The Office for Diversity and Inclusion and the Provost’s Office hope that all UConn students, staff, and faculty have a restful, relaxing, and restorative Winter Break!
As you celebrate the holidays, ODI would like to remind you that there are communities at UConn, in the state, across the country, and globally who are suffering and who continue to be attacked on the basis of their identity. Unfortunately, the last two years have brought a spike in antisemitism, including in UConn’s campus spaces. Rising antisemitism does not just impact Jewish people; bias, hatred, harassment, or violence against one identity-based group normalizes bias, hatred, harassment, and violence towards other identity-based groups. We have seen, for example, a similar spike in anti-Asian and Anti-Black racism, in Islamophobia, in violence against the LGBTQIA+ community, and in sexual- and gender-based violence across all groups. We encourage all members of the UConn community to confront antisemitism, racism, and discrimination, to actively speak out and denounce it, and to create a caring community that celebrates diversity.
We are also mindful of other members of our community who are suffering, whether from housing or food insecurity, substance use disorders, or mental health concerns, or from fears and anxieties connected to conflicts in their home countries, such as Iran and Ukraine.
As you return to your communities during this holiday break, we ask you to be attentive to the impacts of tolerating or perpetuating such bias. Even actions that do not rise to the level of physical violence or discrimination still have a negative impact, whether in directly reducing the quality of life for people around us or in otherwise contributing to a culture that does the same.
ODI appreciates the support we have received from those committed to addressing bias and suffering. We are currently engaged in two long-term projects to reduce bias in our campus spaces. The first is a Campus Climate Initiative in partnership with Hillel. The second is a partnership with the Academic Engagement Network. These two projects are helping UConn build the infrastructure needed to eliminate bias, including by expanding partnerships across the university system.
ODI is also excited to announce that we have been selected as a member of the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center initiative. Membership in this initiative helps us continue building the infrastructure for addressing bias at UConn. Its guiding principles will help us frame DEIJ planning efforts at the unit and institutional levels. It will also provide a framework for creating space for members of our community to process and heal from hateful incidents. ODI will officially launch the UConn TRHT initiative during our annual MLK convocation and National Day of Racial Healing events this January.
ODI remains committed to facilitating UConn’s efforts to address bias and suffering. Please see links below for:
ODI’s reading recommendations for gender/sexuality, race, religion, and veterans affairs
Resources for Confronting Antisemitism:
- The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which is committed to stopping the defamation of Jewish people and to securing justice and fair treatment for all.
- Antisemitism Education (YouTube)
- Between Kanye and the Midterms, the Unsettling Stream of Antisemitism (NYT)
- Antisemitism: How the Origins of History’s Oldest Hatred Still Hold Sway Today (The Conversation)
- UConn also offers a course on antisemitism: “Why the Jews? Confronting Antisemitism.” This course will run from March 6th through April 28th this spring.
Resources for Housing and Food Insecurity:
- UConn Praxis: Food and Housing Equity Project
- Food assistance resources near Storrs
- UConn Storrs Summer Housing for those with housing insecurity or who are unable to safely return home.
- UConn Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services
Resources for Mental Health:
- Student Health and Wellness (SHaW) Mental Health Resources
- ODI’s list of Mental Health Resources for the UConn Community
Dealing with Substance Use Disorders:
- A UConn Today article on UConn’s Recovery Community Center
- UConn Recovery Services
- Collegiate Recovery Resources
- The Recovery Research Institute
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- The US Department of Health and Human Resources’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- The US federal government’s Federal and National Resources
Dealing with Violence:
- ODI’s resources for dealing with gun violence
- UConn’s Gun Violence Prevention Research Group
- The Women’s Center’s Violence Against Women Prevention Program (VAWPP)
- The Office of Institutional Equity’s resources for Sexual Assault, Intimate Partner Violence, and Stalking Awareness (Storrs | Regional Campuses, UConn Law, UConn Health)
These, and other student-, staff-, and faculty-focused resources can be found via diversity.uconn.edu. We hope you have a relaxing and restorative break this winter and we look forward to continuing to partner with every member of the UConn community this Spring to make UConn a better place to live, learn, and work.
We hope you have a restorative break and look forward to working with you this spring to continue making UConn a better place to live, learn, and work.
Frank, Anne, and Jeff
Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Jeffrey F. Hines, MD
Associate Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer, UConn Health