Friday, January 29, 2010

Kuamka Week

The annual Kuamka Week organized by the AACRC kicks off next Monday! This year's theme is Reviving the Legacy. Check out the many thought-provoking events below (click on the image for a large view)!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Student Government Survey on Diversity

I heard today from Alyssa Penick, At-Large Senator in UC's Undergraduate Student Government, about a survey the organization is conducting of UC students.

They are seeking feedback on diversity in the Undergraduate Student Government and thoughts on how we can all work together to ensure that all students have a voice.

The survey is open to current UC students - please follow this link to participate.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Volunteer for Haiti

February 4th Update:

This event has been postponed due to anticipated inclement weather during the initially scheduled time.

The new volunteering date/time will be announced as soon as it is determined.

The Office of Ethnic Programs and Services is organizing an opportunity for the UC community to volunteer to support Matthew 25 Ministries' efforts to help Haiti. Details below. Contact Catherine Huang at for more info or to RSVP.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Film Friday: Conversations on Corporations

In "honor" of the recent Supreme Court decision on campaign finance, RAPP will be scratching the surface of the complex issue of corporations as people in this week's Film Friday.

Film Friday: Corporations
Friday, January 29th
6th floor open space, Steger Student Life Center

Pick the film at 1PM, light snacks during film, discussion to follow.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Help Drive the Future of RAPP

I am currently seeking members for two key committees that I'd like to have up and running by mid-February: the RAPP 25th Reunion Organizing Committee and the RAPP Rebranding committee. Please contact me at for more information or to join!

RAPP 25th Reunion Organizing CommitteeCommittee Overview and Guidelines

The Racial Awareness Program (RAPP) is approaching our 25th year at the University of Cincinnati. In our fifth and tenth year, reunions were organized to recognize and reunite our members. Approaching our twenty-fifth year in the 2010-2011 school year, we have a great opportunity for many Rs: reflection, recognition, reunion, and re-energizing.

Committee Guidelines:
With the direction and support of the RAPP Program Coordinator, the RAPP 25th Reunion Committee will work toward successfully completing the following goals:

· Establish a timeline for organizing reunion communication and activities
· Working with a budget, provide a meaningful and memorable reunion experience
· Provide RAPPers and our supporters opportunities for reflection on the past of RAPP and re-energizing for our future

Committee Membership:
This committee is open to all previous RAPP members and current UC students, regardless of location. Committee members should be able to participate (in person or by phone) in regularly scheduled twice monthly meetings. Committee members will also work on tasks between meetings that are developed, assigned, and followed up on at the regular meetings.
The committee will work from February to October 2010. I am seeking up to twelve committee members and there will likely be a need for volunteer support from others throughout the work period.
RAPP Rebranding

The Racial Awareness Program (RAPP) has had several logos and advertising campaigns throughout our twenty-four years. We have had our current logo and advertising themes since 2005. As we approach our 25th year as a program, we would like to re-energize our presence on campus with new visual representation.

Committee Guidelines:
With the direction and support of the RAPP Program Coordinator (PC), the RAPP Rebranding committee will work toward successfully completing the following goals:

· Review and research rebranding processes as well as what we want to convey through our imagery
· Working within a budget given by the PC, develop and implement a campus- and community-wide contest, including selection criteria and process, for finding our new brand
· Create opportunity for promotion of the new imagery as well as RAPP overall

Committee Membership:
This committee is open to any interested community member regardless of affiliation with RAPP and regardless of location. Committee members should be able to participate (in person or by phone) in regularly scheduled twice monthly meetings. Committee members will also work on tasks between meetings that are developed, assigned, and followed up on at the regular meetings.

Committee members cannot submit entries to the contest.

The committee will work from February to June 2010. I am seeking up to seven members, with a particular interest in those with marketing backgrounds.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Campus Spotlight: Shades of You Prom Dress Bazaar

From Shades of You:

The women of Shades of You welcome you to volunteer for our annual community service event of the year. Our Prom Dress Bazaar is an opportunity for young ladies to receive a prom dress that they otherwise may not have been able to afford. This event will take place on April 11, 2010; in addition to your donation, you will also have a chance to meet these wonderful young ladies. We need volunteers to help collect dresses, and set-up on the day of the event. You will be compensated with community service hours for your help. Your help is not only greatly appreciated but also imperative to the success of this bizarre.

We need your assistance in getting the word out about this fantastic event. We are asking you, our general body, to volunteer to get in contact with other women’s organizations across campus so that their members are made aware of the opportunity to donate dresses. We also need a street team that is able and willing to help post flyers around campus next week.

For those of you interested in getting involved in one of the ways mentioned above, or in any other way please contact myself, Brittnay Cummins, or Fevean Kelfom. Thank you so much for all of your help, we are really excited about the Prom Dress Bizarre and hope to make a difference in a lot of girls’ lives this year. Make sure your apart of something this great!!

Shades Love,
Brittnay & Fevean

For more information please contact:
Brittnay Cummins-
Fevean Keflon-

(pic-taken by Rebecca from Google image search)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

RAPPers at City-Wide MLK Events

Yesterday was one of my favorite days of recognition and rejuvenation of the year: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

RAPPers current and previous were at many MLK events this year. Here are a few shots from the city-wide march & rally organized by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition.

The count I heard from Channel 5 (who covered the city-wide events from start to finish) was that 2,000 people participated in the march and rally.

Marchers watching King's "I Have a Dream" speech on the Fountain Square screen.

Taylor (XXV) and friends wait in the cold for the march to start.

Mimi & Divine (both XXV) at the start of the march to Fountain Square.

Me (XXII), Lisa (XXIV), Brittany (XXIII), and Brenna (XXII) about to march to Music Hall.
Many thanks to all the folks who came out but that I didn't catch on film (note to self: recharge camera immediately following RAPPORT retreats). :)

Review: RAPPORT Retreat Rocked!

Many thanks to all who participated in this year's RAPPORT retreat. We went "home" to Grailville for the 2010 retreat and RAPPers from groups XXII through XXIV participated.
We took on the daunting topic of religious diversity as well as spent time looking at characteristics of advantaged and target groups. I really appreciate the genuine self-reflection we engaged in, as well as all the fun we had!
In recognition of the many questions we came up with as well as the general interest people have shown in the topic, I'm planning a Film Friday about religious difference for Friday, January 29th. More details will come soon, but per usual Film Friday events start at 1PM in the 6th Floor Open Space of Steger Student Life Center and are open to RAPPers and their friends. A few light refreshments will be available (a.k.a. pretzels and popcorn).

Friday, January 15, 2010

Help Out Haiti

The very first post on this blog talked about an amazing group of young leaders we met from Haiti and the Dominican Republic (pictured above). Since the devastating earthquake earlier this week, this group has been in my mind much. Our University is anticipating an announcement soon on the university-wide response to offer aid. Several groups have already jumped in to action. For example, all blood donations in today's campus blood drive will support the cause.
The Office of Ethnic Programs and Services is accepting donations through next week that will go to aid the survivors.
Holly, a friend of RAPP, has posted on-line links to several organizations that need support in their aid work:
Doctors Without Borders
Healing Arts Missions
International Childcare USA
Oxfam International
Partners in Health
The Red Cross

RAPPORT & Religion

Since (as best I can tell) 2001, RAPP has had a structure where our "jumping off points" for the quarter are race in fall, gender in winter, and sexuality in spring. We call them "jumping off points" because our activities highlight issues of injustice in those areas as a way to explore major social justice theories, but we let the group take the conversation where it wants to. We learn much from allowing ourselves to meander through several identities in our discussions - which often highlights how the many identities we all carry intersect.
In the past few years, there's been an increasing amount of interest vocalized in exploring religious differences. The RAPPORT leadership team has taken this to heart and done much reflection and preparation to tackle this intense topic. First, we had to own up to how empty our "toolboxes" were on the topic - whereas for race or for gender we have dozens of activities we're familiar with to use to approach the topic, for religion we had paltry few. Second, we had to do our research and really get to know issues about the topic and educate ourselves to be able to approach it in a thoughtful way that empowers agency, rather than perpetuates ignorance and intolerance.
After all that prep, we've finally jumped in! I'm still learning daily and am making this a topical focus in my personal and professional development.
RAPPORT's last meeting on Wednesday explored world religions, trends in US religions, and Christian privilege in US society. Our retreat (this weekend) will continue these conversations as well as explore another topic.
If you've got ideas or feedback for us about the topic, please feel free to contact me! If you'd be up for having a program or workshop where we try out some of our new tools, please contact me as well!
RAPPORT members Carmen, Brittany, DeVorah, and Jojo work on a group project at Wednesday's meeting.
RAPPORT members Kimmins and Nicole contribute to the conversation.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Why We Can't Wait: A Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr."

Today there was standing-room only attendance at the campus celebration in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday. The program was organized by the African American Cultural and Research Center and Ethnic Programs and Services.

The program involved presentations, music, and an inspiring keynote address from UC's 27th - and first African-American - president Dr. Gregory H. Williams. It's ended with the traditional call to service by Dr. Eric Abercrumbie - with the reminder that Monday's upcoming holiday is a day ON, not a day off.

The AACRC Choir performed.

Dr. Williams' keynote address (photo from AACRC).


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

This Weekend: RAPPORT Retreat

This Friday to Saturday is our annual RAPPORT retreat. I'm looking forward to thought-provoking conversations and memorable fun with this year's group!

This year RAPPORT students will be exploring issues of relgious difference and dynamics of dominant/advantaged and subordinated/targetted groups. Last year we explored issues related to peer education. Before that, I don't know when or whether RAPPORT groups had retreats.

As I continue to connect with more former RAPPers, I look forward to learning about what RAPPORT was like for them!

(pic-participants in the spring 2009 RAPPORT retreat)


Monday, January 11, 2010

Martin Luther King Commemorative Events

There's a full slate of activities going on around our campus and in our city for MLK Day. Here's information on some of them:

At UC:
"Why We Can't Wait": A Tribute ot Martin Luther King, Jr. Wednesday, January 13th, 12noon, MainStreet Cinema. Keynote speaker: President Gregory H. Williams.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast Hosted by the men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Friday, January 15th, 8AM, Cerman Cultural Center (in Old Chemistry).
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Celebration Hosted by UC Health. Friday, January 15th, 10:10AM-12noon, Kresge Auditorium.
Linda Bates Parker Conversation Friday, January 15th, 3PM-6PM, Myers Alumni Center.

City-wide Events:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition March Monday, January 18th, 10:30AM. March starts outside Freedom Center's Harriet Tubman entrance on Vine Street. Marchers proceed to Fountain Square for interfaith prayer service at 11 a.m. Immediately following service, marchers continue to Music Hall for program.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Celebration Monday, January 18th, 12noon. Materials on display about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and activities prior to program. Bishop Todd O'Neal and Dr. Catherine Roma to speak. Mayor Mark Mallory delivers keynote address. Music by the Martin Luther King Chorale.
Listing of other city-wide events: has a listing of MLK events available here.

Other Local Universities:
A listing of events at Xavier University is available here (pdf).
A listing of events at Northern Kentucky University is available here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fall 2009 Report

Last fall I provided a report to the Diversity Council committee that oversees the allocation of funds to RAPP about what I'd been up to so far. This year I asked to make this an annual tradition. I like to be transparent about what I've spent UC's time and money on - plus it's a chance to highlight the hard work of all the folks who made RAPP work and the accomplishments of the past year.
This year's report will be available shortly at through the RAPP homepage. It's pending approval and uploading (how all that works in the UC content management system, I know not - I just know it usually takes a little while). For current members of RAPP, it's also available in the Documents section of our Blackboard page.
So, if you'd like to read it, it'll be out there soon!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

In Memoriam... A Conversation about Linda Bates Parker

Dr. Eric Abercrumbie has sent out word about an memorial for Linda Bates Parker.
"In Memoriam... A Conversation about Linda Bates Parker" will give people the opportunity to share their memories of "Ma Parker" with UC students, staff, faculty, and the community at large.

Friday, January 15, 2010
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
University of Cincinnati
Myers Alumni Center

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Recognizing One Aspect of Commitment

RAPP XXIV started something that I think I should continue: Recognizing folks for strong attendance. I know that we're busy students with many commitments to uphold. Therefore, I think it's impressive that many folks are able to attend all of the meetings and retreats in RAPP.
For fall quarter, these RAPP XXV members made it to every meeting and the retreat:
Rachel Berman
Mahsino Blahmoh
Melissa Chavez
Anthony DelaRosa
Trisha Durham
Amber Easterling
Simone Epperson
Craig Erickson
Courtney Fancher
Lauren Fink
Lane Hart
Sarah Hejma
Ricardo Huezo
Zina Iyango
Grace Jeter
Brittany Jones
Chelsea Korte
Meagan Lauer
Brice Mickey
Kristin Myers-Young
Calena Neal
Wil Pierce
Alyssa Roberts
Ivy Shan
Simón Sotelo
Danielle Thomas
Tiffany Thompson
Andrea Tinsley
Dion Webb
Tori Willis
Daniel Wilson
Quincy Wright
Maggie Yoder
Anum Zaheer
Many thanks to you all for your commitment!

(pic - Queenie of RAPP XXIV being recognized for attendance at ALL meetings and retreats)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Award Nomination Season

RAPPers are a pretty phenomenal group of people. One thing I like is taking the time to recognize RAPPers (and other student leaders) for the great work they do.
Though "the real awards season" is in late spring (when all the banquets and ceremonies are), now's the time we lay the groundwork.
If you're around UC and know a phenomenal student, take the time to recognize them for the work they do on top of the regular demands of student life.
Some great ones for graduating students are accepting nominations now:
Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges
Presidential Medal of Excellence
(pic - taken from the PME website, RAPPer Payal Modi was recognized in 2004 with this prestigious award)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Un's Farewell

Today we said farewell to Un and thanks for her all her amazing work!
Erica & Regan from the Wellness Center.
Un & Dean Bowen.
Un, Vicki, and Stacy.
Lisa of RAPP XXIV, Un, and Brandy
Stacy, Terri, and Derrick.
Debby & Dan write in Un's memory book.
Jackie, Derrick, Un, and Nicole.
Un cuts the first piece of cake.
Miss Patty and Un.
The spread for Un's cake.