Diversity of Views and Experiences Summer Institute: Where grad students get a running start

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

By Deane Morrison

Every summer, some of the U’s best and brightest entering graduate students gather on campus for seven weeks to get their feet wet in the world they will inhabit full time come fall.

These future scholars, teachers, and leaders have made the U’s Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE) Summer Institute (SI) program a resounding success since its inception in fall 1998. This year’s crop of 29 graduate students are building networks of support across the U through work with a faculty mentor, developing a research topic, and attending weekly seminars on communicating with faculty and proposal writing.  Along with such essentials as getting acclimated to the Twin cities and their department culture and learning where to find all kinds of resources.


U Makes Gender Neutral Restroom Progress

Monday, July 18, 2016

Creating a positive campus experience for all university students, faculty and staff is a primary goal for University Services. One initiative supporting this effort has University Services in the process of continuing to advance the number of gender neutral restrooms on the Twin Cities campus. The campus has a total of more than 1900 restrooms. Nearly 450 of the restrooms are single occupant facilities. As of the beginning of July, 2016, more than 250 of those are gender neutral. Under the direction of University leadership, the remainder of all single occupant restrooms will be re-designated as gender neutral, resulting in nearly 25% of all restrooms able to accommodate all of our constituents. Changes to signage of those facilities, and way finding signage near main building entrances should be complete by the beginning of fall semester.

Additionally, a new layer is live on the university’s GIS enabled interactive map which will assist in locating gender neutral facilities. This capability will continue to update as more restrooms are designated gender neutral. To view gender neutral restrooms on the Twin Cities Campus Interactive Map, click on the "see more places and things" icon on the top leftof the map (underneath the word Twin Cities). Then, check on the box for gender neutral restrooms.

Current progress is the culmination of the long advocacy of the University's Transgender Commission and The Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life (formerly GLBTA Program's Office), as well resolutions last year from the U Senate and the Council of Graduate Students.

News and Information

Friday Roundtable: Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights and Dallas

Friday, July 8, 2016

Five officers were slain by a gunman in Dallas Thursday night. The attack came in the wake of the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling — two men who were fatally shot by police officers earlier in the week.

On the Friday Roundtable, MPR News Host Kerri Miller spoke with three community members about the shootings and the relationship between police officers and the people they serve.

Maria Mitchell is Assistant Hennepin County Defender and former President of the MN Association of Black Lawyers.

Sasanehsaeh Pyawasay is a PhD Candidate at the U of M looking at the intersection of access and social justice in Policy Development.

Brandt Williams covers police and criminal justice stories for MPR News.

Listen to the MPR broadcast here.


Improving Climate at the Law School: The Communication Changes that are Helping to Make it Happen

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

by Amelie Hyams

The Diversity Community of Practice (DCoP) is a network of individuals from across academic and non-academic units on the Twin Cities campus who are working together to share ideas, information, examples, and take action towards improving equity and diversity at the University of Minnesota. Recently the DCoP’s Communications Subcommittee has begun conducting Appreciative Inquiries, inviting our member units to share examples from their ongoing efforts on equity and diversity including improving campus climate at the U. Our plan is to share a wide range of ideas across UMN departments and units, that can serve as inspiration for everyone working on these issues since “Diversity is Everyone’s Everyday Work.”

Our thanks to DCoP members with the Law School: Nubia EsparzaSenior Coordinator of Diversity and Student Programs and Erin KeyesAssistant Dean of Students, who are the first to share an example of work from their unit.

Esparza and Keyes have offered insights on an internal communication effort initiated in the Law School. These communications are intended to improve campus climate at the Law School and inspire equity and diversity among its stakeholder communities.

Read the full story on the OED Blog here.


U community responds to recent shooting tragedies

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Over the last week, various parts of the U community have responded to the tragedies in Baton Rouge, Dallas, and in Falcon Heights - our own backyard. Below is a compilation of some of those responses. We can be #UMNproud of our collective responses and call for justice and peace. These are listed from most recent to oldest, with previously published messages listed at the bottom. If you have a gathering, event, or message to include, email