Let's Talk About Race

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. The Office of Inclusive Excellence hosts “Let’s Talk about Race,” a series of university-wide lectures, town halls, and other events that foster conversations toward achieving our goal of deep cultural and structural transformation.

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Event Recordings

For more information on the below recordings, please refer to the "Past Events" section below.

Past Events

Commemorating Juneteenth

In celebration of Juneteenth, the Office of Inclusive Excellence offered free tickets for UB students, faculty, and staff to visit either the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor or the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center during the month of June 2021. These two institutions explore the history of Black leadership, resistance and resilience in Buffalo and Western New York. Both can be visited in person, and Michigan Street also offers a virtual tour option.

Sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence

Land, Race, and Indigeneity: Building Solidarity Practices

Date & Time: Tuesday, April 13, 12:00–1:00pm 

Intended Audience: Open Event

This conversation between Mishuana Goeman and Theresa McCarthy delved into the racialization of Indigenous peoples in North America and its effect on individuals and communities. These ways of “seeing race” and implementing them in settler policies have had profound effects on understanding American Indians as political entities. By unpacking some of the history and they ways that race has shifted and changed over time, Prof. Goeman and McCarthy hope to posit new ways forward for solidarity practices. In order to “ground” this conversation, they discussed Indigenous art pieces that posit new ways to interpret the history of racializing Indigenous peoples.

Presented by the Office of Inclusive Excellence

Date & Time: Wednesday, March 10, 5:30–6:30pm (click here to watch a recording of the event)

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

Date & Time: Wednesday, February, 17, 12:00–1:00pm (click here to watch a recording of the event

What happens when we call someone out for their words or actions? Is “calling in” those we disagree with more powerful than calling them out? Professor Loretta J. Ross, a human rights leader who writes and teaches on white supremacy, race, and reproductive justice, is challenging call-out culture. Professor Ross explores 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 discusses 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

Is Being an Ally Enough?

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

Mary B. Talbert oval portrait.
Photo: The Buffalo History Museum

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

A Call to Action: Town Hall with the Provost and Unit Diversity Officers at UB

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

"Real Talk About Race" with Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington

Image of Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington smiling.

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

Ongoing Events

Black Lives Matter Book Club

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