Championing Diversity
for Campus and Beyond
A UW-Madison Diversity Update | Edition 20 | November 25, 2020
Dear Colleagues,
Autumn 2020 has been trying, but tremendously rich in our human response to the times.
 
My first thoughts turn to the enthusiasm with which more than 5,200 participants across Wisconsin and the nation signed in to our annual UW-Madison Diversity Forum, “The Pandemic Effect: Exposing Racism and Inequities,” to learn, discuss, and share expertise and thoughts on diversity, equity and inclusion. Last summer my office received an unprecedented number of inquiries on ways to better understand erupting social justice issues, and most importantly, requests to discuss how to get involved. These important questions guided an incredibly rewarding two days of virtual interaction, passionate discussions, networking on next-steps, and sharing potential solutions. 
 
We’re offering everyone the opportunity to revisit the 2020 Diversity Forum at go.wisc.edu/df20replay. You can also review slide presentations, handouts and other resources from the conference at go.wisc.edu/df20resources. Take time to watch discussion on personal growth, activism, and self-care; addressing the impact of COVID-19 in marginalized communities; acknowledging the significance of the ADA; and meeting the needs of the Latinx community. Along with our keynote speakers, be sure to view our annual townhall discussion featuring professional and high-profile Black men, including Wisconsin Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes.
 
This year’s Forum has reset our expectations on how we can partner to oppose systemic racism, discrimination, bigotry and xenophobia and work toward long-term change. I sincerely thank the dozens of campus and community presenters who shared from their hearts to facilitate our collective growth and all the participants who joined in the discussions.    
 
The year 2020 is one we won’t forget, especially the global pandemic, a tipping point in racial injustice, a meaningful movement toward social change. We are more aware of our common humanity and vulnerabilities. We lean on our resilience at every turn.  
 
Our students posted record gains in retention and achievement, including 59 December DDEEA program graduates. Grit is the proven motto for this cohort of scholars who literally went virtual without a stumble, prioritized education and successfully pushed through. They examined democracy through the Leadership in the New Economy (LINE) event, “Badgers in Action,” which focused on voter education. The University of Wisconsin-Madison joined more than 575 other colleges and universities around the country by committing to the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, which mobilized voter registration and turnout efforts at all Big Ten universities. I can’t wait to see how our UW scholars’ intelligence, creative spirits and entrepreneurial skills evolve and transform our future. 
 
In a time when the future feels uncertain, we will continue to support and advocate for our marginalized students, this month focusing on our indigenous community with Native November. We will stand in support and defense of community members when bigotry raises its head. And we assure our youth who have been boldly pointing out through the Black Lives Matter movement that protest is a predictive precursor of change. We have begun to mobilize around a common human reaction – this must change -- and will continue to learn and examine ourselves together.   
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
Graduation, retention rates reach new highs
Data reflects good news in important metrics related to students of color
Campus News and Announcements
UW-Madison Celebrates Native November 2020
 
Each year, Wunk Sheek and campus partners host events across the university to celebrate the rich history, culture, and heritage of Native people at UW–Madison. Read more.
Badger Think Tank with Dr. Maya Cummings

A discussion with Dr. Maya Cummings and alumni helped students understand the “how” and “why” people of color should engage in the political process.  
Read more. 
Outstanding Women of Color Honors in March

The thirteenth cohort of Outstanding Women of Color awardees will be honored at a virtual reception on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.