University of Utah Holds Day of Collective Action on March 22

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By Vanessa Hudson, News Writer

 

March 22, 2022, will mark the University of Utah’s first Day of Collective Action. In light of recent racial incidents on campus, the Presidential Commission on Equity and Belonging has created a day to reflect, learn and take action against racism, bias and violence in the community.

The Day of Collective Action is an all-day event that features workshops, sessions, speakers and exercises that will help the U community reflect, understand and work towards creating a safe and diverse community. It is part of the PCEB’s 30-60-90 day approach to combat racism on campus. 

Sessions and workshops include various topics and discussions. Anti-racism, navigating college as an undocumented student, diversity, restorative justice and understanding colonization are a few of the topics covered throughout the day. 

The PCEB offers reflection questions for participants to process what they are learning in the various sessions. Examples include: “How might you be an ally or an accomplice? What is the difference?” and “How do you envision the campus changing?”

People who plan to attend any of the presidential sessions are encouraged to submit an RSVP. After attending events, people can fill out feedback forms to share their takeaways.

The goal for the day is to hold the community and each other accountable for the recent actions that have occurred on campus.

“That’s really what is grounding our Day of Collective Action, this idea behind accountability and action,” said Bryan Hubain, the co-chair of the Day of Collective Action Committee.

Hubain said this day is happening because as a campus, the U has experienced a lot of hate.

“The Day of Collective Action really helps us to get some actions that help us go step by step and chip away at these systemic barriers and address some of the harm and trauma that a lot of our underrepresented populations are experiencing on campus,” Hubain said.

The U has experienced several racial incidents within the last few months, including a bomb threat to the Black Cultural Center. Hubain said this is why the Day of Collective Action is happening.

“I’m aware of the ways in which incidences, like a bomb threat, continue to deepen the wounds of racial harm,” said Vice President of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Mary Ann Villarreal. “I’m aware of how divided we are from our communities and the tensions and how hard it is to live on a campus together.”

Members of the presidential cabinet, organizers and commissioners hope the Day of Collective Action brings the campus community together.

“It’s not just the process of doing — it is really about leading us to who we can become,” Villarreal said. “And that requires all of us.” 

March 22, 2022, marks the first Day of Collective Action at the U, and according to the PCEB, it will become an annual event.

 

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