I pray that your start of the semester has gone well and you are adjusting to the rhythm of the time. It’s been a busy time in the office of EDI but it has been spent working towards things that I believe will make a difference on our campus.
We are beginning our time of celebrating Black History Month on our campus. See below for all of the great events that are happening that you can participate in. We have a lot to cover in this email so buckle up!
- Celebrate MLK Week 2022 was a great success. Thank you to everyone who attended events, sent emails, joined us for dinner in Baker or the community conversation at Juniata Brewing Company or volunteered during the day of service. Your participation truly made these events special.
- MLK Day of Service was a great day of connection to our local community. We had over 80 volunteers spend time working with about 10 community partners. Special thanks to Sarah Worley and her staff in the Center for Community Engaged Learning for their leadership and organization of this event.
- Members of SLT are continuing their work with Cultural Intelligence. They have accountability partners with whom they are spending time working through their results and action plans.
- Black History Month Events: The Office of EDI in collaboration with Student Government, PLEXUS and SAUR will
offer several events related to Black History Month. They are:
- February 4 @ 7 pm – Showing of the movie Drumline in A100
- February 6 @ 3 pm – Juniata-ish : A glimpse into the lives of students at a PWI through parallels with the characters in the show Grown-ish. Co-sponsored by Student Government
- February 13 @ 5 pm – Love & Football – A mash-up of Valentine’s Day and Super Bowl Sunday hosted by PLEXUS and SAUR. Come to Baker for Super Bowl party food then head up to Ellis Ballroom to watch the Cincinnati Bengals take on the Los Angeles Rams in the big game.
- February 20 @ 10:45 am – Black History Month Worship Service at Mount Union Bethel AME Church. Meet at Unity House at 10:45 to head to Mount Union to join in service with Bethel AME Church for their Black History Month Service. Lunch will be available after church for student who RSVP to attend at email@example.com.
- February 24 @ 6 pm – Spoken Word Coffee House in Ellis Ballroom. Bring your creativity and share your poetry at this spoken word event!
- February 27 @ 7 pm – Showing of the movie Love and Basketball in Ellis Ballroom. Co-sponsored by Student Government
- Celebrate EDI Week: We as a campus will celebrate all that is Equity, Diversity and Inclusion on our
campus March 27 – April 1st. We are asking that you consider how your area of campus
can participate in providing programming for this special week. This is going to be
a fantastic week with a scholar-in-residence helping to anchor the work we do together.
- If you would like to participate in the Gospel Choir that will be put together for this week, register here - https://forms.gle/HdCFTEhRhm889xbLA
- If you would like to serve as a volunteer to help with many events on campus that week, email firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest.
- CALLING ALL ARTISTIC TYPES: We need you for this week in various ways. We are hoping to create an artist community to help express the outcomes of this week through various artistic means – poetry, visual art, graphic art, music, theatre, photography and other means. Let us know if you are interested in participating.
Which one are you?
I will leave you with a few words from my keynote address for MLK Week. (You can see the entire address here: "Through the Lens of a Letter from a Birmingham Jail" | MLK Keynote Address - YouTube)
“Where we miss the mark in this work can be seen in the example of the clergymen writing to the Birmingham newspaper. We often believe that we are well intentioned when calling out what we see as wrong from a perspective of pointing the finger. It often resides in a place of bringing attention to a small group without thinking about what it truly means for us as a collective. It feels impressive to identify the problems but not do the work to identify the root cause. I have used this analogy many times since I’ve arrived. I arrived on a campus where people were hemorrhaging. I had to find the balance between being the emergency room doctor to address the immediate triage needs and spending time as the internist or diagnostician who wants to take time to research and investigate the root cause. In the true work of EDI, it is imperative that both exist. However, it takes an army of people to do it.
I ask that we consider if we are a part of the ER team, the diagnostic team or are we sitting in the parking lot identifying that there are so many people in the hospital with a bit of disdain. Have we decided to roll up our sleeves and pitch in? I’m sure you are asking well how do I do that, I am so glad you asked. You can become an advocate for EDI not only at Juniata but also in your local communities. Consider your personal strengths and see how they can personally advance the mission of equity or diversity or inclusion. Be comfortable speaking out as a group advocate to address change needed. Join EDI council, serve as an advisor and/or supporter for a cultural affinity student organization, plan conversations, presentations around topics of equity, diversity or inclusion. Take students, friends or colleagues with you to opportunities for engaged dialogue around difficult topics. It requires being brave, bold but also collaborative and supportive.
We may not always get it right but we will definitely get it wrong if we don’t try.”
Dr. Crystal Sellers Battle
Dean of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion