Message from Chancellor Blank: Invitation to campus conversations on diversity

Members of the Campus Community,

Last January, as the Black Lives Matter movement was galvanizing our nation, hundreds of Badgers came together to discuss the racial and ethnic climate on campus – our concerns, our hopes and specific actions that we could take to foster an atmosphere where all of us feel welcome and able to thrive.

It was a good and useful dialogue, affirming both that we have much work to do and that UW-Madison has a rich tradition of engaging issues of diversity and inclusion for more than 50 years. That’s a tradition of which we can and should be proud and we need to keep pushing it forward.

Now I invite you to continue that conversation, hear what progress has been made through our campus Diversity Framework, and help set the course for further action. “Moving Forward: Conversations on Racial and Ethnic Diversity” will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. on Feb. 24 at Gordon Commons. I’ll be joined by Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf, Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer Patrick Sims, Vice Provost and Dean of Students Lori Berquam and the ASM Equity and Inclusion Chair Miriam Coker.

We want to hear from you about specific topics you’d like to discuss. Visit the event Facebook page to vote for your choices.

Vice Provost Sims, Dean Berquam and several student leaders will also hold a “Coffee and Conversation” gathering this Tuesday, Feb. 16 in preparation for the broader forum. It will take place from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Multicultural Student Center lounge in the Red Gym. To participate online, use the hashtag #uwracialclimate and tweet to @cdo_uwmadison and @LoriBerquam.

We are committed to engaging all campus constituents on diversity and inclusion issues and communicating more effectively.

If you have questions about the Feb. 24 event or wish to request accommodations, please contact

I look forward to speaking with you again.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank