Happy Black History Month!
I am old enough to remember when celebrating Black History was limited to the third week in February. Despite the limitations, Black History was a special time at Mark T. Skinner School. Preparations for our weeklong celebration would begin in January with MLK Day (Illinois was the first state to adopt the day as a state holiday). We were never taught the “I Have a Dream” speech; instead, we studied The Movement as a textbook in transformation. We learned how to step beyond the limits of circumstances into new fields of action. What I remember and cherish most about those days was how teachers, administrators, and staff set aside hierarchy and title to hold open an intergenerational dialogue with us students. They created a context for us to embrace our difference as a power instead of a handicap.
Something similar is about to happen on our DePaul campus on Tuesday, February 25. You may heard or seen the invitation to the Diversity Forum on February. For the first time ever in the history of our university, all five affinity groups (DPUBLC, LEAD, ELEVATE, and the LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Network), are coming together to open up a dialogue between faculty and staff about what it means to be a member of the DePaul family. The forum, “Identity & Inclusion: When Difference Makes the Difference,” will feature opening comments by DePaul’s president, the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., followed by a keynote address delivered by Patricia Arredondo, president of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
The opening reception will be followed by concurrent sessions that will focus on:
- Identity development through social media
- Religious diversity in the workplace
- Constructing allyship across identity lines
- Vincentian personalism for the classroom
Don’t miss out on your opportunity to participate in a conversation for transformation. The forum, which is free and open to DePaul faculty and staff, runs 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the Lincoln Park Student Center. Space is limited, so please register by February 19.
We can’t wait to see you!
Joy Boggs is President of DePaul Women’s Network for 2013-14 and is Business Manager for the Office of the General Counsel at DePaul University.