Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday are all popular international movements following Thanksgiving Day. Yet despite its association with the two “holidays” of consumerism, Giving Tuesday — or #GivingTuesday — offers a day to give back after a long weekend of consumption and sales. Since its conception in 2012, Giving Tuesday donations across the United States have exponentially grown with over $200 million dollars donated in 2018. This year, the University of Utah is capitalizing on #GivingTuesday’s popularity to help raise donations for its organizations and initiatives.
The Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion will be participating in the University of Utah’s Giving Tuesday with the intent of supporting two entities striving to foster equity and inclusion on our campus: the American Indian Resource Center and LGBT Resource Center.
I’ve been able to connect with other Native students and make lasting memories and friendships
The American Indian Resource Center (AIRC) aims to increase American Indian and Alaskan Native student visibility and success on campus by advocating for and providing student-centered programs and tools, cultural events, and a supportive space for students to grow and develop leadership skills. Since its establishment in 1994, students have used the AIRC to gather for events and meetings, prepare and cook food, study for courses, and build a community — garnering its recognition as a second home. “Students would often joke about living at the AIRC because of the numerous bedrooms and showers it has in it,” recalled Alumna Emily Plumage. “Whether it was late night studying, soup on a rainy day, or taking a nap between classes, the AIRC was always open.” With student and community foot traffic over the past 25 years and little opportunity to remodel, the AIRC is participating in this year’s Giving Tuesday in hopes to update some of the Center’s amenities and continue providing lasting memories for students, like Brandon Dennison. “The AIRC has blessed me throughout my college journey and is a resource I’ve been extremely fortunate to connect with. I’ve been able to connect with other Native students and make lasting memories and friendships. The AIRC is a resource I will forever be grateful for.”
No donation is too small to be impactful and all funds directly support students.
The LGBT Resource Center provides support, community building, leadership development, and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) students, as well as educational workshops and cultural events for the entire campus. The Center creates a centrally located, safe space aiming to establish a system of belonging for people with a queer range of (a)gender and (a)sexual experiences, and campaigns like #GivingTuesday reinforces this sentiment. “Donations let students know that they have a community supporting them as LGBTQIA+ people – which is a critical message for students to hear during their time in college,” expressed Dr. Clare Lemke, director of the LGBT Resource Center. “No donation is too small to be impactful and all funds directly support students.”
While most of Giving Tuesday’s acclaim centers on the amount of charitable donations during its 24-hour timeframe, it also stands as an international reminder philanthropic giving — monetary or not. There are multiple volunteering opportunities across our campus that are always accepting applications, and Giving Tuesday is an opportune time to apply! (Register to be a famtor, participate on panels, or volunteer for equitable programming!) Regardless of your capacity to give this Giving Tuesday, take the time to start critical dialogues on how to support initiatives that matter to you and your community within and outside the U. You make a difference.