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Category: Events

IT-ATS launches 10-Day accessibility challenge for faculty

Maintaining accessibility is the responsibility of everyone involved in editing, designing, developing, procuring, managing, and approving digital content. The university is organizing a 10-Day Accessibility Challenge pilot to help individuals learn simple ways to make their courses accessible in Canvas.

This challenge launches with a kick-off meeting and the first challenge on Monday, July 24, and concludes on Friday, August 4.  Participants will meet again to reflect on the experience and to congratulate their efforts.  Meetings are optional and will be held in person and via Zoom. 

Faculty can register to participate in the challenge here.

Additional resources

  1. Digital Accessibility for Higher Education Solutions Trusted By Leading Organizations: This website provides solutions for digital accessibility in higher education.
  2. Higher Education Accessibility Online Resource Center: This online resource center provides examples of digital accessibility policies, legal requirements, and links to accessibility standards and procurement policies.
  3. Digital Accessibility for All Learners: The Office of Educational Technology is working to develop policies and supports that provide a platform for learners with disabilities to be a part of the conversation.
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Juneteenth – A Day of Freedom

University of Delaware offices will be closed on Monday, June 19, in observance of Juneteenth.

Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is an important holiday celebrated in the United States on June 19th each year. It commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans and represents a significant milestone in the nation’s history.

On June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, Union General Gordon Granger arrived and issued General Order No. 3, bringing the news of emancipation to the enslaved people there. This marked the effective end of slavery in the United States, over two years after President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared freedom for all slaves in Confederate territory but had not been enforced in Texas.

Juneteenth’s connection to agriculture

Juneteenth has historical connections to agriculture, particularly in the context of the African American experience during slavery and its aftermath. Understanding this link sheds light on the significance of agriculture in shaping Juneteenth celebrations.

During the era of slavery, agriculture played a central role in the economy of the Southern United States. Enslaved African Americans were forced to work on plantations and farms, primarily cultivating crops such as cotton, tobacco, sugar cane, and rice. They endured grueling labor, often under harsh conditions, contributing to the prosperity of the agricultural industry.

Juneteenth holds particular significance as it marks the moment when enslaved people in Texas finally received news of their freedom, which had been legally granted more than two years earlier. This timing is notable because it coincided with the transition from slavery to a free labor system, where many newly emancipated individuals chose to work on farms and plantations as paid laborers or sharecroppers. Agriculture thus continued to be intimately tied to the lives and livelihoods of African Americans following emancipation.

After gaining their freedom, many African Americans faced economic challenges and limited opportunities for land ownership. Despite these obstacles, they utilized their agricultural skills and knowledge to cultivate their own crops and establish self-sustaining communities. Agriculture became a means of survival, empowerment, and a symbol of resilience in the face of adversity.

Making progress

The holiday has evolved and is now observed in various ways, including community gatherings, parades, picnics, family reunions, and educational events. It is a time to reflect on the struggles and achievements of African Americans, honor the legacy of those who fought for freedom, and celebrate the progress made towards racial equality.

Juneteenth is significant not only as a commemoration of the end of slavery but also as a reminder of the ongoing fight for equal rights and social justice. It serves as a symbol of resilience, unity, and the continued pursuit of freedom and equality for all.

There has been a growing recognition of Juneteenth’s importance in recent years. In 2021, Juneteenth was officially recognized as a federal holiday in the United States, following the passage of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act.

Get involved

  • Attend the Freedom Parade and Festival kick-off in Rodney Square on Saturday, June 17, 2023 at 10 a.m., eventually culminating in a celebration of music, food and games at Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park.
  • Visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. There is an exhibit called Juneteenth: A Celebration of Resilience. It included the famous hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” written in 1900 by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson.

Part of the hymn is:
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us, 
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us; 
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun, 
Let us march on ’til victory is won.

James Weldon Johnson

By celebrating Juneteenth, individuals and communities aim to promote awareness, foster dialogue, and work towards a more inclusive society. It is an opportunity to learn about and acknowledge African Americans’ history, culture, and contributions, while also acknowledging the work that still needs to be done to achieve racial equity.

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Jewish American Heritage Month

On April 20, 2006, President George W. Bush proclaimed that May would be Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM). This was a bipartisan effort sponsored in Congress by the late Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida. In 2018, the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History became the official convener of JAHM, responsible for staffing and organizing the month nationwide each year.

Recognition of Jewish American Heritage Month is a commitment to a more inclusive
and respectful society. Jewish Americans continue to enrich every part of American life as educators and entrepreneurs, athletes and artists, scientists and entertainers, public officials and activists, labor and community leaders, diplomats and military service members, public health heroes, and more. 

This Jewish American Heritage Month, let us join hands across faiths, races, and backgrounds to make clear that evil, hate, and antisemitism will not prevail.  Let us honor the timeless values, contributions, and culture of Jewish Americans, who carry our Nation forward each and every day.  And let us rededicate ourselves to the sacred work of creating a more inclusive tomorrow, protecting the diversity that defines who we are as a Nation, and preserving the dignity of every human being — here at home and around the world.  

                             JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President’s Proclamation 

Recently the University of Delaware community received a message from Fatimah Conley, Vice President, Institutional Equity & Chief Diversity Officer. Her message shared that a live zoom speak-out will happen on Thursday, May 18th at noon. “The purpose of this event is to move from conversation to action after the most recent hate-fueled/bias incident that occurred last week. As the details of what happened unfolded and communications were sent out across campus, I heard from many people that the community needs less talk and more concrete actions. The speak-out is a step toward understanding what the campus community, especially those directly affected by bias incidents occurring on campus, deems the necessary actions to be, so that we can work on, implement and/or effectuate those things.”

Celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month by learning more about Jewish Americans. Dive into our nation’s shared and diverse cultural heritage and discover something new this month!

Additional Resources

To learn more, please consider viewing this online exhibit The First Jewish Americans by the New-York Historical Society.

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MANNRS Information Meeting for Students

MANRRS is a national organization that promotes academic and professional advancement for minorities in agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences.

Why join MANRRS?

  • MANRRS-exclusive scholarship, internship, networking, and professional development opportunities
  • Organization that is nationally recognized by job recruiters
  • Leadership, fellowship, and professional development opportunities
  • Membership in an inclusive organization that welcomes all people from all backgrounds

Learn more on Tuesday, April 25 at 6 p.m. in Memorial Hall.

MANNRS Interest Meeting Flyer
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CANR DEI Special Presentation: Karelle Hall

On Tuesday, April 4, the CANR DEI Committee hosted guest speaker Karelle Hall as she presented her research, “Sovereignty and Race: Intersections of Nanticoke and Lenape Identities.”

Karelle is a Ph.D. student in the Critical Interventions in Theory and Ethnography program in the anthropology department at Rutgers University. She received her bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College in Anthropology with a minor in Native American Studies. Her dissertation research explores embodied and distributed Indigenous sovereignty in public and performative spaces. 

“My presentation explores how racial identities and categories particularly impact the Nanticoke and Lenape people of Delaware and New Jersey.  Their ongoing efforts to maintain and assert tribal sovereignties are continuously intersected with the politics of race and ever shifting racial categories.” 

Karelle Hall

She has taught cultural and linguistic anthropology classes at Rutgers University and presented her preliminary research at conferences. As a member of the Nanticoke Indian Tribe, she has represented her nation at numerous events as a speaker and dancer. 

She is actively working on Nanticoke language revitalization, including writing a children’s book and developing lessons for community classes. Using her experience and connections in the legal field, she assisted the Nanticoke Tribe with ratifying their recognition in the state of Delaware. She continues to work as an activist and representative for her community, promoting visibility, decolonization and education.

We would like to again extend our sincere thanks to Karelle for coming to campus and sharing her knowledge of Nanticoke and Lenape communities.

We would also like to thank Dr. Pascha Bueno-Hansen and Jon Cox for attending. They shared information about what the UD Anti-Racism Initiative (UDARI) American Indian and Indigenous Relations committee is doing at a university level to help educate the UD community about our history.

Please find more information about the Living Land Acknowledgement at the following website:

A recording of the event can be viewed below.

Additional resources courtesy of Ms. Sarah L. Dobe-Hund, Assistant Director, Academic & Career Integration at UD.

Throughline and Code Switch are two of her favorite regular podcast listens. Code Switch especially has given a lot of book recommendations by minoritized authors, including these:

  • The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (native YA science fiction)
  • Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson (Cherokee)
  • There There by Tommy Orange (urban Native Americans)
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