates: October 15 & 16, 2019

Each year, YWCA Madison hosts a Racial Justice Summit that brings together community stakeholders to advance racial equity in our community. The Summit focuses on institutional racism and involves nationally-known keynote speakers and researchers, as well as local experts and advocates. Through an environment that encourages learning from and supporting each other in our common goals, the Summit provides a platform for action planning and community dialogue.

Latinx Heritage Month (9/16/19 - 10/18/19)

Latinx Heritage Month 2019 Poster

Latinx Heritage Month
September 16 – October 18

Join colleagues, friends and community members in honoring and celebrating this year’s Latinx Heritage Month. Events will be held throughout the month for free for all members of our campus community to engage, learn, and honor our communities’ Latinx cultures and histories

Graduate and Professional Students with Disabilities Mixer (10/9/19)

Graduate and Professional Students with Disabilities Mixer

October 9, 4:00 – 6:00 pm at Union South

The Multicultural Graduate Network (MGN) hosts events like these to facilitate community-building among affinity groups and to introduce graduate students to faculty, staff and administrators of color who share their experiences in navigating, surviving and thriving in life after graduate school. All are welcome to attend.

2019 Racial Justice Summit: Transforming Our Future (10/15/19 - 10/16/19)

2019 Racial Justice Summit: Transforming our Future
October 15-16, 2019

Monona Terrace


Connect with the legacies of resilience, resistance, and co-liberation of individuals and communities throughout history. Co-inspiration and learning from the past are critical as we re-imagine our lives and communities from the present-forward. We aim to do so holistically, meaning at all levels of our racial practice: self, relationships, organizations, and communities, as well as at the structural level. 

Keynotes and breakout sessions will offer the opportunity to connect to this year’s theme at all these levels with the purpose of not only deepening our own personal practices and building community with each other, but ultimately to strengthen our collective action for racial justice in Wisconsin.

University Roundtable – Our Shared Future: Teaching the 12,000-Year Human Story of Campus (10/16/19)

University Roundtable – Our Shared Future: Teaching the 12,000-Year Human Story of Campus
October 16, 2019, 11:45am – 1:00pm

Tripp Commons Memorial Union

REGISTER HERE (registration deadline is October 8) 

On June 18, 2019, UW-Madison publicly acknowledged the 1832 treaty between the Ho-Chunk Nation and the United States, and UW-Madison also publicly acknowledge the failed nineteenth-century ethnic cleansing attempts against the Ho-Chunk people from 1832-1874, violence central to the founding of our campus and the local community. School of Education staff, Aaron Bird Bear and Omar Poler, will speak about the University’s new “Our Shared Future” heritage marker and also discuss how the Our Shared Future heritage marker is advancing efforts to teach the 12,000-year human story of this place. Bird Bear (Mandan and Hidatsa) is an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation. Poler is an enrolled member of the Sokaogon Chippewa Community.

VCFA EID Retreat (10/18/19)


VCFA EID Retreat (Flyer Attached)
October 18, 2019, 8:00am – 12:00pm
Great Hall Memorial Union


Join us for the fall 2019 VCFA (Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration) EID Retreat. This retreat will focus on two phases of the employee lifecycle – attraction and recruitment – through the lens of the EID principles: (1) Promote shared responsibility and accountability, (2) Promote, enhance & leverage diversity, (3) Create an inclusive culture and community, (4) Foster communication and mutual understanding, and (5) Provide and foster growth and development.

2019 Wellness Symposium: Cultivating a Well You at Work (10/23/19)

2019 Wellness Symposium: Cultivating a Well You at Work
October 23, 2019, Union South

REGISTER HERE (Registration fee is $35 for UW-Madison employees and $50 for UW Health employees)

The UW-Madison Wellness Symposium will help you find your energy, engagement, and connection with what being your best self means to you as you continue your employment at UW-Madison. Stacey Flowers, a TEDx speaker, entrepreneur, and eternal optimist dedicated to helping people create authentically, fulfilled happy lives, will deliver the keynote address titled “The POWER of Happiness”. In addition to the keynote address, 28 breakout sessions will be offered that will focus on the 7 dimensions of wellness. The UW Credit Union will also be offering free, 30-min long express credit check-ups from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 12:30 – 2:30 pm. To sign up, fill out this form with your preferred time slot, name, and email address.

UW-Madison Diversity Forum (11/5/19 - 11/6/19)

UW-Madison Diversity Forum
November 5-6, 8:00 am – 5:00pm

Varsity Hall, Union South


 Join us for the 2019 UW-Madison Diversity Forum, the university’s annual two-day conference-style event. This year’s forum will feature a keynote address from John Quinones, longtime ABC News correspondent and creator and host of the “What Would You Do” hidden camera television series.