Weekly Three 02/28/22

Greetings Miami University,

Here is this week's diversity, equity, inclusion "weekly three" from the Office of Institutional Diversity:

Miami University’s Office of the President and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion are proud to introduce the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Miami Online course – completely free to alumni, faculty, and staff. The in-depth, 45-minute modules, developed and led by distinguished Miami faculty and staff experts, tackle 10 essential topics such as bias, stereotypes, and microaggressions; cultural intelligence; race and anti-racism; ableism; strategies for workplace inclusiveness, and more. Course registration is open until March 14, 2022. After registering, alumni, faculty, and staff can complete this course at their own pace between March 14 and May 31. You can watch a brief promo video of this exciting new initiative, and alumni, faculty, and staff can register for the course.

A special thank you to Elizabeth Farrar, Katherine Marusic, Rachel Valerio, Kristine Smith, and Josh Smith of the Miami Online (formerly eLearning) office for all their amazing behind-the-scenes work and support to make this a reality.

One: DEI Implementation

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion "Behind the Scenes" Town Halls

In line with Pillar 5: Inclusion and Accountability, Recommendation 3, OIDI hosts “Behind the Scenes” Townhalls to provide insights and details of how DEI is embedded in the decision-making processes and practices of each division. This Spring we invite the Miami community to join an expanded DEI Behind the Scenes Townhall Series, featuring Colleges and Deans.

  • College of Arts and Science | POSTPONED

View previous "Behind the Scenes" videos

Now Accepting Submissions for Women’s History Month and Deaf History Month in March

Working in close collaboration with faculty, staff, and student partners, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion provides opportunities for the Miami community to continue our learning and engage in meaningful programming that recognizes, examines, and values historical legacies of a diverse array of identities. Heritage Month programming supports Miami’s inclusive excellence and DEI mission and connects to, among other areas, DEI Task Force Pillar 2: Cultural Consciousness, which encourages the Miami University community to enhance our awareness, knowledge, and skills to enrich and renew our intercultural competence. Submit your proposal considering priority deadlines for each proposed history and heritage month celebrations.

Director of Programming and Strategic Initiatives, Dr. Hiram Ramirez

Hiram Ramirez

Hiram Ramirez, Director of Programming and Strategic Initiatives, will be focused on collaborating with campus members to enhance the DEI programming on campus while also advancing critical strategic initiatives geared at building capacity and culture change. When asked why he joined Miami University he shared, “In chatting with colleagues and students on campus during my interview process, I saw the deep investment in living diversity and inclusion. There was also an openness at challenging each other and being willing to innovate to address the gaps on campus. This dynamic energy and investment to enact systemic and structural changes were the indicators that made me realize that Miami was an institution I had to work at!” He has been at multiple institutions for the past twelve years working in various capacities to support diversity, equity, and inclusion. He is passionate about social justice work and engaging campus stakeholders in moving the needle around systemic change to improve the climate on campus. In addition, Dr. Ramirez’s research focuses on Latino men, machismo, academic success, queer identity, LatCrit theory, and other topics in higher education. His work strives to support the cultivation of a more inclusive campus community that honors the intersectional identities of students, faculty, and staff.

Director of Programming and Strategic Initiatives, Dr. Samuel Kwapong

Samuel Kwapong
My role as one of the directors of programming and strategic initiatives will be to promote and sustain the university’s commitment to inclusive excellence and an equitable, inclusive, and diverse campus culture by building on existing programming efforts to design, implement, lead, and assess systemic, sustainable DEI programming across the university. My most recent role before Miami was serving as the Director of the Offices of Multicultural and International Student Services at Point Loma Nazarene University. I believe we are at a very crucial moment in our world, and our actions now determine the future and lives of this society, and the idea of advancing equity for all is as important now as it has ever been. Through dialogue and mutual respect and understanding for each other, I know we will achieve great things here at Miami. I have many interests outside the classroom and work. I am an avid reader and sports enthusiast. I love football (yes both types), and a diehard New England Patriots fan and Manchester United fan. I do not particularly like coffee but I love tea and would love to have a cup with you so visit us in Laws Hall!

Two: Community Updates

House Bill 327, otherwise known as Critical Race Theory legislation, is in the beginning stages of the legislative process. HB 327 is currently going through committee hearings in the Ohio House.  The legislation still needs to be passed by the Ohio House, go through the legislative process and be passed by the Ohio Senate before the Governor considers signing the legislation into law. This bill has been a topic of discussion and concern within the University Senate and within our faculty ranks- both here and at other universities. We believe that the most effective way to share individual concerns is to speak directly to your state senators or representatives as one of their voting constituencies. We continue to work collectively through IUC as well on multiple levels to ensure we continue to honor closely held principles such as freedom of speech and academic freedom.

Marianne D. McComb Reading Series Presents

  • Brian Broom’s, Punch Me Up to the Gods, March 1, 2022, 7:30 PM Punch Me Up to the Gods, is about growing up Black and gay in Ohio. The memoir was an NYT Editor’s Pick and a finalist for the 2021 Kirkus prize. Brian's work has appeared in The Washington Post, Poets and Writers, Medium, and more. His film, Garbage, won the Audience Choice Award at the Cortada Short Film Festival and was a semi-finalist in the Portland Short Fest. Register for Punch Me Up to the Gods
  • Michael Torres’s, An Incomplete List of Names, March, 14, 7:30, 2022, An Incomplete List of Names was selected for the National Poetry Series and named one of NPR’s Best Books of 2020. In 2019, Torres received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and The Loft Literary Center for the Mirrors & Windows Program. A former Artist-in-Residence at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, he is currently a 2021-22 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow. Register for An Incomplete List of Names

Robert E. Strippel Memorial Fund for Continuing Dialogue on Justice - Spring Series 2022

Depolarizing Within Workshop

Wednesday, March 2 A free workshop to support you to become aware of your "inner polarizer" and learn methods for disagreeing without contempt and ridicule. Much of today’s polarization is driven by how we talk with like-minded people about those on the other side. Too often, we stereotype, dismiss, or ridicule our fellow citizens who support the other political party, its leaders, and its policies.

Register for Depolarizing Within

Skills for Bridging the Divide Workshop

Saturday, April 2

A free workshop to learn & practice skills for having more respectful & productive political conversations with people on the "other side." There's a lot of stress these days among family members and friends who are divided politically, and the current polarized public conversation doesn't help. Please join us for a Braver Angels Skills for Bridging the Divide Workshop and learn skills for having respectful conversations that clarify differences, search for common ground, and affirm the importance of the relationship.

Register for Skills for Bridging the Divide

Three: Celebrations & Recognition

National Deaf History Month

Deaf History Month (March 13-April 15) is celebrated at this time of year because of three main events in the history of deaf education. On April 15, 1817, America’s first public school for the deaf was opened. On April 8, 1864, Gallaudet University (the first institution of higher education for the deaf and hard of hearing) was officially founded. On March 13, 1988, Gallaudet University hired its first deaf president. The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) first introduced National Deaf History Month in 1997 and, in 2006, the American Library Association partnered with NAD in supporting and spreading awareness of this celebration. We encourage all Miamians to engage in dialogue and allyship, including through campus and community organizations such as SDAC and the Miller Center for Student Disability Services.

Women’s History Month

During the month of March, Miami University commemorates and encourages the studying, observing and celebrating of the vital role of women in the U.S. and across the globe. This month foregrounds both the accomplishments and struggles for women and girls in the past and in contemporary societies. In the U.S., Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981. In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month

View Programming

Upcoming Religious Holy Days and Holidays & Inclusive Scheduling

Please see the academic affairs calendar and complementing interfaith narrative calendar for policies and for more information, and regarding religious holy days and holidays observed by Miami Community members during the month of February and future months.


With Love and Honor,

Dr. Cristina Alcalde

Cristina Alcalde, Ph.D. (she/her/hers)
Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion
Professor, Global and Intercultural Studies