Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Quick Check-In

Things are humming along in the RAPP office the last two days - including some great interviews and a rush of people expressing interest!
As of an hour ago, I've been very excited about a mark we hit!
My goal going into recruitment was to get 120 people to express interest in RAPP. We're now at 122!
I'm very grateful to everyone who's been helping out all year long promoting RAPP! Our team has done some amazing work generating interest and it's showing in our number of applicants. A great big thank you to all the RAPPers spreading the word.


Monday, September 28, 2009

The Good News I Have: Akwaaba was A(k)wesome!

Yesterday was one of my favorite events of the year - Akwaaba Black Student Welcome. It was, in my opinion, the best Akwaaba yet! The staff and students of the AACRC did a great job planning and executing this celebration.
There was a wealth of resources and information for students new and returning. There were platefuls of delicious food. There were excellent performances by several student groups. There were clever and varied "commercials" for many UC and community groups - including SALD and RAPP. (I can't even begin to describe my excitement and appreciation of all the cheers of support for RAPP's commercial!)

Terri and Patty of the SALD Office at the SALD/RAPP/SAB table.

Mayor and UC Alum Mark Mallory spoke to the crowd

I loved seeing RAPPers who are also sorority members show off their stepping skills! Latoya of RAPP XXIII (singing) and Brenna of RAPP XXII (far right) compete with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

Our great recruitment team - all of us worked hard promoting RAPP at Akwaaba!


First Film Friday = Fenomenal!

Despite the limited advertising we'll be doing for it, a good size group came out for our first Film Friday. Our topic was healthcare issues in the US and we selected Unnatural Causes... Is Inequality Making Us Sick? as our film for that Friday. I really enjoyed the conversation we had following the film about our reactions to the ideas presented in it and how that related to our own experiences. I also value the questions we generated for ourselves in terms of the future of healthcare and how to stay informed and make informed decisions.

Join us again next Friday to pick between two great films again! I'll announce the topic by Wednesday.

(pics-watching the film on the 6th floor of Steger)

Hispanic Student Welcome

Last Thurday evening was a great time! RAPP participated in !Bienvenido! Hispanic Student Welcome organized by Ethnic Programs and Services.

RAPP XXIV folks Krystal and Kat and RAPP XXIII and RAPPORT superstar Eddie were there, as were several applicants for RAPP XXV. A big gracias to Krystal and Eddie for coming up to the mic when we talked to the attendants about RAPP.

RAPP shared an info table with many organizations, not least among them the AACRC and EPS.


Friday, September 25, 2009

An Amazing Find!

It seems that Jen, the Diversity Education Graduate Assistant this year, made an amazing discovery yesterday!

The RAPP Office has secret treasures buried throughout its many cracks, crevases, and shelves. Buried among that were some heretofore lost RAPP Scrapbooks. I'd heard about them from Kim McGinnis but hadn't seen one in person. What an amazing thing to go from having zero of to having three!

While I'm sad that the three folks whose scrapbooks we found no longer have theirs, I'm excited that we were able to get these pieces of RAPP history. I've just begun poring over them and already have learned some valuable things - to start with, the names of the people who went through RAPP that year!

If you see YOUR RAPP scrapbook among these three, please contact me and we'll get it home to you (hope you don't mind if we make copies first, though!).

(pic-the RAPP IX, XII, and XIV scrapbooks unearthed yesterday)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I Spy... A RAPPer!

UC Magazine just put out its October 2009 issue, the focus of which is diversity on our campus.
It approached the topic through "The Many Faces of UC" - highlighting the diversity we have on campus and the ways in which several key folks are working to make our campus have an inclusive, just, and caring community.
If you check out the article on a recent graduate's dissertation work on assessing campus climate for gay and lesbian students, you might see a familiar face and logo. In the background is Sarvani - our facilitator extraordinaire - sporting her RAPP XXIV t-shirt!
(pic-reposted from the linked article)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

RAPP T-shirt Day!

Today was our first "Wear Your RAPP Shirt Day" of the '09-'10 school year! In fact, today itself was the first day of th '09-'10 school year. What a coincidence. *wink!*

I ran into a few RAPPers in their shirts, but only had my camera out for one. Doh! A great big thank you to everyone who showed their RAPP pride today! Keep your eyes out for the next one soon!

(pic- JoJo sporting the hottest shirt of the season)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Movies! Movies! Movies! Introducing Film Fridays!

Between RAPP and Diversity Education, we have a decent library of thought-provoking films. We've got documentaries and feature films on a wide variety of subjects, from everyday life experiences in different cultures to exposes on business practices to TV shows about people's life experiences.

Those who know me know I'm very hesistant to show films during RAPP meetings because of the time investment of watching a whole film. Despite this, I find movies to be powerful tools for generating discussion (which is why I bend and show them at retreats :) ).

Wanting to not allow our resources to just gather dust and wanting also to capitalize on the power of film, this year I'm starting a semi-regular series I quaintly call Film Friday.

This is an intentionally low-key programming series and won't be heavily advertised. To stay in line with copyright issues, I won't be promoting on-line or by posters which film we will show - but I'm happy to say the topic area and confident in saying that the film'll be awesome!

Join us this Friday, September 25th, from 1-3PM in the 6th floor open space of Steger Student Life Center. We'll be watching a documentary on healthcare issues in the US. Discussion to follow and popcorn available throughout!
(pic - RAPP I enjoying a movie at their retreat)

Monday, September 21, 2009

RAPP @ Upcoming Welcome Events

RAPP will have an informational table at several events this week. We hope to see you - and a ton of students - there! Feel free to stop by and say hi, help out, or just come for the fun & food.

Tonight, 6-8PM, 400TUC: Asian Student Welcome.
This event is organized by the Office of Ethnic Programs and Services, the African American Cultural and Research Center, and UC's chapter of Delta Phi Lambda.

Tuesday, September 22, McMicken Commons: Mick & Mack's Welcome Day Festival.
This event is organized by the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences.

Thursday, September 24, 5-7PM, Mick and Mack's Cafe: Bienvenidos! Hispanic Student Welcome.
This event is organized by the Office of Ethnic Programs and Services.

Sunday, September 27, 4-7PM, TUC Great Hall: Akwaaba Black Student Welcome.
This event is organized by the African American Cultural and Research Center.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Resource Spotlight: Growing Up Latino - Memoirs and Stories

Given that we respect life experiences as valid and valuable knowledge in RAPP, I'm excited to get resources that draw largely on the writer's life experiences. In this vien, we've just gotten two copies of the new UC President Gregory H Williams' memoir Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy who Discovered he was Black.

Also in this vien is another new book in our resource library Growing Up Latino: Memoirs and Stories, Reflections on Life in the United States. This collection, edited by Harold Augenbraum and Ilan Stavans, features works by many famous latino/a writers including Julia Alvarez, Sandra Cisneros, Rudolfo Anaya, Oscar and Hijuelos. It includes 25 pieces divided into three sections: Imagining the Family, Gringolandia, and Songs of Self-Discovery.
Stop by to check out Growing Up Latino and our many other books in the resource library!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another Ad

RAPP is coordinated out of the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development, usually called SALD (S-A-L-D, not "salad" or "sald", though that'd be fun!).

SALD also has a commercial in the rotation at Akwaaba Black Student Welcome 2009 (organized by the AACRC). Since I made it - and, moreso, since RAPP's in it - I'm gonna post it! This one's definitely more fun and lighthearted, despite the seriousness with which we approach our mission.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

adVERtisment or ADverTISEment?

The staff and students of the AACRC and EPS had a brilliant idea this fall. Rather than having a long queue of droning speakers give dull too-long plugs about their groups, this year's participants in Akwaaba Black Student Welcome will be treated to a loop of commercials throughout the event. Honestly, I think this idea is brilliant! Not only will groups better convey their purpose, but students will get to hear about the groups on their own terms and staff won't have to deal with organizing the announcements and shushing the crowd for them.

Below is the RAPP "commercial" created for the event.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Out and About with RAPP

The morning started off well: I "meet 'n' greet crashed" the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies graduate student orientation meet and greet. It was great to reconnect with the faculty and meet the new and returning graduate students in this outstanding program.

This afternoon RAPP'll be out with our beautiful new tri-fold at the International Student Welcome Coffee Hour. The event is from 4pm to 6pm in TUC Great Hall. We'll gnosh on some yummy treats and meet a bunch of students - International and otherwise. The annual event is organized by UC International Services and features information tables, food, and entertainment. Always a good time!

Keep checking here for updates on where we'll be! We love having friendly faces stop by!

(pic - Sarvani at the RAPP table at last year's International Student Welcome)

Friday, September 11, 2009

International Study Abroad Expo: October 7th

The folks over at UC International are organizing another fair to help connect students with study abroad opportunities. From UC International:
Programs Abroad Expo - Weds., October 7, 2009 Bearcat Plaza

This is your chance to do “one stop shopping” for education abroad opportunities on one day. Around 50 booths representing programs in more than 50 countries will be featured in the University of Cincinnati’s Programs Abroad Expo. The annual expo, sponsored by UC International Programs will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7th at Bearcat Plaza between TUC and the rec center (rain location: TUC atrium).

Student volunteers are needed to make this event a success! Please contact Jill Reister (jill.reister@uc.edu <mailto:jill.reister@uc.edu> or 556-4465) if you can offer an hour or two of your time assisting the representatives at their tables. Expo volunteers a free t-shirt. Volunteer hours can count toward Cincinnatus community service requirements.

UC students will have the chance to learn about UC programs offering overseas study as well as programs offered by other universities and exchange organizations. Door prizes will be given away in random drawings.

Karen Ramos
Education Abroad Program Manager

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Our Growing, Awesome Team

We've got two outstandingly talented facilitators hired - Sarvani & Tara. Now we're getting into place our RAPPORT Peer Leaders. We've got three for sure, one possibly, and have room for one or two more.

Introducing the line-up so far:

Tad Miller
Nancy Paraskevopoulos
DeVorah YisraEL

Tad was a member of the RAPP XXIV Sunday group. He was known for his openness to being challenged, genuine engagement, and his humor. Tad is also an RA on campus in Calhoun Hall.

Nancy was a member of the RAPP XXIV Wednesday group and was recognized with the 2009 Terrence L Jones Diversity Award. She was known for her passion, her background and work in activism, and her verbal eloquence. She was active in many student groups on campus and helped organize the Midwest CANference last spring.

DeVorah was a member of the RAPP XXIV Wednesday group and participated as a first-year student. She was known for her powerful questions, her self-awareness, and her critical thinking. She is a 2nd-year student at UC studying Communications and Spanish.

I'm excited for our amazing team this year and can't wait to see the great work these folks do!
(pics-from Spring and Winter RAPP Retreats)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

UC Announces New President: Dr. Gregory H. Williams

The campus is abuzz today with the excitement of this morning's Presidential Selection Committee and Board of Trustee's meetings where Dr. Gregory H. Williams was unanimously voted in as our new university president.

The announcement is still very fresh, so I haven't done much research on Dr. Williams. Here is the bio that went out in the email announcement to the University community, written by Chair of the UC Board of Trustees Buck Niehoff:

"Dr. Williams brings to the University of Cincinnati a bold vision for the future of higher education. He has a remarkable record in building enrollment while ensuring academic excellence and diversity. He is a noted scholar with a substantial background in academic leadership, particularly in a public setting.

Our next president has earned five degrees, including a J.D. and a Ph.D. from The George Washington University, and he holds three honorary doctorates. He has been a university administrator for more than 30 years, previously serving in a variety of posts at The George Washington University, The University of Iowa and The Ohio State University. Immediately prior to becoming president of The City College of New York, he was dean of the Law School and Carter C. Kissell Professor of Law, The Ohio State University. Early in his career, Williams was a deputy sheriff, and he later worked as an aide to a United States senator.

Author of three books and a number of articles and book reviews, Williams is best known for his award-winning and best-selling memoir, 'Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black.' As a result of his autobiography, he has been featured on a number of national programs including 'Oprah,' 'Dateline NBC with Tom Brokaw,' 'Larry King Live,' ABC's 'Nightline with Ted Koppel' and 'Fresh Air with Terri Gross' of National Public Radio."

One thing about Dr. Williams that I am glad to have learned is his record with diversity at CCNY - he increased overall enrollment, increased enrollment standards, and maintained a high level of racial diversity while doing so. I think that his knowledge and experience in doing that will be good for UC as we continue to grow.

I'll be ordering at least one copy of Dr. Williams' book for the RAPP Resource Library. Come by soon to check it ou!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Blowin' Up Your Inbox

During recruitment, we've typically sent emails out over a handful of listservs. This year, I'm striving to hit a lot of different group's listservs to help spread the word about RAPP and how to join it.

I'll be spending the next two days emailing student leaders of registered UC student groups related to culture, social justice, and politics. I'm also contacting different offices and colleges trying to get sent through their listservs.

If you are on a listserv and would like to let folks in the group know about RAPP, please do so! Below is the general information I'm trying to send out by email:

RAPP – the Racial Awareness Program – is a long-running social justice program at our University. People who’ve been through our program describe it as mind-opening, real, intense, and life-changing. We’re currently entering our 24th year and are looking for our next amazing group of students. Now’s your chance to get involved!


Our membership is as diverse as the University – we have students with majors in all UC colleges and in the Center for Access and Transition. Our students come from all academic classes, from first-year to “7th year senior”, and include graduate students and non-traditional students. We’re diverse along many lines of social identity, including gender, race, sexuality, socioeconomic class, and more. The only requirement is to be a currently enrolled UC student - students from UC branch campuses are also welcome!


RAPP is a nine-month program where we challenge, debate, and educate each other on issues of social justice. From the beginning we’ve been founded on the philosophy of Each One Teach One - we all have something to learn from each other as well as to teach each other. Using our life experience as an important form of knowledge, we explore our experiences of race, culture, gender, socioeconomic class, sexuality, religion, and other areas of identity.

In the nine-month RAPP experience, each group meets four times each quarter and has an overnight retreat each quarter. This year’s schedule can be found on-line athttp://www.uc.edu/sald/diversity/RAPP_XXV_schedule.html.

How much…

RAPP is free for all members! The program is fully paid for by the University so there’s no financial cost for you to participate.

How to join…

We are accepting applications to join RAPP through October 3rd. To begin applying, simply contact me
atlehmanrl@uc.edu or 513.556.6119. I’ll send you more information on the program and a written application. After completing your written application, you also participate an in-person interview.

How to help…

Spread the word! Participating in RAPP helps students continue building skills to better communicate with people about the issues they’re passionate about as well as build better awareness and ability to be an ally to other oppressed groups. RAPP is also great opportunity to make more friends, build more connections at UC, and strengthen your leadership skills.

If you’re able, join our group! Whether you can or not, please help us spread the word about the opportunity to join RAPP. I’m always happy to come to groups and classrooms to talk about RAPP and other opportunities to get involved on campus.

How to learn more…

Check out our website:

Fan us on Facebook: Search “Racial Awareness Program”

Follow our Blog:

Contact our Coordinator: Rebecca Lehman,
lehmanrl@uc.edu, 513.556.6119

Friday, September 4, 2009

An Honorable Connection

When I came to UC I participated in the University Honors Program (though it had a different name then). The program gave me not only a challenging courseload, but great opportunities for leadership development and community service.

Several Honors students have been strong members of RAPP in the years I've been with it. I recently connected with the Honors Program staff and we now have an exciting partnership!

Students in the Honors Program can now receive recognition for their participation in RAPP as one of the six honors experiences they have to complete to be a recognized graduate of the progam. Honors is a program where all of their activities are committed to demonstrating community engagement, global studies, leadership, research and creative arts - looking at those, to me, demonstrates why our connection makes sense.

Connections like these are, I think, a great reflection on the new curriculum of RAPP and will help us down the long path to having a credit-bearing option. If you are involved in or know of other academic programs we could collaborate with, please don't hesitate to contact me!

(pic - Erin A, an Honors student who was in RAPP XXIV)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tweedily Tweedily Deet!

So, we're coming into the tech age in yet another way. I finally said "I was stuck in the mud about Facebook, and gave in. I was stuck in the mud about a blog, and gave in. Let's just go with this Twitter thing before I am too stuck in the mud to go anywhere."So, follow us on Twitter! Our name there is - like here - cinciRAPP.

Right now I won't tweet much - mostly events where you can find us. During the schoolyear, I'll tweet out reminders of RAPP meetings, RAPP info (like deadlines and resources), and interesting events on campus.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tabling Time Approaches

One of our big pushes for connecting with new potential RAPP members happens in Fall. We attend as many welcome events as we can, we visit classrooms, we hang signs all over campus, and I get a monomania around getting the word out.

Our first event this fall is tomorrow! It's exciting that tabling season is hitting!

Tomorrow morning we'll be at a Resource Fair for UC's resident advisors. The RAs will be learning about many campus resources that can help them individually and help their community. We're one of those resources!

Soon we'll be at the International Student Welcome Coffee Hour. During Welcome Week we'll be at countless welcome events.

Wanna join us at our table? RAPPers are always welcome to come help out!
Wanna meet us in person? Potential RAPPers are always welcome to come hang out!

You can keep up with our schedule through the calendar on the right side of this blog! Hope to see you there!