The City of DeKalb and Northern Illinois University present, “Belonging” a community conversation with Dr. john a. powell. It is a virtual conversation, from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, October 22.
Dr. john a. powell
In January 2020, the NIU Office of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the City of DeKalb met to discuss how to bring their communities together and how all community members can feel a sense of inclusion and belonging in DeKalb. As a result, the two entities have worked together to hosting this city-wide and university-wide conversation on belonging with a national expert who has dedicated his academic and professional career to addressing racism, othering and how to build and unify communities around common principles of belonging.
“Belonging” is a discussion with internationally recognized scholar, Dr. john a. powell (Dr. powell spells his name in lowercase in the belief that we should be “part of the universe, not over it, as capitals signify.”) Registration is required to join the event at either www.cityofdekalb.com/belonging or go.niu.edu/belonging.
Dr. powell is currently professor of Law, professor of African American and Ethnic Studies, the Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion and the director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, all at University of California, Berkeley. He has written extensively on issues of structural or systemic racism; racial justice; concentrated poverty; urban sprawl; opportunity-based housing; voting rights; affirmative action in the United States, South Africa and Brazil; racial and ethnic identity; spirituality and social justice; and the needs of citizens in a democratic society.
Dr. powell was formerly the executive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University and held the Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Moritz College of Law. Dr. powell also founded and directed the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota. He has served as director of Legal Services in Miami, Fla., and was the national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, where he was instrumental in developing educational adequacy theory.
Participating in elections is one of the key freedoms of American life. Many people in countries around the world do not have the same freedom, nor did many Americans in centuries past. No matter what you believe or whom you support, it is important to exercise your rights. Make sure that you are registered to vote in the upcoming election cycle.
Learn more at Huskies Vote
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
I am writing today to let you know that I join many of you in appreciating today’s Supreme Court ruling blocking efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
This cause has been a priority for me from the earliest days of my presidency. I have listened to, and been moved by, the stories of our DACA students. They impress me with their strength and inspire me with their courage and resiliency. I have signed multiple letters and petitions put forth by my peers in higher education to secure rights for undocumented members of our community, and I have advocated on their behalf in meetings that I have had with members of Congress.
While there is more work to be done and uncertainties ahead, I want to be clear that NIU will continue to support all members of our community, regardless of their immigration status. We will continue working alongside them, fighting for their right to live, learn, work and contribute in the country that they have called home for nearly all of their lives.
Going forward, I urge all of those affected by or committed to this cause to familiarize yourself with the information and resources that our office of Undocumented Student Support has compiled. Take advantage of the guidance and knowledge available through our Cultural Resource Centers and the NIU Center for Student Assistance. Finally, I urge all who want their voices heard on this matter to engage with the student-led organization DREAM Action NIU to learn how to advocate with state and federal legislators.
As positive as today’s news is, this issue is far from resolved, and we remain committed to urging lawmakers to find a long-term legislative solution.
Lisa C. Freeman
NIU Executive Vice President and Provost Beth Ingram communicated to current and incoming students about the ways the university will be delivering courses for fall semester 2020.
Dear Undergraduate and Graduate Students,
I hope you are enjoying your summer. Here at NIU, our faculty have been busy planning your courses for the fall semester, and are eager to welcome you back to campus. Because the pandemic is still ongoing, we have had to adjust course-delivery methods for the fall semester. Most of those changes have now been made, and I encourage you to look closely at your course schedule in MyNIU.
If you have questions, want to make changes to your schedule or haven’t yet registered for your fall courses, please seek guidance right away from your advisors. They’ll be able to answer your questions and help you make scheduling adjustments, if needed.
While the academic calendar for the fall is unchanged, the course-delivery modifications that we’ve made are guided by our top priority—the health and safety of our NIU community. To provide a safe and engaging learning environment that respects physical distancing, we will offer a mix of fully online, face-to-face and hybrid courses when classes begin Monday, Aug. 24.
Regardless of the way the course is offered, we’re intent on delivering the same high-quality academic experience you expect from NIU. Our faculty are committed to helping students learn, succeed and stay on target for their planned graduation dates.
So, what will your courses look like?
- Online courses – Fully online courses are being designed with careful planning to be flexible and to foster a sense of community so that students are not learning on their own. In these courses, you might experience live conferencing and lectures; recorded content with no required meeting; or some combination of the two. In all cases, students and their professors will have an active presence in the virtual classroom.
- Face-to-face courses – These courses will be like what you’ve experienced in the past. Courses selected to be face-to-face—including laboratory classes and clinicals—require personal interactions, and the class sizes are small enough, or the academic spaces large enough, to maintain proper physical distancing.
- Hybrid courses – In hybrid courses, your learning experience will include both online and face-to-face interactions. For example, a science or engineering course might have online lessons with regular hands-on laboratory experiences.
In all cases during the semester where face-to-face interactions will take place, classrooms and academic spaces on campus will be disinfected before students and professors meet. NIU will follow federal, state and local public health guidance and expect students and faculty to follow recommendations for physical distancing, hand hygiene and face covering. Our plan also allows for a smooth transition to completely online teaching and learning should the need arise during the semester.
Committed to your success
The summer months provide us with time to carefully plan for the fall. I assure you that we’re making the most of that time. The plan I’ve outlined here builds upon what we learned this past spring—and on student feedback. Since the pandemic began, many NIU faculty members have attended workshops and training sessions to sharpen their online- and hybrid-teaching skills, and training sessions continue this summer.
Their efforts speak to how deeply they care about your success. While the start of the fall semester will be different from the past, all of us are committed to making sure that it’s personalized, fun, engaging and inclusive.
Still time to register
Your time at NIU has been a wise investment—in yourself. And we’re here to help you stay on track to earn your degree and graduate on time. Again, if you have not yet registered or need to adjust your fall course schedule, I urge you to seek assistance from your advisor.
Students who might be eligible for disability-related exam or course accommodations are urged to contact the Disability Resource Center as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are in need of non-academic resources, contact the Student Assistance Center at email@example.com.
Additionally, we will continue to keep you updated this summer on important information as it develops. Look for a communication next week related to on-campus housing.
Finally, I’m reminded of three words that have come to define our community spirit: Huskies. Never. Quit. During these uncertain times, I congratulate you for having pressed on. Now, more than ever, it’s important to continue your academic journey. Our NIU community is here to support you every step of the way.
Executive Vice President and Provost
While commencement ceremonies have to be delayed at this time, there’s no need for the class of 2020 to wait to start celebrating. NIU is offering creative ways to share graduation excitement virtually. (more…)