“We are a richly diverse community...representing countless ethnicities, faiths, backgrounds, and academic disciplines – all brought together by a common desire to use the power of education to change the world.”
— President Hank Bounds and University of Nebraska Chancellors
As the University of Nebraska enters the spring 2019 semester, the Office of Diversity, Access, and Inclusion is pleased to issue the inaugural volume of the Inclusive Excellence in Action e-newsletter. The university best serves its students and fulfills its mission when we support the creation of an accessible, diverse and inclusive campus environment. By working hand-in-hand with our colleagues across the system, we can proactively promote and achieve inclusive excellence at the University of Nebraska.

Continual communication around any transformational effort is necessary and diversity and inclusion (D&I) is no exception. Inclusive Excellence in Action will keep D&I key issues, resources and opportunities in the forefront by sharing campus D&I highlights, global efforts and information about D&I related grants and awards.

It is my hope that this four-volume e-newsletter serves as a resource to you and reinforces the importance of our collective shared values of diversity, access and inclusion.

Yours in Partnership,
Stancia J. Jenkins
Associate to the President/Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Access, and Inclusion

Mission Fulfillment Through Inclusive Excellence
A diverse and inclusive campus environment that leads to equitable outcomes will position the University of Nebraska to fulfill its mission of helping students reach their highest
ambitions and aspirations. Shifting demographics will require us to rethink how we recruit, retain and support student, faculty and staff as well as manage campus culture.

Students are better educated and competitively prepared for their professions when they are exposed to diverse perspectives. University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds agrees. “Our strength comes from our diversity. I’ve seen time and again that personal growth comes from living and working alongside people who don’t look or think like us,” said Bounds.

The inclusion of diverse perspectives leads to increased innovation and growth in the organizations and industries are taking note.

Walking The Talk Initiative Exemplifies UNO College Of Education’s Commitment To Growing Student Perspectives

Since its inception in fall 2009, the Culture Walks program has been a critical component of the College of Education curriculum. It provides teacher candidates with opportunities to experience the culture and history of minority populations on a local level.

The goal of the Culture Walks program is to assist teacher candidates in developing cultural competence through positive interactions with leaders and influential people of minority communities to dispel misconceptions. These diverse experiences prepare our students to be culturally responsive teachers while increasing the awareness of the impact culture has on learning and childhood development. Culture Walks were systematically added to the existing courses and field experience structures and made a core requirement for every undergraduate in the teacher preparation program.

Scheduled one week prior to the beginning of the field experience and based on their assigned school location, teacher candidates attend a culture walk at one of three locations within the city. At each of the three sites, a panel of community leaders provides a neighborhood overview focused on the strengths of the community. The panelists represent community advocacy groups, public and private social service agencies, churches and other religious and cultural organizations.

The community leaders and teacher candidates later have a two-hour discussion over lunch where panelists explain attributes, facts and realities of their communities. This conversation is facilitated by education faculty and the panel is guided to address any preconceived notions of student candidates. Afterward, the teacher candidates walk through the community to see the importance of purposeful inclusion of multiple perspectives in planning curriculum for diverse learners. As a whole, the culture walk experience will provide teacher candidates with a new perspective on inclusive learning for all children.
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.
Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
Critical Thinking Through Civil Discourse

Based on the Pew Research Center’s 2011 study entitled, “Is College Worth It,” 74 percent of the college graduates surveyed believed their college education was very useful in helping them grow intellectually and 69 percent felt it helped them mature as a person.

Intellectual growth shapes students’ college experience and their experiences in the workplace. In her article, “A Plea for Civil Discourse: Needed, the Academy's Leadership,” Andrea Leskes outlines the charge of educators to equip students with the tools to develop critical thinking through civil discourse. Leskes states that an academic institution must, “commit itself strenuously and immediately to improving civil discourse as a tool of democracy, most importantly in the next generation of college graduates but also in the public at large.” Below are four ways she believes educators and institutional leaders can promote civil discourse in education.

Tips for promoting civil discourse in education:
  • Civil discourse needs to be addressed in general education for all students and embraced by various majors across the curriculum.
  • Students need to be taught (and not simply exposed to or asked to use) civil discourse which means giving them both a theoretical basis of the concept and practical tools for using it.
  • College curricula should provide students the opportunity to study about, reflect on and practice civil discourse purposely at various points and in increasingly sophisticated ways.
  • The ability to engage in civil discourse needs to be assessed at least at the individual student and the program levels both formatively and summatively.

Faculty development will be vital and most campuses have internal expertise to draw upon including our very own D&I department; Such expertise can be used to discover how to engage in civil discourse as an instructional or institutional learning outcome.

It's Important To Celebrate Diversity
And Be Inclusive Year Round
According to a study by Harvard University, diversity training usually fails unless awareness and inclusion is a daily practice . Click on the month below to see a list of diversity holidays that are celebrated around the world and include the upcoming campus diversity-related events in your calendar. Diversity events and monthly themes can be helpful for respectful scheduling, and also provide a great opportunity for inclusion, and shout outs to diverse groups.

International Food and Culture Fest
Date: Mar. 10
Traditional foods and cultural performances from several countries. Free and open to the public.

Queer Straight Alliance’s Queer Prom
Date: Mar. 28, 2019 Time: 6–11 pm
Come join QSA for the Queer Prom! Open to UNK students, HS students, and the community.

A Celtic Celebration
Date: Mar. 5, 2019 Time: 7:30 pm 
It’s all in the family when master musicians Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy take the Lied stage and are joined by their virtuosic children! The evening highlights fiery fiddling, step dancing, singing and world class music-making. This fierce fiddling duo commands the stage with raw energy and passion that enhances their traditional Celtic heritage.
FREE tickets available online for Nebraska students!

Date: Mar. 8, 2019 Time: 8 am–6 pm  
Nebraska Union Room: Auditorium, Multicultural Center, Heritage Room, & Regency Suite 
Contact: Sara Anderson,
No Limits! is an interdisciplinary student conference that explores a wide range of issues related to women, gender, and sexuality. Undergraduate students, graduate students, and recent graduates are invited to submit proposals to present their academic research, creative project, or activist work on women, gender, and/or sexuality.
Additional Public Info: 

Date: Mar. 28, 2019 Time: 6–8 pm 
Willa S. Cather Dining Complex Room: Red Cloud A, B, & C
Contact: Erron Reynolds, 402-472-1058,
At the conclusion of Women’s History Month, Residence Life’s MADE Committee and the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) invites the campus community to participate in a dynamic and engaging interactive experience that educates consumers about gender inequity in retail pricing. 
Additional Public Info: 

Women and Public Policy Week
Date: Mar. 4–11, 2019
Women and Public Policy Week will bring together the voices and expertise of UNO faculty, staff, students, community partners, and policymakers to discuss issues related to women and public policy across the city, state, nation and world.
Internal Grants

Inclusive Excellence Development Grants provide system-level support for implementing or strengthening initiatives that advance diversity, access, and inclusion on an NU campus. The initiatives lead to equitable outcomes in one or more of the following priority areas: 
  • Campus Climate
  • Student Recruitment and Retention
  • Faculty and Staff Recruitment and Retention

The goal of the grants is to foster a campus environment that includes a multiplicity of backgrounds, to help recruit and retain the talent needed to advance the University of Nebraska, and to make NU the best place in the nation to be a student, faculty or staff member.

A total of eight grants up to $3,000 each are offered per calendar year in two funding cycles. The grants are offered through the Office of Diversity, Access, and Inclusion through private funds and are awarded as funds are available. Projects and initiatives must include collaboration across groups, offices, departments or divisions, and may include external University partners. Only activities that are free and open to the University community are funded. Funding cannot be utilized for off-campus travel or to support salaries. 

Following is a link which details the application process and provides additional background information:

Spring 2019 Schedule for Inclusive Excellence Development Grants:
March 8, 2019 - Call for Proposals
April 19, 2019 - Proposals Due by 5 pm
May 3, 2019 - Grant Awards Announced
May 3–June 14, 2019 - Funds Transferred


For the fall 2018 grant award cycle, three of the awarded grant proposals/awardees are members of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln campus:

Elsbeth Magilton , the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law program Executive Director and Political Science faculty member Dr. Tyler White
“Recruiting, Retaining, and Supporting Women in the National Security Field”
The project will establish student programming and resources to provide career development and field-specific mentorship to women engaged in national security.

Scott Napolitano , Director of the School of Psychology Program
Diversity and Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee (DEMAC Assistance Grant) which will be used to support student recruitment and retention efforts by the DEMAC across the UNL Department of Educational Psychology

Sue Ann Gardner , Scholarly Communications Librarian/Professor and Scott L. Gardner , Professor Biological Sciences
The grant will support the creation of a Spanish translation of an open-access biology textbook. The work will involve the collaboration of nearly 70 faculty co-authors from 15 countries.

The fourth grant awardee is a member of the UNMC campus:

Anne C. Wildermuth, Assistant Professor and Clinical Medicine Director/Admissions Director and Liaison to the Interservice Physician Assistant Program
“Multiple Mini Interviews in Physician Assistant Admissions: The Final Puzzle Piece in Holistic Review”
Addition of the holistic admissions process is designed to improve student recruitment and retention by minimizing opportunities for bias and better detecting patterns to be more inclusive and equitable in the application and admissions process in order to matriculate a diverse cohort of students.

External Grants & Awards

Please consider highlighting an example of inclusive excellence on your campus by nominating a D&I initiative, program or project for one of the following awards. Funding for D&I initiatives is also available from foundations and other grant making entities, please take a moment to explore them.

Examples of Excelencia - DEADLINE: March 15
Excelencia in Education’s mission is to help accelerate Latino student success in higher education by bringing together research, policy, and practice. The effort brings attention to programs and practices that work for Latinx students and creates a community of common cause where evidence-based practices are shared.

National Extension Diversity Award (APLU)
The Award for Diversity supports efforts that go beyond meeting EEO/AA program requirements. Extension efforts should support the creation of a diverse and pluralistic Cooperative Extension organization at the local, regional, state or national level. The recipient of the Award for Diversity is recognized at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Annual Meeting held in November each year with a commemorative trophy from USDA NIFA and a cash award from ECOP.
DEADLINE: May 1, 2019

The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP)
The LSAMP program is an alliance-based program with the overall goal of assisting universities and colleges in diversifying the nation's science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce by increasing the number of STEM baccalaureate and graduate degrees awarded to populations historically underrepresented in these disciplines: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Native Pacific Islanders.
DEADLINES: Nov. 1 & 15, 2019


National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education - NADOHE
March 6–9, 2019
Loews Philadelphia Hotel; Philadelphia, PA

Diversity, Equity, and Student Success: American Association of Colleges & Universities
Engaged Inclusivity: Perceptions, Realities, and Aspirations
March 28–30, 2019
Omni William Penn; Pittsburgh, PA

National Conference on Race and Ethnicity - NCORE
May 28–June 1, 2019
Portland, OR

The American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED)
June 11–13, 2019
Indianapolis, IN