Diversity Newsletter
November 2020 Issue
Please note: Diversity Symposium session recordings will be available by mid-November on the VPD YouTube channel. Thank you for your patience as we continue working to format, upload, and categorize these resources.
Native American Heritage Month
Click the image below to visit the Native American Cultural Center's website for more information about all of the planned events.
How faculty can create inclusive classrooms to uphold free speech
By Ria Vigil, Laxmi Sashtry and Fleurette King

Our country is a day away from a very contentious presidential election, and many of our faculty, staff, and students are feeling this contention in their homes, classes, and interactions with colleagues. We recognize that for many faculty and students the thought of this tension existing in the classroom brings much fear and uncertainty.

While students and faculty may utilize their First Amendment rights in a physical, or virtual, classroom setting, an inclusive classroom takes a proactive role in organizing thoughtful engagement based around shared understanding of the ground rules, goals of dialogue, and the Principles of Community.

As a public institution, Colorado State University has the opportunity, responsibility, and legal obligation to uphold the First Amendment through both individual and group freedom of speech. We must also acknowledge the inherent tension that exists between our First Amendment rights and the potential harm exercising those rights can cause to others.
With free speech comes the responsibility of knowing how speech can be used to harm, silence, and promote erasure of people and ideas. By utilizing their free speech and understanding its impact, students can hone their logic, stand in solidarity for or against topics, speak truth to power, and better advocate for issues they deeply care about.

We want faculty and students to use the classroom to create intentional learning environments where we can discuss difficult and at times controversial topics. This can be accomplished through proactive strategies to empower faculty in creating such environments. As diversity educators on campus, we will weigh in and address the question: “How can faculty intentionally create inclusive classrooms which promote dialogue and uphold free speech?”

Mary Ontiveros is Retiring
Our passionate leader and guiding light, Mary Ontiveros, is retiring from CSU after 45 years. Mary will be marking her final day on Dec. 31, 2020.

If you would like to be involved in wishing Mary well as she enters this next chapter, such as including a personal note to her in messages being compiled, please send an email with the subject line "Mary Tribute" to diversity@colostate.edu before November 25th.
Due to a technical issue, the CSU Inspire videos were re-uploaded to YouTube, causing the URLs to slightly shift. If you previously shared our incredible speakers' stories via a link, the new URLs are included below. Thank you for uplifting and amplifying our amazing CSU Inspire videos!
CSU Inspire:
Patricia Vigil
CSU Inspire Conversations: Flo King
CSU Inspire:
Colette Sterling
CSU Inspire:
Mike Martin
CSU Inspire Conversations:
Ria Vigil
CSU Inspire:
Brian Jones
Recommended Reading
Black students continuously experience, fight against and bear emotional scars from racism, which can lead to increased anxiety and poor mental health outcomes. Some colleges are just starting to address these issues.

As ethnic studies requirements are put in place in California, capping years of struggle, educators discuss why it's important to talk about race in the classroom.

CSU launches ‘Black Lives Matter’ programming with mural at Visual Arts Building

Colorado State University kicked off a new educational initiative in early October as the words “Black Lives Matter” were painted in yellow on the pavement north of the Visual Arts Building.

The inaugural installation of the “Engaged Art Walk,” the BLM painting launches a series of events and art projects integrating art, education and civic engagement. The Department of Art and Art History has partnered with other units on campus — including the Department of Ethnic Studies and the Black/African American Cultural Center, with input from the Office of the Vice President for Diversity — to join the nationwide street art movement that emerged this summer with similar pavement paintings.

Hanal Pixán: Day of the Dead in the Yucatan Peninsula
Monday, November 2nd 5:30pm

This talk focuses on the cultural practices around Hanal Pixan (“food for the souls”) in the Yucatan Peninsula. This festivity emphasizes the principles of communality and the transmission of knowledge embedded in the Pib’s preparation, the traditional food that honor and feed our dead in the altars on October 31 & November 1 & 2.

María Inés Canto Carrillo is an Assistant Professor of Spanish in Modern Mexican Literature and Culture. She holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures (2016) and an M.A. in Portuguese and Brazilian Literatures (2015) from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research engages with the relationships of literature and visual arts, and she has published many articles on Mexican and Latin American literature.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 970 8901 3742

Announcing another Mindful Mondays 6-week series from the Center for Mindfulness with Lauren Ziegler.

These sessions will be offered through Zoom Mondays at 12:00-12:45 pm

If you cannot make it, you can click here to sign up to get the replays delivered to you.

  • November 9th | Mindful Movement: In this session, we will explore various methods of mindful movement coordinated with breathing to soften the body, get things flowing and find some inner peace amid a chaotic world.
  • November 16th | Cultivating Gratitude: Gratitude is not a passive response to something we have been given. In this session we will practice gratitude because it grows by paying attention and being awake in the presence of everything.
  • November 23rd | Meditation For Loneliness: This session is a guided meditation for loneliness. Loneliness can be a prison, a place from which we look out at a world we cannot inhabit, an aching feeling. But it is also the very state from which arises courage to continue calling. 
  • November 30th | Working With Physical Pain: Lauren will share her experience, knowledge passed down and expertise in how to navigate physical pain in mindfulness practice.
  • December 7th | The Joy Of Self-Compassion: We know that self-compassion helps lessen the hold of negative emotions, but it's important to remember the joy, pleasure and love that comes from being a more self-compassionate person.

In order to directly address anti-racism at Colorado State University, the Office of the Vice President for Diversity announces a series of racial justice-focused sessions to be held throughout the fall 2020 semester.

CSU eID is required to access the webpage for added Zoom security.

Registration is required.
Sessions limited to 100 attendees.
Join Dr. Cori Wong for a series of community discussions on a variety of topics surrounding equity, anti-racism work, and diversity at CSU. Topics and descriptions available at the link.

CSU eID is required to access the webpage for added Zoom security.

Registration is not required.
Sessions limited to 300 attendees.
November, an urgent film about white male privilege set against scenes of Black joy, freedom, and beauty, is available to watch now. Commissioned and produced by The Shed in association with Tribeca Studios and filmed around New York City in the four weeks leading up to the election, November streams for free November 1-7.

Directed by Phillip Youmans (Burning Cane, winner of the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Founders Award) and written by acclaimed poet and playwright Claudia Rankine with stage direction by Obie Award-winner Taibi Magar, the film adapts Rankine’s Shed-commissioned play, Help, which had just entered preview performances in March 2020 when The Shed closed temporarily to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Monthly Reminders
Introducing Feminist Frameworks Online Course

Introducing Feminist Frameworks is a two-course online badge program that provides a functional framework for advancing critical understandings of feminism, intersectionality, gender, and systems of oppression.
Courses are self-paced and contain 5-7 modules that typically consist of a reading, video lecture, and multiple choice quiz. Students may enroll in one of both courses and have 3 months per course to complete.

Full-time CSU employees may be eligible for a 50% discount on tuition, reducing the cost to $37.50 for an individual course, or $63.50 when registering for both.

The Office of the Vice President for Diversity is celebrating 10 years!

2020 marks the 10th anniversary of the Vice President for Diversity office’s existence here at Colorado State University! While there is always more work to do, we plan to celebrate this important milestone together with our campus community in early 2021.
Thank you for supporting the work of the VPD!
What We're Reading

We are reading a variety of books centering race and anti-racism, including: How to Be An AntiRacist, by Ibram X. Kendi; So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo; When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele; and The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander.

Many of the titles in our “What We’re Reading” section are available for check-out as e-books through the CSU Library. This issue’s titles are available via a dedicated anti-racism webpage.

You can also find a variety of books on diversity, ethnicity, culture, feminism, LGBTQ+, privilege, and more at the CSU Bookstore.