graphic with red background reads, "Friday Forums on Racism in Higher Education."

Friday Forums: Thank U

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at the University of Utah wishes to honor and recognize the 37 members of the U community who have led breakout sessions as part of the Friday Forums on Racism in Higher Education.

EDI launched Friday Forums in September as 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 share ideas on actionable items toward a diverse, equitable inclusive campus.

Following the main panel discussion, participants are invited to participate in a breakout session of their choice from one of the following tracks:

  1. Let’s Get Started
           How to begin the journey toward anti-racism.
  2. Hear Us
           Breaking down the systemic racism that impacts our communities.
  3. Moving the Needle
           Modeling action-based and transformative initiatives.

More than 1,300 people from across the country have registered for the first three Friday Forums, and about 780 wanted to dive deeper into the work and registered to attend a breakout session.

“The success of this series would not be possible without the students, staff and faculty members who are submitting proposals to lead breakout sessions,” said Mary Ann Villarreal, vice president for EDI. “Our wonderful panelists get the conversation started, and it’s in the breakout sessions where participants are really able to engage, ask questions and acquire tools to bring back to their teams and continue this work toward anti-racism in higher education.”

Thank U

Friday Forums: Confronting Our Racism 

Moderator: President Ruth V. Watkins

“Hear Us” leaders: 

  • Montelleo Hobley, associate director, student support
  • Meligha Garfield, director, Black Cultural Center
  • Cha McNeil, resident director, Housing and Residential Education

“Let’s Get Started” leaders:

  • Jude McNeil, director, Office for Inclusive Excellence
  • Dean McGovern, director, Bennion Center
  • Rachel Aho, housing director, Housing and Residential Education

“Moving the Needle” leaders:

  • Jose Rodriguez, associate vice president, Health EDI
  • Andrea Brown-Christensen, senior Human Resources director

Student track leader:

  • Veronica Conley, presidential intern

Friday Forums: Establishing Anti-Racist Policy

Moderator: Lori McDonald, vice president for Student Affairs

“Hear Us” leaders: 

  • Bryan Hubain, associate vice president for student development and inclusion, Student Affairs
  • Emma E. Houston, special assistant for programming, vice president of EDI

“Let’s Get Started” leaders:

  • Liz Rogers, associate instructor, Office for Inclusive Excellence
  • Ella Blanchard, assistant director, Office for Inclusive Excellence
  • Tramaine Jones, student success advocate, Student Success and Empowerment

“Moving the Needle” leaders:

  • Rachel Hayes, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program
  • Stephanie Michelle Shiver, Office of Undergraduate Research
  • Monisha Pasupathi, Honors College
  • Dean McGovern, director, Bennion Center
  • Linda Paternina, Beacon Scholars program manager, Undergraduate Diversity
  • Elizabeth Kronk-Warner, dean, S.J. Quinney College of Law
  • Martell Teasley, dean, College of Social Work

Friday Forums: A Racially Just Workplace

Moderator: Jeff Herring, chief Human Resources officer

“Hear Us” leaders:

  • Meligha Garfield, director, Black Cultural Center
  • Mauricio Laguan, recruitment and retention manager, Office for Health EDI
  • Sherrie Hayashi, director, Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
  • Sheila Sconiers, training specialist, Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

“Let’s Get Started” leaders:

  • Dori Nottingham, associate director of training, Human Resources
  • Dani Baum, manager, Human Resources
  • Laura Walkinshaw, associate director, Human Resources
  • Sarah Sherer, chief hospital Human Resources officer
  • Sarah Projansky, associate vice president for faculty
  • Myra Washington, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs
  • Carmen Gold-Johnson, assistant director of employer engagement and internship development, Career and Professional Development Center
  • Sierra Stevens, career coach, Career and Professional Development Center
  • Megan Randall, career coach, Career and Professional Development Center
  • Devon Darland, assistant director of programming, Career and Professional Development Center

“Moving the Needle” leaders:

  • Paloma Carriello, associate dean, Health EDI
  • Shawn N. Bryce, captain, Department of Public Safety

Submit your proposal to lead a breakout session in a future Friday Forum here.