University Diversity Awards Nominations Open

Nominations for the annual University Diversity Awards are now open for recognition of individuals, units, and organizations who have given their time and effort to further diversity and inclusion at Carolina and in our surrounding community.  The awards will be given in the eight following categories:

  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Undergraduate Student
  • Graduate/Professional Student
  • Department/Unit/Faculty and Staff Group
  • Student Organization
  • Alumni
  • Community Member/Organization

Awards criteria are as follows:

  • Advocated for diversity, equity, and inclusion of underrepresented groups and/or social justice
  • Demonstrated a sustained commitment to the advancement of cultural diversity and inclusion at UNC and/or in the community
  • Demonstrated respect or inclusive treatment when interacting with others
  • Implemented or sponsored an event which cultivates diversity and inclusion

Submissions are due by Monday, February 22 and can be submitted electronically to

Further details about the award and nomination process are available at

For additional information, please contact Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at


Spring Diversity Experience to Discuss Practices in STEM

Four nationally renowned scientists and thought leaders will share their expertise on strategies to increase diversity engagement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as part of the inaugural Diversity in Stem Conference hosted by Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (DMA). A collaboration between the Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program (CSS), DMA and the Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) with support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, this day-long conference will focus on providing a professional development experience for Carolina faculty, staff and students who are interested in increasing issues of diversity and inclusion within STEM disciplines.

The conference will feature sessions with four eminent academicians and diversity proponents:

Dr. Sylvia Hurtado, professor in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and division head for the Division of Higher Education and Organizational Change at UCLA. Hurtado will be focusing on the impact of diversity on teaching and learning.

Dr. John Matsui, co-founder and director of the Biology Scholars Program (BSP) in the Department of Integrative Biology at UC Berkley. Matsui will facilitate a session on the impact of diversity on the student experience.

Dr. Andrew Campbell, Associate Professor of Medical Science in the Department of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology in the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University. Campbell will lead a session on the intersections of diversity work and research; and,

Dr. Rick McGhee, Associate Dean for Faculty Recruitment & Professional Development and Professor in Medical Education in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.McGhee will lend his expertise to the impact of diversity on faculty experience.

In addition, select students will have the opportunity to showcase their research during a poster session. Graduate and undergraduate student attendance is limited to UNC students who wish to present posters at the conference, please contact Dr. Richard Watkins at for more information.

Registration for the conference is currently open and seats are limited. There is no charge to attend. Faculty and staff who are in positions to support recruitment, development and retention of ethnic minorities and women in STEM at Carolina are encouraged to attend. Faculty and staff from other institutions will automatically be placed on a wait list for the conference. Notifications and confirmations will be send out by the 12th of February, 2016. This conference is made possible through the generous support of our hosting organizations and additional sponsors, including the College of Arts & Sciences and UNC School of Medicine. More information about the conference schedule, registration and speakers can be found at


About the Hosting Organizations:

The Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program (CSS) provides a pathway to success for highly capable students who aspire to become leading PhD and MD/PhD scientists in our increasingly interdisciplinary world. Aiming to increase the diversity among future science leaders, CSS is modeled after the nationally-recognized Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. The Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program provides a head start and continuous support for superb students, allowing them to succeed in math and science at the highest level at Carolina.

The Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD) is an educational research grant awarded to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), and National Institutes of Health (NIH). The primary goal of this initiative is to increase the number of students from populations historically underrepresented in the biomedical sciences that attain PhDs and successful bioscience careers.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) is a science philanthropy whose mission is to advance biomedical research and science education for the benefit of humanity. HHMI empowers exceptional scientists and students to pursue fundamental questions about living systems. In fiscal year 2015, HHMI invested $666 million in U.S. biomedical research and provided $85 million in grants and other support for science education.


MLK at Carolina 2016: A Retrospective

Carolina honored Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with numerous events tied to his legacy of service, outreach and inclusion.  Highlighted events included the annual University/Community MLK Memorial Banquet, MLK Lecture and a 5K connected to the Day of Service.


The banquet’s theme, “A Dream Deferred: The Time is Now,” was addressed passionately by Dr. Rosalind Fuse-Hall, President of Bennett College and UNC Alumna, who tied Dr. King’s message to Langston Hughes’ poems, “Harlem” (1951) and “A Dream Deferred” (1957).  She spoke quite literally about the dreams being deferred in our country today to African American children caught up in what the Children’s Defense Fund calls the “Cradle to Prison Pipeline.”  Fuse-Hall said, “…many African Americas live with dreams deferred and still do not have full access to the American Dream.  But, as we stand here today, I submit that the idealic American dream is festering like a sore.”  After citing data that revealed the lack of economic, social and overall equality for Black Americans (72.2% compared to White Americans), she asked the rapt audience, “If you envisioned White America with a whole pie, at 100%, African Americans would be missing nearly 28 percent of that apple pie…or, is that the stench of stinking meat?”

Fuse-Hall then charged the room to network their strengths to ensure that our children and grandchildren thrive.  “Let’s pop the cork in an explosion of dreams for every American,” she enthusiastically suggested.  “Our motto should be to prosper the dreams of our neighbors; because that ensure that our American dream will become realized!  Don’t Defer – Fulfill the Dream Now!”


The following day began with the Day of Service 5K to raise funds that will go, in part, towards the Deah Barakat and Yusor Abu-Salha Memorial Award established by UNC Chapel Hill and the Dental Foundation of North Carolina (DFNC) in memory of the two slain students.  The award goes towards supporting a student or group of students at the UNC School of Dentistry who plan a service project locally, nationally or internationally – an endeavor Barakat and Abu-Salha devoted themselves to regularly with their humanitarian work.

Although it was a frigid morning, hearty runners showed up energized with their desire to take part in this event, which raised $3,380 – more than double last year’s total.


In the evening, the Barakat and Abu-Salha families were honored again at the 35th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Keynote Lecture at Memorial Hall.  It was a very emotionally charged moment when DMA’s Assistant Director for Special Education and Initiatives Sharbari Dey presented the Unsung Heroes Award posthumously to the parents in honor of their commitment to global social justice and service.

Other awards that evening included the presentation of the HEED Award to UNC for for Carolina’s demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.  DMA’s Assistant Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Taffye Benson Clayton, accepted the award from INSIGHT Into Diversity publisher Lenore Pearlstein on behalf of the University.  The three MLK Scholarship Recipients – Vanessa Canuto, Bradley Opere, and Emilie Kadhim – were each worthy of the award for their work towards social justice.  McNair Scholar and Buckley Public Service Scholar Canuto was honored with the top award for her work with Carolina Cupboard Food Pantry, the Carolina Women’s Center, ACC Student Leadership Symposium and her focus on creating safe and equal space for all Carolina students.

Finally, activist, writer and Distinguished Professor of African American Studies (Morehouse College), Dr. Marc Lamont Hill took to the stage for an insightful lecture.  His speech was provocative and rich with comical asides, as he addressed the legacy of Dr. King and the current state of Black America.

Addressing the sold-out auditorium, Hill said, “The question for me is always, ‘What can we do to use Dr. King’s legacy to help us redress the issues that we are struggling with today?’”  His rousing speech was followed by a brief question and answer period that reflected on his work as a journalist and social commentator.

Many of the events that were planned for the remainder of the MLK Week Celebration were forced to cancel due to the University’s official weather closure resulting from dangerously icy conditions.  Look for announcements regarding rescheduled dates on





Professor Bettye Collier-Thomas to Deliver AAHM Keynote Lecture


BHM16_LecturePosterCarolina will honor Black History Month with a wide variety of programming, including film screenings, lectures, performances and discussions, scheduled by an array of departments and student groups. This year’s theme, “Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories” resonates in many of the events, particularly in the African American History Month Lecture, whose keynote will be delivered by Professor Bettye Collier-Thomas on February 8th at 7:00 pm at the Stone Center, and hosted by Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. She will speak on “African American ‘History Sites’: Identity, Memory, History and Preservation.”

Other special events include activist and educator Yavilah McCoy’s discussion on “Race, Power and Privilege in 2016: Developing and Maintaining Multiracial, Multicultural & Multifaith alliances toward Equity and Justice on College Campuses” on February 3rd at 7:30 pm at the Great Hall. McCoy is an African-American Jew and the founder of Ayecha, a nonprofit organization providing educational resources for Jewish Diversity and advocacy for Jews of Color in the United States. The event is hosted by Hillel and the Black Student Movement.

The Stone Center will be the site of the 2016 Break the Silence of Domestic Violence Lecture, featuring Kemba Smith Pradia, on February 3rd at 6:30 pm. The first 100 participants will receive a complimentary copy of Kemba Smith’s memoir, “Poster Child: The Kemba Smith Story,” which will be discussed.

Among the numerous concert and theatrical performances is “One Noble Journey: A Box Marked Freedom.” The drama, which takes place at the Friday Center on February 14th at 3:00 pm, tells the story of Henry “Box” Brown, an African American born into slavery, who plots to become a stowaway to freedom. There are also screenings, including “3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets,” at the Carolina Club on February 17th, from 5:30 – 7 pm. The documentary reconstructs the night of Jordan Davis’ murder, revealing how hidden racial prejudice can result in tragedy…and giving insight into events that led to the current political climate surrounding race relations in this country.

For a full listing of this month of events that promises to be rich in material to honor Black history, please click here or visit



Meet DMA’s New Communications Specialist

Adrianne Gibilisco has joined our staff as the Communications Specialist, bringing with her a wealth of experience as a wordsmith in a variety of fields. Her skills as a writer and publicist were honed over many years logged as a music journalist, and as head of her entertainment PR firm, Stone Communications.  An award-winning screenwriter and celebrated journalist, she has also edited books, written radio show scripts, and edited radio news. In addition, she crafted the script for Smart Sex, the AIDS Awareness video currently used in the Los Angeles Unified School district to educate students about AIDS/HIV; edited Countering Terrorism & WMD: Creating a Global Counter-Terrorism Network (Katona), a historical analysis of bioterrorism; and, serves as co-director for the Center of Multi-Media Educational Technology (COMMET).

Since 2012, Adrianne worked at UNC’s LGBTQ Center, where she crafted press releases, wrote the weekly newsletter, and developed the Alumni publication, Aluminate. “Much of the work there was about creating visibility, promoting activism and facilitating positive change for underserved and underrepresented populations…which is very similar to the focus of DMA. I am looking forward to continuing in that arena and extending the reach of DMA beyond the campus community,” says Gibilisco.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Becoming a member of the DMA team allows Gibilisco to work alongside people who share a passion for supporting academic excellence. “The programming we do at DMA, from NC Renaissance and Project Uplift, to MLK events, THINKPosium, Nuestra Carolina, Many Nations, One Carolina, and countless other celebrations of diversity and differing identities is incredible. We engage, elevate and support our students on their entire journey, from before they matriculate at Carolina, throughout their UNC experience and when they become alumni. Most of the communications and marketing designed to enhance this objective comes through DMA’s office. I’m so thrilled to be collaborating on presenting our message.”

Related links:


Diversity and Inclusion Collaborative supports NC Children’s Hospital

During its final meeting of the year, members of the Institutional Diversity and Inclusion Collaborative (IDIC) raised funds for the NC Children’s Hospital. Over the last three years, the IDIC (comprised of faculty, staff, and students across the institution with an interest in promoting diversity and inclusion at UNC-CH) have met every quarter to hear from campus partners. For the last two years, the group members have begun a tradition of contributing money during their holiday meeting for the NC Children’s Hospital, a facility that provides inpatient and outpatient care to more than 70,000 children annually from all 100 counties in North Carolina.

The NC Children’s Hospital’s state-of-the art facility opened in late 2001 with 150 inpatient beds and a comprehensive children’s outpatient center located in the same building, enabling children to see multiple specialists in a single visit. Specialty units include the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Newborn Critical Care Center (NCCC), Children’s Intermediate Care Center (CICC), Pediatric Emergency Department and Trauma Center and the Pediatric Surgical Suite. The Children’s Hospital also offers a state-accredited Hospital School for children in grades K-12, which helps kids keep up with their studies during hospital stays.

“While IDIC provides a platform for diversity professionals to learn more about each other’s work and explore meaningful collaborations, it also allows for us to create a network of support that extends to the larger community, which includes the families and professionals of the Children’s Hospital,” said Sharbari Dey, assistant director for education and special initiatives in Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.

The December meeting was hosted by UNC Athletics in the Blue Zone room of the Loudermilk Center for Excellence. Members heard from Martina Ballen, senior associate director of athletics for business; Bubba Cunningham, director of athletics; and, Cricket Lane, assistant athletic director for student-athlete development, about the multiple initiatives fostering student and staff success and inclusive leadership within the department.


About IDIC

IDIC was created to connect important diversity and inclusion stakeholders from across the University; share institutional diversity priorities and progress; provide updates on the work of DMA, the  University Committee on Inclusive Excellence and Diversity and other diversity and inclusion progress; and, assist university leadership in identifying diversity and inclusion matters of interest.  If you are interested in representing your office, unit, or department, please send your request to To stay up-to-date with diversity offerings, please join our listserv.


Related Links:



Inclusive Excellence:

Workshop creates dialogue on gender bias in the workplace

Gender in Workplace[1]On November 10, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (DMA), the Association of Women Faculty and Professionals (AWFP), and the Carolina Women’s Center (CWC) partnered to present “Navigating the Complexity of Gender in the Workplace.” The workshop focused on identifying and positively disrupting instances of gender bias in the workplace. It drew participants from across a broad spectrum of the Carolina community, including graduate, post-doctoral, research, staff and faculty members. Dr. Tanya Shields, Associate Professor in the Department of Women and Gender Studies and President of the Association of Women Faculty and Professors at UNC, welcomed colleagues and peers by focusing on the importance of interrupting instances of gender bias to create positive change and improve climate for women at Carolina. She challenged attendees by asking, “What are the ways in which we support or challenge social norms and how can our institutions and the units that we are a part of try to change and shape that?’”

Not only were participants varied in their roles at UNC, but they also had a wide range of interests and motivations for attending the workshop. Steve Chall, senior research software developer at the Renaissance Computing Institute, said encouragement from peers brought him to the workshop. “I’m hoping to find ways to work more harmoniously and productively with my colleagues and just get along with folks better in the world.” For attendees like Julianne Seer, a research coordinator at the Department of Emergency Medicine, the reason for coming to the workshop was more personal. “When I saw this particular workshop related to gender what came to mind were the issues that I face in the workplace as a queer woman who works in sort of a medical related profession that’s largely dominated by men but staffed by women.”

Dr. Clare Counihan, program coordinator at the Carolina Women’s Center and Sharbari Dey, assistant director for education and special initiatives at the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs facilitated the workshop. They contextualized different types of gender biases and invited participants to use the information to think of examples from their own experiences in the workplace. “We want you to be able to do something with this information,” said Counihan.

Participants were introduced to a toolbox of tactics and strategies to approach gender biases they encounter. These included preparing responses to call out discriminatory comments they hear on a regular basis and finding allies to support advancing gender equity and an inclusive workplace climate. “Allies can play a range of roles in these situations. For example, untenured faculty can seek support from a tenured colleague when they are confronted with instances of bias in the workplace. Or, if you are not comfortable or feel safe in interrupting cases of gender bias, bringing in allies to design a constructive approach to address the situation can alleviate the pressure of have to confront a difficulty situation alone.

Counihan and Dey also suggested that employees find simple and constructive ways to disrupt assumptions when gender biased comments are made in the workplace, for example, asking for a simple explanation for why a joke or comment is funny, or repeating back a biased assumption in the form of a question. During the workshop, engaged conversations broke out among participants as they unpacked the multiple facets and instances of gender bias in the workplace and how to handle it. The response from workshop participants was very positive. “I think it’s great to have a space to have these conversations. It’s very informative. I think it’s important to learn beyond just a term,” said Ray Idaszak, the director of collaborative environments at the Renaissance Computing Institute.

Getting employees talking about gender in the workplace was just one aspect of this workshop. Going forward, Dey, Counihan, and Shields hope those who attended will be better able to enact change in their daily lives. The AWFP plans a second workshop on a similar topic in Spring of 2016.


The Association for Women Faculty and Professionals at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers women faculty and professionals opportunities for fun, networking and learning through social activities, seminars, discussion groups and other events. Our diverse membership includes faculty, researchers, administrators, librarians, communicators, fundraisers, medical and legal professionals, and other UNC faculty and staff. to learn more please visit

The Carolina Women’s Center pursues gender equity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Through education, advocacy, and interdisciplinary research, the CWC builds bridges and enhances the intellectual life and public engagement mission of the university. To learn more about the Center and its mission, please visit

Giving back through reaching out

Admin GroupAs a first-generation college student, Angel Washington did not know that she could impact the lives of over 2000 prospective college students during her time at Carolina.

For high school students from low-income, rural, or other diverse backgrounds searching for the right college to attend, opportunity is everything. That is why the Minority Student Recruitment Committee is a first point of contact for many students, reaching more than 2,000 prospective college students year round.

The recruitment progress targets academically talented high school students from underrepresented populations who are seeking for a diverse and inclusive campus community.

“As a first generation college student I did not know how to apply to college or what college to attend,” said Angel Washington, MSRC On-Campus Coordinator. “After being exposed to DMA programs I realized Carolina was the place for me. These programs allow perspective students with an opportunity they did not have before.”

PU Outdoors-resizedThe recruitment process follows an interactive and growing process for allowing prospective students to become involved at Carolina. During the Fall recruitment, the programs focus primarily on finding prospective students through programs such as High School Honors Day, Expanding the Circle, and Nuestra Carolina. Campus Visitation Coordinator Shavonne Breeden believes this is the best time to reach out to high school students who may not know where to find the college experience they are seeking.

“As high school seniors at the top of their class, it isn’t a matter of getting them to go to college, it’s getting them to decide what kind of experience they want from their time as an undergraduate” she said.

Once Spring begins, a new wave of programs is developed, this time to reach out to students that have already chosen to come to Carolina, but are unsure of what their next steps are.

“In the spring, we teach those students about what UNC has to offer,” said Breeden. “Giving them resources on financial aid and academics here at UNC. Parents are welcome too!”

Group2Through MSRC, students who have gone through one of the programs as high school students or hear about it get the opportunity to become volunteers and create the “family-like” environment for future Tar Heels. By collaborating with on-campus organizations from different cultural backgrounds, such as the Black Student Movement (BSM), the Carolina Indian Circle (CIC), Carolina Hispanic Association (CHispA), they assure that every student who comes to Carolina feels included.

For more information about DMA or student programs, please contact us at or visit Diversity and Multicultural Affairs is a unit in the Division of Workforce Strategy, Equity & Engagement.

This story was developed by Karla Barrios.

Related Links

UNC releases 2014-2015 Diversity Plan Report

UNC recently released its sixth annual report that describes Carolina’s state of diversity, evaluates academic performance, and highlights successful strategies and recommendations for enhancing UNC’s capacity for promoting diversity and inclusion. In addition to cataloging the state of diversity at UNC, the Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (DMA) Office, a unit in the Division of Workforce Strategy, Equity & Engagement, hopes that the production of this report will inspire creativity and innovation within and among our campus community for pioneering new frontiers towards becoming a truly diverse and inclusive university.

Key Findings Include:

  • Cover from UNC Diversity_Report_2014-15Although there were no significant variations in racial/ethnic composition compared to the student demographic data from fall 2013, a marked increase was observed for the entering first-year underrepresented minority male students.
  • In comparison to UNC’s 15 benchmarking peers, the 2013 data of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) reveals that UNC ranked first for having the highest concentration of female faculty and ranked second for the combined presence of Black, Hispanic, and American Indian faculty.  UNC also ranked second for the amount of White faculty and fell below 14 of our peers for the concentration of Asian and international faculty.
  • All of the 31 reporting units were actively engaged in publicizing the University’s commitment to diversity. As reported in the previous year, continuous efforts in providing diversity-related education, training, orientation and intergroup interaction were exemplified by many of the reporting schools and units this year.
  • Commitment and engagement to research that investigates the lives and experiences of underrepresented groups was evidenced in more than half of the reporting units (17 units, 54.8%).
  • Websites were the most utilized method for defining and publicizing a unit’s commitment to the University’s diversity goals among the reporting units (26 units, 83.9%).

For more information regarding this report and other diversity efforts, contact Xiaowen Qin, director for diversity research, assessment, and analytics, at

Related Links:

Message from VC Entwisle, Dean Gil, and CDO Clayton: UNC is a Member of the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity

Dear Carolina Community,

We are pleased to announce that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is now a member of the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity.

IM flyer Updated 9.8.15_Page_1UNC Research, the College of Arts & Sciences, and Diversity and Multicultural Affairs have partnered to establish Carolina as a member of the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity or NCFDD. This membership is a significant accomplishment for Carolina and symbolizes the university’s commitment to Inclusive Excellence. As a member of the NCFDD, Carolina’s diverse cadre of graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and other academic professionals will have access to resources and support in the form of webinars, forums, mentoring, and other materials that assist with navigating academia.

The NCFDD is a highly regarded center with a national reputation and success record for supporting faculty members throughout their careers, towards accomplishing developmental career milestones such as securing postdoc appointments and achieving promotion and tenure. This effort aligns with Carolina’s mission to “serve as a center for research, scholarship, and creativity and to teach a diverse community”. We are excited about this new endeavor and encourage you to take advantage of the resources.

If you are interested in learning more about or connecting directly with the resources available through the NCFDD, please visit To activate your membership, follow the instructions listed on the site or you may contact NCFDD liaison Amy Johnson at or 313-347-8485 for technical assistance.

Taffye Benson Clayton, EdD
Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer
UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs

Barbara Entwisle, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Research & Kenan Distinguished Professor
UNC Research

Karen Gil, Ph.D.
Dean & Lee G. Pedersen Distinguished Professor
College of Arts & Sciences