Join a #NCLUDE Learning Group


Submissions for this form are closed.

#NCLUDE is designed so that individuals who desire to grow their knowledge, skills, and awareness in a particular DEI-related area can do so in an environment of care, commitment, and accountability. Learning groups co-create a space for students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members to engage in dynamic dialogue, reflection, and offer support to one another.

Each semester, #NCLUDE will offer a mix of learning groups anchored by one or two individuals. For those interested in joining an #NCLUDE small group, it involves three steps:


Look at small group descriptions:

  • Groups range in topics from accessibility to veteran/ military experiences. Some groups have an intended audience (I.e., instructors).


Check meeting dates and times:

  • Group members are expected to attend all scheduled meetings.


Complete registration form:

  • Fill out the form at the bottom of the page indicating your intentions for participating, group preferences, and accommodations.

Spring 2024 #NCLUDE Learning Groups 

**Priority registration has closed, but you may register with the possibility that a group is still accepting participants.**

Group #1:

FULL - Considering Mental Health: Teaching with Compassionate Challenge

Co-sponsored by Center for Transformative Teaching

Open to Faculty, Staff, Students, and Community Members who teach or help students develop themselves

Anchor: Steven Cain & Amy Ort

Meeting Dates: Tuesday, 1-2 PM (2/6, 2/20, 3/5, 3/19, 4/2, 4/16), Link: Zoom

Postpandemic, many instructors and educational professionals grapple with a false dichotomy between flexibility and rigor. In this #NCLUDE group, we'll be discussing Mind Over Monsters: Supporting Youth Mental Health with Compassionate Challenge. It provides an alternative mindset focused on holding students accountable for rising to authentic challenges during their educational process and doing so compassionately with their development in mind.

Group #2:

International Empowerment: Advocating for International Students

Open to graduate students and those who want to support international students

Anchor: Emy Kata & Hannah Lai

Meeting Dates: Tuesday, 12-1 PM (1/30, 2/13, 2/27, 3/26, 4/16, 4/30), Location: Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center

This #NCLUDE group focuses on connecting international students with each other over lunch. Through the sharing of their experiences of living abroad here in the US, we hope to connect, engage and empower international students to create a global community. We will discuss topics related to diversity, sense of belonging, overcoming challenges, advocating for access, opportunity, and inclusion of international students. Discussion materials will be provided. We welcome all international community members as well as those who seek to learn more about international perspectives. 

Group #3:

DEI Deconstructed: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Doing the Work and Doing It Right

Co-Sponsored by University Libraries

Open to Libraries Faculty and Staff

Anchor: Jannah Vanié

Meeting Dates: Tuesday, 1 PM (2/6, 2/20, 3/5, 3/19, 4/2, 4/16), Location: Love Library South

This #NCLUDE group will analyze how current methods and “best practices” leave many people feeling frustrated and unconvinced of their leaders’ sincerity. We'll work to bridge the neatness of theory with the messiness of practice. Using “DEI Deconstructed: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Doing the Work and Doing It Right” (Zheng, 2022), we will reflect on becoming more effective DEI advocates, allies, and leaders.

Group #4:

FULL - DEI Deconstructed: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Doing the Work and Doing It Right

Co-Sponsored by University Libraries

Open to faculty, Staff, Students, and Community Members

Anchor: Jannah Vanié

Meeting Dates: Tuesday, 3 PM (2/6, 2/20. 3/5, 3/19, 4/2, 4/16), Location: Dinsdale Learning Commons, East Campus

This #NCLUDE group will analyze how current methods and “best practices” leave many people feeling frustrated and unconvinced of their leaders’ sincerity. We'll work to bridge the neatness of theory with the messiness of practice. Using “DEI Deconstructed: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Doing the Work and Doing It Right” (Zheng, 2022), we will reflect on becoming more effective DEI advocates, allies, and leaders.

Group #5:

Supporting First Gen Student Success

Co-sponsored by College of Arts and Sciences & Learning Communities

Open to Faculty, Staff, Students, and Community Members

Anchor: Sarah Feit & Abby Groth

Meeting Dates: Wednesday, 4-5 PM (In-Person 1/17, 1/31, 2/28, 4/3. Zoom 2/14, 3/20)

This #NCLUDE group will focus on collectively and individually discerning guiding principles and everyday actions that faculty and staff can incorporate into their daily activities to positively impact and support first generation students. Some weeks we'll read common material, while other weeks participants will each read unique materials in order to bring their knowledge to the group.

Group #6:

Developing Skills or Support for Navigating (and Dismantling) Institutionalized Structures of Oppression or Marginalization

Open to Faculty, Staff, Students, and Community Members

Anchor: Abu Bakar Siddiqur Rahman

Meeting Dates: Thursday, 3-4 PM (1/26, 2/15, 2/29, 3/7, 3/28, 4/11), Nebraska Campus Union

This #NCLUDE group focuses on resilience and dismantling oppression using Audre Lorde's "Sister Outsider." Navigate institutional barriers, foster empowerment, and promote collective action for greater diversity, equity and inclusion. Join us in creating sustainable change.

Group #7:

FULL - Supervising Millennials and Gen Z

Co-sponsored by Human Resources

Open to Supervisors/Managers

Anchor: Celeste Spier & Sierra Votaw

Meeting Dates: Wednesday, 11-12 PM (2/7, 2/21, 3/6, 3/20, 4/3, 4/17), Link: Zoom

As the workplace landscape transforms, so do the expectations, motivations, and communication styles of different generations. This NCLUDE group is designed exclusively for supervisors and managers seeking to enhance their leadership skills in a multigenerational workplace, especially with Millennials and Generation Z. Shift from "generational shaming" to actionable strategies that can be implemented in your day-to-day leadership role, fostering a more collaborative and productive workplace.

Group #8:

FULL - Birding While Indian: A Mixed-Blood Memoir

Co-sponsored by Center for Transformative Teaching & Academic Technologies

Open to Faculty, Staff, Students, and Community Members

Anchor: Beverly Russell & Kate McCown

Meeting Dates: Monday, 12-1 PM (1/29, 2/12, 2/26, 3/18, 4/1, 4/15), Location: Nebraska Union

The title of UNL professor Thomas Gannon’s 2023 memoir, Birding While Indian: A Mixed-Blood Memoir, hints at just some of its many layers, topics, and constructive provocations. An “expansive, hilarious, and humane memoir” authored by “an acerbic observer,” the book uses birds and birding to weave together Gannon’s childhood on the Great Plains, Indian boarding school and public schools, higher education, the natural environment, the voices of Native American and Anglo-European literature, and a lifetime of intercultural experiences. It will engage many readers and interests, provoke a variety of discussion topics, and touch and educate all of us. Through it all, we’ll reflect on the complexities and collisions of identity, and how we can be more thoughtful, inclusive individuals, co-workers, and campus community builders.

Group #9:

Soil. Seed. Root: Body-Mapping Justice and Belonging

Open to Faculty, Staff, Student and Community Members

Anchor: Genese Clark

Meeting Dates: Wednesday, 2:30-4:00 PM (2/14, 2/21, 3/6, 3/20, 4/3, 4/17), Location: Carolyn Pope Edwards Hall

This #NCLUDE group offers members an opportunity to examine their deeply held beliefs and core assumptions about race as a foundation for justice and belonging. Together, group members will till their metaphorical “soil,” enhancing the internal environment that promotes seeds of transformation to take root. Using body-mapping approaches and “Teaching for Justice and Belonging” (Glass & Berry, 2022), we will reflect on the groundwork for liberation work, engage in self-assessments, and build our internal capacity for racial competency and understanding.

Group #10:

Food as an Issue of Justice

Open to Faculty, Staff, Students, and Community Members

Anchor: Georgia Jones

Meeting Dates: Friday, 9 AM (2/2, 2/9, 2/16, 2/23, 3/1, 3/8), Location: East Campus

In a world where one-third of all edible food never makes it to the mouths of the hungry, we all have an individual moral responsibility to do our part. Hunger is not an issue of charity; it is an issue of justice. This NCLUDE session is for anyone interested in the topic of food, especially around social issues, such as food deserts, local food, food sovereignty, and land loss in communities of color.

Group #11:

Building Inclusive and Equitable Practices for Imagination (Formerly Nu: Worlds)

Open to Faculty, Staff, Under/Graduate Students, and Community Members

Anchor: Mac Kelsey

Meeting Dates: Thursday, 9:30-10:30 AM (2/15, 2/22, 2/29, 3/7, 3/14, 3/21 ), Location: TBA

This NCLUDE group will engage foundational practices for cultivating imagination to shape a world rooted in Inclusive Excellence. Drawing on concepts from Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming (2013) by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, we’ll observe, reflect, and speculate on how such practices can create moments of shared creativity grounded in joy, empathy, serendipity, and collective care to be carried forward.

Group #12:

Shaping Change, Changing Worlds (and Futures)

Open to Faculty, Staff, Students, and Community Members

Anchor: Mac Kelsey

Meeting Dates: Thursday, 9:30-10:30 PM (4/4, 4/11, 4/18, 4/25, 5/2, 5/9), Location: TBA

How do we collectively imagine and build alternate futures while grasping their potential to shape the real worlds we dream of being in? Grounded in adrienne maree brown’s Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds (2017), this NCLUDE group will engage brown’s theories and practices of resistence and liberation. We’ll explore the possibilities of shared worldbuilding and critical futuring while reflecting on their potential to shape our current realities.

Group #13:

DEI & Emerging Compliance Issues: Demystifying Civil Rights Compliance

Open to Faculty, Staff, and Graduate Students

Anchor: Ryan Fette & Jessica Lankford

Meeting Dates: Tuesday, 10-11 AM (1/30, 2/13, 2/27, 3/26, 4/9, 4/23), Location: TBD

Institutions of higher education often navigate challenges related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Participants will discuss current national events as case studies for best practices to achieve diverse and inclusive environments within the framework of compliance with federal and state laws, and institutional policies. The case studies will be set at a fictional university. Links to articles and supplemental materials will be provided by the anchors. 

Group #14:

Belong: Find Your People, Create Community & Live A More Connected Life

Co-Sponsored by College of Business

Open to Faculty and Staff

Anchor: Edgar Montoya & Karen Wills

Meeting Dates: Wednesday, 4-5 PM PM (2/7, 2/21, 3/6, 3/20, 4/3, 4/17), Location: College of Business (Howard L. Hawks Hall)

"It's time to find where you belong." Students who feel connected to their campus, academic community, and staff and faculty are likelier to remain and succeed. This NCLUDE group for staff & faculty will focus on building a sense of purpose and belonging in our own communities, offices, and groups, which can then be extended to students. We'll focus on building connectedness as key to happiness, fulfillment, and success for faculty, staff, and students alike.

Group #15:

Beyond the Combine: Do We Really Know the People Who Raise and Grow Our Food?   

Co-sponsored by Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Open to Faculty, Staff, Students, and Community Members

Anchor: Hannah Pinneo & Michelle DeRusha

Meeting Dates: Tuesday, 10-11 AM (1/16, 1/23, 1/30, 2/6, 2/13, 2/20), Location: East Campus Union

This #NCLUDE group will deepen our understanding of farmers and their way of life and help us see the food on our own plates in a new light. As we read Ted Genoways’ non-fiction book This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Farm, which focuses on a five-generation family farm in York County, Nebraska, we'll address preconceived notions and stereotypes we might hold about rural life, farmers and the farming industry; how and why we may have formed some of those viewpoints; and how this story might be reshaping our perspective.  

Group #16:

FULL - Identifying & Dismantling Institutional Barriers to Student Success  

Open to Faculty, Staff, Student, and Community Members

Anchor: Aaron Lynch

Meeting Dates: Monday, 4 - 5 PM,  (Alternating Mondays - Jan 29-Apr 29), Location: Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center

To make it to and through college, low-income and first-generation college-going students must navigate systems that were not designed with their circumstances in mind: from bureaucracies that bounce them back and forth between different departments to financial paperwork that assumes every household is as simple as a 1950s sitcom. This #NCLUDE group will center student stories: we will listen to and learn from their experiences of institutional roadblocks and barriers to their success, then explore ways each of us can work to dismantle those barriers to help make college more accessible to all.


Group #17:

Everyday Racial Allyship  

Open to Faculty, Staff, Students, and Community Members

Anchor: Corey Rumann

Meeting Dates: Thursday, 12-1 PM (2/1, 2/8, 2/15, 2/29, 3/7, 3/21), Location: Teachers College Hall

Some of us in our community see and feel racial injustice on a daily basis because of the ways it harms our daily existence. Others in our community, who may not experience harm as directly, have to build our understanding through relationships and intentional awareness. This group is for those who want to build that awareness through critical reflection on racial inequities and the ongoing journey of racial allyship.  We'll focus on understanding our own identity and position in society, and developing strategies for responding to institutional and systemic racism from that position.


Group #18:

Women Faculty in Higher Education  

Co-sponsored by the College of Engineering

Open to Women Faculty and Allies in the College of Engineering

Anchor: Yusong Li

Meeting Dates: Thursday, 12-1 PM (2/1, 2/15, 2/29, 3/21, 4/4, 4/18), Link: Zoom

This #NCLUDE group will focus on the experience of women faculty in engineering and the pressing need to address challenges faced by women in academia, including barriers to career advancement and gender-related biases. By delving into scholarly articles, we aim to deepen our understanding of these issues and collaboratively explore strategies for positive change. (Registration is through the College of Enginnering, please reach out to . 


Group #19:

House Rules in Higher Education Organizations  

Co-sponsored by Student Affairs

Open to all Staff and Faculty.

Anchor: Ruth Oliver Andrew

Meeting Dates: Wednesday, 10 - 11 AM (2/7, 2/21, 3/6, 3/20, 4/3, 4/17), Location: Carolyn Pope Edwards Hall, Zoom

The oldest U.S. higher education institution was established 140 years before the nation’s founding. Efforts to transform and modernize higher education have since been effectuated yet colleges and universities still embody an American institution with old bones. Using a house metaphor, Student Affairs staff in this small group learning community will tour the house of higher education and discuss how house rules can construct and influence campus experiences. Starting at the entryway and moving through each room, we’ll inspect the cultural nooks and crannies and reflect on restorative strategies for inclusivity. 

Note: If you are interested in joining this #NCLUDE group and these dates and times conflict with your schedule, then please provide this feedback to Ruth Oliver Andrew at


Group #20:

FULL - What if I Say the Wrong Thing?   

Open to Faculty, Staff, Students

Anchor: Joann Ross and Kim Schellpeper

Meeting Dates: Tuesday, 4-5 PM (2/6, 2/20, 3/5, 3/19, 4/2, 4/16), Location: Memorial Stadium

This #NCLUDE small group is for anyone who wants to grow their cultural competence. For some, not knowing how to engage in culturally sensitive conversations prevents them from opening the door to building deeper relationships. Using Vernā Myers’ book, What if I Say the Wrong Thing?, group members will read and reflect on different scenarios to help build understanding and confidence.


Group #21:

FULL - Inclusion on Purpose  

Open to VCs, AVCs, Deans, Directors, and Department Heads

Anchor: Marco Barker & Sherri Jones

Meeting Dates: Tues 2/20, Thu 2/29, Tues 3/19 Tues 4/2, and Mon 4/8  dates at 9-10:30 AM; Wed 3/27 at 2-3:30 PM, 
Location: Nebraska Union

This #NCLUDE group is for mid- to senior-level administrative and academic leaders committed to fostering transformational change. Participants will explore and develop strategies for practicing inclusive leadership and addressing structural barriers with the goal of creating equitable outcomes for students, staff, and faculty. Participants will read, "Inclusion on Purpose: An Intersectional Approach to Creating a Culture of Belonging at Work" by Ruchika Tulshyan, and engage other mediums to explore matters of gender and racial identity, structural bias, and psychological safety. If you're looking for ways to make inclusive excellence a greater priority in all of your leadership actions and decisions, join us.