Tuesday, January 31, 2023

February 2023 is here Hawkeyes!

Liz Tovar

February is set aside to shine a light on and recognize the significant achievements made by the Black community in all aspects of American society as we celebrate Black History Month. Our friends in Multicultural & International Student Support & Engagement are planning many activities and events thought out the month.  I encourage everyone to visit the online home for Black History Month and participate in an event.

Also, we recently celebrated the Lunar New Year on January 22, 2023.  Lunar New Year is one of the most important celebrations of the year among East and Southeast Asian cultures, including Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean communities, among others.  Happy New Year to all our friends celebrating the Lunar New Year!

While we celebrate our different cultures, we are reminded of our society's challenges.  It is impossible to understand the ‘why’ behind the recent horrible violence in Memphis, TN, and across California.  It has affected me, and I know this can impact each of us. Please know we have many resources available through the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and other campus partners that can help our community work through challenging times.  You can also reach out to me, elizabeth-tovar@uiowa.edu, if you want to talk, share your concerns, or ask for help. 

Last week we concluded Unity Week 2023 with great success. We amplified all the fantastic work on our campus and launched a new Journey to Unity video series.  For the month, Journey to Unity content has been watched 2,082 on Instagram. 1,200 views and YouTube and 803 views on Twitter. 

I encourage everyone to watch these videos and take them back to their unit, classrooms, or groups as they discuss topics related to our campus culture and diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.  Thank you to everyone who participated in the videos and in telling your Unity Week stories across campus. Please subscribe and follow us on social media as we continue to tell our stories this year.

Finally, I am excited for our division to host the first annual Black Youth Summit on Feb. 16 for high school students across Iowa and the Midwest.  It will be a fun and informative day on the campus of the University of Iowa.  The deadline for registration is quickly coming up on Feb. 6, so if you are interested, register today!

Have a great week, Hawkeyes!

Liz Tovar

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