Dear Carolina Community,
In response to the alarming increase in violence and xenophobia, Stop AAPI Hate was established in March 2020 by several Asian American organizations and has documented more than 3,000 incidents of racism and discrimination targeting Asian Americans over the past year. As our nation still tries to make sense of recent events targeting Asian Americans, the University Office for Diversity & Inclusion is launching a new series, Voices of Carolina. This unique feature offers a venue for Carolina faculty, staff and students to share personal stories and the rich tapestry of lived experiences and memories, confront bigotry and hate and/or share messages of courage and resilience. Hence, it seems fitting to launch this series in April as we celebrate Asian Pacific American History Month.
April also brings Pride Week at Carolina 2021, the celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, and Asexual (LGBTIQA+) social and self-acceptance, legal rights, achievements, contributions, and pride. Likewise, Pride Week provides an opportunity to increase our awareness and understanding of LGBTIQA+ history, intersectionality, expression, advocacy and allyship.
Also observed in April is Yom HaShoah, a day in which Jews commemorate the monstrous tragedy of the Holocaust. NC Hillel will present “Tar Heel Holocaust Stories,” a program featuring UNC students who are the descendants of Holocaust survivors, sharing their family stories. The event provides a meaningful and intimate way to address the implications of the Holocaust through discussions amongst students, faculty, staff and community members.
Lastly, I want to remind all faculty and staff to complete the Everfi course, Managing Bias, by Friday, April 30th. You should have received a personal email invitation directly from Everfi. This course is designed to address the experience of faculty and staff in the workplace. It uses interactive exercises and realistic scenarios to define explicit and implicit bias, identify multiple types of bias, and explain how biases can lead to unfair treatment in the workplace. In addition to providing a foundational understanding of bias, the course explores how bias occurs in everyday workplace decisions and attitudes and explains how the harmful effects of bias can impact the individual, the organization, and society-at-large.
Sibby Anderson Thompkins, Ph.D.
Special Advisor to the Chancellor and Provost for Equity & Inclusion
Interim Chief Diversity Officer