Nebraska Community of Learners — Understanding Diversity through Education
A community of learners dedicated to understanding diversity through education. The series of conversations are intended to help students, faculty, staff, alum and the greater community understand and embrace the opportunities we have to create a greater sense of inclusion for all. #NCLUDE is a space to talk candidly about inclusive excellence being a part of our everyday interactions.
To promote inclusive excellence leveraging the voices, expertise, skills and experiences of each member, supporting one another through conversation. To facilitate mindfulness and a cognitive shift toward inclusion.
To be a supportive inclusive community that is strengthened by differences, innovation, risk-taking and conversation.
We strive to be an organic group and encourage members to participate and contribute by providing educational and informational resources. The objective is to grow together, by sharing our experiences and expertise on inclusive practices.
How It Works
#NCLUDE is an opportunity for participants to contribute to ongoing resources related to inclusive excellence and to connect the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to the expanded community. Each session will present opportunities for individuals to be guest presenters, topic facilitators and provide workshops to promote dialogue that highlights the importance and the power of inclusion. We are looking to engage, learn and grow together.
When you sign up to join #NCLUDE, you will receive access to collaborate and share resources on inclusive practices. Meeting information for each session will be sent a few days prior to the session date to all individuals who have signed up for #NCLUDE. We encourage you to participant in as many sessions as your schedule allows. You may sign up at any time to be a part of this community.
September 29, 2022 | 10:30AM - 12:00PM
Nia Patterson (They/Them) is a well-respected Black and Queer mental health advocate, social activist, artist, content creator, podcaster, and business owner. They are the creator behind @TheFriendINeverWanted and the artist behind @SelfLoveToolChest. They are also the host and producer of the Body Trauma Podcast you can listen to here and also on Instagram @bodytraumapod. Their work is mainly centered around the Eating Disorder Recovery, Fat Activism, LGBTQIA+, and Self Love communities. Nia is passionate about advocating for people in marginalized bodies and seeks to bring resources to those who do not readily see representation and healthcare for themselves. In this session, Nia will discuss the intersections of disability, neurodivergence, and body-based identity. They will then present their promising practices and allow us time to ask questions and engage in discussion. Additionally, Big Red Resilience will offer us insight and resources to enable community members to find support related to body-based identity and wellbeing. All are welcome.
Reimagine and Reconnect with #NCLUDE
November 8, 2022 | 12:00PM - 1:30PM | Nebraska Union Ballroom
Come join us for the first in-person meeting of UNL’s DEI learning community, #NCLUDE. There will be time to connect with your fellow committed colleagues across the university and collectively reimagine what each of us can do to lead and learn as part of the #NCLUDE community. Why now? #NCLUDE will be taking on a new look in the Spring of 2023, focusing on smaller learning communities that meet over the course of the semester. Hear about the new direction, resources, and support, while helping us imagine the possibilities!
Please check back on this web page, as there are more details to come!
At our final meeting of the 2021-2022 academic year, Dr. Arden Eli Hill joined us for an interactive session on setting up an inclusive classroom. Dr. Hill holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a specialization in Women and Gender Studies and an M.F.A. from Hollins University. In this session, Dr. Hill joined us for an interactive session to discuss how he sets up the semester's expectations around inclusion with pre-semester documents and activities, as well as his work with the William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community, to help prepare instructors to discuss diversity in the classroom. Dr. Hill presented his promising practices and allowed us time to ask questions and engage in discussion about inclusive classroom environments.
Although faith is in many cases an “invisible” aspect of diversity, there are a vast number of different religious, spiritual, and humanist identity groups present on our campus. Because our faith systems influence our understanding of values, morals, and community, they inherently affect our approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion work. For our third session of the academic year, we hosted a panel of community leaders including Imam Ibrahim Dr. Mohammad Alkli, Rev Dr. Karla Cooper, Rabbi Alex Felch, and Mr. Ryan Mc Master. In a conversation moderated by Dr. Max Perry Mueller of The Department of Classics and Religious Studies, panelists discussed their religious, spiritual, and humanist communities, how they have found these communities in Nebraska, and how their identities and beliefs influence their approaches to social justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion work.
December 8, 2021 As we continue to educate ourselves about sexual violence, inequality, we must also think about vulnerable groups that are largely invisible in our discourses. Our second NCLUDE meeting of the 2021-2022 academic year Featured Dominique Morgan (She/her), an award-winning artist, activist, and TEDx speaker. Dominique's presentation and discussion centered around intersectionality, experiences of queer and trans people of color in Nebraska, and healing through radical love. The meeting recording has expired and is no longer available. Please visit www.dominiquemorgan.com for more information on her unique story and activist efforts.
October 27, 2021
Our first NCLUDE meeting of the 2021-2022 academic year was held on October 27.
This session, featured Pat Tetreault (She/any), JD McCown (They/them), Jen Skidmore (They/them), Steven Booton (He/him), and Corrie Svehla (He/him). This panel of members from the Non-binary Gender Values Steering Committee discussed Executive Memorandum No. 40, the University of Nebraska system’s new policy on chosen names and gender identity.
At the third NCLUDE meeting, Dr. Debra A. Hope and Mr. Nathan Woodruff, founders of Trans Collaborations, shared the story of their friendship and how it became a community-academic partnership that helps transgender and gender diverse people get better health and mental health care.
At the second NCLUDE meeting, facilitated participants in a reflective conversation around white and male privilege. Drawing upon some “flashbulb moments” in his own life and learning journey related to privilege and bias, Dr. Pace invited colleagues to reflect on their own experiences and identities and how we might leverage privilege in the service of others and in support of equity and justice.
At the inaugural meeting, participants were introduced to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, operational functions, and the mission and framework of NCLUDE. University faculty, staff, students, alumni and the Nebraska community members were introduced to inclusive practices and opportunities for continuous engagement with ODI; including a book group.
Nick Pace, former social worker, teacher, coach, and principal, serves as Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Administration. His passion and scholarly focus has been on preparing and sustaining school principals. He is author of four books on the principalship, including Reality Calling (2013) and Seeking Balance (2014), which are fictional accounts of the events in a principal’s first year and The Principal’s Hot Seat (2011), which features video footage from an intense role play he developed. Pace’s work has been published in Educational Leadership Review, American School Board Journal, and the Journal of Advanced Academics. He has maintained professional affiliations with state-level school administrator associations, the National Rural Education Association, and University Council for Educational Administration.
Pace earned his Bachelor of Arts in sociology and Doctor of Education from the University of Northern Iowa and Master of Science in Education from Drake University. He was inducted to the Iowa Academy of Education in 2016 and received the UNI College of Education Award for Outstanding Scholarship and Diversity Matters Award, both in 2012. Outreach and dissemination of his research into the school experiences of gay and lesbian high school students led to his receipt of the Iowa Friend of Civil Rights Award in 2010.
He and his spouse, Roxanne, attended high school together and are parents of a daughter (a speech language pathologist) and son (a senior at UNL). In his spare time, Pace enjoys music, history, reading, travel, and college basketball.
Lisa Pennisi is an Associate Professor of Practice in the School of Natural Resources at UNL. Lisa is a first-generation American who earned her Bachelor's in Psychology, Master's in Environmental Science, and doctorate in Parks, Recreation and Tourism. Lisa's teaching focuses on science communication, environmental education, and the zoo and aquarium field. Lisa's extension focus is science communication, behavior change, and nonformal STEM education with outreach to our local Title One after-school programs. Lisa is an advocate for neurodiversity, especially autism, as well as other invisible differences.
Priscilla learned the importance of diversity and inclusion from her father, Rev. Prof. James C. Perkins. Born of missionary parents in South India, Dr. Perkins chaired the Department of Religion and Philosophy at the Historically Black Huston-Tillotson College in Austin, Texas from 1957 to 1970during the height of the Civil Rights Era. In 2008, Priscilla established the Perkins Fund in his memory to support diversity initiatives in the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University. Priscilla received her B.A. in Geology from Bryn Mawr College, and her Ph.D. in Geology from the University of California-Berkeley. From 1971 to 1977, she was Executive Secretary of the National Science Foundation Lake Powell Research Project at the Museum of Northern Arizona, including studies of Native American water rights and the impact of coal and water development on the Navajo Nation. At the national level, Priscilla has served on the Committee on Minority Participation in Earth Sciences and Mineral Engineering reporting to the Secretary of the Interior, and the Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Technology, a Congressionally mandated advisory committee to the National Science Foundation. Her NAGPRA career began in 1993 as UNL Vice Chancellor for Research. In 2001, she coordinated the historic UNL NAGPRA repatriation to a coalition of16 Great Plains Tribes and the dedication of the Native American memorial on East Campus. Under her leadership, UNL has conducted NAGPRA repatriation of the remains of over 2,000 individuals from the Museum collections to Native American Tribes.
Founder and CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting Author, Inclusion: Diversity, the New Workplace & the Will to Change and How to be an Inclusive Leader: Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive
Jennifer Brown is an award-winning entrepreneur, dynamic speaker and diversity and inclusion expert. As the successful Founder and CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting (JBC), Jennifer is responsible for designing workplace strategies that have been implemented by some of the biggest companies and nonprofits in the world. Jennifer’s work in talent management, human capital, and intersectional theory has redefined the boundaries of talent potential and company culture. DataBird Business Journal named Jennifer a Top Small Business Female Executive in 2019.
Jennifer envisions inclusive organizations where all of us can thrive. As someone who has experienced both the advantages of privilege and the sting of stigma, Jennifer Brown is boldly redefining what it means to truly belong—in the workplace, in our families, and in our communities. A dynamic keynote speaker, internationally sought-after thought leader, and passionate social equality advocate, Jennifer shares her powerful and unforgettable true story with audiences to help us challenge our assumptions—about ourselves, about leaders, and others—and take inspired action today for a more inclusive tomorrow.
An acclaimed keynoter, Jennifer is the bestselling author of Inclusion: Diversity, The New Workplace and The Will to Change and How To Be An Inclusive Leader: Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive, a shortlist winner of the O.W.L. Award, winner of the 2019 Nautilus Book Awards' Business & Leadership category, and a top SABA 2020 Book Awards Audience Vote. Her popular podcast, The Will to Change, appeared on Feedspot’s Top 15 Diversity And Inclusion Podcasts You Must Follow in 2020, and as Host, Jennifer interviews leading CEOs, bestselling authors, and entrepreneurs about diversity, equity, and inclusion and delivers focused content on how to create organizational change at any level.
Debra A. Hope
Debra A. Hope is a clinical psychologist and Aaron Douglas Professor in the UNL Department of Psychology. She is co-founder of Trans Collaborations, a community-academic partnership to reduce health disparities for transgender and gender diverse people in underserved areas. Throughout her career her research has focused on getting the best mental health services to those who most need them. She is co-chair of the College of Arts and Sciences Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Committee and the inaugural Inclusive Excellence Chair in the Department of Psychology.
Nathan Woodruff is co-founder of Trans Collaborations and chair of the Local Community Board. He has three decades of experience working on social justice issues such as promoting equality for all individuals, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or racial/ethnic identity. He is a recognized leader on transgender health, mental health, and wellbeing and regularly participates in organizations and forums to educate the public and TGD communities on key issues including the transitioning process, developing community support, overcoming stigma and discrimination, and the intersectionality of race/ethnic identity with TGD identities.
Ted Hibbeler is a member of the Iron Shell family (Maza Pon Kesh Ka Tiospaye) from the Rosebud Sioux Nation (Sicangu Lakota Oyate) in South Dakota. He was raised in Hastings, Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. He spent the next ten years teaching and coaching high school students at St. Francis Indian School in South Dakota. Ted then earned a Master of Arts in Teaching Degree in English from Hastings College, and he and his family moved to Phoenix, Arizona where he worked as the Director of Native American Education for the Phoenix Union High School District (PUHSD) for the last twenty years. During his tenure at this position, he earned a Master of Education in Educational Administration and Supervision Degree from Arizona State University, and the PUHSD Native American Education Program became a best practices program for the Arizona Department of Education in the areas of student retention, academic excellence and graduation. Their college-bridge program, The Hoop of Learning Program, received the Phoenix Mayor’s Partnership Award for several years, and it is still active in many of the school districts in Phoenix and the Maricopa Community College District. Ted moved back to Nebraska this year, and he is currently the Tribal Extension Educator for the Extension Division at UNL. He hopes to establish long-lasting relationships between the Tribal communities in Nebraska and UNL..
Dr. Melissa D. Zephier Olson
Dr. Melissa D. Zephier Olson is a Yankton Sioux tribal member and a descendant of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribe. Currently, she is a Doctor in Global Family Health and Wellbeing and Ethnic Studies. Melissa holds a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy where she gained a deeper understanding of better engaging culturally diverse individuals and families into therapy. She is a published author and has presented at numerous national and international on minority health disparities, Indigenous studies and behavioral counseling for culturally diverse populations. Dr. Olson had the prodigious opportunity to present her research at the Biennial International Indigenous Research Conference in Auckland, New Zealand (2018) for an audience of tribal researchers and stakeholders from all over the world. During her doctoral program, she received the Maude Hammond Fling and American Indian Graduate College fellowships. Additionally, she was selected as an Elouise Cobell Scholar for her commitment to follow in Cobell’s trailblazing footsteps in Indigenous rights and sovereignty. She had the extreme honor of building strong and collaborative research partnerships with many Northern Plains Tribe Knowledge Sharers in exploring Indigenous family relationships. Dr. Olson’s dissertation research focus was a qualitative study with emphasis on Indigenous research methodology and the attachment theory. It was titled, “A qualitative exploration of attachment through the context of Indian Boarding Schools. The study found that Indigenous survivors and their descendants suffered traumatic feelings of abandonment, loss and family separation. They experienced many intergenerational patterns of emotional suppression, negative coping methods and abuse.