The state of Utah is often associated with winter tourism, a big family feel and an abiding love for everything outdoors. But it’s also a state that has a history of community involvement and engagement—which is why University of Utah President Taylor Randall has championed the Day of Collective Action (DoCA) as a campus-wide initiative that brings together the community and thought-leaders across campus.
“Last year was our first Day of Collective Action and we were responding to threats against our Black Cultural Center, so we wanted to get the campus involved to learn more about what we all could do,” said Lori McDonald, vice president for student affairs.
The day is overseen by the Presidential Commission on Equity & Belonging (PCEB), co-chaired by McDonald and Mary Ann Villarreal, vice president for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (EDI).
“This year we’re building on some of that earlier momentum,” said Villarreal, “but we’re also adding a bit more and encouraging everyone to get involved—and get active!”
The Day of Collective Action is back in 2023 with some new events and new areas of focus. With many new members on the planning committee and a full calendar of interactive sessions, the day again promises to have something for everyone.
“This year we are organizing our efforts around four key areas—anti-racism, indigenizing the university, exploring Hispanic Serving Institutions and community and coalition building,” said Bryan Hubain, associate vice president of student affairs and co-chair of the Day of Collective Action committee. “Last year was such a great first step—and this year we wanted to bring new energy and focus where we could.”
This year’s Day of Collective Action is on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, at locations across campus. The presidential session, scheduled to take place at the David Eccles School of Business, will feature a keynote by Dr. Anne Marie Nuñez, director of the Natalacio Institute for Hispanic Student Success at the University of Texas, El Paso. That session will examine the function of Hispanic Serving Institutions (also known as HSIs) and the growing role they are playing in higher education. Currently, there are some 559 HSIs spread out across the country—some even in our own Pac-12 conference.
“We want to make sure we understand what these schools are doing,” said Paméla Cappas-Toros, coordinator of the HSI exploratory committee, “and maybe also learn from them how to better serve our own students from diverse communities.”
Other events include sessions on building anti-racism plans, addressing the challenges of student poverty and understanding the ways gender interacts with campus life and the classroom. And like last year, many events this year are designed to help attendees learn new skills that they can put into action in their own lives, workplaces or classrooms.
To learn more about the Day of Collective Action, register for the presidential session and get involved, click here.