Office of Diversity, Inclusion & Social Justice Stories & News

UNI alumna Jane Elliott

UNI alum Jane Elliott reflects on legacy of anti-racist work

Now 86 and living on a remote green patch of Northern Iowa countryside, famed anti-racist and University of Northern Iowa alumna Jane Elliott may seem an unlikely candidate for viral videos and social media clout. 

UNI Associate Professor of Literacy and Education Shuaib Meacham

‘A system of interconnected institutions’: Racial inequality in schools

UNI Associate Professor of Literacy and Education Shuaib Meacham helps teach future educators how to handle race in the classroom. He also leads a local hip hop literacy program to help connect youth to their love of language, and is helping launch a new project aimed at showcasing Iowa’s diversity. Here, he discusses his work and offers advice for using this unprecedented moment to create lasting change.

What are some examples of racial inequality in teaching and education?

UNI Athletics Director David Harris

UNI's athletic director reflects on national push for racial justice

Amid protests across the country and world last week calling for racial justice, University of Northern Iowa Athletic Director David Harris shared some of his personal thoughts and life experiences in a conversation with Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations Leslie Prideaux.

Aerial view of UNI campus

UNI week in review: racial justice protests, campus return and tuition freezes

Widespread protests over the death of George Floyd swept the nation for a second week, with tens of thousands of mostly peaceful protestors vowing that his death at the hands of Minneapolis police would at last spark change.

The protests that have occurred in hundreds of cities, including in the Cedar Valley, have placed a powerful spotlight on racist practices endemic in American society. The message was clear: institutions, including college campuses, must respond. 

UNI honors students whose peaceful protest 50 years ago paved the way for the Center of Multicultural Education.

'UNI Seven's' courage honored

Older now but unbowed, nine members of a group that came to be known as the UNI Seven walked across a Maucker ballroom stage Monday night to be honored for their work sparking change on campus some 50 years ago. 

The peaceful protests they were part of led to the creation of what is now the Center for Multicultural Education (CME), UNI’s president said. He said the students also played a role in the formation of UNI’s Center for Urban Education (UNI-CUE), which serves minority and low-income students

UNI students kick-off Black History Month.

UNI student organization celebrates Black History Month

The Black Student Union at the University of Northern Iowa launched a celebration Monday of Black History Month with a kick-off ceremony at the Maucker Union, featuring chants, poetry and interpretive dances.

UNI students kick-off Black History Month.

Celebrate Black History Month at UNI

In celebration of Black History Month, the Black Student Union of the University of Northern Iowa will host a month-long series of events to showcase African American culture and provide the campus and community with a glimpse into the unique challenges minority students experience in higher education.

With a theme of “remembering the past while shaping our future,”  the February events will feature a mix of performances, exhibits and panels, including several new events, designed to be both entertaining and educational.

Retiring UNI professor Gloria Kirkland-Holmes.

Retiring UNI professor leaves legacy of literacy and leadership

Gloria Kirkland-Holmes overcame discrimination and self-doubt to become a valued member of the UNI community, launching a number of on-campus initiatives to promote diversity in her 41-year career at the university.