The urgent need to come together as a community to discuss racism and institutional barriers and how we will overcome them to become a truly diverse and inclusive university is clear. Over the coming year, the Office of Inclusive Excellence will launch “Let’s Talk about Race,” a series of university-wide lectures, town halls, and other events to foster conversations toward achieving our goal of deep cultural and structural transformation.
Date & Time: Wednesday, February, 17, 12:00–1:00pm (click here to register)
What if instead of calling people out, we called them in? Professor Loretta J. Ross, a radical Black feminist engaged in human rights work for four decades, is challenging call-out culture. Professor Ross will explore how call-out culture has become toxic and transformed conversations that could otherwise be learning opportunities into sparring matches. How do we uphold our commitment to social justice while resisting the pull of the outrage cycle? Professor Ross will discuss how we can build a unified and strategic human rights movement that uses our differences as a platform for modeling a positive future built on justice and the politics of love, thus shifting away from a past based on the politics of fear and prejudice.
Presented by the Office of Inclusive Excellence in collaboration with the Gender Institute
Loretta J. Ross is an award-winning, nationally-recognized expert on racism and racial justice, women's rights, and human rights. Her work emphasizes the intersectionality of social justice issues and how intersectionality can fuel transformation. Ross is a visiting associate professor at Smith College (Northampton, MA) in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender, teaching courses on white supremacy, race and culture in America, human rights, and calling in the calling out culture. Her current book, Calling In the Calling Out Culture, is forthcoming in 2021.
Carrie Tirado Bramen is currently the Director of the Institute for Research and Education on Women and Gender at the University at Buffalo (aka the UB Gender Institute). From 2007-2013, she served as Executive Director of the UB Humanities Institute. She is the author of two books, most recently American Niceness: A Cultural History (Harvard 2017).
Date & Time: Wednesday, March 10, 5:30–6:30pm (click here to register)
Intended Audience: Open Event
What role does art play in times of need? In this moment of upheaval, reckoning, and change, what responsibilities do museums have in representing cultures, past and present, as well as modeling the future of diverse cultural landscapes? UB Art Galleries Curator Liz Park moderates a roundtable discussion with Candice Hopkins and Yesomi Umolu, two leading thinkers and curators in the field of contemporary art. They will share frank reflections on the limits of museums as sites of knowledge and explore the potentials of creating a just and open space in which art can amplify voices and broaden views.
Presented by the Office of Inclusive Excellence and UB Art Galleries
Candice Hopkins is a citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her writing and curatorial practice explores the intersections of history, contemporary art, and indigeneity. She has served as senior curator for the 2019 and 2021 editions of the Toronto Biennial of Art and was part of the curatorial team for the Canadian Pavilion of the 58th Venice Biennale, featuring the work of the media art collective Isuma. She is co-curator of notable exhibitions including Art for New Understanding: Native Voices 1950s to Now; the 2018 SITE Santa Fe biennial, Casa Tomada; documenta 14 in Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany; Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada and Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her recent essays and presentations include “The Gilded Gaze: Wealth and Economies on the Colonial Frontier,” for the documenta 14 Reader, and “Outlawed Social Life” for South as a State of Mind.
Yesomi Umolu is recently appointed Director of Curatorial Affairs and Public Practice at the Serpentine Galleries, London. She was previously Director and Curator, Logan Center Exhibitions at the University of Chicago where she also taught courses in visual art and spatial practices as a lecturer in the humanities division. Prior to joining the Logan, Umolu held curatorial positions at the MSU Broad Museum, East Lansing, Michigan; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Manifesta 8, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art. As Artistic Director of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, Umolu oversaw a critically acclaimed curatorial program featuring new commissions, off-site installations and a host of performances, talks, workshops and community engagements with over 80 international contributors. Umolu is a 2016 recipient of the prestigious Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts Curatorial Fellowship. She served on the curatorial advisory board for the United States Pavilion at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale. She is a trustee of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago.
Liz Park is Curator of Exhibitions at the University at Buffalo Art Galleries, the State University of New York. She was most recently the associate curator of the 2018 Carnegie International at Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. She has curated exhibitions at a wide range of institutions including the Western Front, Vancouver; the Kitchen, New York; the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; the Miller Institute for Contemporary Art at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh; and Seoul Art Space Geumcheon, South Korea. Her writing has been published by Afterall Online, Afterimage, ArtAsiaPacific, Performa Magazine, Fillip, Yishu: A Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Pluto Press, and Ryerson University Press, among others. She was a Helena Rubinstein Fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2011–12 and Whitney-Lauder Curatorial Fellow at ICA Philadelphia in 2013–15. Her research interests have revolved around mobility and migration as well as representations of violence in the colonial present.
Date & Time: Thursday, November 19, 12:00-1:00pm
Intended Audience: UB Faculty, Staff, Students, Alumni, and the broader Buffalo community
The importance of being or identifying as a social justice ally has been a frequent topic of conversation for years, with many wanting to do more to combat bias, discrimination, and oppression. But what is an ally? What does it mean, what does it require, and is it enough? UB Professor Amy Reynolds and UB alumna Gail Wells—longtime friends and colleagues from different backgrounds and experiences—will discuss what is needed to combat racial inequities and other forms of discrimination and oppression, and how we can truly work together to create meaningful and lasting change. President Satish K. Tripathi will offer introductory remarks.
Presented by the Office of Inclusive Excellence
Gail Wells is a UB Alum and former Director of Student Life at SUNY Buffalo State College. For over twenty years, she has been involved with diversity training, including her role as Director of Buffalo State's NCBI (National Coalition Building Institute) Coalition Building Team. After retiring from a 29-year career in higher education, Gail Wells has continued her social justice efforts. This includes her work with the Buffalo Freedom Gardens project, a coalition of Black-led organizations and allies that have established over 50 home gardens to enhance food sovereignty in areas that lack access to healthy foods.
Dr. Amy L. Reynolds is Professor of Counseling, School and Educational Psychology in the Graduate School of Education. Dr. Reynolds research centers on: expanding the multicultural knowledge base through scholarship on race, racial identity, and racism-related stress, queer and trans identity, acculturation, and other multicultural issues; exploring training and curricular applications in counseling psychology; and increasing understanding of multicultural change efforts in higher education.
Date & Time: Thursday, September 24, 12:00-1:30 pm (click here to watch a recording of the event)
Intended Audience: UB Faculty, Staff, Students and Alumni, and local community members
In celebration of the newly named Mary Talbert Way on UB’s North Campus, we invite you to learn more about Mary Burnett Talbert’s extraordinary life and work. Talbert is described by the National Women’s Hall of Fame as a “civil rights and anti-lynching activist, suffragist, preservationist, international human rights proponent, and educator.” Her pioneering work in the fight for freedom laid the foundation for the civil rights movement, and her legacy continues to this day.
Presented by the Office of Inclusive Excellence
Lillian S. Williams (Panelist) is Associate Professor and former chair of the Department of African American Studies. For more than 40 years, Williams has worked to retrace and commemorate Mary Talbert’s life and social justice efforts. She is the author of Strangers in the Land of Paradise and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites and the Michigan Street African American History and Culture Commission.
Lillie Wiley-Upshaw (Panelist) is chair of the Buffalo Niagara Freedom Station Coalition and Co-Chair of the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission, and focuses on the significant impact African American struggles for individual liberties have had on Buffalo and the broader region.
Carole Emberton (Moderator) is Associate Professor in the Department of History. Through her research on the Civil War era, Emberton examines how violence shapes our social, political, and cultural worlds both past and present. She is currently completing a book on the testimonies of ex-slaves collected by the Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s.
Date & Time: Wednesday, July 15, 3:00-4:30pm
Intended Audience: UB Faculty, Staff and Students
In recent weeks, broad cross-sections of UB faculty, students, alumni and staff have been meeting to identify collective strategies and action items to address the persistent inequities perpetrated on Black/African American, Indigenous, Hispanic/LatinX, and other People of Color. These conversations are part of a larger, national reckoning from years of structural racism sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Such struggles have a long history at UB, and were highly visible in the student protests of the 1960s and 70s, which launched new UB programs, including African American Studies, Puerto Rican Studies, and Native American Studies. Yet despite efforts to advance impactful and sustainable change at UB, barriers to equity remain. How can we move forward together with action now that will accelerate changing the culture at UB and create a university continuously engaged in reflecting on and correcting bias in its policies and practices?
This program brings together Provost A. Scott Weber and Unit Diversity Officers (UDO’s) from UB schools to review the concerns about racial, institutional and social inequities faced by students, faculty, and staff, and to discuss constructive, actionable steps to address long-standing issues. There will be an opportunity to send questions or suggestions via text message before and during the program by texting realtalk to 88202 followed by your question.
Presented by the Office of Inclusive Excellence
Date & Time: Friday, June 19, 12:00-1:00pm
Intended Audience: UB Faculty, Staff, Students and Alumni
June 19, 1865 marks the day that Union General Gordon Granger led troops into Galveston, Texas to let nearly 250,000 enslaved folks know that the government had emancipated them. Each year many in the African American community commemorate this emancipation in a celebration known as Juneteenth. Today, 155 years later, there is still work to be done. At this event, the UB community joined Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington, President and Founder of the Washington Consulting Group for a real conversation about race, racism and the role of universities in moving society forward to the next round of freedom, followed by a Q&A session.
Presented by the Office of Inclusive Excellence
Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington is the President and Founder of the Washington Consulting Group, named by the Economist as one of the Top 10 Global Diversity Consultants in the world. Dr. Washington has served as an educator, administrator, and consultant in higher education for over 36 years. He serves as an invited instructor in the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Lancaster Theological Seminary. He is the President and Co-Founder of the Social Justice Training Institute and a Past President of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA). Dr. Washington also serves as the Pastor of Unity Fellowship Church of Baltimore and is an Elder in the Unity Fellowship Church Movement. He currently chairs the board for Many Voices, a Black church movement for gay and transgender justice.
Dr. Washington earned his Ph.D. in College Student Development from the University of Maryland College Park, and a Master of Divinity from Howard University. He has received many awards and honors, including the University of Maryland Baltimore County’s Legends of Excellence Award for his contribution to the lives and education of Black and LatinX faculty, staff and students.
In addition to his work in higher education, Dr. Washington has an extensive list of corporate, non-profit, government, and faith organization clients. Some of his clients include Starbucks, Wachovia, Wells Fargo, Shell Oil, Boston Bank, Green Peace, Human Rights Campaign, The Taskforce, The Peace Corps, the Government Office of Accountability, The Presbyterian Church International, Metropolitan Community Church, and the Baptist Church Convention.
During this moment of reckoning with systemic racism, the legacies of slavery in America, misogynoir, and police brutality, the Gender Institute will host a virtual book club featuring the work of Black feminist scholars, public intellectuals, and activists during the 2020-2021 academic year facilitated by Mopelolade Ogunbowale (Visiting Assistant Professor,Transnational Studies) and Dana Venerable (Ph.D. Candidate, English). Register here: https://bit.ly/GIBookClub. For more information visit the Gender Institute website.
Presented by the Gender Institute