May 3, 2021 Edition
Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental Health Awareness Month was first started by the organization Mental Health America (MHA) in 1949. Their goal is to educate, reduce the stigma surrounding mental health struggles, and help individuals find resources. Each year MHA creates toolkits that contain materials for conducting outreach activities during Mental Health Awareness Month. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an intense impact on the mental health and well-being of people of all ages and backgrounds and this year their toolkit focuses on improving one's mental health and resiliency regardless of what situation one may be in. To read more about Mental Health Awareness Month and download MHA's 2021 toolkit, follow the link below.
CFAES Students and Staff Members Attend 35th National MANRRS Conference
The 35th National MANRRS Conference was held April 6th-9th and focused on the theme of “reclaiming our time, territory, and triumph” as members from across the country met to network, learn, and explore issues and concerns related to diversity in agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences. Twelve undergraduate students, graduate students, and staff members from the Ohio State University chapter, including ATI, attended this year’s conference. 

CFAES DEI Action Council Minutes Available on DEI Website
The CFAES DEI Action Council recently met on Monday, April 19th. During this meeting they discussed the mission, vision, values, and principles of engagement of the council. To read the meeting minutes, click the link below.

A Message From CFAES DEI on Freedom of Expression
To all CFAES staff and faculty,
We are all experiencing constant exposure to many hotly contested social issues--including high profile events, legislation, and public discourse--within our city, state, country, and world. These constant developments in the news can be incredibly taxing to handle in addition to maintaining one's employment and personal life. One of the factors that can cause additional stress is uncertainty about one's rights and responsibilities as an employee of The Ohio State University when it comes to freedom of expression and political activity. As many of us begin or continue to engage in discussions and activities related to the First Amendment, it is vital that we have information readily available to us about the relationship between such activities and our employment so that we can make fully informed decisions. Please see below for links to information about several relevant components of policy, resources, and guidelines at OSU.
Freedom of expression:
Additionally, one of the many ways in which we can exercise our freedom of speech is by being an active bystander when we witness identity-based incidents of bias, discrimination, harassment, and/or violence. These types of microaggressions and explicit biases have been on the rise in the past year, including approximately 3,800 documented reports of verbal and physical assaults against Asians and Asian Americans. We do not have to be silent in the face of these events, whether we are a witness or a target. I invite you to explore this brief infographic about how to be an active bystander and this short, humorous, yet practical video illustrating some of these principles. This brief handout contains some additional ideas about how to interrupt bias, including phrases you can keep in mind in case you are unsure what else to say. Finally, on Monday, May 17th 12-2:00pm, in collaboration with colleagues from ODI and the College of Pharmacy, we will be offering an encore presentation of the 2020 webinar The Second Pandemic: Understanding and Challenging the Rise in Anti-Asian Racism in the Wake of COVID-19. You may learn more about and register for this excellent program here. As a reminder, we offer a Bystander Intervention webinar several times throughout the year. Any CFAES unit or department can request this program (or any other) be delivered in-house. To request a program for your unit please contact Dr. Leo Taylor(.3408). Check out our website for information about topics available for webinars.
May we all have the courage and support we need in the coming days and weeks. If any of the staff in the CFAES Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion can be of assistance in these arenas, please do not hesitate to reach out (
Host a DEI Webinar for Your Department/Unit! 
Did you know that in addition to offering monthly, open webinars, the CFAES Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion offers in-house delivery of programs to any CFAES unit or department by request for FREE? Available webinars address topics such as implicit bias, microaggressions, bystander intervention, power and privilege, inclusive hiring, and LGBTQ+ issues. If you are interested in hosting a program for members of your unit or department or would like more information please contact Dr. Leo Taylor, Program Manager for Faculty and Staff Affairs at Visit the DEI website for descriptions of upcoming and past programs to get a better idea about currently available topics. Suggestions for new programs/topics are always welcome!
"Everyone Can Garden" Webinar Videos Now Available on Our YouTube Channel
Did you miss the first two sessions of the "Everyone Can Garden" series? You can now watch "Part One: Planning Your Vegetable Garden" and "Part Two: Planting Your Vegetable Garden" by clicking here.
DEI Spotlights: May 2021
Each month we will be celebrating the diversity of the CFAES student body by highlighting one student (undergraduate or graduate) and one of our colleagues who are working to make CFAES and the community a welcoming place for all people. Do you know someone who you think should be featured? To submit a nomination for the DEI Student Spotlight and the DEI Faculty and Staff Spotlight, please fill out this form.
DEI Student Spotlight: Nicole McMullen
​​​​​​For the May DEI Student Spotlight we are featuring Nicole McMullen who is an undergraduate student majoring in Agriscience Education in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education and Leadership (ACEL). Nicole is also a member of MANRRS.

DEI Faculty and Staff Spotlight: Whitney Gherman
This month's DEI Faculty and Staff Spotlight features Whitney Gherman who is a social justice educator in Family and Consumer Sciences. Through her work, she supports community members with knowledge and resources to engage in meaningful dialogue and produce positive outcomes for racial healing, healthy food access, trauma informed care, and affordable housing.

May and June 2021 CFAES DEI Webinars
For a full list of our Spring and Summer 2021 webinars, please visit our professional development webinars page.
Inclusive Excellence in Hiring
Thursday, May 6th, 2:00-3:15PM
Friday, June 4th, 10:00-11:15AM

This 75-minute training provides an overview of best practices for recruiting a diverse candidate pool. Although this program primarily focuses on faculty searches, much of the content applies also to staff searches. Participants will examine the role that various forms of implicit bias can play in screening applicants and identify ways that intersecting social identities create an unlevel competitive job market. Strategies for targeted recruitment of historically underrepresented minority applicants will be addressed. CFAES requires that all individuals serving on a search committee complete this training every 2 years.
The Second Pandemic: Understanding and Challenging the Rise in Anti-Asian Racism in the Wake of COVID-19
DATE AND TIME: Monday, May 17th, 12:00-2:00PM

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Asian Americans and Asians around the world have experienced heightened levels of verbal and physical aggression and attacks. Nationally, our country is seeing hate crimes against Asian and Asian American folks increase at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, this is not the first time a public health crisis has been conflated with pre-existing bias, and it has been heavily noted by historians that throughout history, disease and racism have gone hand-in-hand. Join the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, The College of Pharmacy, and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences for the webinar, The Second Pandemic: Understanding and Challenging the Rise in Anti-Asian Racism in the Wake of COVID-19.

This 2-hour webinar will address the ways different types of bias against the Asian and Asian American communities are reiterating themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will begin by discussing the types of bias most commonly seen and how these biases have influenced the impacts of COVID-19 on Asian/Asian American communities both here at Ohio State and nationwide. Shifting the conversation to concrete examples, we will raise awareness about the ways anti-Asian racism has manifested since the pandemic, and the history Asian Americans have with this type of racial oppression. We will conclude with bystander intervention strategies for folks to use to advocate for themselves if they identify as Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islander or Desi American (APIDA), and for others to strive for allyship with the APIDA community.

  • Sophia Antoun (she/her), Program Specialist, Office of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Leo Taylor (he/him), Program Manager for Faculty and Staff Affairs, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences
  • Lena Tenney (they/them), Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, College of Pharmacy
The Hypermarginalization of Transgender People Living with Neurodisabilities
Wednesday, May 19th, 2:00-3:30PM
Wednesday, June 16th, 2:00-3:30PM

What is it like to live in a society that views gender as a binary system and penalizes those who stray from established norms? How is this compounded by the fact that deviations from gender norms have historically been and continue to be pathologized? What is the impact, then, when a person who is transgender is also living with a nuerodisability such as depression or anxiety? This 90-minute webinar will address the history of the pathologization of transgender people, connecting it to White supremacist ideologies (e.g., eugenics) and propose a reconstructed vision of a society where everyone has body autonomy. The facilitator will challenge the paradigm of normal versus abnormal and argue that all human conditions, even those we consider "mental illnesses", are normal and should be celebrated as natural sources of diversity. Attendees do not need to be familiar with transgender issues or mental health conditions to participate.
Queer 101: An Introduction to LGBTQ+ Identities
DATE AND TIME: Tuesday, June 1st, 11:00AM-12:30PM

Have you ever encountered the acronym LGBTQQIAAP, or some variation, and wondered what it all means? What is the difference between gender identity, sex, and sexual orientation? What is affectional orientation and how does it differ from sexual orientation? What does it mean when someone has a “non-binary” gender identity? In this interactive workshop we will explore these questions and more to establish a common vocabulary for better understanding the diversity of identities within LGBTQ+ communities. Participants will leave this 90-minute webinar equipped with information and skills that will enable them to create more inclusive and welcoming environments for LGBTQ+ people and a better understanding of their own identities.
2021 Gardening with Physical Limitations Webinar Series: Garden Maintenance
DATE AND TIME: Tuesday, June 1st, 6:00-7:30PM

Learn how to manage various garden pests using Integrated Pest Management. This approach utilizes cultural control, biological control, as well as chemical control to minimize pest pressure in the garden. We will also go over a variety of garden tools that have been/can be adapted to be easier and more comfortable to use by people with physical limitations.

Presenters: Laura Akgerman and Jenny Andon
Gender Demystified: Creating Inclusive Environments for People of All Genders
DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, June 9th, 2:00-3:30PM

Have you noticed that some people include their pronouns next to their name on Zoom, but aren’t sure why? Are you unsure about gender-neutral pronouns such as “they/them” or nonbinary gender identities? Would you like to better understand how gender differs from sex and sexual orientation? This 90-minute webinar will explore the various aspects of identity that relate to gender and sex. Participants will learn key vocabulary, gain a better understanding of their own identities, and identify ways to strive for allyship with transgender and gender non-conforming individuals to create environments that are inclusive of all genders.
Recommended Articles and Resources
Assessing student participation not only introduces opportunities for every kind of bias to manifest but also frequently overlooks diversity among students in comfort levels with speaking publicly in class (which could be due to cultural differences, disabilities, or neurodivergence, for example). Both of these issues can negatively harm student grades through no fault of their own. This professor argues that “making participation an ungraded classroom norm might be one of the most inclusive practices we could undertake as teachers.”
What do you do if someone gives you the gift of letting you know you initiated a microaggression or did something hurtful? Regardless of your intention, it’s important to be able to apologize thoughtfully and authentically. This brief YouTube video offers practical tips for how best to respond.
Colleges and universities are making progress on efforts to serve students with disabilities, but some critics say higher education has been slow to recognize disability as an identity group or include it in programming around diversity, equity, and inclusion even though about one quarter of the people in the United States have a disability. How can higher education reckon with its entrenched history of ability supremacy that prioritizes the “normal” body and “normal” mind?
Opportunities Around Campus and in the Community
COVID-19 and the APIDA Community: Impacts, Historical Oppression, Allyship
Wednesdays in May, 3:00PM, Zoom
The global response to COVID-19 has meant and increase in xenophobia, which is a fear, prejudice or hatred of people from other countries. Unfortunately, throughout history, fear of disease and racism have gone hand in hand. In the months since COVID-19 has been circulating, Asian-Americans and Asians around the world have experienced heightened levels of verbal and physical aggression.

This workshop discusses the impact COVID-19 is having on Asian/Asian American communities both here at Ohio State and nationwide. We'll begin by discussing the ways in which anti-Asian racism has manifested since the pandemic, and the impacts the rise in anti-Asian racism has had on Asian and APIDA communities. Our dialogue will then shift to highlighting the history Asian Americans have with this type of racial oppression. We'll then address how we can raise awareness of the ways others can strive for allyship with our APIDA students, friends, loved ones and colleagues.

Join us in community as we address this important facet of the COVID-19 pandemic and formulate ways that we can each play a role in interrupting bias and creating safe and inclusive communities.

We're Not Your Model: Dismantling the Asian Model Minority Myth
Thursdays in May, 3:00PM, Zoom
For decades, Asian and Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) folks have been denied our racial reality. Socially constructed perceptions of either academic or professional success have made us a “model minority," effectively erasing our historical and present day experiences with systemic racism and oppression. When we unpack the numerous identities that exist within the APIDA community and the historical legacy of oppression APIDA folks contend with on a daily basis, we see that the label of “model minority” is nothing but a myth, and that this label serves a very different sociological function.

Join us in a discussion of the “Model Minority” myth’s historical roots in white supremacy, and discover ways to dismantle the myth, reduce its harmful impacts on our everyday lives, and reclaim an empowered Asian and APIDA identity.

26th Annual National Conference on Diversity, Race & Learning
May 3rd-4th, Zoom
The National Conference on Diversity, Race & Learning (NCDRL) is one of the university's most comprehensive conferences that focuses on issues of diversity, cultural inclusion and acceptance. We host this conference to strengthen and make new strides toward the goal of meaningful change. The conference offers a multi-leveled examination of "diversity" as a concept and its implementation within institutions of higher education, the corporate world, the religious community, the larger community, including public service. The themes examine, through participant discourse, ways to effectively bridge the economic, political and socio-educational divides that continue to be pertinent in the American social landscape and beyond.

The Color of Technology with Ruha Benjamin
Wednesday, May 5th, 12:00-1:15PM, Zoom
The Color of Technology, featuring Dr. Ruha Benjamin (Professor of African American Studies, Princeton University), is the third event in a series of collaborative events between CEHV and the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) on racial justice. Previous events in the series included The Color of Law and The Color of Health. The Color of Technology is also cosponsored by the Ohio State Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI).

The conversation with Professor Benjamin will be moderated by Dr. Ayanna Howard (Dean of the College of Engineering, Ohio State University).

Racialization and Latinxs: Contemplating Colonial Unknowning
Friday, May 7th, 1:00PM, Zoom
By Luis Urrieta
University of Texas at Austin

Latinx communities are complex and vary by geographic region, generational histories, linguistic backgrounds, and political orientations. Yet, single story narratives that racialize Latinxs are often associated with these communities. Single stories often create one-dimensional and superficial views of Latinxs, frequently without histories and usually portrayed as recent and unwanted arrivals. This talk will engage in unpacking and untangling the roles of colonialism and imperialism in the formation of racialized Latinx identities in the U.S. Colonial unknowing often encourages ignorance of the past, but in this talk we will contemplate how racialization in relation to other forms of oppression influences in contemporary Latinx lives and futures.

African American Farmers: Stress Issues and Solutions
Thursday, May 27th, 3:00-4:00PM, Zoom
All farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers face stress related to their occupations. However, African American farmers have additional sources of stress not faced by other agricultural producers. Some of the main topics for this webinar include

  • a brief summary of stress sources common to all farmers
  • unique stressors that African American farmers face
  • suggestions and resources that could be helpful to African American farmers facing stress
  • recommendations that professionals should keep in mind when working with African American farmers

The presenter will also emphasize

  • getting to know the African American farmers you work with and understanding their unique histories
  • the importance of being sincere and trustworthy: the way you interact can determine if you become part of the solution or add to the problems

Our Presenter:
John Jamerson is founder and project manager of Legacy Taste of the Garden LLC and Legacy Farming and Health Group headquartered in Lyles Station, Indiana, a historic African American farming community. Legacy’s aim is to close the gap between local producers and the local community to help support the community’s economic vitality. They seek to help empower individuals and communities to become self-sustaining and economically sound through education, networking, and resources to promote a healthy, sustainable, empowered life.

A question & answer period will follow the presentation.

The 2021 Cambio de Colores Conference
June 16th-19th, Online
The 2021 Cambio de Colores Virtual Conference is scheduled for June 16-19, 2021. This four day event brings together interdisciplinary researchers, public and private service providers, artists, grassroots and advocacy organizations, education and healthcare providers, students and extension specialists, state and local government institutions, policymakers, corporations, Latinx, and immigrant communities to discuss the research and practices for welcoming and integrating Latinx and immigrant populations in new destination areas of the United States. The theme for this year’s conference is “Embracing Differences and Empowering Communities”. Although many people work hard to welcome and integrate immigrants and Latinx into their communities, there remains increasingly negative rhetoric at local, state, and federal levels, which marginalize newcomers, sometimes even denying them access to basic public services.
We welcome you to join us in the conversations we will have with keynote speakers, panels, workshops and networking. Conversations are around: civil rights and political participation, change and integration, community and economic development, education, health, and youth development. Attendees will have the opportunity to see the events online live or view the recorded sessions at a later time.
This year’s keynote speakers include Pablo Sanhueza of the Kansas City Latin Jazz Orchestra. The event starts with a recorded performance followed by a conversation with historian Cynthia Ammerman and musicologist Marc Rice about musical migrations, the Afro roots of Latin jazz, and the Latinx impact upon the Kansas City jazz scene. This event is presented as a collaboration with the Latinx Communities in Missouri Committee of the Missouri 2021 Bicentennial.

Future Editions of the DEI Newsletter
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Additions to the DEI Newsletter
Have an event or other item you want shared? Please email the exact text and link that you want included to by Friday, May 28th.
CFAES Community Updates
If you would like to share news on your recent DEI related publications, presentations, awards received, upcoming events, or other noteworthy milestones, please email them to
CFAES Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion