In diversity and inclusion work, we often refer to self-identification as the final arbiter of one’s description — underrepresented minority, religion, LGBTQ, veteran or ability status are among the general identifiers. But they don’t delve deep enough into who we are as individuals. Are you woke? A bookworm? Body-positive? First-Gen? A Queen?
Participants in the 100% Tar Heel campaign, led by the University Office for Diversity and Inclusion, proudly wear the colorful buttons bearing these and other descriptors to proclaim how they uniquely identify.
“Oooh! Look! They have a ‘mathlete’ button…that’s definitely me!” gushed a first-year student when the campaign launched during FallFest. “I’m proud to be a STEM nerd!”
The excitement was no less palpable during Employee Appreciation Day, when faculty and staff overwhelmed Diversity and Inclusion staff as they clamored for the colorful buttons. “My grandparents came from Guatemala, and I was the first American born in my family,” one staff member said as she proudly clutched the “Product of Immigration” button. “Really? I didn’t know that,” exclaimed her colleague (who opted for “Fearless”) as the two left, chatting about their choice of buttons.
The cross-campus connections continue as button holders are invited to participate in the web campaign on Diversity and Inclusion’s Instagram page by completing an online form. The page is brimming with faculty, staff, students and alumni who are the fabric of Carolina.
Diversity and Inclusion views this as the start of conversations leading to the vital connections and bridge-building prized by Carolina. Consistent with the priority initiative of “build(ing) our community together” in the “Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good” strategic plan, the 100% Tar Heel campaign strives to deliver in an engaging and friendly manner.
To take part in the 100% Tar Heel Campaign, please sign up here.
Written by Adrianne Gibilisco