2017 Fall Semester
Volume 2: Issue 1 
#TalkMatters: New Initiative to Focus on Critical Dialogues
The Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) is pleased to announce #TalkMatters, an initiative to bring the UAB community together to address issues of inclusion, diversity, equality, and awareness through an education lens. #TalkMatters aims to facilitate open, and honest discussion about social justice and fairness and introduce knowledge and skills that strengthen the capacity of our campus community to drive structural inclusion for all groups. 

Each month, ODEI will facilitate discussions around challenging topics like bias, microaggressions, predispositions and blind spots. Our hope is that participants gain a deeper understanding of differences and a greater respect for diversity as a strength and value added as we strive to build a more inclusive and welcoming community.
To launch the initiative, ODEI has developed a #TalkMatters web site. If you are interested in registering to join a discussion group, you may do so at http://www.uab.edu/dei/talkmatters. #TalkMatters will kick off with background reading from Danielle Allen’s Talking to Strangers. Allen's book is available in ODEI's library for participants to check out. Please contact Holly Holliday-Jones regarding the book check out process. Holly can be contacted at hhj@uab.edu or (205) 934-8762.

To register to attend a #TalkMatters session, go to http://www.uab.edu/dei/talkmatters to join the conversation.

Please select one session time to attend:
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 11:15 AM
Friday, October 20, 2017 2:30 PM

To request accessibility accommodations for the event please contact:
Students: Disability Support Services at 934-4205 or dss@uab.edu
Faculty/Staff: AWARE Program at 975-9973 or srmoult@uab.edu

"Don't talk to strangers" is the advice long given to children by parents of all classes and races. Today it has blossomed into a fundamental precept of civic education, reflecting interracial distrust, personal and political alienation, and a profound suspicion of others. In this powerful and eloquent essay, Danielle Allen, a 2002 MacArthur Fellow, takes this maxim back to Little Rock, rooting out the seeds of distrust to replace them with "a citizenship of political friendship." —Nick Bromell,  Boston Review 
Meet the Chair of the Campus & Community Engagement Advisory Board 
Dr. Stephanie Yates has been recently elected to serve as chair of the newly developed Campus & Community Engagement (CACE) Advisory Board. Dr. Yates currently serves as Associate Professor of Finance, Director and Endowed Professor of the Regions Institute for Financial Education in the Collat School of Business. In 2016 she received the UAB President’s Award for Diversity and in 2017 she was awarded the A.G. Gaston Community Service Award.

The mission of the CACE Advisory Board is to use partnerships to leverage the university's mission and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as a resource to foster academic discourse that leads to enhanced campus access and community engagement, particularly for historically underrepresented and marginalized communities.
Keystone Fellows Announced
Campus and Community Engagement, a unit of the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, formally launched the Keystone Fellowship program for second year and above doctoral students. The goal of the fellowship is to identify and cultivate the next generation of engaged scholars whose graduate program and career interests align with researching and solving problems directly related to diversity, equity and inclusion with implications to higher education and/or our surrounding local and national communities. Specifically, the program seeks out students who have a demonstrated interest in developing and implementing innovative and sustainable approaches to address complex social needs affecting historically underserved and marginalized communities. In addition to receiving education support to continue their scholarship, each fellow must use their research to implement a serviceable program within the community. Among the pool of highly qualified applicants, we extended offers to three students who demonstrated an ongoing commitment to scholarship and service as well as the mission and vision of our office. Congratulations to our first cohort of Keystone Fellows: Ghislaine Atkins, Roman Johnson, and Jessica Valles.
Ghislaine Celine Atkins, who goes by her middle name, Celine, hails from sunny South Florida. She is currently a second-year doctoral trainee in the Lifespan Developmental Psychology Program. She holds a Master’s in Social Psychology from San Francisco State University and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Central Florida (where she also minored in African-American Studies). Celine’s research interests are HIV-related stigma, intersectional stigma (e.g. marginalization by one’s race and one’s sexual orientation), structural and psychosocial barriers to HIV medication adherence, and social support. After graduation, Celine plans to pursue a post-doctoral position to continue her work on intersectional stigma, HIV-related stigma, and social support that will eventually lead to an academic tenure track position in psychology at a competitive research institution. Celine believes it is of the utmost importance to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in academia. And she believes that it is so important that young scholars see people who look like them doing extraordinary work in their fields of choice so they can, in turn, inspire the next generation to greatness.
Roman Johnson is a Memphis native and a second-year doctoral student in the medical sociology program at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a scholar-activist who has interests in the racialization of immigrants, mental health, and inequity. He is passionate about queerness, disability, and difference. As a Keystone Fellow, he is excited to engage the greater community of Birmingham and challenge the campus of UAB to consider restorative justice and healing through service.
Jessica Valles is a third-year Ph.D. student in Medical Sociology. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of North Florida in 2014. After graduating, she spent a year working for the Alzheimer’s Association Central and North Florida Chapter where she worked in public policy, communications, and patient advocacy. While her areas of interest vary, her main areas of focus include mental health, aging, and immigrant health. She is also active in her research with Dr. Patricia Drentea from the Department of Sociology, and Dr. Heith Copes from the Department of Criminal Justice, investigating the effects of stigma and the role of dental health as part of the recovery process for former drug users. Valles is also involved in research with the Innovate Birmingham, a program aimed at offering new paths for educational opportunities for the city of Birmingham’s under- and unemployed youth. Valles is passionate about teaching and aspires to become a professor of sociology in order to educate, and communicate with students. She also hopes to take an applied approach in her future work, engaging in program development in creating opportunities for accessible and affordable older adult care.
    Need Diversity Education?
Curious to know about what's going on around Birmingham? Click below for a list of events.
Date: September 12, 2017 
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Location: Hill Student Center
1400 University Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35294
Date: September 19, 2017 
Time: 11:00am – 2:00pm
Location: Hill Student Center
Ballroom B & C
1400 University Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35294
Dr. Erin Borry, Assistant Professor, MPA program, Department of Government

Dr. Jacquelyn Shaia, Assistant Professor, Director, Public Relations, Department of Communication Studies

Dr. Tina Kempin Reuter, Associate Professor, Director of Institute for Human Rights, Department of Anthropology

Mr. Charles Woods, III Outreach Coordinator, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Date: September 20, 2017 
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Location: UAB Heritage Hall
1401 University Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35294
Date: October 3, 2017
Time: 6:00pm
Location: UAB Campus Recreation Center
Court 1
1513 University Blvd,
Birmingham, Alabama 35223
6th Annual Conference

" Seize the Day-Change the Future: The Power of Equity, Inclusion, and Community."

November 9-10, 2017

Location: The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)
Learn more at http://www.alahedo.org.

Below are two open sessions. Please register for a session at www.uab.edu/dei .

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
   Text, Talk, Revive Civility
Founded at the University of Arizona in 2011, the  National Institute for Civil Discourse  is a nonpartisan center for debate, research, education and policy about civility in public discourse. The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has partnered with the National Institute for Civil Discourse to establish an institute to promote dialogue and civility. Text, Talk, Revive Civility is an opportunity for the UAB Community to continue to encourage civil dialogues that can be tricky, especially when we disagree. But nonetheless, incivility in our public discourse has reached crisis levels and it is having a real negative impact on the strength of our democracy and unity within our communities. Here’s something you can do about it: start a conversation with a few friends and come up with some steps you can take together or individually.  

How it Works: Gather a few friends, pull out your cell phone, and text CIVILITY to 89800 (try it now!). Your group will receive a series of text messages to guide you through a one-hour conversation on civility: what it is, what it looks like in conversations, what it means to the people in your group, and how you can help revive civility in our politics and everyday lives.