Category Archives: Information & Updates

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine honors UMSL with sixth Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

“INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine has once again recognized that ongoing work, naming UMSL one of 103 recipients of the prestigious 2022 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award. The national honor recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion.” Read more about the recognition here.

Speaking Freely: Silencing and Amplifying Voices, Votes, and You

Speaking Freely: Silencing and Amplifying Voices, Votes, and You

Presented by Alan Heisel and Lara Zwarun

Monday, September 19 from 12:30 to 1:00 p.m.  Password:  THE14TH

Join the UMSL community for a 30 minute conversation about how communication theory and research can explain public narratives involving congressional districting, gerrymandering, the 14th amendment, and the Supreme Court of the United States. A primary focus will be on how media coverage has and continues to influence awareness and discourse regarding this critical issue. See the attached flyer for information.

Also, be sure to stop by the Quad on Tuesday, September 20 to celebrate National Voter Registration Day!


Supported by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Department of Communication and Media, and the UMSL Civic Engagement Coalition


Welcome to the Fall 2022 Semester!!

At UMSL, we are more impactful when we lean into our collective efforts to foster and advance diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Our hope is that the campus community will continue to build connections, to engage in conversations and commit to fostering a welcoming culture where all feel valued. There are some amazing individuals engaged in courageous, challenging yet inspiring work across campus. As we begin the academic semester, be on the lookout for the ODEI calendar, which will not only highlight programming and trainings within the office, but also across the institution. We encourage you to attend events, engage in commUNITY conversations and professional development opportunities throughout the year. 

Additionally, join us for the State of the University’s Address on Wednesday, September 1st as we acknowledge the great work at UMSL and celebrate the Chancellor’s Inclusive Excellence-Celebrating Diversity awardee and others.

Cheers to a successful and transformative semester!

~Dr. Tanisha Stevens

ODEI Spring Newsletter

TRITONS UNITED Presents: Bystander Intervention- Resource Tabling Event


Please join UMSL’s Tritons United in the month of August for National Bystander Intervention Awareness Month on Monday, 08/29th, 2022 from 11:00am- 1:00pm in UMSL’s MSC- The Bridge. We will be in person & on-hand to provide opportunities to speak with both UMSL & local area community victim advocates, health, counseling & other support services, & first responders.

You can ask questions, and/or obtain gender-based violence resources. Drop in & say “Hi!” There will be freebies & giveaways! #bystander #NBAM #GBV #genderbasedviolence #metoo #umsltritonsunited #UMSL

Event Details:

 Monday, August 29 at 11:00am to 1:00pm

 MSC- The Bridge, 1 University Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63121-4400, United States

Introducing the new Grad Certificate in Workplace DEI!

ODEI is proud to partner with the UMSL Graduate School to offer master’s and doctoral students an opportunity to boost their credentials and prepare them to be advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion in their upcoming careers.

The new Graduate Certificate in Workplace DEI is a year-long cohort-based non-credit bearing program based on the popular Diversity 101, an online professional development program for faculty and staff.

Read more about the new initiative in the UMSL Daily Blog!

A similar certificate program is under development in partnership with UM Extension to be launched in the Spring 2022 and available to the broader STL community.


Juneteenth-Freedom Day

Juneteenth, “also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day– is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. Originating in Galveston, Texas, it is now celebrated annually on June 19 throughout the United States, with increasing official recognition. It is commemorated on the anniversary date of the June 19, 1865, announcement of General Order No. 3 by Union Army general Gordon Granger, proclaiming freedom from slavery in Texas.

We have highlighted several events below that celebrate the importance of this historic day.

Missouri Historical Society 2021 Juneteenth Celebration

Throughout the month of June, the Missouri History Museum will be welcoming audiences to gather virtually and  in-person to celebrate Juneteenth.

Click here for additional information:

Juneteenth Celebration at The Field House Museum

The Field House Museum is proud to host Julius B. Anthony, President of St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature, and Linda M. Nance, Founding President of The Annie Malone Historical Society, for this special event jointly celebrating our partnerships and Juneteenth.”

Click here for additional information:

Juneteenth Freedom Festival

Click here for additional information:

2021 Juneteenth Community Ride

This Juneteenth, celebrate St. Louis’s Black artists, musicians and history with a bike ride featuring live music.  Join Trailnet, 4 The Ville, and the Missouri Historical Society.

Click here for additional information:

Juneteenth Havdalah W/ MoHo STL

“To celebrate Juneteenth, we will be sharing poems, songs and/or prayers from Black authors, around the bonfire. Themes can include freedom, resistance, power, strength – or whatever you feel speaks to to the themes of the historic Juneteenth.”

Click here for additional information:

Juneteenth Community Celebration-Emerson YMCA

“Our community event is open to everyone and FREE of charge! The theme is “Breaking Barriers.”

Click here for additional information:

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

Sexual Assault Awareness Month | The Women's Community, Inc.

In our current climate of remote learning, zoom meetings, Tik-Tok, twitter and other platforms of social media, people are connecting more online than ever before. Since we aren’t connecting face-to-face as much, we must create pathways for respectful online spaces with consent. We must always consider how our actions might make another person feel and ask questions.

Since our face-to-face interactions are limited due to social distancing, we do not have the benefit of those body language cues that can indicate  how someone is feeling – the eye contact or lack of eye contact, for example. It is more important than ever to develop new ways to recognize others’ boundaries and give them space to recognize our boundaries as well. When we do this, we shift from making assumptions which provides clearer communication.

What can we do to show respect for ourselves and for others in practicing consent? Here are a few ideas:
➢ It is never okay to try to unlock someone else’s phone without
permission or look through their text.
➢ If you share a device with someone, log out of accounts that you do
not have permission to use.
➢ Ask permission before posting a photo of someone else on social
media and before reposting or resharing something personal.
➢ Let a friend know you would like to video chat, specifically, rather
than assuming they know.
➢ Respect the decisions of others once you have asked. It is never
okay to coerce or pressure someone – if someone says no after you
ask for digital consent, respect their choice and move on.
➢ Ask each time – even if your partner agreed to something before,
they are not obligated to agree again.

April 24th is Consent Day – we’ve heard “rumor” of a counter movement circulating. The Title IX & Equity Office will be hosting an Online Consent and Boundaries Workshop April 29th.

We invite you to join us next week by registering:

Your Title IX Office is available for you whenever you need us. Please let us know if you have questions or require resource information.

Dana Beteet Daniels, Title IX Coordinator
Jessica Swederske, Deputy Title IX Coordinator

Ramadan 2021

This year, the dates of Ramadan are expected to fall within Monday, April 12, 2021 and Wednesday, May 12, 2021. The Islamic Calendar follows a lunar cycle, and while these are the calculated expected dates of Ramadan, they can differ from place to place based on moon-sightings or lack thereof. Some Muslims strictly follow calculations, while others strictly follow moon-sightings, and some follow a combination of both. What Muslims choose to follow can depend on their religious convictions, where they have lived in the world, and what their families practice. The day after the end of Ramadan is a religious holiday called Eid-al-Fitr. (SOURCE:

Ramadan is an occasion to focus on faith through fasting and prayer, and is one of the most important Muslim holidays. Ramadan is notable because the Qur’an was first revealed during this month, and Muslims see the Qur’an as the ultimate form of guidance for mankind. The night that the Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad is called Lailat ul Oadr, and standing in prayer this one night is thought to eclipse months of worship.

General Practices: Fasting is required during the entire month of Ramadan. Muslims refrain from food and beverages during the daylight hours, and smoking and sexual relations are forbidden. Worshipers break the fasting each night with prayer, reading of the Qu’ran, and a meal called the iftar. In addition, many Muslims also attend night prayers at Mosques. Muslims also believe that their good actions bring a greater reward during this month than any other time of the year, so almost all Muslims try to give up bad habits during Ramadan.

Recommended Accommodations: If possible, avoid scheduling major academic deadlines during this time. Be sensitive to the fact that students and employees celebrating Ramadan will be fasting during the day (continuously for 30 days) and will likely have less stamina as a result. If planning an evening event, provide food accommodations if requested (Islamic dietary restrictions apply). (SOURCE:

Additional learning resources: 

Supporting Your Muslim Students on Campus This Ramadan (NASAPA: Student Affairs in Higher Education)

 About Ramadan 2021 (MIT Office of Religious, Spiritual, and Ethical Life )

Best Practices for Supporting Muslim Students (a Tumblr created by a Muslim student)

How to Support Muslim Students When Ramadan Overlaps with School Year (Insight into Diversity Magazine)

Winding Down Women’s History Month, Winding Up for Action!

As we come to the end of the month, we wanted to thank you all for your support of the diverse programming that led to a wonderfully successful Women’s History Month. A special thank you to the Office of Student Involvement for the coordination of the events this month.

Throughout the month, programs focused on hearing women’s voices, allowing opportunities for storytelling, mentoring, sharing, and concluded with celebrating the Trailblazers and our UMSL staff. Despite shifting to a virtual format this year, we were elated with the attendance and participation from campus partners across the institution and from the greater community as well.  Click here if you missed the ceremony or want to watch it again! 

 As we continue to focus on women’s accomplishments, goals, and the obstacles we still face, we acknowledge that one month is not enough to capture the full richness of women’s lives. As such, we encourage you to explore and this resource guide, 10 Ways to Advance Women & Gender Equality (click to download PDF)

This concise guide provides helpful links and offers advice for everyone across the gender spectrum on how to better support women, achieve equity, and fair treatment. We hope you will find it useful and encourage you to share with your networks as well. Additionally, please reach out to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Gender Studies program to get involved with next year’s Women’s History Month programming and women-focused programming throughout the year.

 Thank you again for celebrating women throughout the month of March and in your everyday work and lives.