2008-09 Diversity Successes and Challenges

Diversity Successes

Held annual “Minority Student Get Acquainted Day” program for the entire campus to come out and learn about the variety of different minority student organizations and create networking opportunities for students, faculty and staff.

Sponsored a variety of programs and activities in celebration of “Hispanic Heritage Month” to expose and educate the campus on Latino culture. These events ran from September 15 – October 15.

Sponsored our annual “MLK Freedom March” and “Tribute” program in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Also co-sponsored a variety of other successful events with the MLK Planning Committee.

Sponsored a variety of programs and events in celebration of “Black History Month” in order to expose and educate the campus and community on issues relative to Black history. These events are held in the month of February.

Sponsored a variety of programs and events in celebration of “Women’s History Month”, in order to share with the campus and community important contributions made by women throughout history. These events are held in the month of March.

Updated the “Virtual Women’s Center” through our department’s web site to serve as a resource and to expose the campus, community and alumni to current articles and information relative to women’s issues and contributions made to society.

Hosted the annual “Ferris’ Finest Talent Showcase” which highlights Ferris talent in a very diverse atmosphere, including students, faculty and staff from a variety of different backgrounds encompassing a variety of different talents.

Continue to implement and administer the Federal/State funded GEAR UP/College Day Initiative which serves to expose and educate underserved students as early as eighth grade and their parents on important college information.

Provided support to a variety of student groups such as S.T.A.N.D., Black Greek Council, Hispanic Student Organization, Muslim Student Organization, DSAGA, etc., in helping them to sponsor a variety of their programs and events for the campus.

Our department continues to be an active member of the campus-wide Diversity Planning Committee.

Organized the third annual “Imagine More” Student Life Bus Tour. This year we canvassed the lower south eastern portion of the state visiting, Flint Public Schools and Detroit Public Schools.

Co sponsored Tres Vidas, a phenomenal musical/theatrical production as a part of our Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. A trio musical based on the lives of three legendary Latin American women: Mexican Painter, Freda Kahlo, Salvadoran peasant activist, Rufina Amaya and Argentinean poet, Alfonsina Storni. The musical play was written by Marjorie Agosin and directed by Matthew Wright.

Writings on the Wall Project: Open Discussion -- facilitated open discussion on the project that dealt with hate, discrimination and oppression on campus.

The Langston Hughes Project, music ensemble which highlighted the “12 moods of Jazz” according to Harlem Renaissance poet, Langston Hughes as part of our Black History Month programming.

Co-sponsored speaker for the 2009 W.I.L.L. Conference Speaker Stephanie Brown, Youth Director of the NAACP as a part of our Women’s History Month Celebration.

Office relocation for OMSS, which provides for a more visible department that increases departmental participation by students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds.

Implementation of T.O.W.E.R.S. (Teaching Others What Establishes Real Success) Leadership Development Program.

Diversity Challenges

There is a challenge in our department in funding guest lecturers considering the rising cost of honorariums that they tend to charge and our operating budget not keeping pace with these rising costs.

A challenge is for our department creating and finding scholarships for minority students especially in the wake of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative or Proposal 2.

There are current challenges with the State's budget that could impact our GEAR UP, KCP Future Faculty Fellowship and Visiting Professor Programs.