Celebrating Our Graduates, Student Resources, Upcoming Events
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In this issue:
  • A note from our director
  • The Breathing Room
  • Additional Upcoming WLRC events
  • Staying Connected: Updates about COVID-19 and WLRC/CAN
  • CCUSC events
  • Campus opportunities
  • Community opportunities
  • Connect with us!
A note from our director

When We Win

There are some days when it seems as if hope is all we have to quench our thirst for justice.

However few and far between, the wins are a reminder, in the words of Audre Lorde, that our silence will never protect us.

So here’s to wins, however they come!

UIC’s Graduate Employees Organization spoke up and won additional sick leave related to COVID-19 and summer housing for international students, and influenced the expansion of paid summer internship opportunities available to graduate students.

Ida B. Wells was awarded a Pulitzer posthumously (ninety years after her death) for her role in documenting the racist practice of lynching of African Americans and creating a tradition of investigative reporting that informs collective efforts to seek redress and justice. Her work and spirit embody Black feminist traditions of truth-telling, and many people have agitated for greater recognition of her work and her life for years. Here in Chicago, a street was named after her in 2019. UIC has also created the Ida B. Wells Scholarship Fund to which anyone can donate. New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, who goes by the handle “Ida Bae Wells,” also won a Pulitzer for her role in the 1619 Project. Nikole and the project have been subjected to harsh criticism and attacks by many White historians and public personalities. The parallels between the treatment of the two women, the ironic ways in which social change manifests in a society whose institutions are shaped by white supremacy and heteropatriarchy--all are laid bare in her tweet:

I've been trying to come up with sentences worthy of summing up how it felt to be awarded @PulitzerPrizes the same day as Ida B. Wells for a project I led on the legacy of slavery for the @nytimes, a newspaper that in 1894 called Wells a "slanderous and nasty-minded mulattress."

Black women wielding “the master’s tools” can use those to tell uncomfortable truths about the very systems and structures that will punish them for speaking up. It is for all of us to hear all those who speak up--whether they use megaphones, petitions, song, tweets, or news articles--and become inspired to seek out the hidden stories of injustice that can nurture movements and instigate change.

What are the individual and collective wins that you want to celebrate as we end this semester? Share them with us!

Here are a few things happening in UIC’s virtual world that keep you connected to community and celebrate individual and collective wins:

Lavender Graduation’s keynote speaker will be Sam Kirk! Check here for updates.

The interdisciplinary programs of African American Studies, Latin American & Latino Studies, Gender & Women’s Studies, and Global Asian Studies will be having a celebration of new graduates on the morning of May 10. Check their Facebook pages for more information.

A town hall on African American Students and COVID-19 was held online on Wednesday, May 6 (the video and follow-up resources will be shared on the Office of Diversity’s website).

We have been through a lot together over these past few weeks. Please take care of yourselves.

In love and solidarity,

Natalie Bennett

The Breathing Room

Join us in The Breathing Room, a place to unwind, heal, and find community. We'll be sharing reflections, creative and scholarly endeavors, and activity ideas in this newsletter, on our website, on our social media, and in a weekly Zoom session.

A man with a white cap, round glasses, a curly mustache, and a red and yellow kerchief tied around his neck looks into the camera 

Poetry Sharing with "The Flying Busman"

Friday, May 8, 2020
Registration required for Zoom info

This week we’ll be joined by special guest Mickey “The Flying Busman” Mahan, a retired bus driver whose talents and interests include poetry, jumping on a pogo stick, painting, making s’mores, playing guitar, and much more! He will be sharing his poetic and musical talents with us, and we invite you to do the same! If you have any poems that you’d like to share, whether they are written by you or someone else, we’d love to hear them. Help us create a space of sharing poetry and art during this isolating time. CART live captioning will be provided.

A woman with brown hair tied back, wearing a teal sleeveless dress, smiles at the camera. 

Calling for a Feminist Foreign Policy to Confront the Pandemic

Friday, May 15, 2020
Registration required for Zoom info

Dr. Nadine Naber, professor in Gender and Women's Studies and Global Asian Studies at UIC, will facilitate a conversation about ending militarism in the U.S. and globally while taking seriously the impact of U.S. war abroad on indigenous, immigrant, and people of color in the U.S., especially women and gender non-conforming people. CART live captioning will be provided.

A person lying on a stuffed armchair with headphones on and a cat in their lap 

TV Shows That Dismantle Toxic Masculinity

Want to watch a show that dismantles toxic masculinity by portraying characters that take accountability and accept the consequences of their actions? These shows highlight the responsibility of men to use their power and privilege to effect positive change for women.

Additional Upcoming WLRC Events
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Write @ WLRC

Fridays: May 8, and 15, 2020
10am - 12pm
Registration required for Zoom info

Need to finish your semester grading? Can’t find the time or motivation to write? Working on your dissertation/conference paper/creative project? Need some structure, support, and accountability? Join our weekly virtual write onsite space for graduate students, faculty, and staff!

Aerial photo of UIC's campus 

WLRC will be physically closed for the duration of spring semester and the first part of summer. Staff are working remotely and can be reached at wlrc@uic.edu. We will continue to stay connected with you through social media and email.

The Campus Advocacy Network will continue to serve UIC students, faculty, and staff. Our confidential advocate is available for virtual appointments. To schedule a meeting or request more information, please email can-appointment@uic.edu or kmaginot@uic.edu. You can also call (312) 413-8206 and leave a voicemail.

We are open to connecting with you in multiple ways:

  • Phone: (312) 413-8206 or (312) 488-9784
  • Video conference (Webex or Google Hangouts)
  • Online chat (Google Chats)
  • Email

For those living with violence, having to isolate or self-quarantine oneself can make a situation more unsafe. We are here to answer questions and provide support if you or a loved one is in a situation like this. If you are looking for shelter, food, or safety planning, please reach out to CAN to learn the options available on and off campus. We also encourage you to check in with friends and family who may be vulnerable and share our contact information with them.

More info & resources

CCUSC Events & Resources
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UIC's Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change are bringing you virtual programming! Click each center's name below for details on events, services, resources, and ways to connect on social media:

African-American Cultural Center

Arab American Cultural Center

Asian American Resource and Cultural Center

Disability Cultural Center

Gender and Sexuality Center

Latino Cultural Center

Office of Diversity

Students crouching over and painting a sign on the ground 

Additional Campus Diversity Resources

Latinx Town Hall Resources

UIC recently hosted a town hall for Latinx students in response to the pandemic. Here you can rewatch the town hall and find a packet of resources, including emergency funds, career services, mental health, student engagement, and support for undocumented students. Resources from town halls for Asian/Asian American and African American/Black/African students will be posted here soon as well.

Yellow Peril and COVID-19 Teach-In Resources

The UIC Asian and Asian American Student Collective recently hosted a teach-in about the historical narratives driving racism and xenophobia during the pandemic.

UIC Bias Reporting Tool

This form is designed to help all UIC staff, students, and faculty share your experiences with bias, harassment, and discrimination so that the university can support you and better understand the complex needs and challenges facing our campus community. If you fill out the form, it will be reviewed by staff in the UIC Office of the Dean of Students. Reports involving faculty and staff will be referred to and/or reviewed in coordination with the Office for Access and Equity and the Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity.

Statement from UIC Administration Against Anti-Asian/Asian American Racism and Xenophobia

On April 27, Chancellor Amiridis, Provost Poser, and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Barish released a statement of support for Asians and Asian Americans at UIC during COVID-19.

Teaching Against Racism

UIC Global Asian Studies faculty have developed an open-ended set of resources that speak to racism and xenophobia in the age of COVID-19, with a focus on discrimination against Asians and Asian Americans at the moment--but also more broadly linking this political economic moment to issues of structural racism and violence that other communities of color are facing. To suggest additional resources, email teachingraceandcovid19@gmail.com.

Stigma and COVID-19: Viruses Do Not Discriminate

WLRC teamed up with the Asian American Resource and Cultural Center, Office of International Services, and the Office of the Dean of Students to develop a resource guide for combatting anti-Asian racism tied to COVID-19. Please share with your communities.

Ways to Support Students During Ramadan

Our friends at the Arab American Cultural Center have created this helpful resource for supporting our students during Ramadan.

COVID-19 Resources for Undocumented Students

The Office of Diversity wants to make sure our undocumented immigrant community is aware of the internal and external resources available to support you during this time. For any additional questions, please contact Tanya Cabrera, Assistant Vice Provost for Student Inclusion, at tcabrera@uic.edu or (312) 355-0011.

Campus Opportunities
Dr. Amalia Pallares and Dr. Barbara Ransby inside graphics of balloons 


Coming Together! A Celebration of Our Graduates
Sunday, May 10, 10am

UIC's African American Studies, Gender & Women's Studies, Global Asian Studies, and Latin American and Latino Studies departments are hosting a joint celebration of 2020 graduates, featuring guests of honor Dr. Amalia Pallares and Dr. Barbara Ransby.


COVID-19 Emergency Grants for UIC Students

If you are eligible for the COVID-19 Emergency Grant, your portal at https://my.uic.edu/uPortal/f/welcome/normal/render.uP has been updated with a document for you to complete and upload. You should have received an email notification informing you that the requirement is posted. Please complete the document immediately as applications will not be accepted after May 8, 2020.

COVID-19 LAS Scholarship Support

The LAS Dean’s Office is pleased to offer a limited number of scholarship awards (up to $1,000) to LAS students who require assistance with educational expenses (e.g. tuition, fees, housing, books or other unforeseen expenses) due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  If you have any questions about this application, please contact lasscholarships@uic.edu


GWS 290/CRN 22305: From Belly Dancers to Terrorists: The Middle East in Hollywood Movies

Summer course with Professor Nadine Naber
Tues-Thurs: 10:45am-1:15pm

What is the connection between U.S. interventions in the Middle East and portrayals of Arabs and Muslims in Hollywood? What do gender and sexuality have to do with these portrayals? How do media images impact the lives of Arabs and Muslims in their homelands and in the U.S.? The course will focus on the post-cold war era of U.S. interventions in the Middle East to 9/11 and to the recent rise in white supremacy. Students will also engage with media counter-cultures like independent Arab and Arab American film, stand-up comedy, and hip hop. Overall, students will develop tools for engaging in the changing landscape of U.S. race, gender, sexuality, nationalism and empire building.

GWS 455: Abolition & Decolonization

Fall course with Professor Ronak K. Kapadia
Wednesdays: 3-4:45pm

This interdisciplinary course on transformative feminist visions of abolition and decolonization addresses social and cultural consequences of the prison-industrial complex alongside histories of US warfare, settler colonialism, and racial capitalism. This seminar's ultimate focus will be a study of transformative and healing justice approaches created by primarily North American intersectional feminist, queer, trans, crip, anti-racist, and decolonial visionaries. 


Masks for MOMs Needs Your Help!

Masks for MOMS wants to get reusable cloth face masks to the moms and moms-to-be who need them for labor, delivery, and prenatal visits in the Chicagoland area. We are currently looking for volunteers to help us make as many masks as possible. By working together, we can support pregnant Illinoisans and reduce the anxiety of going to doctors’ appointments or the other necessary errands, especially if using public transportation.  Sponsored by the UIC Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health.

Call for Submissions: Six Feet Apart: Stories from UIC during COVID-19

The UIC Library’s Special Collections and University Archives, UIC Humanities In Medicine student group (HuMed), and the UIC College of Medicine are launching a project to document how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting life at UIC and need your stories, photos and artwork!

Call for Submissions: UIC Counseling Center COVID-10 Video Advocacy Project

In response to the violence and discrimination against Asian communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UIC Counseling Center is developing a short video featuring UIC students, faculty, and staff to highlight how our community can take action. We are hoping to elevate the voices of those who have been impacted by discrimination and xenophobia.

UIC Solidarity Network Slack

The UIC Solidarity Network is a student-led initiative to create a collective space for all of us to stay connected, build community, share and access resources, and support one another. This is an incredibly difficult and isolating time for all of us, and it's important that we use our resources and capacities to care for each other to the best of our abilities. On this platform, you will find resources for financial assistance, local & neighborhood mutual aid projects, a job board, COVID-19 resources for various communities (including multilingual), free social distancing activities, and more. This is intended to be a living and fluid space for all of us to contribute to and shape to meet our needs and interests. 

Call for Participants: Pregnancy and Birth During the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr. Kylea Liese and Dr. Julienne Rutherford of the UIC College of Nursing seek participants for a research study on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted women’s experience and choices surrounding pregnancy and birth. Adults who are currently pregnant or have given birth since January 2020 may be eligible.

Campus Recreation Online Fitness Classes

UIC Campus Recreation is offering daily group fitness classes, including Bodyweight, Core Training, BollyX, and Flow. They are also starting new eSports leagues for FIFA, Madden NFL, NBA2K, and NHL (registration required).

Fill Out the Census!

UIC's Census Team wants you to fill out the Census! Help your community receive the funding and services it needs! Respond via website, phone, or mail:  2020census.gov. Your answers are private and will not be shared with federal agencies or law enforcement entities.

Community Opportunities
Violet background with group of people raising fist to air 

Gender Justice In The Time Of COVID- A National Teach In
Thursday, May 7, 6pm

This Thursday, Rising Majority is continuing our National Teach In series. We had such a juicy and timely conversation about racial capitalism with Angela Davis, Naomi Klien, and members of the Rising Majority. This week we are back with a teach in and conversation focused on the gendered impacts COVID_19 have on womxn of color around the world

Zoom University: Family Week!

Join End Rape On Campus + It's On Us for our Zoom University: A Self-Care Survivors Series' FAMILY WEEK! These webinars are for parents, hosted by Parents Take Action-EROC, a grassroots group of parents of student survivors of sexual assault. Hear from them and their personal narratives in navigating through the maze of campus administration and Title IX.

Monday, May 11, 6pm | Your Child Has Been Sexually Assaulted. Now What?

If you are a parent/legal guardian or relative of a college student who has been sexually assaulted and you're not sure what to do and need community to share your experience, this webinar is for you. Hear from parents of PTA-EROC and their first-hand account as they walk you through what you should know from supporting and taking care of your family, to navigating the Title IX process to making sure you take care of yourself.

Tuesday, May 12, 6pm | School Tours: What To Ask About Sexual Violence on Campus

Are you about to embark on a campus tour, yet not sure what to ask the college admissions counselors about sexual violence? PTA-EROC will help you navigate through this process when going on a college campus (virtual or not) tour.

Leveling the Playing Field for Gender Equity in Sports
Tuesday, May 12, 11am

On Friday, the United States Women's National Soccer Team suffered a blow, when their equal pay lawsuit was dismissed. ​Gender inequity and insufficient opportunity​ persist, nearly fifty years after the passage of Title IX, and some fear that women's sports will be another casualty of this pandemic. US Paralympian Oksana Masters, US Olympian Alysia Montaño, and Ladies Professional Golf Association commissioner Mike Whan join the Women's Sports Foundation's Sarah Axelson to consider the progress made—and hurdles remaining—to a level playing field for women's sport. Hosted by Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Virtual Heart-y Iftars!
EAST COAST IFTAR: Wednesday, May 13, 6:30-7:30pm  

MIDWEST IFTAR: Wednesday, May 20, 6:30-7:30pm

HEART invites you to join us for our first ever virtual iftar. We know that for many who are distanced from their loved ones for reasons even beyond Coronavirus, Ramadan can be a difficult and triggering time that can also remind us of how isolated we may be, disengaged from the communities we belong or disconnected from our faith. We will use the opportunity to engage in some healing and grounding practices, aligned with our theme for the month, Sukoon (Urdu for tranquility), share some knowledge from our faith tradition to help us navigate this period of prolonged isolation, and re-establish the practice of joy and celebration by breaking fast together.

Shelter from the Storm Inside: Supporting Recovery, Safety, and Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Thursday, May 14, 2-3:30pm

With all 50 states, nearly all territories, and many tribal nations reporting growing numbers of people impacted by COVID-19, we are all contending with escalating stressors, isolation, grief, and disconnection from regular sources of support and stability. The unique circumstances of this pandemic raise new kinds of challenges for mental health and substance use recovery. Additionally, those who live with an abusive person face increasing danger as they are isolated from school, work, and other sources of safety and support. As advocates, counselors, and peer support specialists, we play a crucial role in navigating these increased risks to recovery, safety, and well-being. This webinar, hosted by the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health, presents information on some of the increased risks and stressors in the current pandemic; offers strategies to support safety and well-being for survivors of domestic/sexual violence, staff, and ourselves; and resources to support these strategies.

The Network: Advocating Against Domestic Violence: Emergency Crisis Fund

The Fund will prioritize supports for survivors where no other funding is applicable. Examples of supports include, but are not limited to rental assistance, educational and social supports for e-learning for clients in shelter or community emergency housing, diapers, food or groceries, supports for incarcerated survivors, emergency cell phones, or bill payment to remain in housing. Other requests will be considered.

Call for Participants: Sexual Violence Among Muslims in North America: A Cross-Sectional Study

HEART Women & Girls and Loyola University Chicago's Center for Urban Research and Learning (CURL) seek participants for a study to better understand sexual violence, sexual health, and barriers to services in Muslim communities.

HEART Women & Girls Webinar Series

HEART is hosting a series of four webinars during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). This final webinar, hosted on April 29, 2020, focused on how to respond to survivors of sexual violence with RAHMA. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation is available for the duration of the video. All 4 webinars are now available on the HEART Women & Girls Facebook page.

Content warning: Descriptions of sexual harassment, abuse, and assault.

Call for Volunteers: Title IX Comment Catalog Project

This is a "crowd-researched" project to catalog each of the comments filed in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in November 2018 regarding Title IX and sexual harassment ("Title IX NPRM"). To participate, please visit the website, click the "I want to adopt 20 comments" button, and follow the instructions to catalog each comment in your batch. No specialized knowledge or skills are required.

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