Office of Diversity, Inclusion & Social Justice Stories & News

UNI campus

UNI's George Floyd Fund aims to be a catalyst for change

A gift from Robert and Annette Morden, both two-time graduates of UNI, supports campus initiatives that promote cultural acceptance, collaboration, awareness and education. Two new projects – a student-driven film from the theater department and an art project about Indigenous land rights – are underway with help from the fund.

Much has happened in the nearly one year since George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer, leading millions to take to the streets in protest. The nation recently watched as a jury unanimously convicted the now-former officer. 

Black Lives Matter

UNI statement on the guilty verdict in George Floyd’s murder

UNI President Mark A. Nook released the following message to campus today after a jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict on all charges in the murder of George Floyd:

UNI campus

UNI colloquium to discuss health inequalities in the age of COVID-19

The University of Northern Iowa welcomes the community to participate in a virtual panel discussion to address health inequalities in the age of COVID-19.UNI campus

The colloquium, taking place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 15, will bring panelists from across UNI and the Cedar Valley community to discuss their research and professional experiences related to health inequalities and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rose Daniels

UNI partnership helps Black-owned businesses

Thanks to some help from a business accelerator program and the University of Northern Iowa, four Black-owned businesses are now selling their products in Hy-Vee stores.

The Cedar Valley Black Business Entrepreneurship and Accelerator program was conceived by the 24/7 Black Leadership Advancement Consortium, a local non-profit dedicated to supporting Black professionals. Rose Daniels

Black educator Ada S. McKinley

Award-winning research explores ‘hidden histories’

A UNI professor has helped shine a spotlight on an important Black voice in Chicago history. Ada S. McKinley was a Black educator who founded a settlement house in 1919 to help veterans returning from World War I and homeless families migrating from the South. Her work was continued by others and today the Ada S. McKinley Community Services helps more than 7,000 people a year in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. 

Members of UNI's Black Student Union celebrate Black History Month.

UNI student organization celebrates Black History Month

Although many of its events have shifted online this year, the University of Northern Iowa Black Student Union is still inviting campus to take part in celebrating Black History Month despite the limitations of COVID-19.

The BSU will host seven events in February - a mix of performances, exhibits and panels to showcase African American culture and provide the campus and community a glimpse into what it’s like being a Black person in today’s society. 

Immigration lawyer Heliodoro “Helio” Moreno, Jr.

UNI alum fighting for immigrant rights

Immigration lawyer Heliodoro “Helio” Moreno, Jr. — the first in his family to graduate high school and college — credits two of his UNI political science professors with playing key roles in his law-school entry and legal career.

His legal expertise has been especially crucial as the federal government has sought to restrict immigration. Immigration lawyer Heliodoro Moreno

UNI senior Alladin Dafalla

UNI senior tackles educational and racial disparities in national award-winning essay

Growing up in Khartoum, the capital city of Sudan, Alladin Dafalla was constantly reminded of the gap between the wealth of the city and poverty of the southern towns in the grip of war. Witnessing these disparities inspired him to undertake a career in public service and became the basis for an essay that recently won a national award. 

When his family moved to the Midwest in 2013 in pursuit of better educational opportunities for Dafalla, now a senior at the University of Northern Iowa, and his older sister, he was surprised to see similar issues in the United States.

Alison Cox

UNI Diversity Colloquium to discuss barriers within family prison visitation

UNI NEWS SERVICES – The University of Northern Iowa welcomes the community to participate in a virtual seminar that will address some of the current barriers surrounding family visitations within the American prison system.

The seminar, taking place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18, will be led by Assistant Professor of Criminology Alison Cox and explore her recent research on the topic. Alison Cox

Black Lives Matter

UNI invites community to join Quest for Racial Equity

UNI NEWS SERVICES - A new University of Northern Iowa program launching today aims to spark community conversation about racial injustice and systemic change. 

The program, Cultivating Justice: A Quest Toward Racial Equity, is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and starts Jan. 25. Through an emailed weekly newsletter, it will expose participants to new issues and ideas, as well as local resources. Participants can register online.