News and Perspectives
The 2016 Men of Color Think Tank took place April 21-22, 2016 in Minneapolis, MN. At this special event, the University of Minnesota Office for Equity and Diversity brought faculty and staff from the University of Minnesota and other surrounding institutions together with thought leaders from community organizations to break down the myths surrounding men of color and education. The event featured a keynote by UMN alumnus, Dr. Samuel Museus of Indiana University-Bloomington, Director of the Culturally Engaging Campus Environments (CECE) Project, and national expert on understanding the racial, cultural, structural factors that affect the experiences and outcomes of diverse populations in higher education. Attendees also had the opportunity to call topics for conversation in response to the question “What ideas, questions and possibilities do I want to explore about current challenges facing Men of Color?” using a process known as Open Space Technology.
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Download the Summary Document that includes a collection of discussion reports
By Ann Freeman
It’s probably fair to say that most faculty, staff and students have few - if any - concerns with our current campus climate. This institution was designed for individuals with backgrounds just like them.
But for those who courageously come to the U from underrepresented populations, our campus can sometimes be an isolating, hurtful, and harmful place, rife with stereotypes, ignorance, microaggressions, bias, discrimination, and structural and systemic barriers to success.
This means change can’t come fast enough if we truly wish to become a place that is welcoming and respectful to all, and that provides everyone with the best environment in which to succeed.
Dear Students, Staff, Faculty and Community Members,
"Organizations do grow and change." This phrase is one of many guiding principles hanging on my office wall that I learned early on in my social justice and diversity training taught to me by Dr. Rev. Jamie Washington. To me change often feels like an opportunity for hope and healing, and as someone who admittedly hates it, I know change can sometimes evoke fear and anxiety.
On March 30, 2016, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman decided to not prosecute police officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze for their murder of Jamar Clark. This decision is a monumental error of impunity. What we have witnessed here in Minneapolis is a symptom of a larger pattern of systemic racial injustice—one wherein some elected officials insist upon maintaining a status quo of white supremacy. In deciding to not prosecute Ringgenberg and Schwarze, the County Attorney has reinforced the deeply harmful narrative that Black lives do not matter.
Meet Aduramo (Adura) Lasode, graduating this spring from the College of Science and Engineering with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Growing up in Nigeria, Adura Lasode’s resources and means to attain her dream of being an engineer were limited. “In addition to social class, my gender, in relation to my career of interest, was a challenge.” But from that, she says, sprung her determination. When Lasode first came to the U of M, she was too shy to make eye contact with her professors.