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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.

'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

Before Stonewall: Documentary, June 21 @ 2pm Marquee, Union South

Before Stonewall is a 1984 American documentary film about the LGBT community prior to the 1969 Stonewall riots. It premiered at the 1984 Toronto Festival of Festivals and was released in the United States on June 27, 1985.

See Listing on Union Events Calendar


Understanding and Leading Change, June 25 @ 9am, Welcome Center

June 25, 2019, 9:00am – 12:00pm
21 N. Park Street, Room 5045

This session will help you with the skills and tool to be an effective initiator, agent, and manager of change. Participants will gain an understanding of the key characteristics of each type of change, the phases of transition in change, determine the mindsets of people in change and how to address each, assess your own change preferences, follow the steps of a planned change model, and practice applying change management concepts.

Webinar: Do We Have Inclusion All Wrong? June 25 @ 12pm

June 25, 2019, 12:00 – 1:00pm CST

Join Garvey Chui (NLI consultant) and Dr. Michaela Simpson (NLI researcher) of the NeuroLeadership Institute (NLI) as they review industry insights around the inclusion challenge. Participants will explore how exclusion debilitates productivity, how inclusion efforts can backfire, and where organizational missteps are common. Garvey and Michaela will outline a more effective science-based approach to inclusion, aimed at improving workplace interactions and navigating around the pitfalls of cognitive bias.


After Stonewall: Documentary, June 28 @ 2 pm Marquee Theater, Union South

After Stonewall chronicles the history of lesbian and gay life from the riots at Stonewall to the end of the century.

Narrated by Melissa Etheridge, it captures the hard work, struggles, tragic defeats and exciting victories experienced during this time, and it explores how AIDS dramatically changed the direction of the movement.

The two films, Before & After, tell the remarkable tale of how LGBT people, a heretofore hidden and despised group, became a vibrant and integral part of America's family, and, indeed, the world community.

More on the Union Event Calendar

The Leadership Institute (LI) - Apply by June 28th

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! 


Building Trusting Work Relationships, July 9 @ 9am at the Welcome Center

21 N. Park Street, Room 5045 

July 9, 2019, 9:00am – 12:00pm

Explore how to build and maintain trusting relationships through consistent and intentional words and actions. In this course, you will define what trust is, and what it isn’t. You will explore how to set appropriate boundaries and confront distrust with a five step conversation.

Immigrant Journeys from South of the Border: “iLLeague a Wisconsin!” July 10, Overture Center

July 10, 2019, all day

 Overture Center, 201 State Street, Madison, WI 53703

Immigrant Journeys features stories and photographs from eight people whose journeys began in Columbia, Mexico, Uruguay and Honduras and who are now living in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Humanities Council has partnered with Pulitzer-winning photographer Gary Porter, award-winning journalist Bill Berry, and Centro Hispano of Dane County to produce the traveling exhibit to inspire more meaningful conversation about immigration in Wisconsin.

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.

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

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