Inclusive Excellence Grant Recipients

Inclusive Excellent Grant Recipients Hip-Hop Producers

Picture taken from '22-23 Inclusive Excellence Grant recipients Hunter Kopczynski and Jessica Lindsey's and their proposed project to invite hip-hop producers (Royal City LiF and Master Kie) for a musical residency.

Congratulations to our 2023-2024 recipients

Can You See Yourself in Honors? An Innovative Forum to Build a More Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Honors Experience at UNC Charlotte

Project Team: Amy Good,  Cindy Gilson, Malin Pereira, Bettie Ray Butler, Jordan Boyd, & Natalia Mejia
Colleges(s)/Division(s): Cato College of Education, Honors College

In Spring 2023, the Cato College of Education Honors Program (EHP) formed a Task Force, led by Drs. Amy Good and Cindy Gilson, to develop an extensive action plan to revise our programming and inspire more students and faculty from different groups to see themselves participating and belonging in honors.  The goals of this proposal are three-fold: (1) To create space to discuss innovative ways to expand and improve our recruitment and retention strategies; (2) Redesign our program courses and pathways so they are in alignment with the new Honors College Capstone Projects guidelines; and (3) Develop an advocacy and improvement plan for the program.

NC Consortium for Middle East Studies 2024 Conference: “The Middle East on the Move: Migration, Diaspora, and Belonging”

Project Team: Emek Ergun, Ella Fratantuono, Hania Al-Shamat, Michael Ewers, & Noha Ghali
College(s)/Division(s): Global Studies Department, Macy, College of Humanities and Earth and Social Sciences

A conference to be held on March 22-23, 2024, at UNC Charlotte, in which an interdisciplinary group of scholars from NC and SC campuses will meet to explore questions of immigration, mobility, diaspora, belonging, and refugees within and across the Middle East. The conference addresses “migration” as a broadly defined phenomenon encompassing voluntary, forced, internal, and international forms of mobility and explores issues relating to causes and outcomes of migrations for individuals, communities, non-human actors, and states. The conference seeks to foster critical conversations among scholars from across disciplines to discuss the following: physical, cultural, and political processes that produce patterns of migration; the many ways migrants seek and express belonging; and how diasporic formations and networks contribute to migration and its outcomes at the level of the individual and the community. By enabling interdisciplinary conversations on immigration, diaspora, and refugees across the various campuses of the Carolinas, “The Middle East on the Move” will contribute valuable insights to our understandings of global mobility, equity, diversity, and unity. At a time of severe global upheaval, exploring the complex politics of immigration is all the more important. 

An Experimental Short Seminar- Involving Trip to the Legacy Museum, Montgomery, Alabama

Project Team: Eddy Souffrant, Huma Ibrahim
College(s)/Division(s): Department of Africana Studies, College of Humanities and Earth and Social Sciences

The Project entails conducting an experiential immersive seminar for nearly 30 students majoring in Africana Studies.  The seminars during the Spring of 2024 will be conducted by 2-3 faculty members from UNC Charlotte and an in-house Staff Lecturer from the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama.  We will visit the Museum, hence the immersive and experiential components, by bus.  Since it will be a short-term seminar course, we would like to spend 2 nights in Montgomery to facilitate the lectures there and to visit the enormous and riveting exhibits in the two locations.

Artistic Possibility through Flexible Music: A New Composition for Innovative Outreach

Project Team: Hunter Kopczynski
College(s)/Division(s): College of Arts + Architecture

This grant will provide funding for a new musical work for concert band by an underrepresented composer, commissioned for and premiered by the UNC Charlotte Wind Ensemble, that addresses the challenges of instrumentation limitations at all levels of music education. This new composition will allow ensembles of any level access to music by an acclaimed composer, by writing the work in a way that allows flexibility in instrumentation. Through this process, students and teachers will have creative opportunities to explore new choices in color, balance, and blend in their performances. Able to be performed together, these flex versions of the same composition will allow younger students to play alongside more experienced students with each performing the music written specifically for their differing levels of ability. This aspect will serve as a unique outreach opportunity for UNC Charlotte: giving younger students the ability to play alongside, learn from, and build connections with university peers. This musical selection will provide numerous opportunities to take Charlotte students to our community to play side-by-side with public school band students, especially those with the lowest levels of participation from marginalized communities and families of lower socioeconomic status (Elpus 2011). Thereupon, building bridges and connecting with the community through music.

Institutional Support for National Cross Cultural Counseling and Education Conference for Research, Action, and Change

Program Team: Lyndon P. Abrams, Lucy Arnonld, Sejal P. Foxx, Victor B. Mack
College(s)/Division(s): Department of Counseling, Office of School and Community Partnerships, College of Health and Human Services

The Department of Counseling and the Office of School and Community Partnerships will be attending the  National Cross-Cultural Counseling and Education Conference for Research, Action, and Change which is a national anti-oppression and social justice conference.  This year, the conference will be held at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte.  The Counseling Department is serving as host organization and the Office of School and Community Partnerships is coordinating Conference Logistics. Funding will support 2 honoraria to underwrite the cost of the conference's keynote presenters. This will allow for: (1) Students will be afforded a greatly reduced registration fee of $60.00 versus the $225.00 professional rate for conference attendance and (2) Support attendance of 20 graduate student volunteers who will assist during the conference without registration cost.

CONNECT Event 2024

Program Team: Meagan Glasco, Amanda Stevens, Brianna Davis, Jackie Robinson, Artemis Ashland, Kinsey Sheehan, Taylor Rauschenberg
College(s)/Divisions(s): Belk College of Business - Collaboration between Diversity Committee, External Relations, and Niblock Student Center (inclusive of Peer Guides
and Student Organizations)

Connect Event 2024 is a half-day conference event for the Black and Latinx Belk College community with the goals of:  (1) Helping create networking opportunities to meet/speak with professionals (Opportunity); (2) Discussing topics related to being underrepresented in the workplace, talking about the workplace (Awareness);  (3) Preparing students for internships and full-time work (Planning);  and (4) Providing role models, success stories, motivation for students (Relevant Contacts).

Calling all Future Educators

Program Team: Scott Kissau, Teresa Petty, Jadah Nicholson, Aisha Joseph
College(s)/Division(s): Dean’s Office & Office of Recruitment, Cato College of Education
The Cato College of Education propose to host an all-day campus recruitment event targeting aspiring teachers from underrepresented groups, and investigate how it influenced their 1) knowledge about teaching, 2) attitudes toward the teaching profession, and 3) familiarity with inclusive teaching practices, in order to guide and inform future recruitment events. The event, scheduled for late April 2024, is intended to encourage high school students, current UNC Charlotte undergraduate students, and community members from underrepresented groups to consider a career as a K-12 teacher and ultimately enroll in one of our undergraduate or graduate initial licensure programs. 

Reflection, Resilience, and Restoration: Women's & Gender Studies 40th Anniversary Project

Program Team: Sonya Ramsey, Tina Shull, Dawn Schmitz,  Katie Howell, Adreonna Bennett, Tina Wright
College(s)/Division(s): Women's and Gender Studies Program, Public History Program, Atkins Library Special Collections, College of Humanities and Earth and Social Sciences, Atkins Library

This proposal was developed from a collaboration with the Public History Program and Atkins Library to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Women's and Gender Studies Program by sponsoring a three-part research project/event titled Reflection, Resilience, and Restoration: Women's Studies Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary! 2024. It includes an Atkins Library 40th Anniversary Archival and Oral History Research Project, a WGST Alumni and Current Student Afternoon Networking Event, and a 40th Anniversary WGST Leaders Roundtable Signature Event with former WGST directors, faculty, students, and community supporters.

Justine Lindsay: Mental Wellness While Breaking Barriers

Project Team: Erica Lennon, Renita Sengupta, Emily Brown, Daniela Recabarren, Sonya Ramsey, Jenn Byrd, Chelsea Ortiz
Counseling and Psychological Services (with co-sponsorship with Women and Gender Studies, Sport Psychology office, Office of Identity, Equity and Engagement, LGBTQ+ Staff/Faculty Caucus, and Center for Integrated Care)

The Center for Psychological Services (CAPS) will bring Justine Lindsay, the first openly trans-identified cheerleader in the National Football League, to Charlotte in Fall, 2023. Lindsay, who is a member of the Carolina Panthers TopCats squad, a professional dancer, and a podcaster will speak on her experiences navigating spaces as a Black trans woman that have historically been occupied by White cisgender women and attending to her mental health while doing so. She will meet with student leaders in an intimate roundtable setting and present a keynote address to the campus community that facilitates discussion about unpacking impact of race and gender identity within sport and the resulting impact on mental health while engaging the audience in the process of challenging the underlying biased messaging related to belonging. 

Intercultural Development: Preparing Today’s Students to be Global Leaders Tomorrow

Project Team: Susana Cisneros, Languages and Culture Studies

This proposal expands the SPAN 3202 Advanced Conversation and Composition curriculum by incorporating three specific workshops. a) Intercultural Development Inventory b) Leadership> Motivation and Inspiration, c) Self-care in the personal and professional space. Students will develop their Spanish in thinking, reading, speaking, listening and writing critically about the impact of socio-historical patterns on cultural norms in today´s world. This course will allow students to develop a frame of reference for thinking about and building intercultural competence to achieve international and domestic diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice goals and outcomes through the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). 

ADVANCE Speaker Series

Project Team: Eddy Souffrant, Department of Philosophy and Andrea Dulin, ADVANCE FADO

The proposal aims to develop an enduring collaboration between various offices and departments within the University that seek to actively support the incorporation of themes and practices that relate to the effective incorporation of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion into the various practices of administrators and faculty that hail from the said Offices, Departments, and ultimately Units of the University. 

2023 Annual Intertribal Powwow at UNC Charlotte

Project Team: Michelle Stanley, Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Analytics, Native American Caucus, Native American Student Association

The Native American Caucus and the Native American Student Association are co-hosting the second Annual Intertribal Powwow. Intertribal Powwows are events where Native Americans from diverse Tribal Nations gather for drumming, dancing, story-telling, sharing crafts, honor songs, and being in community with one another. The 2023 Annual Intertribal Powwow will build upon the success of last year's Powwow to continue to provide important opportunities for community-building, providing Native-led programming and events, improving sense of belonging among Natives at UNC Charlotte, raising awareness, and disrupting Indigenous erasure.

Innovative Approaches to Spanish teaching for Latinx heritage speakers in the Carolinas. Scholars and Teachers initiatives

Project Team: Javier Garcia Leon, Paloma Fernández Sánchez, Olga Padilla-Falto, and Maria Lorena Delgadillo Latorre, All from Department of Languages and Culture Studies

We are applying for funds to carry out the 2024 Heritage Language Learning Symposium. The symposium aims to enhance diversity, promote equity and foster inclusion through the promotion of innovative practices and experiences for teaching Spanish to Latinx heritage speakers in the Carolinas. The event is dedicated to better serving the needs of Latinx heritage speakers at UNC Charlotte, and to promote current debates on Heritage Language Education at large. We also aim to strengthen bilingual/heritage language education practices by connecting scholars, language instructors, and students at the local, regional, national, and international level. The funds will be used for honorariums and travel expenses for guest speakers, facilitators, and other expenses during the two-day event.

STEAMSATIONAL: Engaging low-wealth urban students in summer STEM-based writing camp

Project Team: Heather Coffey and Lucy Arnold, Department of Middle, Secondary, and K12 Education

This project will support 10 campers from Title 1 schools in an academic summer camp that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM). Over the past 12 years, the UNC Charlotte Writing Project (UNCCWP) has supported enrichment for students in Grades 3-8 through our summer camps. This project continues this tradition by bringing Writing Project consultants, UNC Charlotte Faculty, and UNC Charlotte Teaching Fellows together to support campers through innovative content and activities. Scholarships from this grant will support 10 students in grades 3-8 in a one-week summer camp of their choice. 

DEIA Descriptive Practices Study

Project Team: Savannah Lake and Joseph Nicholson, Atkins Library

Atkins Library will develop a usability study to help make our library catalog and digital collections more representative and respectful to users. Specifically, the usability study would evaluate records within our catalog and collections that contain offensive, outdated, and problematic terminology, and ask library users from those affected communities to share what language they feel better represents them. This study serves as an innovative contribution to a widening field of inquiry into issues of representation and inclusiveness in library metadata that has only rarely sought the involvement and perspective of user groups most directly impacted by our legacy descriptive practices. 

Inclusive Stories of Health

Project Team: Gordon Hull, Margaret Quinlan, Amber Knight, Erin Basinger
Center for Professional and Applied Ethics, Dept. of Philosophy, Health and Medical Humanities Program, Dept. of Communication Studies, Dept. of Political Science and Public Admin

People’s experiences of health and disease are often negatively impacted by their social position, with women, racial minorities, and the disabled experiencing worse outcomes. Part of the reason for these disparities lies in the reluctance of healthcare providers and others in the healthcare system to take their subjective accounts of their experiences seriously. This series will host lectures, seminars, and workshops (in person and virtually) in health and medical humanities that explore this narrative component of health inequities to raise awareness and competency for students pursuing healthcare careers and for those already in healthcare professions. The series thus brings humanities and social sciences scholars together to think about our knowledge and experience of health and disease.

International Festival - Fall 2023

Project Team: Joanne Michaud and Joe Hoff
UNC Charlotte International Student groups, Athletics, University Police, Chartwells, University Sustainability, Facilities Management, Student Affairs

As of 2023, UNC Charlotte serves students from over 90 countries across the globe. With this in mind, UNC Charlotte has the unique opportunity to demonstrate to students that our college is proud to celebrate their culture. The International Festival (I-Fest), which will be held on September 23, 2023 serves as a multifaceted way for students to share their culture, celebrate cultural diversity and provide a sense of belonging for UNC Charlotte’s international cultural groups. In addition to this priority, I-Fest is a space for the greater Charlotte community to enjoy cultural diversity on our beautiful campus.

2024 Thriving Together Symposium

Project Team: Terrence Harper, Leigh Norwood, Phylicia Currence
Center for Integrated Care

The Thriving Together Symposium is an annual opportunity for sharing student, staff, and faculty feedback (regarding their experiences at Charlotte in association with their diverse social identities) and sharing best practices with regard to creating a campus climate that epitomizes equity, inclusivity, and belonging. With our work occurring in student affairs, the symposium centers the needs of students; however, data gathered regarding how diverse students best feel well and supported likely has implications for staff/faculty wellness, recruitment and retention. 

Pride Programming Board

Project Team: Chelsea Ortiz, Office of Identity, Equity, and Engagement

The vision for the Pride Programming Board (under the Office of Identity, Equity, and Engagement) is to support and develop programming that affirms, uplifts, and centers for LGBTQ+ students at UNC Charlotte while educating students seeking to be allies of the LGBTQ+ community. The need for this student-led programming board stems from the desire to increase LGBTQ+ student programs on campus, provide more paid leadership opportunities, and create a stronger sense of belonging for LGBTQ+ students and allies at UNC Charlotte. Five student Pride Coordinators will be on the board to better support the spectrum of identities that fall under the LGBTQ+ umbrella. 

Wellness Taskforces Diversity Competencies Series

Project Team: Daniela Recabarren, Emily Stewart, Steve Muir, Janaka Lewis
Center for Integrated Care  

The Health and Well-being Unit Wellness Taskforces (Black Wellness, Latinx Wellness, and LGBTQ+ Wellness) wish to develop a series of competency trainings on areas of diversity for the three above identities to health and wellbeing employees. These trainings would include partnerships with community stakeholders that can present relevant material to improve the skillset of providers, and administrative employees when working with UNC Charlotte students who hold Black, Latinx, or LGBTQ+ identities, as well as other intersecting identities within each of those communities.

Working with Diverse Populations of PreK-12 Students

Project Team: Tisha Perkins Greene, Ann Jolly, Coreen Okraski, Kate Gilbert, and Niki Sashington
Office of School & Community Partnerships

Because the student teaching internship is filled with a wide range of challenges, student teachers often rely heavily on their clinical educator/mentor teacher (CE) to help navigate these obstacles. One of the most common obstacles student teachers face are working and teaching diverse populations of student learners. This project aims to provide training to both clinical educators and their student teachers simultaneously to work with diverse populations of students through monthly evening seminars.

Working with Gender-Expansive Client: Effective Strategies for Counselors and Stakeholders

Project Team: Kristie Opiola, Susan Furr, and Sejal Foxx
Counseling (Cato College of Education)

The purpose of this grant is to provide insight and education to both current students and community professional counselors on best practices to working with gender expansive clients. While counselors may have some knowledge of working with gay and lesbian clients, they may be less informed about the needs of transgender and gender-fluid clients. This grant would support two educational events. The first event is the Bob Barret Distinguished Lecture in Multicultural Issues where the topic of working with gender-expansive clients will be introduced. The second event is an in-depth skills workshop for enhancing counselors inclusive work with this population.