Skip Navigation

Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leverages Technology to Broaden Outreach

Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leverages Technology to Broaden Outreach

#WeAreTogether Diversity Equity and Inclusion logo


Despite the challenges presented by being away from campus, our collective behavioral shift toward greater online engagement has allowed the mission of the OU Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to gain momentum. Our current circumstances have prompted us to reimagine our work, enabling us to expand our outreach and connect with more faculty, staff and students through online webinars, programming, community building and trainings.

The COVID-19 crisis has increased our ability to emphasize our three pillars: education, advocacy and awareness. We are educating more students through a self-paced First-Year Diversity Training, which students can attend online, on their schedule.

Our advocacy for marginalized populations continues digitally via the Unlearning Series: Diversity Ally Workshops. They have tripled in size, allowing us to become more equitable in our approach. In less than one month, we have reached over 500 participants.

Through the #WeAre Webinars, we can expand awareness of topics like mental health, coalition building and indigenous ways of healing. Each webinar highlights a different department across campus, emphasizing that #WeAre together as a community regardless of our location.

Additionally, we co-hosted a tribal hymn singing, which proved to be a wonderful way to connect our communities and use song and music as a form of healing and community building.

Our employee resource groups have been able to meet via Zoom, bringing faculty, staff and students together to discuss ways to positively cope, create schedules and persist.

Furthermore, we have continued our cultural heritage months by offering faculty research symposiums during women’s history month, and we will offer one featuring Native American and APIDA/MENA (Asian Pacific-Islander Desi American/Middle-Eastern North African) faculty on April 23.

Finally, understanding the financial strain on our students, we have also made emergency funds available for students in need.

The COVID-19 crisis has helped us further our mission and lead as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion leaders at the University of Oklahoma. Our upcoming events include opportunities for us to continue educating, advocating and providing awareness.

We are adding captions to all of our webinars and posting them on our website for future and accessible viewing.

A webinar to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on marginalized populations in Oklahoma and across the country has been set for noon on May 20. We will feature our OU Health Sciences Center medical professionals to lend their expertise to the topic.

Additionally, we are hosting a virtual town hall for April 30 (time TBD) for our graduate students, who we know face a myriad of challenges as professional students. The goal is to provide a space for our underrepresented graduate students to connect and receive resources from the Graduate College, International Student Services and our office.

Finally, as we develop our plans for future webinars, trainings and cultural month celebrations, we will continue to operate as equitably and inclusive as possible while reaching our diverse audiences across all three campuses.

For more information on our upcoming events, visit


By the OU Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Faculty Research Symposium w/Natalie Youngbull PHD Joshua Nelson PHD & Roksana Alavi PHDThurs April 23 12PM-2PM This is a conversation focused on indigenous wellbeing, coping mechanisms using media, and discussing what is next after the COVID-19 crisis. Pre-Register

Article Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2020