Projects in Action
Difference Appreciation PDF
The University of North Florida will present an award-winning documentary about the St. Augustine Civil Rights Movement described by the filmmaker as a "1964 Black Lives Matter Movement that transformed America." This film is about the transformative role the First Coast played in race relations in this country in 1964. Immediately following the film is a facilitated conversation and Q&A session with filmmaker Clennon L. King. Refreshments will be provided. Registration information for Passage at St. Augustine will be published in Osprey Update and on the portal landing page in January.
Courageous Conversations is a collaborative speaker series that examines current issues in our nation that directly impact our community. This event will examine relationship violence. The One Love Foundation will show a 40-minute film called "Escalation." UNF and community facilitators will lead small group dialogues immediately following the film. This emotionally powerful film aims at raising awareness about the warning signs of abusive relationships. Refreshments will be provided by the Taylor Leadership Institute.
National Spotlight on UNF's Commitment to Diversity as New Initiatives Underway
Today’s business graduates will step into a workforce diverse in races, religions, cultures, lifestyles and perspectives, according to Dr. Mark Dawkins, dean of UNF’s Coggin College of Business, and he wants them to be trained and ready. “We compete in a global environment, and students need to be able to interact with people who are different from them,” Dawkins said. “Being culturally aware and competent is especially important to business majors.”
As a result, Dawkins is working with the Division of Student Affairs to find a way to ensure that all business students complete some level of training in the Cultural Competency Pursuit Workshops available at the University of North Florida. In addition, he will ask faculty and staff to attend training. Ultimately, he would like to see a certificate program that students would be able to add to their resumes.
This is one of many initiatives that Dawkins believes will continue to benefit students and place UNF at the forefront of diversity efforts, a position recognized in September by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. For the second time in three years, UNF was selected as one of only 83 national recipients of the 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity or HEED award. UNF is also the only university in Northeast Florida to receive the award.
The HEED award is the culmination of campuswide cooperation and years of effort, according to President John A. Delaney.
The President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, one of those efforts, is now co-chaired by Dawkins, who joined UNF in 2015. “A lot of hard work was done before I came to UNF, and as a result we have many programs related to diversity and inclusion,” Dawkins said. “So I’m happy to see the University recognized and happy that we made the effort to collect and submit all the data.”
Signs of UNF’s ongoing commitment are campuswide. Cheryl Gonzalez serves as the chief diversity officer of UNF and the director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, which works to foster an environment of nondiscrimination and nonharrassment at UNF. “A strong team effort is what contributes to the University’s ongoing diversity and inclusion initiatives in education and employment,” Gonzalez said. “This is powerful given that our work is growing more entrenched in offices and institutes throughout our campus.”
In 2015, UNF created the Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations, as an interdisciplinary research institute on the study of racial inequality. Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder, associate professor of socially and nationally known race expert, is the founding director of the Institute.
UNF’s many initiatives have helped boost the University’s minority enrollment. In fall 2015, UNF had a 30 percent minority enrollment, which represents a 19 percent increase over the past 11 years, with steady growth among Hispanic students and those who identify with two or more races.
The University also recently established the Department of Diversity Initiatives within the Division of Student Affairs. Under the direction of Sheila Spivey, the department serves as a resource for students to celebrate diversity and promote inclusion. “I’m really excited about all the opportunities that our new department will be able to offer students as we examine the intersectionality of race and gender,” Spivey said. “We will continue to provide support to students as we encourage them to embrace diversity.”
In addition, the University conducts ongoing multicultural events as well as programs for various faiths and beliefs. In September, the Commission on Diversity and Inclusion hosted the free collaborative speaker series “Courageous Conversations: Racism and Reality” to a full audience. The University also provides centers of support, such as the Military Veterans Resource Center, the Women’s Center, the LGBT Resource Center, the Intercultural Center for PEACE and OneJax, to name a few. A full listing of resources and events can be found on the Commission on Diversity and Inclusion calendar of events.