Racial Literacy Roundtables earn inclusive excellence honor

· 3 min read

Racial Literacy Roundtables earn inclusive excellence honor

Green announced the permanent commission as part of a broader Sept. 1 address.

The College of Education and Human Sciences’ Racial Literacy Roundtables have received the University of Nebraska’s 2022 Inclusive Excellence Collaboration Award.

The IECA, one of the President’s Excellence Awards, recognizes outstanding contributions that advance diversity, access and inclusion. The award is given to an NU system academic or administrative department or unit that has collaborated to advance a culture of inclusivity for students, faculty and staff. Honored units, selected by a committee representing all four University of Nebraska institutions and the community at large, receive $25,000.

“Our mission at the University of Nebraska is to provide students with a world-class education that prepares them to be successful in work and life. That includes giving students opportunities to explore new ideas, meet people from different backgrounds, and engage in robust dialogue with their fellow students and faculty,” said Ted Carter, NU system president. “UNL’s Racial Literacy Roundtables provide exactly these kinds of opportunities.

“This effort helps prepare students in the College of Education and Human Sciences to be outstanding teachers and leaders in our richly diverse world.”

Launched in 2019 with support from the NU system’s Inclusive Excellence Development Grants program, the Racial Literacy Roundtables have hosted nearly 20 facilitated conversations for students, faculty and staff around topics related to race, diversity, equity and inclusion. The effort has grown in quality and impact, now engaging education students from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and University of Nebraska at Kearney as well in roundtable discussions.

The goal of each roundtable is to promote dialogue and thinking, and to help students develop skills to talk about issues that can be challenging, including with others who are from different backgrounds or with whom they may disagree. Speakers have included NU faculty, leaders of diverse student groups, local teachers, and community members representing various communities and organizations like the Yazidi community and Lincoln Lighthouse.

Student feedback demonstrates the roundtables are having their intended impact. One student wrote, “I think it is important to remember that not everyone has the same experiences and we need to learn.”

Another student wrote, “I loved hearing about the different strategies for conflict resolution. I had lots of different types of people in my breakout room and that was very eye-opening.”

Looking forward, the College of Education and Human Sciences plans to explore strategies for growing the reach and impact of the Racial Literacy Roundtables even further.

Leaders of the Racial Literacy Roundtables will be celebrated at an event hosted by Carter later this year.

Recent News