Diversity and Community Engagement

The University of Mississippi

Dialogues on Diversity

The University of Mississippi Dialogues on Diversity is a new initiative fostering institutional change through civil discourse.

Save the Dates: The Virtual Fall 2020 Dialogues on Diversity Series is scheduled for the month of October! This semester’s theme is Nationwide Now: Reckoning with Inequities in Pandemic, Policing, and Politics. This semester’s Dialogues on Diversity Series will be via Zoom and led by University of Mississippi and University of Mississippi Medical Center professors in a series of three, engaging, dynamic panel discussions focused on the topics of the Pandemic, Policing, and Politics. All UM students, staff, and faculty are invited to attend, and RSVP information will be available beginning October 1. The details of each event and schedule is as follows:

  • Reckoning with Inequities in the Pandemic with Dr. Leandro Mena, Dr. Lori Ward, and Dr. Rodney Washington of the University of Mississippi Medical Center; Date forthcoming
  • Reckoning with Inequities in Policing with Dr. Francis Boateng and Dr. D’Andre Walker of the University of Mississippi Criminal Justice and Legal Studies Department: Monday, October 26, 2020; 6:00 p.m.-7:15 p.m. via Zoom
  • Reckoning with Inequities in Politics with Dr. Melissa Bass, Dr. Marvin King, and Dr. Nidhi Vij Mali of the University of Mississippi Political Science and Public Policy Leadership Departments: Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 6:00 p.m.-7:15 p.m. via Zoom

Past Dialogues on Diversity Events:

February 2020

Black History Month Keynote Address ft. Dr. Yusef Salaam

Yusef Salaam, a member of “The Exonerated Five,” whose exoneration after nearly seven years of incarceration based on false accusations was depicted in the Emmy Award-winning Netflix miniseries “When They See Us,” was the keynote speaker for 2020 Black History Month observances at the University of Mississippi. Read more about Dr. Salaam’s keynote address here.

January 2020

Pride Camp 2.0 with Robyn Ochs

Robyn Oches is an educator, speaker, writer, and grassroots activist. An advocate for the rights of people of all orientations and genders to live safely, openly, and with full access to opportunity, Robyn’s work focues on increasing awareness and understanding of complex identities and mobilizing people to be powerful allies to one another within and across identities and social movements.

October 2019

Disabusing Disability with Dr. Feranmi Okanlami

Dr. Feranmi Okanlami, a disabilities advocate and medical faculty member at the University of Michigan, told his personal story of suffering from a spinal cord injury which paralyzed him from the chest down with some return of motor function. He strives to expand the definition of diversity in medicine and challenges people to acknowledge their own implicit biases. Dr. Okanlami discussed the importance of accessible and inclusive health systems for patients and providers with disabilities, in efforts of “Disabusing Disability,” hoping to demonstrate that disability doesn’t mean inability.

September 2019

Intentionally Intersectional Leadership with Payton Head

Photo of Payton Head's poster which details the time, date, location, and topic of his keynote speaking event.

Payton Head is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri where he represented a diverse student body of 28,000 as student government president. His experience with racism at Mizzou ignited students to fight for a more inclusive campus. Head discussed the importance of inclusive and intentionally intersectional leadership while also navigating spaces as a Black man with a queer identity.

September 2019

Engaging Inclusion through a Class Lens with dr. becky martinez

Photo of dr. becky martinez's poster which details the time, date, location, and purpose of her keynote speaking event.

Class carries with it a complexity of obscure definitions, fluidity, intersections, and a sense of taboo. dr. becky martinez discussed why it’s important to understand the various concepts related to class, how class plays out systemically and explore ways to intervene class dynamics to create greater inclusion on campus.