February 2020

February is Black History Month, an annual tradition with roots going back almost a century. Black History Month offers an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the contributions and legacies of Black Americans and people from the African diaspora.

Cal Poly offers many opportunities mark Black History Month. Take a look at the Black Academic Excellence Center's Black History Month Events Calendar to find events like: the Living the Dream Basketball Game on Saturday, February 8, Spike Lee's talk on Monday, February 10, the State of Blackness on Thursday, February 20, or Angela Davis' Keynote address on Saturday, February 29. However you choose to mark Black History Month this February, it is most important to recognize that every month is Black History Month.

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As always, please encourage your friends and colleagues to subscribe to the OUDI Monthly Newsletter:
Langston Hughes' "Let America be America Again"
Recited by Abena Koomson

Read the poem here.

Table of Contents

February Events

Black History Month Events Calendar

Black History Month 2020 is packed with community building and educational events that celebrate Black heritage, culture, and history. Plan ahead, bring a friend, and join the celebration.

Click on the image above to access the Black Academic Excellence Center's (BAEC) Black History Month Events calendar.

Pride Center Winter Quarter Events

The Pride Center has created a calendar highlighting events and opportunities to engage throughout the winter quarter. Click here to access their poster.

Disability Resource Center's Disability Tapas

Every Wednesday from 12:10-1PM in Building 124
Or attend via Zoom
  • Feb. 5: Disability Accessibility & Inclusion Strategies for Events, Meetings, and More! (Rm. 224)
  • Feb 12: Supporting Students with ADHD (Rm. 117)
  • Feb 19: How to be a Disability Ally - Strategies for Identifying & Addressing Ableism (Rm. 117)
  • Feb 26: Supporting Students with Psychological Disabilities Part I (Rm. 224)

Guest Lecture Series

Thursday, February 6 marks the third and final installment of the Guest Lecture Series. From 11:15AM – 12:30PM, Dr. Damon Williams will host a discussion around creating an everyday culture of inclusion at Cal Poly.

From 12:45-2:00PM, Dr. Derald Wing Sue of Columbia Teacher's College will present on unconscious bias and microaggressions, and will discuss how little things we do and say can have a big impact.

You can join viewing parties being held by units across campus or create one yourself. Register online here.

Apply for a Sponsored Alternative Breaks Trip to Nepal

Applications are due by Friday, February 7 at 5PM
The Office of University Diversity and Inclusion is sponsoring up to five students to participate in the Center for Service in Action's trip to Nepal June 14-27, 2020. Information sessions are being held through mid-February, see the above flyer or the Center for Service in Action website for dates, times, and locations. Students can apply using this link. Questions? Contact OUDI via email.

Living the Dream

Saturday, February 8, 2020, 2PM • Mott Athletic Center
Join OUDI, the Black Faculty/Staff Association, and Cal Poly Athletics in celebrating Black History Month at the Cal Poly Women's Basketball game vs. Long Beach State! The first 200 attendees will receive a coveted Living the Dream t-shirt. Tickets are available here.


Sunday February 9, 7:00PM • Spanos Theatre
Winners of multiple Na Hoku Awards for Hawaiian music, Waipuna brings a fresh and contemporary energy to Hawaiian classics and the Island sound, preserving tradition while moving it into the 21st century.
The dancers of local hālau hula NĀ MELE O KE KAI, directed by Kumu Hula Sylvia Ke’alalaua’eokalani Hambly will be performing with WAIPUNA.

Spike Lee

Monday, February 10, 2020, 7PM • Cal Poly Recreation Center Main Gym
ASI Events presents a Moderated Discussion with Spike Lee! Join us on Monday, February 10 at 7PM in the Cal Poly Recreation Center Main Gym to hear a moderated question-and-answer session with Oscar-award-winning director, writer, actor and producer Spike Lee! 

Free for Cal Poly students, faculty, and staff with valid student or staff ID. No ticket necessary for Cal Poly students, faculty, or staff.

Community member tickets on sale for $20 at the Cal Poly Ticket Office and online at

Doors open at 6 p.m. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Celebration of the 50th and 25th Anniversaries of
Ethnic Studies at Cal Poly

The Ethnic Studies Department at Cal Poly invites you to join us in a three day celebration of our 50th & 25th anniversaries. The history of ethnic studies famously traces back to student protests at San Francisco State in 1969. Ethnic Studies at Cal Poly has a similar origin, starting from student protests organized by the BSU in 1969. This year also marks the 25th Anniversary of the current department, which was formed in 1994, again in response to student demands. We hope you will be able to join us for this historic double anniversary, and first ever presentation of Alumni and Department Service Awards. Click here for more information.

Love Carefully Week

Monday, February 10 – Friday, February 14

Join Campus Health & Wellbeing and PULSE's sexual health & sexuality team for their annual February event, Love Carefully!

This week is full of free and fun events where you can: learn about sexual health, make bracelets, learn self-care techniques, figure out your love language, find volunteer opportunities, watch Lilo & Stitch, and get your anonymous sexual health and sexuality questions answered by doctors, therapists, and off-campus professionals. 

You can find PULSE and Love Carefully Week events on Dexter Lawn, UU plaza, or outside the library. Check out the calendar for specific event information.

Attend events to be entered in a raffle for a chance to win a free Hydro Flask and Scout Coffee gift card. The more events you attend, the bigger chance you have to win!

Galentine's Day

Wednesday, February 12, 6-9PM • Multicultural Center, University Union, Rm. 217

Galentine’s Day is essentially a day for womxn identified folks to take the time to practice self love as well as show love to the other womxn in their lives. It is a celebration of womxnhood in its many nuances and aspects, and of just how powerful we can be when we celebrate ourselves and each other. The event involves games, crafts, food, and fun activities! This year, our theme is Radical Love- what it means to unconditionally love yourself and others and how that in itself is a threat to the power structure of the patriarchy.

Teach In

Thursday, February 13, 8-5PM • Various Locations

Join the campus community for a daylong series of talks and workshops centered around equity and social justice designed to inform and inspire!  Download a list of the day's events, times, and locations here, or click the image below to download a PDF.

Susan Currier Visiting Professor Lecture

Thursday, February 13, 6:10-8:30PM • Performing Arts Center Pavilion
Part of the annual Teach In, plan to attend the Susan Currier Visiting Professor Lecture given by Anna Ríos-Rojas, Susan Currier Visiting Professor, and Associate Professor in the Department of Education Studies at Colgate University. Dr. Ríos-Rojas' lecture, Pedagogies of the BrokenHearted: Notes on a Pedagogy of Breakage, Women of Color Feminist Decolonial Modivas and Armed Love in the Classroom/Academy, will be followed by a reception. 

Faculty Workshop: Providing Equitable Academic Support

Friday, February 14, 11:10AM-12PM • Bldg. 35, Rm. 319b
Seeking help from instructors in class, during office hours, or through other means is an important way that students receive academic support and resources. Research shows that unwritten cultural rules and expectations around help-seeking confer academic advantage upon middle-class students while disadvantaging those from low-income backgrounds, and particularly those who are students of color. This workshop will introduce participants to research on student help-seeking. Instructors will explore their assumptions about students who ask for help and begin to devise strategies for providing more equitable support.

This workshop is for faculty and staff only. Those interested in attending should register here.

Community Lunch Table

Wednesday, February 19, 12-1:30PM • UU 220
Join OUDI for our first of many Community Lunch Tables. Community Lunch Tables provide free lunch, an opportunity to meet new people, and to build community. Our first Community Lunch Table will serve chili Frito boats (vegetarian chili option available), cookies, and iced tea and lemonade.

Reserve your seat at the table here.

State of Blackness

Thursday, February 20, 2020, 5-7PM • UU 220

The state of diversity events uses the voices and experiences of marginalized populations to inform strategies that can be used to help shift campus culture and challenge systemic norms, policies and processes that uphold the status quo.

This event is meant to be a productive panel conversation around Blackness at Cal Poly and will be centering notions of Action, Hope, Transformation and Belonging.

Therapy Dog Thursdays

Thursday, February 20, 11AM–1PM • Centennial Lawn

Campus Health and Wellbeing will provide therapy dogs on Thursday, February 20 from 11AM–1PM on Centennial Lawn. You can learn more about therapy dogs here.  

Change the Status Quo Keynote Speaker: Angela Davis

Saturday, February 29, 2020, 8–10:30AM • Multi-Use Activity Center (MAC)

Through her activism and scholarship over many decades, Angela Davis has been deeply involved in movements for social justice around the world. Her work as an educator – both at the university level and in the larger public sphere – has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender justice. 

Professor Davis’ teaching career has taken her to San Francisco State University, Mills College, and UC Berkeley. She also has taught at UCLA, Vassar, Syracuse University the Claremont Colleges, and Stanford University. Most recently she spent fifteen years at the University of California Santa Cruz where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness – an interdisciplinary Ph.D program – and of Feminist Studies. 

Angela Davis is the author of ten books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. In recent years a persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. She draws upon her own experiences in the early seventies as a person who spent eighteen months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.” She also has conducted extensive research and published work on numerous issues related to race, gender and imprisonment.

Admission to the Change the Status Quo keynote address and breakfast is included in registration fees for the full conference. Registration for the keynote and breakfast only is $10 for students and $15 for faculty, staff, and the general public. Attendees may request ASL interpretation or accessibility accommodations by emailing the Center for Service in Action. Fee waivers are also available to Cal Poly students via email.

18th Annual Change the Status Quo:
Social Justice Leadership Conference

Saturday, February 29, 8AM-6PM • Various Locations

This conference aims to empower students to use the Learn by Doing spirit to challenge social norms, ask critical questions, demand solutions and make lasting social change. Through guest speakers, inspiring workshops, and engaging sessions, students will leave the conference with a new-found sense and understanding of social justice, and how they can take ownership of their role in moving the needle with regard to social change. This is the 18th annual student-led CSQ Conference hosted by the Center for Service in Action.

Registration for the full conference, including the morning keynote and breakfast, lunch, and appetizers is $10 for students and $30 for faculty, staff, and the general public. Attendees may request ASL interpretation or accessibility accommodations by emailing the Center for Service in Action. Fee waivers are also available to Cal Poly students via email.

Upcoming Events

Aspire to Grow

March 4, 2020, 4:30-6PM, Networking reception to follow

The 2020 Aspire to Grow Conference explores innovation in the food and agriculture sectors. The symposium will focus on new technologies and developments, and the role diversity of thought and experience plays in their achievement. Contact 
Haley Marconett, 805-756-2933 with questions.

Foundations of Gender and Sexuality

The Pride Center is offering a training for students, faculty, staff, and community members to learn more about the experiences of sexual and gender minorities at Cal Poly and in the greater San Luis Obispo area. The next training will take place on Thursday, April 9. Register online here. Email Samuel Byrd, Lead Coordinator for Campus LGBTQ+ Initiatives with questions.

Cal Poly's OWN: Original Womxn's Narratives 2020

Cal Poly's OWN returns on Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11 at 6:30PM in Spanos Theater. You can read more about OWN here, and buy tickets here.

Beverly Daniel Tatum Lecture

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, former president of Spelman College and author of Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race is coming to Cal Poly on ThursdayMay 14. More details will be announced in the coming months.

In the News

Continuing Education

A landmark documentary series narrated by Julian Bond, Eyes on the Prize explores the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s and features interviews with the women and men who were on the front lines. Spread over 14, 55 minute episodes, Eyes on the Prize spans the years between 1954 and the mid-1980s, and is an important piece of documentary filmmaking that captures some of the most important decades and characters in American history. You can watch all 14 episodes by creating a free account on the Facing History website.
Learn more about Black history and keep up to date about developments in the field by following the Black Perspectives blog.

Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum is coming to Cal Poly on May 15! Be sure to read her classic book Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and watch this 2018 on-stage interview at the Chicago Humanities Council.

Empowering Men of Color Webinar

The USC Rossier School of Education is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, February 19th from 12:00-1:00PM PST on strategies to best support and engage men of color in public universities.

The link for the Webinar will be:

The webinar will feature Dr. Vincent Harris of the Male Success Initiative at CSUF, Dr. Maria Acuña of Minority Male Mentoring at CSUN, Dr. Craig Elliott, President of the ACPA College Student Educators International, and Dr. Adrian Huerta of the USC Pullias Center for Higher Education.

Current best practices will be shared from student affairs practitioners on how to promote student success and engage men of color in public educational spaces.
Registration is requested via this link.

Racial Microaggressions and Difficult Dialogues on Race in the Classroom

Research has demonstrated that recognizing, legitimizing, and validating racial microaggressions in the classroom exerts a positive outcome for students of color. In this article, Derald Wing Sue and associates outline some helpful and unhelpful reactions to racial microaggressions that can appear in the classroom. For example, unhelpful approaches include

Taking a passive approach (i.e., let the class take over the discussion), disengaging (i.e., not initiating, going with superficial responses, and dismissing the importance of the topic), becoming emotional (i.e., 'get mad at what was being said [directed toward the student of color]'), or simply ignoring the dialogue (i.e., switching topics). (p. 188).

This article provides excellent examples of both positive and negative responses to classroom microaggressions and could serve as a foundation for further discussion and self-directed learning. You can download a copy of the article here.

Sue, D. W., Lin, A. I., Torino, G. C., Capodilupo, C. M., & Rivera, D. P. (2009). Racial microaggressions and difficult dialogues on race in the classroom. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 15(2), 183–190.

Distinguished Speaker Series Videos

Videos from the first January 23 and 30 Distinguished Speaker Series talks are now available via the links below and on the OUDI website.

January 23:
• Inclusive Excellence: Preparing the Centennial Generation for Leadership with Dr. Damon Williams
LGBTQ+ Engagement: A State of the Landscape in Higher Education with Dr. Genny Beemyn

January 30:
How Asians Became America's "Model Minority" + Why That Matters with Dr. Ellen Wu
The Importance of an Equity Focused Institution to Improve Latinx Student Success at California Polytechnic State University with Dr. Luis Ponjuan 
A Primer on Faculty Diversity, Recruitment & Retention with Dr. Damon Williams

Videos of the final two Distinguished Speaker Series talks will be made available on the OUDI website in mid-February.

More Information

FSA & Student Winter Mixer Challenge

To help build a more interconnected community on campus, the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion is challenging each of the seven Faculty Staff Associations to hold a Winter Mixer with the goal of engaging students.

Each group will receive up to $300 to host a social mixer during the winter quarter to encourage faculty and staff members of the FSAs to build connections with students who share a similar identity.

Each FSA that holds a mixer during the winter quarter will be entered into a drawing to win an additional $300 to host a spring mixer.


  1. Plan a social mixer event, organized by FSA members, aimed at engaging students during the winter quarter (January - March).
  2. Take a group photo during the event and submit it with your reimbursement request to OUDI  ( by April 1st.
  3. OUDI will randomly select one FSA entry to receive an additional $300 to host another FSA/student mixer in the spring.

Join a Faculty/Staff Association

Are you a member of a Faculty/Staff Association (FSA)? Joining an FSA is a great way to meet new people, connect with old friends, and build community. For more information and to sign up, visit the FSA website

Cal Poly OUTList

The Pride Center is launching the Cal Poly OUTList, a resource tool created by the Pride Center to promote visibility, awareness, networking, and community among the Cal Poly and central coast community. The OUTList features profiles of staff, faculty, and affiliates at Cal Poly. Their presence on this list speaks to their willingness to be contacted as an informal resource for other faculty, staff and students.  It is not required that you identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community to be on this list and allies are encouraged to submit profiles. Learn more and submit your profile here.

Subscribe to the Men & Masculinity Program Newsletter

Keep up to date with the Men & Masculinity Program's offerings and events by subscribing to their weekly newsletter.

Subscribe to the Cross Cultural Centers Newsletter

Want to know what's going on in the Cross Cultural Centers? Subscribe to their monthly newsletter here.

Advertise Your Event

Do you have an event you'd like to have included in the OUDI Monthly Newsletter? Please fill out this form to have your event considered for inclusion in the next OUDI Monthly Newsletter!
  • Forms are due by 5PM on the third Friday of every month;
  • Events may be advertised up to 2 months in advance, or longer in special circumstances;
  • Incomplete forms will not be considered;
  • Inclusion in the OUDI Newsletter is at the discretion of the OUDI staff.
Questions? Contact Ryan Adserias or call 805-756-1639.

Pet Corner

Say Hello to Buttercup

Buttercup is two years old and lives with Diego Abeloos, Educational Communications Specialist in Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. According to Diego, Buttercup "loves everyone, but especially kids and other dogs. She even tries to play with the chickens on our property."


Meet Lil. Lil is one of the many cats available for adoption through the Cal Poly Cat Program. 

Lil is a beautiful gray kitty who is 5 years young and is looking for a nice quiet home where she can get some behind-the-ear scratches. Read more about Lil and the other Cal Poly Cat Program residents on their website.

Cat Facts

  • A group of cats is called a "cloweder".
  • Cute cat videos have been around for a long, long time. Thomas Edison made the first one in 1894.
  • Recent research suggests that cats can recognize their name. Whether they choose to respond to their name is another matter entirely.

    Watch this space for more cat facts in the next edition!

Submit to the Pet Corner

Do you have a furry (or not-so-furry) friend you'd like to see featured in the OUDI Monthly Newsletter? Submit a clear picture of your pet, their name, age, and a little about them and we'll feature them in a future edition!

Submissions can be made here, and are accepted on a rolling basis.
Questions? Contact Ryan Adserias or call 756-1639.
Have questions, comments, or feedback about the OUDI Monthly Newsletter?

Contact Ryan Adserias or call 805-756-1639
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