Championing Diversity
for Campus and Beyond
A UW-Madison Diversity Update | Edition 23 | August 2, 2021
Building a fully-inclusive history of UW-Madison
Director Kacie Lucchini Butcher discusses the UW–Madison Public History project — “a multi-year effort to uncover and give voice to those who
experienced, challenged and overcame prejudice on campus" — as it builds toward a public exhibit in fall 2022.
Dear Colleagues,
I cannot imagine a better way to end this time of transition than to welcome my colleague LaVar Charleston to lead UW-Madison's diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. 
Today, he begins serving as the university’s chief diversity officer, also holding the titles of deputy vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, vice provost, and Elzie Higginbottom Director of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement (DDEEA). LaVar’s career portfolio demonstrates depth as both an innovative leader and an accomplished researcher, with a near two-decade career in diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education. LaVar has risen through the ranks of UW-Madison while developing skills on a path that has uniquely prepared him to guide this important mission and work in a time of unprecedented change and contemporary challenges. We are all excited about the next chapter of our journey forward in advancing equity, diversity and inclusion for all at UW-Madison. 
In the meantime, I am humbly applauding the work of our division and campus partners. In community, we never rested in our push for progress and achievement. 

The University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents elected Edmund Manydeeds III to a one-year term as president and the first Native American to be elected Regent president. A graduate of UW-Superior and University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison, Attorney Manydeeds first served on the Board from 2010–2017 and was reappointed to another seven-year term in 2019. 

Our division also is welcoming Derrick Smith, who has graciously offered to join our management team as Senior Co-Director of External Relations, Partnerships, and Development. Smith will share duties with Tracy Williams for the coming year while Williams serves as the inaugural Director Of Supplier Diversity Program for UW-Madison's Division of Business Services under the Associate Vice Chancellor of Finance.

Percival Matthews has been named interim associate dean for equity, diversity, and inclusion in the UW-Madison School of Education. Matthews is an associate professor in Educational Psychology. He will devote 80 percent of his time to lead the school’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OEDI), and 20 percent of his time to department duties and research. .

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Public Health and Medicine has been chosen by the American Medical Association Foundation to be the first institution in the nation to participate in its new National LGBTQ+ Fellowship Program, which aims to combat shortcomings in the medical care provided to LGBTQ people in the United States.

First Wave alumna and poet Jasmine Mans ('15) is running a monthly poetry series commissioned by Newark, New Jersey's mayor, where she is part of a vibrant artistic community. Mans has authored two books, Chalk Outlines of Snow Angels and her latest book, Black Girl, Call Home. Crediting her time at UW-Madison for developing her craft, Mans says she uses poetry to explore the complexities of race and racism, stating, "I realized I don't need to write the answers: I write the questions."

Deshawn Mckinney ('17), also a First Wave alum, explores the complexities of intergenerational trauma and forgiveness in his debut chapbook, father forgive me. Originally from the Northside of Milwaukee, the poet and writer recently won the 2021 River Heron Poetry Prize for his poem ”Anansi Me.” 

Posse graduate Jonathan Harris, ('15), who is completing his MBA at Northwestern University, was named 'A Class of 2021 MBA to Watch' by the Kellogg School of Business. Inspired by the DDEEA Leadership in the New Economy (LINE) event where he learned about the importance of internships, Harris says it is where he got connected to Management Leadership for Tomorrow and set the goal to become the CMO of a Fortune 500 Company.

Finally, coming back to campus where we can see each other and our students is an exciting transition.  In August, the DDEEA internship program will welcome our latest cohort of 12 new and returning UW scholars. We take great pride in our interns, who are invaluable for their needed assistance as they work side-by-side with our staff learning how to administer DEI programs, staff committees, plan projects and execute events. 
As I resume my beloved duties working closely with staff, students, programs, and targeted special initiatives within DDEEA, I want to thank everyone across our campus and the national realm of chief diversity officers and diversity specialists who assisted, advocated,
 and partnered with us during my interim service. The way in which we persevered through unusual circumstances together provided invaluable perspective and ignited a deeper commitment to the advancement of our call to action. 
I am more confident that we have strong partnerships and a united spirit undergirding this work. Most importantly, my deepest appreciation goes to every single member of the DDEEA for their dedication and support to our students, our work and to each other. I could not have served effectively without you. 
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
Gone Too Soon: Our Season of Loss
📷: A candlelight vigil in memory of Darrell Foster was held on Bascom Hill on July 11, photo courtesy of @mightyge_alphas
The #UWMadison campus community is mourning the loss of Darrell Foster, a 2020 #UWGrad, @uwposse scholar, and member of the @mightyge_alphas fraternity. Foster is being remembered throughout the Madison and Washington, D.C. areas as a scholar, friend and influential force on and off campus. Please join us in wishing for peace and comfort for his family and friends.
Campus News and Announcements
PEOPLE scholars set admission records

This fall UW-Madison will welcome a record-setting incoming class of first-year PEOPLE College Scholars. Now in its twenty-second year, this summer's cohort of rising high school seniors from Madison and Milwaukee are ready to apply for admission as UW's 2022 College Scholars cohort. Read more. 
ACTS adds Indigenous Student Coordinator

We want to welcome Laura Hiebing to the role of the Indigenous Student Services Coordinator in the Academic Coaching and Tutoring Services unit (ACTS). Laura brings a wealth of knowledge and experience advising and guiding Native American Students to achieve academic excellence. 
Class of 2020 in-person Graduation Celebration

If you are or know a Class of 2020, sign up now to attend events planned for UW-Madison's in-person graduation celebration the weekend of September 17-19. Required online registration closes today. Current registration is close to 700 attending, with 1,500 attendees are expected.