We hope you can join us at our next Friday Forum on February 26!
When we launched the Friday Forum series, we had two questions in mind: 1. How do we as a community make anti-racism an everyday action? 2. How do we begin healing from our nation’s legacy of anti-black racism and systemic inequities that live deep in our communities? Over the summer, a cross-divisional campus team began exploring the second question at the AAC&U Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Institute. We returned to the first question in our first Friday Forum focused on confronting racism in the institutional hierarchies of higher education. We will continue to uproot racism and plant seeds of anti-racism to grow 2021. In this month’s Friday Forum, we turn our attention to the various practices and initiatives that foster racial healing in our communities, grapple with the tensions and harm of institutional practices, and set a vision for eradicating racism.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is taking a stand against racism and bringing the University of Utah to the forefront of the conversation through the launch of the Friday Forum series on Racism in Higher Education. Each month we will lead national conversations with the goal of helping attendees start on a journey to eradicate racism and share best practices for sustained growth and action.
Said Ibrahim, MD, MPH, MBA is senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion at Weill Cornell Medicine and leads the Office of Diversity and Inclusion by informing and influencing all major leadership decisions alongside clinical, research and education leadership colleagues. Additionally, he is a Professor of Population Health Sciences and the chief of the Division of Healthcare Delivery Science and Innovation in the Department of Population Health Sciences at Weill Cornell Medicine. As a clinician-investigator, he leads a well-established research program on racial disparities in the utilization of joint replacement for the management of end-stage osteoarthritis (OA). His work on understanding and intervening on racial disparities in the access and utilization of joint replacement offers a national model for advancing health disparities research from first-generation studies detecting disparities in care, to second-generation studies exploring the reasons for these disparities, to the first-ever third-generation intervention trials aimed at reducing these disparities.
As the inaugural Chief Safety Officer, Marlon Lynch is responsible for the oversight and coordination of all campus safety initiatives, as well as supervising the university’s public safety divisions. Prior to joining the U in February 2020 as the inaugural Chief Safety Officer, Marlon served as Senior Vice President of Campus Services and Safety at New York University. Previously, he was the associate vice president for Safety and Security and Civic Affairs at the University of Chicago and has served as chief of police at three universities. He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in criminal justice administration from Boston University, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy 216th Session and the Northwestern University School of Police Staff & Command
Dr. Kaiwipunikauikawēkiu Punihei Lipe is a Native Hawaiian mother, daughter, wife, hula dancer, and educator. In 2017 she was hired into the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) Chancellor’s Office as the inaugural Native Hawaiian Affairs Program Officer where she implements findings from her award-winning research to advance UHM’s goal of becoming a Native Hawaiian place of learning. She is also the director of UHM’s Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Campus Center as well as an Obama Leader with the Obama Foundation’s Asia-Pacific Leaders Program. She holds a BA in Hawaiian Studies, an MS in Counseling Psychology, and a PhD in Education Administration.
Dr. Tia Brown McNair is the Vice President in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success and Executive Director for the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in Washington, DC. She oversees both funded projects and AAC&U’s continuing programs on equity, inclusive excellence, high-impact practices, and student success. McNair directs AAC&U’s Summer Institutes on High-Impact Practices and Student Success, and TRHT Campus Centers and serves as the project director for several AAC&U initiatives. She is the lead author of From Equity Talk to Equity Walk: Expanding Practitioner Knowledge for Racial Justice in Higher Education(January 2020) and Becoming a Student-Ready College: A New Culture of Leadership for Student Success (July 2016). In March 2020, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education named McNair one of thirty-five outstanding women who have tackled some of higher education’s toughest challenges and made a positive difference in their communities.
Dr. Michael J. Sorrell is the longest-serving President in the 148-year history of Paul Quinn College. During his 13 years of leadership, Paul Quinn has become a national movement for its efforts to remake all of higher education to become more responsive to student and societal needs.
Included among Paul Quinn’s numerous accomplishments during President Sorrell’s tenure are the following: winning the HBCU of the Year, HBCU Student Government Association of the Year, and HBCU Business Program of the Year awards; achieving recognition as a member of the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll; creating the New Urban College Model; demolishing 15 abandoned campus buildings; partnering with PepsiCo to transform the football field into the WE over Me Farm; achieving full-accreditation from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS); creating the College’s first faculty-led study abroad program; and rewriting all institutional fundraising records.
Michael received his J.D. and M.A. in Public Policy from Duke University and his Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania (where his dissertation defense was awarded “with Distinction”). While in law school, he was one of the founding members of the Journal of Gender Law & Policy and served as the Vice President of the Duke Bar Association. Michael was a recipient of a Sloan Foundation Graduate Fellowship, which funded his studies at both Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government (as a graduate fellow) and Duke University. He graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in Government, served as Secretary-Treasurer of his senior class, was a two-time captain of the men’s varsity basketball team, and graduated as the school’s fifth all-time leading scorer.
President Sorrell is one of the most decorated college presidents in America. Recently, President George W. Bush and the George W. Bush Presidential Center awarded him the Bush Institute Trailblazer Citation. He has been named one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine; is the only three-time recipient of the HBCU Male President of the Year Award (2018, 2016 and 2012); won Higher Education’s President of the Year award as named by Education Dive; and Time Magazine listed him as one of the “31 People Changing the South.” Washington Monthly Magazine identified him as one of America’s 10 Most Innovative College Presidents and Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. and PUSH/Excel honored him with its Education Leadership Award. These are just a few of the many awards and accolades that President Sorrell has received.
Gabriella Blanchard is the University of Utah’s Office for Inclusive Excellence Assistant Director. She is a U of U alum who has a passion for social justice and getting away with whatever she can.
Jennifer Frahm holds BA and MA degrees from Yale and a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution from the University of Utah. She has worked as an English instructor, strategic planning coordinator, and grant writer. She is a court-qualified mediator.
Shelby Hearn (they/them or she/her pronouns) is the Coordinator of Education & Outreach for the LGBT Resource Center at the U. Their work primarily focuses on educating the University community to be inclusive and knowledgeable of LGBTQIA+ people and cultures, and on working directly with students as a mentor and educator towards their personal, academic, and professional development. Before coming to the University of Utah, Shelby lived in Chicago where she earned her M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Loyola University Chicago. Their professional interests include blending student development theories into a holistic practice, advocating for and supporting underserved student populations, and fostering inclusive and radically welcoming campus environments through community building and education.
Jessica Hernandez (she/her) is a 2nd-year graduate student working towards a Master’s of Educational Leadership and policy. She is from a small, rural California town and earned a B.A. in Human Development and Family Studies from California State University, Monterey Bay. She is passionate about social justice and radical equity in higher education. In Jessica’s free time she enjoys reading, discovering new music, and singing like no one is around.
Eric Herschthal is a historian of slavery and teaches in the history department of the University of Utah. His new book, The Science of Abolition, will be published by Yale University Press this spring, and he has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, and elsewhere
Patricia Hoopes has over ten years of experience in advertising and marketing. She began her work in an advertising agency and was Vice-President Communications for the Junior League of Salt Lake City. In 2019, she graduated from the University with a master’s in legal studies, and in 2020 she graduated from USC with a master’s in communication management. She has also completed mediation training.
After her time at JLSLC, Tricia has privately consulted on legal cases, nonprofit business communications, online e-commerce, and blogs. She has a passion for communications and focuses primarily on integrated communications strategy, global marketing communications, strategic corporate communications, and mediation.
Emma E. Houston brings significant experience in working with teams to create inclusive spaces and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion to create a positive impact across the community. She is a longtime community advocate and volunteer who serves on several boards and commissions.
Diana Kelly has a degree in Psychology and graduate certificate in Conflict and Dispute Resolution. Diana’s team strives for diversity and inclusion within the Goldman Sachs workforce to take the next steps in working towards equality
Dr. Clare Lemke (she, her, hers) is the Director of the LGBT Resource Center. Clare came to the University of Utah in 2019 from Iowa State University, where she served as the Assistant Director of the Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success. Clare has a PhD in American Culture Studies from Bowling Green State University, where her research focused on the history of sexuality, LGBTQ social movements, U.S.-based feminist movements, and queer femininities. She is committed to fostering a university community that celebrates queer and trans histories, cultures, and lives.
Trinh Mai is a clinical social worker (LCSW) and a mindfulness educator for the Office of Wellness & Integrative Health and the Resiliency Center. She is passionate about promoting the health and wellbeing of marginalized communities, people in general, and our planet. Trinh holds a weekly support space for BIPOC communities at the U; she also facilitates Self-Compassion for BIPOC and anti-racism workshops. Prior to joining UU Health in August 2019, Trinh served as faculty in the College of Social Work; her teaching, service and research focused on diversity and social justice, global social work and university and community partnerships.
Laís Martinez is a first-generation Salvadoran and Dominican Latina. Laís is passionate about advocating on behalf of educational equity and opportunity for underserved students and communities. She is a proud east coast Latina whose body of work includes using hip-hop and spoken word to create culturally responsive college and career presentations for LIA, POP, Gear UP and AVID classrooms. She has a BS in Sociology from Utah Valley University, and a M.Ed. in Education, Culture & Society from the University of Utah.
In 2020, she was hired as the first State Director of Equity and Advocacy for the Utah System of Higher Education. With her leadership, the Utah Board of Higher Education passed their first Equity Resolution, which operationalizes the use of an equity lens framework for educational stakeholders and decision-makers.
As a facilitator and certified mediator, Curtis Thomas helps families and businesses with conflict. According to him, “What is being argued about is far less important than how it is being argued about.”
Ana Tayeb is a native Floridian and an Arab American. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida in psychology and a master’s degree from the University of Georgia in industrial/ organizational psychology. Ana has worked at Hillsborough Community College (HCC) for seven years, beginning as a writing tutor while in undergrad. She is now the Enrollment Development Coordinator and an adjunct psychology professor at HCC. Prior to her role as coordinator, she worked in the Office for Services of Students with Disabilities (OSSD) at HCC. She is a recent fellowship graduate from the New Leadership Academy at the University of Michigan.
Jean Whitlock, LCSW, works at the Resiliency Center to support healthcare professionals through advocacy, programs, and collaboration. She is primarily interested in how workplace stress, including racism, impacts the wellbeing of healthcare professionals and staff.
After the general session (1 – 2 p.m.), attendees will have the opportunity to join one of the following breakout sessions (2 – 3 p.m.) to discuss how to move forward.
Grant Writer & Youth Program Manager, Utah Dispute Resolution
What does racism have to do with what we listen to, read, and watch? In this session, we will explore how we engage–or don’t engage–with narratives about race. We will ask how our choices may serve to prolong or promote the healing of wounds caused by racism, both personal and public.
Assistant Director, Office for Inclusive Excellence
Microaggressions occur daily on college campuses. In this interactive workshop, we discuss what microaggressions are, examine their impact, and engage in strategic practices of challenging such discourses.
State Director of Equity and Advocacy, Utah System of Higher Education
In 2020, the nation and world grappled with the realities of systemic racism as the senseless death of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police and countless others were caught on video. The protests across the world, organized and led largely by people of color, sparked a need for renewed commitment from systems and institutions alike denouncing systemic racism and embarking on an anti-racist journey towards equity and healing. This breakout session will provide an overview of the racial equity, diversity and inclusion efforts of the newly-formed Utah Board of Higher Education. It will also center the collaborative work of the System office with institutional Chief Diversity Officers whose largely Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) voices, leadership efforts, strategic insight, theoretical understanding are at the heart of Board and System equity efforts.
Emma E. Houston
Special Assistant – Engagement & Program Development; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Business Leadership Consultant, Curtis Thomas Intl.
Recruiting Coordinator, Goldman Sachs
Racial healing is a vital and crucial commitment to the education, social, mental and overall well-being of us all. As a University community, we urge everyone to “do the work” by engaging in potentially difficult conversations around racial healing and transformation in ways that encourages us to individually and collectively work together to ensure the best quality of life for everyone. Join us for the upcoming Friday Forum as we discuss racial healing as we invite a panel of experts who have learned techniques to engage us in understanding and applying methods that will equip us to better manage conflict around disagreements.
Jean Whitlock, LCSW
Social Worker, Resiliency Center
This session will help each participant center persons most impacted by racism. Witnessing it can thrust us into a reactive state. Calling on compassion enables a response of integrity and accountability to better support each other through painful moments. This conversation will include tools that can be used daily by BIPOC and allies navigating interpersonal and individual activism.
Assistant Professor of History, University of Utah
Participants will have a conservation that explores why the New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize winning magazine issue The 1619 Project has inspired so much controversy; they will also discuss whether the project helps us better understand slavery’s importance to America today. Participants will be required to read short selections from the magazine issue, as well as selected critiques.
Trinh Mai, LCSW
Mindfulness Teacher & Social Worker, Resiliency Center
Microaggressions are often referred to as death by a thousand wounds. These wounds are often minimized or ignored by others and ourselves. We may react from internalized critical and racist messages, thinking we’re overly sensitive, blaming ourselves, or losing sleep over the perfect response and its potential consequences. Workshops on microaggressions are often not focused on caring for and healing from microaggressions, even though research shows their significant impact on different dimensions of wellbeing.
In this session, we will shine the spotlight on the impact of microaggressions, common reactions to experiencing them, and small acts of self-compassion that can promote healing and growth
Shelby Hearn, M. Ed.
Coordinator of Education and Outreach, LGBT Resource Center
Graduate Assistant, LGBT Resource Center
Clare Lemke, PhD
Director, LGBT Resource Center
Higher education institutions regularly fail queer and trans students of color by centering whiteness in programming and services and creating heteronormative and cisnormative systemic barriers. A social justice approach would instead ask us to prioritize the needs and experiences of students with multiple minoritized identities in programmatic development and service delivery. This “trickle up” approach (Spade 2015; Stewart and Nicolazzo 2018) creates a more inclusive learning environment in which more students can thrive. This interactive sessions ask participants to think about an area under their influence and how that program, group, or service could better serve LGBTQIA+ students of color. Participants and facilitators will talk through potential opportunities and challenges in their daily work.
Enrollment Development Coordinator, Hillsborough Community College
Panelists will address how their organizations approach racial healing. What are microaggressions in the workplace? How do you address microaggression when the aggressor uses the DARVO manipulation strategy?