AUSTIN, Texas—The Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement will host a series of special events Sept. 17 through Oct. 19 to celebrate the expansion and reorganization of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) at The University of Texas at Austin.
During the five-week period, various DDCE departments and organizations will host open houses, lectures and more to inform the university community and the public of the division’s broad range of services that will create a more diverse and robust learning and work environment at the university.
President William Powers Jr., upon taking office, made diversity one of his four strategic initiatives, highlighting its importance to the university and beyond. He emphasized that the university, its student body, faculty and staff, must reflect an array of ethnicities, cultures, socio-economic backgrounds and political viewpoints.
"That’s the beauty of a big research university," Powers said. "It brings together many, many voices. It makes our university stronger. You don’t want a campus that’s homogeneous."
Powers reorganized and expanded the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement in early 2007 to closely align the university’s structure and budgets with one of its top priorities.
The new division, headed by Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, assumed various responsibilities to help make the campus a more inviting, inclusive environment for members of the university community and for visitors. At many colleges and universities, diversity efforts are housed within small units, whereas the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement encompasses components that already existed at the university as well as ones that are new.
"The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement is a successful model for integrating diversity into the core mission of a university and integrating community engagement into teaching, research and service," Vincent said. "The successful model combines both the strategic and operational responsibility for diversity and community engagement under one umbrella."
The university’s diversity efforts initially employed six people. Now, the division comprises almost 200 employees and includes 10 departments, several institutes, academic and research centers and numerous initiatives and projects.
"We are excited about this opportunity to share information about our division’s people, resources, services and initiatives," said Dr. Vincent, who will host a roundtable session as part of the special events. "We want people to know what we’re doing about inclusion on campus and how we’re also linking university resources to meet the needs of communities in Texas."
All events are free and open to the public, unless noted.
Tuesday, Sept. 18
Noon – 1:30 p.m., Location: Texas Union Santa Rita Room
Dr. Michael Olivas discusses his book "Colored Men and Hombres Aqui: Hernandez v. Texas and The Emergence of Mexican American Lawyering."
Book signing and reception
6 to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River St.
Wednesday, Sept. 19
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Location: Main Building, Room 12
Open House: Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement
Please join us for refreshments and activities to celebrate the official introduction of our division.
Wednesday, Sept. 26
Noon to 1 p.m., Location: 1701 Manor Road
Open House: University Interscholastic League (UIL)
The UIL will open their doors for visitors to learn about their history and services; refreshments will be served.
Monday, Oct. 1
Noon to 1:15 p.m., Location: Main Building, Room 212
Roundtable with Dr. Gregory J. Vincent
An open dialogue about diversity issues and practices will take place in an informal setting.
Wednesday Oct. 3
Noon to 2 p.m., Location: Student Services Building, 100 West Dean Keeton St.
Open House: Academic Enrichment Services, Gender and Sexuality Center,
Multicultural Information Center, Services for Students with Disabilities, Volunteer and Service Learning Center
An interactive tour with refreshments and activities that highlights information about each department’s services. The tour will begin at the Multicultural Information Center, but visitors may join the tour in progress at any time until 2 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 5
Noon to 2 p.m., Location: Glen Maloney Room, Student Services Building
National Young Women’s Day of Action: A day to raise awareness about the needs of young women, not only in the U.S., but around the world. Celebrated on college campuses across the country, the event promotes leadership and action on the part of young women and to reflect upon the history of social change enacted by young women.
Monday – Thursday, Oct. 15-18
Campus Fusion: a "Week of Dialogue" focusing on the importance of talking about diversity issues and celebrating the variety of cultures and ethnicities represented on
campus. For a list of events, visit the Campus Fusion Web site.
Tuesday, Oct. 16
Noon to 1:15 p.m., Location: Gregory Games Room
Brown Bag Lunch with Dr. Leonard Moore, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Topic: Mentoring the African American Student Athlete
Wednesday, Oct. 17
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Location: 3001 Lake Austin Blvd.
Open House: Hogg Foundation for Mental Health and the Regional Foundation Library
Join the staff of the Hogg Foundation and the Regional Foundation Library for informative discussions about their services, initiatives and projects; refreshments will be served.
Friday, Oct. 19
(open to selected Neighborhood Longhorn Program and University Outreach Center students)
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Hooked on Education
Students from the Neighborhood Longhorns Program and University Outreach Centers will join university student leaders for activities and a campus scavenger hunt.
For more information, visit the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement Web site, or call Deb Duval, 512-232-7599.