Pictured above: In collaboration with Connect, a program focused on helping first-generation and multicultural students succeed at UNH, the Museum of Art organized a pop-up barbershop to build community on campus. 120 haircuts were given and more than 470 people visited the museum that day.
Examples of projects and events that aim to increase diversity and inclusion across the College, University and community.
Administrative Initiatives in COLA
- Effective September 1, 2021, the College is establishing a hub for curriculum, research, and community-engaged activities relating to global racial and social inequality. This interdisciplinary venture, the Global Racial and Social Inequality Lab (GRSIL), is intended to bring students, faculty, and staff together in collaborative learning and research around the varied forms of racial and social inequality. The GRSIL will build on the College’s extensive curriculum offerings, internship and co-curricular opportunities, faculty expertise and scholarship, and student research on racial and social inequality.
- Postdoctoral Diversity and Innovation Scholars: We welcome a new Postdoctoral Diversity and Innovation Scholar to the College of Liberal Arts in AY 21-22: Dr. Cristina Faiver-Serna (Geography and Women's and Gender Studies).
- Public Lectures: helped fund, organize and publicize Juneteenth 2021 lecture as part of Portsmouth, NH, celebration; sponsored and organized lecture for Black History Month 2021.
- College-wide Fora on Diversity:
- College Forum on Racism, June 23, 2020. Discussion of structural/institutional racism with a presentation from Kabria Baumgartner, assistant professor of English and American studies, followed by Q&A. Discussion of the idea of a mandatory diversity requirement for all COLA students and the idea of offering a Cognate in Diversity. Video of Kabria Baumgartner's Presentation
- "Difficult Conversations" meeting on the topic of diversity on September 25, 2019
- What Can COLA Do to Make UNH More Inclusive?, April 1, 2019, Three Chimneys Inn
- Establishment of a COLA Faculty Fellow for Equity and Inclusion, Kabria Baumgartner, associate professor of English and American studies, fall 2020-spring 2024. Among the initiatives Professor Baumgartner is leading are drafting a proposal for a COLA mandatory social justice requirement; the establishment of a Center for Race and Culture; coordinating faculty workshops on teaching race and decolonizing syllabi; organizing COLA student cohorts to study race-based topics; and scheduling programming that showcases the work of Black, Indigenous and other people of color. Read Announcement.
- Faculty workshop on decolonizing syllabi: Dismantling Oppression in Course Syllabi with Yvette DeChavez, an event held on Nov. 10, 2020. Information, Resources, Presentation Video (must have UNH Box account to view video)
Dean and department chairs, coordinators and directors meeting to discuss strategies for diverse faculty retention and recruitment, May 2020.
Postdoctoral Diversity and Innovation Scholars: We welcome two new Postdoctoral Diversity and Innovation Scholars to the College of Liberal Arts in fall 2020: Dr. Mike Alvarez (Communication) and Dr. Ryan Gibson (Sociology).
Social Justice-Diversity Working Group: The College established a Social Justice-Diversity Working Group in spring 2019 to explore and catalog all current COLA undergraduate course offerings on these topics in order to streamline offerings, identify and rectify gaps in offerings, and better advertise the breadth of courses we offer. The fall 2020, the group was expanded and renamed the COLA Committee on Equity, Inclusion and Justice.
Islam Karkour, Languages, Literatures and Cultures
David Kaye, Theatre and Dance
Alecia Magnifico, English
Adam Schoene, Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Jason Sokol, History
Anna Wainwright, Classics, Humanities and Italian Studies
Lin Zhang, Communication
- Review of teaching evaluation process to better understand the role of issues of diversity in biasing teaching evaluations
- Review of college-wide facilities for accommodating students with disabilities who qualify (quiet space for exams, etc.)
- Focus on recruitment of diverse faculty and staff, including department meetings to discuss strategies and cluster hiring where relevant
- College-wide faculty of color receptions
- College-level mentoring of pre-tenured faculty of color to promote inclusive excellence and academic success
- Focus on retention of diverse COLA students through social gatherings at Dean’s Office
Indigenous New Hampshire
Local Abenaki leaders, UNH professors and students, and community members are working to recover Indigenous people’s history in New Hampshire and give it a new voice in the present. On the shores of Oyster River, anthropologist Meghan Howey is directing an archaeological dig that’s uncovering Indigenous history. Anthropologist Svetlana Peshkova is working with community members to build the Indigenous New Hampshire story map, an online reinterpretation of key events and the places where they occurred from a Native American perspective. English professor Siobhan Senier runs the online journal, Dawnland Voices, which publishes a wide range of Indigenous writing from New England and the Northeast.
Museum of Art
The Museum of Art (MOA) at UNH, housed in COLA, is a hub of exhibits and events that foreground diversity and inclusion.
- In collaboration with Connect, a program focused on helping first-generation and multicultural students succeed at UNH, the MOA organized a pop-up barbershop to build community on campus. 120 haircuts were given and more than 470 people visited the museum that day. (Pictured above)
- “For Freedoms,” a public art display created by UNH community members that uses lawn signs to express definitions of freedom.
- Fahamu Pecou: DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual, Resistance. Pecou explored the state of Black existence through performance, painting, drawing, music and video.
- Yoav Horesh: Aftermath. Site photographs of Israel suicide bombings, months and years after destructive blasts.
- Messengers: Artists as Witnesses. Nine contemporary regional and national artists created work that gives voice to others. Themes addressed incarceration, criminality, state-sanctioned violence, terrorism and evil.
Black New England Conference
The Black New England Conference is an annual 2-day gathering where academics, artists, activists, and community members share insights and research on Black experiences, past and present, in New England and beyond. The Conference is both an academic conference and a celebration of Black life and history. The Conference was hosted by UNH for many years and has now moved to other institutions. However, COLA funds student attendance at the conference annually and the Center for the Humanities provides support and advertises the event.
The Civil Discourse Lab
Communication faculty Jennifer Borda, professor, and Renee Heath, associate professor, founded the Civil Discourse Lab, which seeks to strengthen the ability of students and community members to conduct meaningful conversations, collaborate and make decisions around sometimes difficult but important topics to a civil society. Two recent community discussions have been on topics of immigration and the stigma around drug addiction.
Cultural Stages: The Woodward International Drama and Dance Initiative
An initiative designed to promote a greater understanding of world cultures through drama and dance, Cultural Stages includes an international playwriting competition and production as well as guest performances by international artists.
Global Humanities Undergraduate Research Lab (GHURL)
Global Humanities Undergraduate Research Lab (GHURL) is an initiative of the Department of languages, Literatures and Cultures. It provides a site where undergraduates and faculty together can engage with each other, with external resources, and with technology, to address the grand challenges and pressing questions of our time, and to discover novel ways of understanding and explaining the world. One initiative of GHURL has been the Puerto Rico Lab, which brings students and faculty together to better understand the challenges facing Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.