UW-Parkside has a strong history of diversity and continues to work towards improving equity and inclusion for all students. Here is a look at our history in relation to the EDI work.
Equity, diversity, and inclusion have played important roles in shaping the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. When members of the first graduating class walked across a small stage on the concourse of Greenquist Hall in June 1970, Isom Fearn Jr. became the first African American to earn a UW-Parkside degree. In January 1971, Lillie Jackson, Willie Box, and Donald Harris followed in Mr. Fearn's footsteps.
UW-Parkside is the most diverse campus in the UW System, and we know that important distinction allows us to deliver a learning environment that prepares our graduates to live and interact with others from different cities, states, and countries. The university made a commitment to serving the needs of all students.
Timeline of Diversity
1968 - 1978
First major symposium is a four-part spring symposium entitled “The Future of Cultural Minorities in Industrial Societies” hosted by UW-Parkside. The director-coordinator of the United Migrant Opportunity Service in Wisconsin, Jesus Salas, was the featured speaker. Topics included: the use of political power, identity problems, and economic strategies. Other speakers included: Rev. Jesse Jackson, Father James Groppi, and representatives of the Wisconsin Department of Labor, Industry and Human Relations, the National Congress of American Indians, and various state and national civil rights groups. (University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Report on the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Involvement with Spanish-Speaking Communities. 1971. Print. 31 Oct. 2011.)
During the first semester of the 1969-70 school year, four UW-Parkside Spanish professors along with one professor from UW-Milwaukee presented a series of five informal lectures on Mexican history and culture at the Racine Spanish Center. This series was repeated during the second semester as well, at Kenosha’s United Migrant Opportunity Center. Topics included: Aztec culture, periods of conquest, colonization, revolution, independence and civil war, the modern political structure of Mexico, and modern art, architecture, and music of Mexico. (University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Report on the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Involvement with Spanish-Speaking Communities. 1971. Print. 31 Oct. 2011.)
Afro-American Society seeks alliance with Carthage College. President of Afro-American Society at the time is Virgil Ghant. The Afro-American society strongly desired the recruitment of at least 60 Afro-American students to enroll at Carthage for the fall semester, the integration of an Afro-American History course into the curriculum, and the hiring of Black faculty/personnel. (Afro-American Society. Letter to the President of Carthage College. 1969. TS)
Chancellor Wyllie appoints an eight member Human Rights Committee including a cross-section of the University: male and female, minority group members, faculty, administration, classified staff, and students. They believe it is their duty to encourage and promote the hiring of qualified black Americans, Spanish-speaking Americans, and the handicapped in all areas of campus employment. (Brockman, Clarence A. Letter to Robert L. Clodius. 17 Dec. 1970. TS)
Black Student Union releases statement of purpose. The black students of Parkside believed it was their duty to form a committee to serve as a liaison between faculty, the administration, and the black community. The Black Student Union proposed to implement three needs regarding recruitment of black students, and black faculty/non-faculty, develop curriculum through innovations and planning, and bring in social functions such as speakers, movies, dances, and general entertainment. (University of Wisconsin-Parkside. “Black Student Union Statement of Purpose.” 1970. Print. 29 Nov. 2011.)
The second annual report on the progress of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s Affirmative Action Program is released. The report serves the purpose of updating multicultural employment figures and to encourage the committee’s involvement in encouraging multicultural employment and equal employment. At this time, of the faculty and administrative staff of 283, only 16 are minorities, or 5.6%. (Brockman, Clarence A. Letter to Robert L. Clodius. 17 Dec. 1970. TS)
UW-Parkside’s first artist-in-residence is Spanish pianist Carmen Villa. (University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Report on the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Involvement with Spanish-Speaking Communities. 1971. Print. 31 Oct. 2011.)
Courses offered included: “Problems of American Minority Groups,” and “Field Work in Spanish.” (University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Report on the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Involvement with Spanish-Speaking Communities. 1971. Print. 31 Oct. 2011.)
The Humanities Division is chaired by a woman, Professor Stella Gray. (Brockman, Clarence A. Letter to Robert L. Clodius. 17 Dec. 1970. TS)
UW-Parkside sponsors a series of lectures in the Racine Environment Committee called “Summer Workshop in Urban Education for Racine Educators.” This workshop addressed special problems of Hispanics and other groups of color. (Wyllie, Irvin G. Letter to Edward M. Spicer. 2 Apr. 1973. TS)
Faculty of UW-Parkside met with representative of the Racine Spanish Center, Racine Unified School District, and Racine Community Action Program to develop a curriculum for a Hispanic History course for students in the Racine Unified School District. (Wyllie, Irvin G. Letter to Edward M. Spicer. 2 Apr. 1973. TS)
Chancellor Wyllie releases a report on UW-Parkside’s involvement with Spanish-speaking communities. During the 1970-71 school year, 56 of enrolled students are Hispanic, or 1.4%. At this time, about 3% of the Kenosha and Racine communities are comprised of Hispanics. This report points out that the Financial Aid Office stepped up efforts to ensure that Hispanic students are aware of the opportunities they have for aid. (University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Report on the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Involvement with Spanish-Speaking Communities. 1971. Print. 31 Oct. 2011.)
Statement of the Regent Ad Hoc Committee for Minority and Educationally Disadvantaged Students is released: “Our committee is unanimous in its support of the principle of integration. We believe in multi-cultural centers, multi-ethnic studies programs, and non-segregated facilities.” (University of Wisconsin-Parkside. “Report of Regent Ad Hoc Committee for Minority and Educationally Disadvantaged Students.” 5 May 1972. Print. 16 Nov. 2011.)
A Parkside professor gave an independent study in writing poetry in Spanish to a Hispanic at the Union Grove Correctional Camp. This student received an “A” and was invited to recite his poetry at the Racine Spanish Center, and on a local radio station. (Wyllie, Irvin G. Letter to Edward M. Spicer. 2 Apr. 1973. TS)
UW System Affirmative Action Mission and Policy Statement is released: “To serve effectively the needs of minority and educationally disadvantaged students, the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin system commits and rededicates its resources to the mission of meeting the continuing educational challenge of the present generation and strengthening its programs for preparing teachers and administrators so that future generations of minority and educationally disadvantaged students will be better served.” (University of Wisconsin-Parkside. “Affirmative Action Mission and Policy Statement.” 1972. Print. 16 Nov. 2011.)
American Indian students are eligible for the state’s new Indian Student Assistance Program. (University of Wisconsin-Parkside. “American Indians/UW-Parkside.” 25 Feb. 1972. Print. 16 Nov. 2011.)
Indian-related credit courses offered in the UW-Parkside curriculum include: Introductory Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Indians of North America, Problems of American Multicultural Groups, and Social and Cultural Differentiation. Two members of Parkside’s anthropology faculty have also devoted major research interests to the American Indian. (University of Wisconsin-Parkside. “American Indians/UW-Parkside.” 25 Feb. 1972. Print. 16 Nov. 2011.)
The Ed Spicer Report, a 90-second multicultural report on interested Wisconsin radio stations is offered as a daily feature on University of Wisconsin System programs for minority and educationally disadvantaged students. Topics included: tutoring, counseling, summer orientation, and the transitions minority and educationally disadvantaged students experienced as they entered higher education. (Spicer, Edward M. Letter to Rita Tallent. 11 Jan. 1973. TS)
Carole Gottlieb Vopat, professor of English, receives a Kiekhofer-Steiger award. She is only the second woman to receive such an award in the UW System and the first from a four-year campus since the first awards were given in 1953. (University of Wisconsin-Parkside. “Affirmative Action Progress Report.” 21 Feb. 1974. Print. 16 Nov. 2011.)
On March 1, 1974, Attorney Joseph J. Attwell was appointed Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Affirmative Action. Attwell is responsible for assuring campus compliance with federal and state equal employment statutes as they relate to hiring, promotion, termination of employment, and matters involving classification of employees including: faculty, staff, civil service employees, temporary employees, and appointees and probationary appointees and employees. (Wyllie, Irvin G. Memo to All Vice Chancellors, Assistant Chancellors, Deans, Divisional Chairmen, and Directors., University of Wisconsin System, Wisconsin. 21 Mar. 1974. TS)
At the end of the registration process, enrollment of multicultural students went from 224 in 1973, to 337 in 1974. That is considered a 50% increase.
-The number of black students increased by 82, and went from 152 to 234. This is a 54% increase.
-The number of Latino students went from 47 to 73, which is a 55% increase.
(Wyllie, Irvin G. Letter to Patrick C. Lucey. 17 Sept. 1974. TS)
UW-Parkside hosted the Second Annual Wisconsin Latin Bilingual-Bicultural Education Conference. Speakers included Governor Jerry Apodaca of New Mexico, and was sponsored by the National Task Force De La Raza, the UW-Parkside Education Division, UW-Milwaukee’s Spanish Speaking Outreach Center, LaCasa De La Esperanza of Waukesha, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and the Milwaukee, Racine, and Waukesha Latin communities. (Guskin, Alan E. Letter to Donald E. Percy. 27 May 1976. TS)
Center for Multicultural Studies (CMS) was created by faculty committed to addressing race and ethnic diversity issues. Professors involved include Surinder Datta, John Buenker, and Christine Sleeter. The first director was Surinder Datta. Second director was John Buenker. (Fay Akindes) (Akindes, Fay. “UW-Parkside Center for Ethnic Studies Self Study.” 24 Jan. 2004. Print. 22 Nov. 2011.)
UW-Parkside hosted a Fiesta Folklorico, which was a one-day event that included matinee and evening performances of the National Dance Company of Mexico. The event also showcased art, music, films, flowers and food from Mexico. Fiesta Folklorico was sponsored by UW-Parkside and a number of surrounding Latin communities. (Guskin, Alan E. Letter to Donald E. Percy. 27 May 1976. TS)
1978 - 1988
OMSA- Office of Multicultural Student Affairs is established. This office sponsors speak-outs regarding issues of race, such as Affirmative Action and racial stereotypes. (University of Wisconsin-Parkside. “Plan 2008 Final Report.” Dec. 2008. Web. 16 Nov. 2011.)
1988 - 1998
Center for Ethnic Studies, formally known as the Center for Multicultural Studies, originated in 1989 when the UW System Board of Regents instituted a 3-credit diversity course requirement for graduation. (Akindes, Fay. “UW-Parkside Center for Ethnic Studies Self Study.” 24 Jan. 2004. Print. 22 Nov. 2011.)
Center for Ethnic Studies: “The mission of the CES is to interrogate issues of race and ethnicity in the United States, making visible a history of systemic racism and its impact on the lives of people of color today. The CES seeks to politicize teaching and learning in order to create a transformative experience for students, enabling them to make changes in the world outside the classroom.” (Fay Akindes) (Akindes, Fay. “UW-Parkside Center for Ethnic Studies Self Study.” 24 Jan. 2004. Print. 22 Nov. 2011.)
- CES supports and develops courses that represent four under-represented groups: African Americans, Hispanic/Latino(a) Americans, Asian Americans, and Native American Indians. CES offers minor in Ethnic Studies.
- Objectives include: Reassessing the process for designating ethnic diversity status to courses, working closely with faculty and staff in developing courses that address the needs of Ethnic Studies, assessing the teaching of Ethnic Studies courses, collaborating and building coalitions with UW-Parkside organizations that share common goals and concerns, strengthen internships and community engagement, developing and implementing strategies to recruit and retain prospective minors, consider establishing a “Diversity Skills” Certificate Program, working with UW-Parkside departments to promote Ethnic Studies as a viable area of study, encouraging and supporting faculty research on race and ethnic studies, and considering an expansive definition of “diversity” beyond the four under-represented categories. (Fay Akindes’s Self-Study) (Akindes, Fay. “UW-Parkside Center for Ethnic Studies Self Study.” 24 Jan. 2004. Print. 22 Nov. 2011.)
A Committee on Racial Awareness and Cultural Diversity is established within the UW-Parkside Plan for Diversity. The main goal of the committee was to provide educational opportunities for students, faculty and staff on issues of racism and cultural diversity. Members of the committee include Ms. B Jean Bromley, Mr. Bob Canary, Dr. Rebecca Coleman, Mr. Chris Daniels, Mr. Royalo Garcia, Ms. Susan Lemens, Mr. Lloyd Mueller, Ms. DeAnne Possehl, Dr. James Kinchen, Ms. Jaqueline Martin, Mr. Dave Ostrowski, Ms. Diana Sharp, Dr. Cynthia Tompkins, and Dr. Carole Vopat. (Kaplan, Sheila. Memo to Committee on Racial Awareness and Cultural Diversity, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Wisconsin. 13 Sept. 1990. TS)
University officials travel to Soviet Georgia to initiate an exchange agreement between UW-Parkside and Georgian Technical University. In the same year, Chancellor Kaplan and Vice Chancellor John Stockwell travel to Nigeria to work out final details of an exchange agreement with Obafemi Awolowo University. (“The Birth of a University.” Perspective 1993: 10-15. Web.)
Disability Services is established under the direction of Renee Kirby. The mission of Disability Services is as follows: “The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is committed to high-quality educational programs, creative and scholarly activities, and services responsive to its diverse student population, and its local, national and global communities. To fulfill this mission, Disability Services recognizes that all persons who are disabled are an integral part of our society. Further, it is our goal to effectively collaborate with students, instructors, staff and community members to create useable, equitable, inclusive, and sustainable learning environments.” (Kirby, Renee. “Re: UW-Parkside Diversity Timeline.” Message to Stefanie Molinaro. 10 Nov. 2011.)
UW-Parkside awards its first honorary doctor of humane letters degree to Gwendolyn Brooks, Pulitzer Prize winning poet and frequent visitor to the campus. (“The Birth of a University.” Perspective 1993: 10-15. Web.)
A Gender Equity Alliance is formed. The first meeting was held on September 29, 1993. The Gender Equity Alliance allowed for discussion of gender issues, and an opportunity for teachers to meet with faculty about change. (“Gender Equity Alliance Formed.” Communique 20 Sept. 1993: 2. Print.)
Scholarships available for students of color at the time include: Communication Department Endowed Scholarship, Wisconsin Energy Corporation Endowed Scholarship, UW-Parkside Memorial Scholarship, McConnell-Robinson Scholarship, Bank One Racine Endowed Scholarship, Guttormsen Scholarship, Educators Credit Union Scholarship, Johnson’s Wax Fund Scholarship, UW-Parkside Foundation Minority Student Scholarship, and St. Mary’s Hospital. (University of Wisconsin-Parkside. “University of Wisconsin-Parkside Scholarships for Students of Color.” 13 Sept. 1993. Print. 22 Nov. 2011.)
Eleanor Smith is the first black chancellor to lead UW-Parkside. According to Katharine Lyall, UW System president at the time, “she established a much needed campus strategic planning process, did much to strengthen diversity and provided sustained support for the essential additional UW-Parkside’s physical education building, a facility that will serve both students and the larger community.” Lyall also pointed out that she “especially admired the dignity and sense of purpose she brought to her role at UW-Parkside.” (Journal Times) (Burke, Michael. “UW-P Chancellor Out After 3 Years.” The Journal Times. The Journal Times., 20 May 1997. Web. 26 Oct. 2011.)
1998 - 2008
Plan 2008 is implemented, and seeks to establish “Educational quality through racial/ethnic diversity.” (University of Wisconsin-Parkside. “Plan 2008 Final Report.” Dec. 2008. Web. 16 Nov. 2011.)
Farida Khan directed CES from 1998 to 2000. Under her leadership, the CES sponsored lectures including one by respected scholar Noel Ignatiev. (Akindes, Fay. “UW-Parkside Center for Ethnic Studies Self Study.” 24 Jan. 2004. Print. 22 Nov. 2011.)
Department of Biological Sciences receives the UW-Parkside Diversity Award. (“UW-Parkside Diversity Award.” uwp.edu, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.)
Christine Christie and Mary Day both receive the UW-Parkside Diversity Award. (“UW-Parkside Diversity Award.” uwp.edu, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.)
CES participated and co-sponsored a 2-hour dialogue on the Iraqi war, an all day conference on war, which included a keynote address by civil rights activist Carlos Munoz, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Ethnic Studies at the University of California-Berkeley. (Akindes, Fay. “UW-Parkside Center for Ethnic Studies Self Study.” 24 Jan. 2004. Print. 22 Nov. 2011.)
CES co-sponsored a presentation by Patrick Antonio Goldsmith, assistant professor of sociology/anthropology, on “Learning to Understand Diversity: Getting Students Past Common (Non)Sense.” (Akindes, Fay. “UW-Parkside Center for Ethnic Studies Self Study.” 24 Jan. 2004. Print. 22 Nov. 2011.)
UW-Parkside hosts Gay Civil Rights Diversity Circles Workshop. (“Inclusivity Initiative for LGBTQ People.” uwsa.edu, University of Wisconsin System, 2 Mar. 2007. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.)
UW-Parkside Student Government passes resolution of support for the Inclusivity Initiative. (“Inclusivity Initiative for LGBTQ People.” uwsa.edu, University of Wisconsin System, 2 Mar. 2007. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.)
Pat Goldsmith receives the UW-Parkside Diversity Award. (“UW-Parkside Diversity Award.” uwp.edu, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.)
Faculty and staff of color formed a non-governance group called Manitoulin. They established a council with elected representatives from academic staff, classified staff, and faculty of color. Manitoulin serves as an advocacy group, and their focus is campus climate, and ensuring an environment of respect, collegiality, and opportunity for all workers. (University of Wisconsin-Parkside. “Plan 2008 Final Report.” Dec. 2008. Web. 16 Nov. 2011.)
Roseann Mason receives the UW-Parkside Diversity Award. (“UW-Parkside Diversity Award.” uwp.edu, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.)
2008 - Present
The Center for Ethnic Studies supported the development of new diversity courses such as: Astronomy in Non-Western Cultures, Multicultural Theatre, Young Adult Literature, Multicultural Marketing, and Understanding White Privilege. (University of Wisconsin-Parkside. “Plan 2008 Final Report.” Dec. 2008. Web. 16 Nov. 2011.)
UW-Parkside Diversity Timeline by Stefanie Molinaro, English Major, Class of 2012 (during RangerLink internship)
The Seven UW System Goals Are:
Goal 1: Increase the number of Wisconsin high school graduates of color who apply, are accepted, and enroll at UW System institutions.
Goal 2: Encourage partnerships that build the educational pipeline by reaching children and their parents at an earlier age.
Goal 3: Close the gap in educational achievement by bringing retention and graduation rates for students of color in line with those of the student body as a whole.
Goal 4: Increase the amount of financial aid available to needy students and reduce their reliance on loans.
Goal 5: Increase the number of faculty, academic staff, classified staff and administrators of color so that they are represented in the UW System work force in proportion to their current availability in relevant job pools. In addition, work to increase their future availability as potential employees.
Goal 6: Foster institutional environments and development of courses that enhance learning and a respect for racial and ethnic diversity.
Goal 7: Improve accountability of the UW System and its institutions.
Plan 2008 Final Report