Friday, October 1, 2021

Welcome to October 2021!  Our semester is flying by as the midterm season is upon us.  I encourage everyone to keep studying, take time for mental breaks to take care of yourself, and have some fun as we can feel Fall in the air!

This month we continue our celebration of Latinx/a/o Heritage Month.  There have been so many great stories told across our campus in celebration of our Latinx/a/o students, faculty, and staff.  I have pulled a great story about University of Iowa student Bianca Robles-Muñoz, called "Thriving outside of her comfort zone." Her journey to Iowa is an inspiration to everyone and I encourage you to take a quick read this month. 

In October, we celebrate LBGTQ+ History all month on our campus to observe lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer history. LGBTQ+ History Month was first celebrated in the United States in 1994, centering National Coming Out Day, which occurs annually on October 11th. I encourage everyone to check out the events scheduled by the Iowa Pride Alliance Center this month.

At the end of the month, many in our community will celebrate Halloween.  As a friendly reminder know that many costume choices can reinforce negative stereotypes of genders, cultures, races, religions, and political affiliations, and can cause harm to others, regardless of the intent of the wearer. At the University of Iowa, we strive for equity, inclusion, and compassion and to create a safe and affirming community for all. We can achieve this through empathy and respect when deciding how we celebrate the Halloween season and beyond.

I want to take a moment to thank the DEI Advisory Committee for all the great work they do across our campus.  They are the leaders in each college and unit working to build trust, respect, and serve all our community to become a more welcoming place.  Great work and thank you!

Liz Tovar
Executive Officer and Associate Vice President

Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion