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BU Diversity & Inclusion
Living Apart.
Distinctively & Together.

May 2020. Take Good Care.

Recently, a staff member described how difficult physical distancing had become for her elderly father because, yes, being apart from those we love is principally difficult, but also, and especially, because he now no longer has access (via she and other family members) to the cultural foods from which he derives immense comfort and emotional sustenance. A faculty member wrote about the worrisome and complex challenges and frustrations of raising small children, teaching, and trying to sustain some level of research productivity. Yet another staff member worried aloud about her students whose religious practice, or rather, the interruption of the full expression of their religious practice, was causing significant amounts of added guilt and shame. We've heard stories about increased incidents of anti-Asian racism and know that our students, staff, and faculty of Asian descent are feeling especially vulnerable. We know that some members of our community who are not U.S. citizens are feeling particularly alienated from the aid that so many need at the moment. Other members of our community are also members of communities of color that are disproportionately represented among COVID-19 related deaths, and are burdened with increased anxiety and fear. And, we know that many of you are living with people whose employment status has or is likely to change over the course of the next months. Even for those for whom such acute examples are not representative, or who may not struggle with loneliness or isolation, these are wearing times.

The examples above suggest that the diversity that so defines us and that BU Diversity & Inclusion elevates and celebrates, is also the cause of substantive and important experiential differences. That is: our differences mean we're experiencing this pandemic distinctively. The only exception to this, we suspect, is that everyone is experiencing collective disruption, information-overload, disorientation, dislocation of some sort, and exhaustion.

Given this, we especially encourage you to treat yourselves and others with compassion. Face the fact of it: Even as we are buoyed by human resilience, we acknowledge that life at this time isn't normal. So, please, don't expect perfection from yourself, and don't expect it from others. Be sensitive to the distinctions among us. And perhaps spend a little time learning about those distinctions. Some will need more attention. Some less. Some more noise. Some less. Some will need different technology. Some won't. Some will express fearfulness. Some won't. Some will want chocolate everyday. (We are among that tribe.) Some will need music every day. Some will need to run or walk or otherwise be among the birds. And yet others, especially the wee-people among us, will need double their daily dose of hugs and attention. Indeed. Our differences abound. We cannot be good stewards, good citizens, good neighborhoods, good allies if (A) we expect others to mirror our experiences and expressions and (B) if we are intellectually exhausted and emotionally depleted. So, do take good care. Whatever that means for you.

Meanwhile, we here in BU D&I are in the throes of planning some online programs that we hope will serve to elevate the issues that have come to the fore. We hope you'll join us for those. Information will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

Congratulations to all of you for whom the end of the semester is nearing. A great big Bravo, Brava, Bravx to you all for the incredible work you've done this semester. It's simply amazing.

Take good care.

The D&I Team.

BU D&I News

Programming: In collaboration with the Wellness Project and the Howard Thurman Center, BU D&I hosted a conversation with students living in the residence halls titled: "Living on Campus during COVID-19: Compassion and Acceptance" on April 15. The discussion centered around residential living during the COVID-19 pandemic and how our current reality impacts students of various identities differently.
Faculty and Staff Community Networks (FSCNs):

Faculty and Staff Living with Disabilities has a new name! The network will now be known as Staff and Faculty Extending BU Disability Support (SAFEBUDS).

On April 23 SAFEBUDS hosted a virtual event titled "Learning During COVID-19". Students, faculty, and staff with disabilities shared their experiences regarding the transition to a remote online learning environment. The event was co-sponsored by the BU School of Theology Cross-Disability Club and Disability and Access Services.

Please contact network chair Kara Jackman with any questions about SAFEBUDS.
 
Faculty and Staff of Color hosted a virtual meeting on Wednesday April 22. The meeting introduced the leadership and fostered discussion about what events, opportunities, and initiatives should be provided through the network. Those interested in membership in the network are encouraged to complete this survey.

Please contact network chair Fadie Coleman with any questions about the Faculty and Staff of Color FSCN.
 
LGBTQIA+ FSCN hosted a Zoom-social hour on April 7. They will be hosting additional social events in the upcoming months including a book club for members.

Please contact network chair Chantel James with any questions about the LGBTQIA+ FSCN.
 
Allies and Advocates welcomes members to join their Teams Channel to facilitate conversations and sharing of resources online.

Please contact network chair Carmine Granucci with any questions about the Allies and Advocates FSCN.
"Thriving in Boston" Video Series
Luz Lopez, Clinical Professor Social Work; Director, Global Health Core; Associate Director, Dual Degree Program in Social Work & Public Health
Tyrone Porter, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Allies & Advocates in Action

BU Employee Wellness

BU Employee Wellness has compiled a number of resources to help employees "Stay Well During the COVID-19 Emergency".

Resources range from general COVID-19 resources to emotional wellness, occupational wellness, physical wellness, and social wellness, and include videos, articles, and virtual community gatherings hosted by the FASO.

Conversations

BU African American Studies

AFAM Quarantine Survival Guide. Af-Am Studies has created a wonderfully curated collection of online resources. We recommend taking a look and subscribing to their newsletter. A new Survival Guide comes out each week and is a delightfully diverse array of online offerings. It's sure to lift your spirits!

Parenting

“You Shouldn’t Have to Be Worrying about Childcare When You’re Fighting a Pandemic”. Sarah Rimer. BU Today. April 14, 2020. "MED students help the front liners at Boston Medical Center and Boston Healthcare for the Homeless with babysitting, groceries, laundry, and more."

Equity & Coronavirus

The Black PlagueKeeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. The New Yorker. April 16, 2020. "The old African-American aphorism 'When white America catches a cold, black America gets pneumonia' has a new, morbid twist: when white America catches the novel coronavirus, black Americans die."

How to Make America 2.0 a More Equitable Society. Kara Swisher. The New York Times. April 23, 2020. "The tech industry can play a pivotal role in shaping our post-pandemic world."

When Coronavirus Care Gets Lost in Translation. Emma Goldberg. The New York Times. April 17, 2020. "Medical interpreters must now work remotely, multiplying the challenges for front-line doctors and non-English-speaking patients."

The Arts Can Illuminate & Elevate

BU Yoni Ki Baat

Yoni Ki Baat (YKB) is a world-wide platform for women of color, women in the LGBTQIA+ community, and non-binary people to share their intersectional experiences through original monologue performances. Although BU's chapter of Yoni Ki Baat / Vagina Monologues (VagMo) had to cancel their live performances this spring, you can still listen to their monologues via podcast on Spotify! The sound clips can also be found on their Facebook page, along with a brief back story on each performer and their inspiration. The first episode premiered on April 20, and there are currently 12 episodes available. 

All of the ticket sales for the live events were slated to be donated to Women's Lunch Place, an organization in downtown Boston that provides free food, medical care, and other resources to women who have experienced trauma, domestic violence, homelessness, mental illness, addiction, and more. Should you choose to listen to these podcasts and feel so inclined, there is still the option to donate to Women's Lunch Place on the BU YKB / VagMo Facebook page.
Murals from Around the Globe. The Gaurdian. April 6, 2020. "Covid-19 is the subject of topical, colorful and attention-grabbing street art, whether it is for artistic, educational or political ends."

Higher Education and COVID-19

College Made Them Feel Equal. The Virus Exposed How Unequal Their Lives Are. Nicholas Casey. The New York Times. April 4, 2020. "When they were all in the same dorms and eating the same dining hall food, the disparities in students’ backgrounds weren’t as clear as they are over video chat."

COVID-19 is a Pivotal Moment for Struggling Students. Can Colleges Step Up? Vimal Patel. The Chronicle of Higher Education. April 14, 2020. "The burden the pandemic is placing on many students has exposed the staggering class divides that have always existed in higher education. For many students, going home to study online — missing activities like team sports or even their commencement ceremony — represents a rough patch they’ll get through. But for [some students], this is a time of extraordinary stress."

Happenings

Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies

Yousef Bashir: 2020 Yitzhak Rabin Lecture
"A Palestinian Family's Quest for Peace"

Thursday, May 14 | 7:30 pm
During the Second Intifada, the Bashir family of Gaza accomplished the near-impossible. They remained in their home, steadfastly extending peaceful hospitality to the IDF soldiers that took over the upper floors, and trampled their orchards. Four years into this intimate occupation, fifteen-year-old Yousef was shot in the spine by an Israeli soldier while waving goodbye to a UN delegation. He survived and regained mobility thanks to Israeli doctors and nurses. Telling his own and his father’s story, Bashir will talk about how acting with humanity is a choice, and that peace requires forgiveness.

For further information or to register for the event, please visit the event page.

BU Faculty and Staff Community Networks


LGBTQIA+ FSCN Meetings and Events

Happy Hour
May 6 | 5:30 - 6:30 pm

Join the Zoom meeting here.
Meeting ID: 992 3733 8198
 
General Body Lunch
May 12 | 12 - 1 pm

This meeting will include a conversation about choosing a name for the network, and the future of the network!
Join the Zoom meeting here.
Meeting ID: 921 9469 9694
 
I’m a: bisexual! Ask me anything!
May 21 | 5:30 - 6:30 pm
Q & A about bisexuality. This event is open to everyone in all of the Faculty and Staff Community Networks.
Join the Zoom meeting here.
Meeting ID: 939 5937 2441
Password: 462-865

Allies and Advocates FSCN Event

Bystander Intervention

May 20 | 4 - 5:30 pm
Join the Allies and Advocates Community Network for a discussion about bystander intervention, what to do when you see a micro-aggression in various environments. If you have time before the meeting, please attend one of the following bystander training sessions (approximately 1hr, available on nights and weekends). During our group meeting we will review some of the results from our community survey, give a high-level summary of the bystander training, and spend most of our time in a group discussion around bystander trainings.
RSVP to join the meeting here.

Quips, Quotes, & Short Considerations


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 Diversity & Inclusion
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