Fall 2019



Introduction On behalf of the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (OVPDEMA) it is my pleasure to introduce you to Diversity and Inclusion News at Indiana University, a bi-monthly e-newsletter devoted to sharing programs, news, events, and more across IU’s campuses.

Each issue will provide you with insights into our work at OVPDEMA. In addition we will highlight university-wide diversity and inclusion initiatives; share exciting work taking place on IU’s seven campuses and two regional centers; feature amazing accomplishments of our students, faculty, and staff; and lastly provide you with opportunities to get involved throughout the year. I invite you to share your feedback or engage in conversation. Please visit diversity.iu.edu to learn more, add subscribers, or submit a comment.

OVPDEMA Distinguished Inclusive Excellence Award

The OVPDEMA Distinguished Inclusive Excellence Award recognizes individuals who actively promote diversity and inclusive excellence, dedicating themselves to making Indiana University a diverse, multicultural academic community that serves as a model for higher education, the state of Indiana, and society at large. In September, David Hummons, former director of Community and Student Engagement, was honored with the award. “David’s impact on both Indiana University and the surrounding community during his 48-year tenure makes him more than deserving of this honor,” said James Wimbush, IU vice president for diversity, equity, and multicultural affairs; dean of The University Graduate School; and Johnson Chair for Diversity and Leadership. “David embodies the essence of this award, as he has made a lasting difference for students of all backgrounds, the campus as a whole, and members of the surrounding community throughout his remarkable career.” It is the fourth time OVPDEMA has presented the award, given to recipients who truly distinguish themselves in service of diversity and inclusion.

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Black Philanthropy Circle

In 2018, 23 passionate alumni and friends of Indiana University launched the Black Philanthropy Circle, a giving circle that supports academic resources, creates scholarships, and funds initiatives to improve access to education and erase barriers to degree attainment for members of the black community. In the months following its launch, the Black Philanthropy Circle -- which works in partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs -- raised nearly $400,000 to support its mission.

In February 2019, the Indiana University Black Philanthropy Circle announced a $150,000 gift to the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy, within the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI. Allocated over three years, the gift will further the strong relationship between the Mays Family Institute and the Black Philanthropy Circle in understanding, supporting, and advocating for philanthropic giving in historically underserved communities. We invite you to join the Indiana University Black Philanthropy Circle as a collaborator, catalyst, and partner. Email us at joycroge@indiana.edu for more information.

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Community Connections

OVPDEMA places great importance on the ability to engage in outreach, both locally and nationally. We believe in empowering our IU and community partners to connect and support one another in meaningful dialogue and inclusive partnerships for positive and transformative outcomes. Community Connections is your source for educational information, resources, and activities—for all ages—designed to help you engage with your IU community around the state throughout the year. In this edition, we invite you to learn about Communication & School Partnerships transformative college readiness activities and how you can connect with your IU community this fall.

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Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center’s 50th Anniversary

The 2019-2020 academic year symbolizes the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center (NMBCC) at Indiana University Bloomington. Our 50th anniversary theme: "Power, Progress, and Promise", represents the commitment of the Center to serve as a home for Black students and a resource for Black people in the broader community.

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LGBTQ+ Culture Center’s 25th Anniversary Celebration

Join us on November 16 and 17, 2019. Indiana University’s LGBTQ+ Culture Center will be celebrating in grand fashion with food and festivities, a dance party, a presentation by nationally-renowned LGBTQ+ activist Shane Windmeyer, and a retirement party for the outgoing director of the LGBTQ+ Culture Center, Doug Bauder.

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Potpourri of the Arts with special host MC: Bootsy Collins!

Don’t miss out on IU's African American Arts Institute presents the Potpourri of the Arts on Saturday, November 9, 2019, 7:30 p.m. at IU Auditorium featuring performances by the African American Dance Company, African American Choral Ensemble, and IU Soul Revue with special host MC Bootsy Collins! The funk pioneer, legendary bassist, and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Bootsy Collins, will MC this exhilarating celebration of African American performance.

The audience will be on their feet for three unique performances. The African American Dance Company will share a broad range of movement and dance traditions from America and the African Diaspora, including African, contemporary, hip-hop, jazz, and other cultural forms directed by Stafford C. Berry Jr. Then, hear the best of African American spirituals, gospel, and formally-composed works with the African American Choral Ensemble, directed by Raymond Wise. To complete the line-up, IU Soul Revue will perform dynamic Black popular music, including R&B, soul, funk, and contemporary music styles, directed by James Strong.

To top off the evening, all three ensembles will grace the stage together in a collaborative finale piece. Don’t miss this incredible and celebratory event.

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University News

Diversity Recognition

The 2019 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Awardees have been announced! The IU Bloomington and IUPUI campuses received the award, as they have a number of times before. It's the only national award honoring U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion through their innovative programs and outreach; hiring practices for faculty and staff; and student recruitment, retention, and completion. “Earning the prestigious HEED Award has enhanced Indiana University’s multifaceted efforts to establish a truly diverse and inclusive campus community. It has positively impacted work across all levels of the university – from recruiting and retaining students to ensuring timely graduation, increasing faculty diversity and improving access for traditionally underserved students,” said Michael A. McRobbie, President, Indiana University. In addition, for the third year, IU Bloomington has also been named a Diversity Champion, Insight Into Diversity's highest distinction.

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IU hosting 21st Century Scholars Day at Annual Indiana Latino Expo

Indiana University is again a proud sponsor of the Indiana Latino Expo, an experience that provides students throughout the Hoosier state with valuable information about higher education and community services IU will participate in the eighth annual event by hosting 21st Century Scholars Day on Friday, Oct. 11 and Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

IU's 21st Century Scholars Day programming, which will take place at the Elements Financial Blue Ribbon Pavilion, offers eligible, in-state residents the opportunity to learn more about, sign up for or confirm their status for Indiana's four-year, full-tuition scholarship. All qualified high school students will be able to complete their ninth- through 12th-grade student success requirements for the 21st Century Scholars Program at the IU booth. In addition, all 12th-grade attendees will have the opportunity to have their application fee waived.

The Indiana Latino Expo is free of charge for visitors and offers platforms to improve the quality of life for Indiana's Latino community, including economic development, cultural advancement, and educational opportunities.

Representatives from each of IU's campuses will be available at the event to discuss academics and student life.

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Campus Highlight

Kokomo Experience and You

Students at Indiana University are part of a campus invested in their success. The goal is simple: help every student stay connected, on track, goal oriented, informed, and motivated.

At IU Kokomo students reap the benefits of out-of-classroom experiences—the kind of field learning that presents the real world up close and personal. The experiences also are ones that impress employers.

The KEY (“Kokomo Experience and You”) is a four-year program of experiential education. Depending on a student’s major, he or she might design a social media campaign for a community agency, help children in Guatemala, study fossils at the Field Museum in Chicago, present research at a national conference, pick up career advice from professionals in Chicago, or become immersed in art or writing on a retreat away from campus. In short, the world becomes a second classroom.

Mark Canada, executive vice chancellor of academic affairs, recently took a trip with several students and faculty to Yellowstone National Park in as part of a KEY experience. He describes the experience for students and adults alike as “life-changing.”

“The experience is both immersive and interdisciplinary—exactly the kind that provides all students with opportunities to engage in high-impact practices and transformative learning,” Canada says. “It includes not only trips such as this one, but also retreats, internships, undergraduate research, and service-learning opportunities.”

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Student Feature

Stay the Course

The path to college for 30-year-old Praniece Nicholson has been filled with challenges. A first-generation student, Nicholson battled chronic pain her entire life. In 2013, that pain forced her to withdraw from college in New York. Unwilling to give up on her dream of becoming a psychologist, Nicholson forged on. With grit, determination, and faith in herself, she willed herself forward. In 2017, she began classes at Indiana University Northwest.

Shortly before registration, Nicholson lost two of her biggest cheerleaders with the death of her grandmother and stepfather. She credits the support and mentorships she received through IU Northwest as helping to fill the void and motivating her to keep going.

Nicholson has been on the Chancellor’s List every semester at IU Northwest, graduating with a 4.0 cumulative GPA. She also has been inducted into Psi Chi, the National Honor Society for the field of psychology, and will soon be inducted into the Sigma Delta PI, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society.

As a first-generation student, Nicholson knows firsthand the challenges of trying to navigate college life on your own. Wanting to give back, Nicholson worked in Student Support Services as a mentor. She also became president of the Gen 1 Club, an organization designed specifically to help first-generation students with their college experience.

Nicholson graduated this May. She plans to enroll in IU Northwest’s Nonprofit Management certificate program. After that, she hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in child and adolescent or clinical community psychology. Regardless of which path she ultimately chooses, Nicholson is ready.

“I have gained friends for a lifetime and mentors,” she notes. “These experiences equipped me with the tools and knowledge I need for the next phase of my journey.”


National Heritage Month Celebrations

Join Indiana University as we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 – Oct. 15 and Native American Heritage Month, Nov. 1 – 30 with a series of events, films and discussions that highlight the histories and cultural accomplishments on our campuses.


  • Month Long Endia Beal: Am I What You’re Looking For? I 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Saturday I IUPUI, The Galleries at Herron, Eskenazi Hall, Basile Gallery
  • 10th National Coming Out Day Panel I 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. I IU Kokomo, KC130 I Lunch provided
  • 17thOne Book, One Campus, One Community series: Hanif Adburraquib, author of They Can’t Kill us Until They Kill Us I 1-3 p.m. I IU Northwest, Bergland Auditorium
  • 30th Día de los Muertos (Day of Dead Program) I 7:00 p.m. I IU Bloomington, La Casa (715 E. 7th Street) and surrounding culture centers


  • 1st A Raisin in the Sun in the Arts on Broadway Mainstage I 7:30 p.m. I IU Northwest, MainStage Theatre, Arts & Sciences I Purchase Tickets Here
  • 4th Diversity Brown Bag Lunch (Native American Heritage Month) – Michael Jacobs I Noon – 2:00 p.m. I IU Southeast, Grenadier Central, Campus Life
  • 6th Anthony Jett Belonging Speaker Series I Noon – 1:30 p.m. I IU South Bend, Fireside A
  • 23rd LGBTQS+ Alliance Meeting I 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. I IU East Whitewater Hall