Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion Noontime Knowledge

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

At F&S, one of our guiding principles is that we are fully committed to “a diverse workforce in an inclusive workplace that unleashes the talents of all employees to create value, deliver superior support, and develop innovative solutions for the customers we serve.”

As an organization, we fully support the university’s commitment to the most fundamental principles of academic freedom, equality of opportunity, and human dignity which requires that “decisions involving students and employees be based on merit and free from discrimination in all its forms.”

By creating a workplace that allows everyone to feel welcome and provides equal access to opportunity for success, we will strengthen our role supporting the mission of the university. Ultimately, creating an ongoing discussion about diversity and inclusiveness will make our organization better and move us closer to meeting the evolving needs of customers.

Diversity Committee

F&S’ Diversity and Inclusion Committee was formed in February 2015 as a part of a campus-wide effort to engage all individuals on the Urbana campus in discussion about diversity and inclusion. The committee created a vision statement and assessed the culture and commitment to diversity and inclusion at F&S through a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis. Based on discussions, SWOT analysis, and data review, the committee developed a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, which includes guiding principles and actionable items.

Committee Members

Virtual Event Series

Each month, the F&S Diversity and Inclusion Committee hosts speakers from around the campus community to share their stories. The discussions strive to strengthen relationships and focus on the ways that we can treat others in a manner that encourages and strengthens an environment of inclusivity. You can sign up to receive login information for upcoming events at Watch previous presentations below and on the F&S YouTube channel.

Latest Event Presentations

American Indian Boarding Schools in the Era of Cultural Genocide

“American Indian Boarding Schools in the Era of Cultural Genocide” was the topic of the Noontime Knowledge event on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, as part of the Native American Heritage Month activities on campus. The guest speaker, David Beck, is a history professor whose current focus is “the U.S. government’s American Indian policy in the 1950s and 1960s.

Book Banning

Emily Knox recently testified on book bans before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. She was the guest speaker at the Facilities & Services Noontime Knowledge virtual event hosted by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee on Wednesday, October 18, 2023. Knox is an associate professor in the School of Information Sciences and author of Book Banning in 21st Century America and Foundations of Intellectual Freedom. Her topic at tomorrow’s meeting is “On Libraries and Book Bans: Challenges to Vital Community Institutions.”

Physical Activity and Aging

Jeanine Bensken, president of the Healthy Champaign County board and nontraditional PhD student in Kinesiology and Community Health at the university, was the guest speaker for September’s Noontime Knowledge (Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023), which was hosted by the F&S Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She gave an interactive talk, “Physical Activity for Health: What does it really mean as we age?” The discussion will explore topics in physical activity and health across the lifespan and how physical activity and health can mean different things for people.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

In May 2023, Noontime Knowledge featured Japan House Director Jennifer Gunji-Ballsrud. F&S’ Diversity and Inclusion Committee hosted a special webinar in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month on “Chado, the Way of Tea.” Ballsrud provided a walk-through of the tea garden at Japan House, and then shared the tea ceremony with viewers.

Diversity and the Campus Landscape Master Plan – Brent Lewis

In honor of 2023 Earth Day, University Landscape Architect Brent Lewis delivered a talk on diversity and the Campus Landscape Master Plan in honor of Earth Day and as part of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee’s Noontime Knowledge program.