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Moving Beyond Statements: The Role of the Public University in the Fight for Racial Justice

August 17, 2020

On Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, from 11 – 1 p.m. MST (1 – 3 p.m. Eastern), the Office of Diversity and Inclusion will hold its second Social Justice Teach-In, “Moving Beyond Statements: The Role of the Public University in the Fight for Racial Justice.”

For this event, CU Denver will join forces with Michigan State University and its Women’s Leadership Institute. Featured speakers include Theodosia Cook, chief diversity officer at the University of Colorado, and Brian Johnson, PhD, assistant professor at Michigan State University (MSU). CU Denver student Tessa McLean and MSU student Tasha Young will also participate. 

As two urban public universities, CU Denver and Michigan State University both serve an important function in their respective cities. This Social Justice Teach-In asks the question: What is the role of the public university in the fight for racial justice? 

Given the recent Black Lives Matters protests taking place in many cities across the U.S. and the world, we want to ensure that we create unifying and transformative ways to talk about race and equity on our campus. “Transformative dialogues, such as the teach-in, help us to normalize discussions of the structural dynamics of social, economic, and political disparities,” said Nelia Viveiros, EdD, interim vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion.

After the Social Justice Teach-In speakers, break-out groups are scheduled based on self-identified races: Black, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Arab-Identified, People of Color, Latinx, Indigenous, Multiracial, White, and Other. Each break-out group has at least one facilitator from CU Denver or MSU.