Championing Diversity
for Campus and Beyond
A UW-Madison Diversity Update | Edition 21 | February 1, 2021
"We may have all come on different ships, but we're
in the same boat now."
Dear Colleagues,
It's exciting to launch each new year with salutes to our American Civil Rights hero, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The national King Holiday requires an annual reexamination of progress toward his Dream and our individual commitments to this work.

Bringing King's Dream into reality requires comprehensive effort in countless varied and small ways everyday in everything we do. As we heard from Pulitzer Prize winning author Isabel Wilkerson, the Dream we seek involves an unbounded shift in our knowledge of history, respect of one another, and ultimately, how we apply those changes to everyday life.
UW-Madison celebrated its annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Symposium with a comprehensive and ongoing reading and examination of Isabel Wilkerson's insightful book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. Wilkerson also is the author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration and the first woman of African-American heritage to win the Pulitzer Prize in journalism.  There will be a February 9 re-recorded encore of Isabel Wilkerson's MLK Symposium lecture as part of Black History Month. This rebroadcast will be featured on the UW-Madison Student Affairs YouTube channel from 6-9 p.m. Recording of this lecture is strictly prohibited.

The joy on this journey is celebrating every successful step toward the realization of King's Dream, including nearly 60 December 2020 DDEEA graduates. Congratulations to them for persevering despite difficult times and best of luck in the future! Two of our iconic UW-Madison alumni are getting recognition for their incredible legacies. Ada Deer ('57) is a 2020 UW Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Awardee and an inaugural inductee of the National Native American Hall of Fame. A statue of Vel Phillips ('51) Wisconsin's first Black female Secretary of State, could be placed on Capitol grounds as soon as summer 2021.

We'll continue to warm up winter throughout February with the celebration of Black History Month, Music as Medicine: Evolution of Music in the Black Community, one of many ways UW is working on integration of diversity into campus and its history. These cultural observations are led by students for the benefit of all students.

I also want to celebrate the incredible faculty and educators who have been dedicated to working with our First Wave Scholars and nurturing students in the arts. Dasha Kelly Hamilton of Milwaukee was named Wisconsin Poet Laureate for 2021–2022. Married colleagues in the Department of English, UW professors Cherene Sherrard and Amaud Jamaul Johnson, explore Black identity and struggle in a new collection of poems. Their work gives students the gift of studying contemporary topics and art forms created by campus faculty.

Upcoming events focusing on Women's History Month include our annual reception celebrating this year's cohort of Outstanding Women of Color virtually on Wednesday, March 3. On Friday, March 26, we will virtually host the annual Women in Leadership Symposium in partnership with the National Diversity Council.

My goal for 2021 is to strengthen our commitment to equality and justice through our work in diversity, equity and inclusion. I truly value your partnership in this commitment.
In Community,
Cheryl B. Gittens, Ed.D.
Interim Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer 
Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement 
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison's Proud Role in King's Dream
Campus News and Announcements
OWOC March Reception

The thirteenth cohort of Outstanding Women of Color awardees will be honored at a virtual reception on Wednesday, March 3 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The virtual reception to celebrate this year’s honorees is open to the campus and community.  
Black History Month '21
This year, we will celebrate the theme Music as Medicine: Evolution of Music in the Black Community with programming designed to highlight the various forms of Black including Jazz, Blues, Reggae, Hip Hop/Rap, Gospel, R&B, and more.
OMAI Educator Series

The Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives launched its annual series of educators’ institutes, Hip Hop in the Heartland, on January 30. Additional for-credit educator training sessions will be held on Saturday, March 20 and Saturday, May 22.