The Friday Forums on Racism in Higher Education are a commitment to the state and region in elevating national conversations and showcasing models of disrupting complicit racism. Each session welcomes national thought leaders to lead discussions and provide opportunities for participants to share ideas on actionable items towards a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus. The subject of the January, 2022 installment of Friday Forums is the power of belonging.
“Belonging” might be the new buzzword in higher education, but the need to belong is crucial in this transitional moment in higher education. More students with marginalized identities, be it race, gender, neurodiversity or ability, are entering institutions of higher education and our programs, departments and culture must reflect student needs in order for them to thrive and achieve post-graduation success.
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, belongingness becomes a basic human need once physiological needs and safety are met. However, until the need to belong is met, needs further up the hierarchy, such as self-esteem, self-actualization, creativity and innovation cannot be achieved (Maslow, 1954). Within the context of higher education we know, “students who do not feel like they belong rarely stay in college” (Strayhorn, 2019, p. 2). Fulfilling basic needs, including belonging, can be met through equity—addressing the unique needs of students across identities and experiences to ensure belonging is achieved and higher-order needs can thrive.
Find full bio information for each speaker here.
Main panel speakers:
- Laïla El-Métoui, Equity Educator, lemEducation
- Lisa M. Nunn, Ph.D., professor, Department of Sociology and director, Center for Educational Excellence, University of San Diego
- Martell L. Teasley, Ph.D, interim senior vice president of Academic Affairs, University of Utah
Breakout session facilitators
- Breakout: The Power of Belonging at the U
- Daniel K. Cairo, Ph.D, special assistant to the vice president for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion — strategy and operations, University of Utah
- Tricia Sugiyama, director, Center for Equity & Student Belonging
- Breakout: The Power of Belonging in the Workplace
- Walter Franco, principal, Victus Advisors and chair, University of Utah Latinx Alumni Community
- James Jackson III, executive director, Utah Black Chamber
- Gabi Sanchez-Jones, manager, Alumni Clubs and Diverse Communities Engagement, University of Utah
- Breakout: I am U Thriving
- Bryan Hubain, associate vice president for Student Development & Inclusion, University of Utah