Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Student Spotlight Super Fun!

Student Spotlight began yesterday and we've already had fun in our two opportunities to connect with new incoming students.

Jojo - RAPP XXIV and recruitment coordinator - greatly helped redesign our info board into it current more user friendly and more fun format. Here is is showing off the work at the first Student Spotlight.

Above is the RAPP change-purse I mentioned in yesterday's post on my obsession with RAPP crafts. What magic could be in such a (be)dazzling bag?

RAPP BUTTONS! We made a new batch of buttons with the new logo as a give-away for our table.
Brice - of RAPP XXV and also a recruitment coordinator - and Jojo show off our awesome table and their even more awesome ambassador skills at today's Spotlight!

Many thanks also to Eddie of RAPP XXIII for helping out today at Spotlight!

Monday, June 28, 2010

RAPP Craft in the Spotlight

Okay, granted, it's a small spotlight - but it still made me happy.

Some folks know that I like going to learn-to-craft workshops. I tend to blank out on creative ideas, so I fall back to RAPP mottos and ideas to end up with my finished product.

That's how I ended up with my RAPP flower pot. It's also how I ended up with a RAPP change-purse. Honestly, it's part of what inspired having a crafting aspect to the new RAPP logo unveiling.

A few months ago I went to a make-clay-tiles activity at Covington Clay. Rick Hoffman, artist and owner of Covington Clay, has been working on a community mural about the first ammendment. As part of that, he asked the community to contribute by making tiles and the bonus was we got to keep one of our tiles.

I just got a postcard with an update on the project. Guess what made it on the front!

One of my RAPP-themed tiles! I made two tiles both about Each One Teach One and carved in Racial Awareness Program.

I can't wait to get my tile to add it to my homemade RAPP kitsch collection in my office!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Student Spotlight Starts Soon!

Student Spotlight - the one-hour time where incoming new UC students learn about ways to be involved on campus - starts on Monday!

The time is generally a fun one connecting with other groups on campus and with students who'll be joining us at UC in the fall.

Today we set up our basic display table for the summer. Thanks to our recruitment leaders Brice and Jojo we have an updated design for the board. We also have a fancy new tablecloth to take with us to our many info table events.
The picture's not great b/c it's from my worn-out old camera phone. Missing from the table are a netbook that runs videos of RAPPers in action. Also missing are the awesome RAPPer volunteers who help us connect with the orientation students.

We have a great spot this year! We're the second table on the left - prime real estate if you ask me. I'm very grateful to the Student Orientation Coordinators running Spotlight for giving us the opportunity each year to connect with students!

Another Video

I'm still learning the site through which I'll make videos this year, and here's my first attempt at text+photos:

These videos (well, once we have more than one) will run on a loop at Student Spotlight at Bearcat Bound Orientation. They'll also go up on the YouTube and - once we have access again to updating the UC website - on the official RAPP website.

If you have any ideas or feedback (positive welcome, but constructive extremely encouraged) on the videos, please let me know!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Spread the Word Tip #1: Wear that Shirt!

To help promote RAPP, you don't have to be like Jojo (XXIV) here and carry a sign everywhere. If you think about it, he has TWO signs in that picture - the one he's carrying and the one he's wearing.

I can't count how many times my RAPP t-shirt has started a conversation. This is true both with people I already know and with complete strangers.

More than once, someone on the bus or out at a park has read the quote on the back and sparked up a conversation with me.

Friends and strangers alike often ask me about the logo... or the Roman numerals... or what the second P is for?

Wear your RAPP t-shirt to classes. Wear it to student group meetings. Wear it to community events, religious services, work (if you can), and just out-and-about. Even if you don't talk with someone about it, it creates visibility.

Also, a few times a year we'll have "RAPP T-Shirt Days" where we ask folks to wear their t-shirt. Our next one will be Wednesday, September 22nd. I hope to see you in your shirt then - I'll be wearing mine!

A New Video to Show how RAPP Rocks

I'm working on some new videos for the season of finding RAPP XXVI. Here's a sample one I made to check out a new program I might use for this year - it's all shots of mostly-RAPP stuff from the 2009-2010 school year.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Summer's Starting out SOLy

Today marked the third and last training session with the 2010 Student Orientation Leaders (SOLs).
This year is the second year RAPP is providing diversity training for the SOLs. In our first session this year we explored crosscultural communication strategies and whether they could be useful and/or practical in the SOL role. In our second session, we explored our perceptions of diversity at UC compared with the annual statistics provided by the Office of Institutional Research on the student body. Today, we explored the Just Community principles, what they mean to us as students, how they relate to our University experience, and the challenges and benefits of promoting Just Community on campus and to students at Orientation.
I greatly enjoy my time with the SOLs, who are an outstanding and engaged group! The Orientation office does an amazing job preparing amazing ambassadors. I look forward to seeing them throughout the summer as they introduce the incoming students to all the opportunities and resources available to them at UC.
(pic stolen from the Orientation website - look in the back right of the group and you'll see RAPP XXIV member Nicole C)

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Mini-Reunion" Potlucks

This weekend we had two potlucks that we took to calling "mini-reunions" - one for RAPP XXIV on Saturday and one for RAPP XXIII on Sunday.
Here are a few snapshots from the events:
Rebecca, Abby, and Jojo throw up their numbers.
Abby, Rebecca, and Nicole enjoy potluck food.

Brice, Eddie, Kate, Rebecca, Sam, and Marjorie take a group photo on Sunday.

Kate and Sam making RAPP XXIII look great as always!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Naming Contest!

For the 2010-2011 school year, we're unveiling a new certificate program for RAPPORT students. Through completing a set of commitments on one of two tracks (Peer Leader track or RAPPORT Only track), RAPPORT folks can develop their skills and knowledge in social justice education and receive a certificate recognizing their work.

We have a dry, boring, but official-sounding name that'll go well on resumes:

"RAPP Certified Social Justice Peer Educator"

We want a more exciting, enticing, and energizing name for daily use! That's where you (and RAPP goodie bag + $10 a UC Bookstore Gift Certificate) come in!

What we're looking for:

*Short and catchy is good! (which is why we're looking for something to say in daily use insted of "RAPP Certified Social Justice Peer Educator")

*Connecting somehow to the concepts of social justice and/or peer education is good!

*It can be an acronym - or not! (like how RAPP stands for Racial Awareness [Pilot] Program, or PAC for Programs and Activities Council)

*It can have the words/letters for RAPP or RAPPORT or Certificate - or not!

*Basically, we're looking for something new, catchy, and fun! It doesn't have to be like every other kind of program, but it can be if that's how it works out. The idea is for you to take it wherever you want to take it.

How to submit:
Email your idea(s) to Rebecca at lehmanrl@uc.edu or message her on Facebook by 5PM on Monday, July 19th. You can submit more than one idea in the contest.

The prize:
The winning entry will be selected by RAPP and SALD people. We may have the RAPP community play a role in it, too. More details on that will emerge later.
The winner will get a RAPP goodie bag full of RAPPtastic and SALD goodies - plus a $10 gift-card to the UC Bookstore!

Impact of RAPP XXV

We had a lot of fun in RAPP XXV! We also got some stuff done, apparently. :)Analysis of the pre- and post-tests for RAPP XXV are complete. As with any survey-based study, there are definitely limitations to the information pulled from the data. The survey instrument itself and the way in which the data was recorded and analyzed are all up for question.
The data supporting the claims below and a discussion of many of the perceived limitations of the study will be available through the full report being posted on the RAPP website (we're transitioning between systems, so I won't be able to post it for a week or so) - or you can get it by email if you request from me!
With all that in mind, here's an overview of the analysis of the impact of RAPP XXV:
Quick Guide to the Impact of RAPP XXV
The impact of the RAPP XXV experience – conducted in the 2009-2010 school year – was measured through an instrument developed in September-October 2009 for the RAPP Curriculum (written in fall 2008). The instrument was administered as a pre-test at the second meeting of RAPP XXV and a post-test at the second-to-last meeting. Only the instances where an individual took both the pre-test and the post-test were included in analysis.
Statistical analysis of 44 pre-/post-test sets led to the following findings:
  • Students in both dominant and subordinated groups reported increases in daily awareness of their identity around race, gender and sexual orientation. The greatest increase in daily awareness was for heterosexual identified members around their sexual orientation.
  • Across the board, respondents were more able to provide definitions for the following social justice key concepts: oppression, privilege, internalized oppression, ally, social construct, and intersectionality. The greatest improvement in providing definitions was for “ally.”
  • Overall, there was a shift to being more likely to verbally communicate disagreement with offensive statements. The greatest shift in being more likely to confront a statement was with professors. Both initially and at the end, the group reported being most likely to confront close friends, romantic partners, family members, and roommates.
  • There was an overall increase in reported use of strategies that enhance cross-cultural communication. The greatest increase of use of strategies by relationship was with good friends. The greatest single strategy increase was in greater use of speaking in a calm tone when responding to offensive statements made by family members.
  • Overall, participants were more likely to identify common situations that result from racism on the post-test than the pre-test. The greatest changes overall occurred on the statements that connected to institutionalized racism.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Some Early Results

I've spent several days now working with the pre- and post-tests for RAPP XXV. I should have a full report out soon that where you can read all the dry numbers about how people responded to the pre-/post-test, but for now, a few of the initial findings!
  • Regardless of whether they identified as members of the dominant/privileged group or subordinated/oppressed group in each area of identity, the average daily awareness of one's race, gender, and sexual orientation increased. The greatest increase of daily awareness was among those who self-identified as heterosexual.
  • Overall, the group members ability to define six key concepts increased. These included oppression, privilege, internalized oppression, ally, social construct, and intersectionality. The greatest improvement in ability to define was for "ally."
  • Group members overall reported a slight increase in the likelihood of challenging people who made statements they found offensive and disagreed with. The greatest shift toward likely to confront was the likelihood of confronting professors. Both pre- and post-, the group reported being mostly likely to confront close friends and romantic partners.
  • Group members reported an increase in use of communication strategies that enhance understanding and learning. The group they most reported an increase with was with good friends.

Up next? Recognition of individual, institutional, and societal levels of oppression!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Discount for UC People: 4th Annual Diversity Recruitment Training Institute

From an email from the event organizers:
The 4th annual Diversity Recruitment Training Institute is on July 16, 2010 at the Duke Energy Convention Center. We are very excited about hosting this event, which links diversity practitioners, human resources professionals and on-campus recruiters with university, faculty, staff and students to discuss more effective strategies to recruit college level diverse talent.

Many employers who visit the University of Cincinnati to recruit regularly ask CDC to assist them in how to more effectively recruit students who are underrepresented in their on-campus interviews, including students of color, students with disabilities, women, gay/lesbian/transgendered and non-traditional students. Our institute provides powerful diversity recruiting strategies to help you accomplish your organization’s recruiting goals.

In addition to three breakout informational training sessions, this year’s program includes a “View From The Top” panel of corporate leaders and diversity champions speaking out on diversity issues such as challenges, commitment, initiatives, retention, values, strategies, etc. These champions represent major corporations and organizations and we are very excited about this year’s program and hope you will plan to join us.

Attached is a brochure, which provides additional information. UC employees receive a discounted rate of $300 per person or register 3 or more from same department and receive a discounted rate of $250 per person. To take advantage of this great offer, register on line at www.uc.edu/conferencing/events/drti no later than July 9th.

Velta Kelly-Foster
Velta Kelly-Foster, Ed.D.
Conference Administrator
Associate Professor Career Development Center 140 University Pavilion Cincinnati OH 45221-0104 Phone: 513-556-9184 Fax: 513-556-0650

Monday, June 14, 2010

SPSS Party Time!

With RAPP XXV, we debutted a new pre- and post-test developed specifically for the RAPP curriculum developed during RAPP XXIV.
From RAPP XXII at least, we'd initially administered the pre-test during the interview process and administered the post-test during the last meeting before the banquet. None of the data gathered was analyzed.
This year we administered the pre-test at the second meeting. We did this to minimized a feeling of needing to give a "correct" answer during the interview process in order to get in. We also thought it an interesting precursor to the RAPPers' year, kind of letting them know what they're getting into topically.
We administered the post-test at the same time as before - the last meeting before the banquet.
Now - possibly the biggest difference - I'm spending the next few days in front of a computer with a statistical analysis software program open. I'm using SPSS for this, both because I'm familiar with the program and because it's available in UC computer labs (i.e. not because I think it's particularly superior to other programs).
I'll post interesting finds as they're discovered and, hopefully, a full report over the summer!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Recruitment is Trucking Along

Today we hit 40! Forty UC students have contacted us about joining RAPP XXVI. I went back to last year's records - which was a "record-breaking" year (in recent years) for recruitment - and we're at nearly double the applicants we had last year at this time. Wow!

On Wednesday I conducted the first interview for RAPP XXVI. Wow! The applicant was so interested in RAPP and so desirous of getting in that we scheduled their interview for exam week of spring quarter!

Last year was the first year since I'd been with RAPP that we offered interviews during the summer. I'm happy to say that I considered it a successful operation and will be doing it again this year! Considering that I'm anticipating 80+ interviews for RAPP XXVI, I'm happy to work with RAPPORT students over the summer to finish off a handful or more of them during the summer.

Today is also a recruitment planning meeting between the Recruitment Coordinators Jojo (RAPP XXIV) and Brice (XXV). We'll be reviewing previous strategies and figuring out what will be the best way to connect with students about RAPP this year.

If you have any ideas for us on how to best connect with the UC community, please feel free to send them my way! You can contact me by email at lehmanrl [at] uc [dot] edu

Two Trainings, Two Days

It's been a busy time this week, despite the end of the busy-ness that is coordinating RAPP.
Yesterday I spent most of the day at Xavier University. In the morning, I met wonderful staff members at Xavier's Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice (a recent merger of Campus Ministries and the Center for Peace and Justice).
I really enjoyed getting to learn about the work each office does, the challenges they've faced, and the amazing ways they've succeeded in their work. I also enjoyed talking a bit about RAPP, of course.
Then I went to my initial reason for being there: A workshop with the teachers and leaders of the Leadership Scholars, Inc. summer program. We had great conversations about ourselves, our social identities and overcoming stereotypes/assumptions around them, how we experience our race moving through the world, and continuing disparities in education around race.
Today I have the joy of working with the UC Student Orientation Leaders for this summer's orientation. We'll be reviewing a some of the communication concepts we explored in our last session and playing a game about diversity at UC.
Fun times in the world of RAPP!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

GenderBloc Accomplishments for the School Year

Via email from GenderBloc:

Everyone at GenderBloc has been working very hard this year and we wanted to share with you what all we have accomplished!

  • We have changed the gender maker policy!
    Now, you can change your gender marker with the registrar by going to uc.edu/registrar. Click “policies and procedures” on the left-side menu and then click “gender marker changes” on the resulting page. A gender marker change does require a letter from an M.D., but does not require a diagnosis of gender identity disorder! Currently, a preferred name policy is in the works with the Office of the Registrar so that your preferred name as well as your legal name will show up on class rosters.
  • We Updated the Trans Survival Guide.
    The Trans Survival Guide has been updated and will be in print again for next year. It contains valuable information for all queer students at UC!
  • We now have Gender Neutral Restrooms!
    “The University of Cincinnati is dedicated to meeting the diverse needs and interests of its students, faculty, staff, and visitors including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, or are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity (LGBTQ). In an effort to meet the diverse needs, all new buildings and buildings undergoing half-life renovations (a major renovation where the majority of a building’s systems is being replaced or upgraded) shall have a unisex/gender neutral restroom.”
  • We created a Teacher Ally Pamphlet.
    This pamphlet is useful in many aspects but especially for your teachers. It will help them understand how to adapt to your needs.Lastly, there will be a full time LGBTQ coordinator and a GA for the LGBTQ office next year.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Policy Means More Gender Neutral Bathrooms at UC (Eventually...)

I couldn't find the UC News story on this, so the below is copied verbatim from friend-of-RAPP Jamie Royce's blog "Stuff Queer People Need to Know":

The University of Cincinnati expanded it’s Standards for the Built Environment to include at least one gender-neutral restroom in all new buildings added to UC’s campus. The new policy reads:

“The University of Cincinnati is dedicated to meeting the diverse needs and interests of its students, faculty, staff and visitors including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex or are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity (LGBTQ). In an effort to meet the diverse needs, all new buildings and buildings undergoing half-life renovations (a major renovation where the majority of a building’s systems is being replaced or upgraded) shall have a unisex/gender neutral restroom.”

All gendered, single-user restrooms on campus will also be changed to gender-neutral by fall 2010.

For more on gender-neutral restrooms, check out the Transgender Law Center‘s“Peeing in Peace” and previous posts “Not about bathrooms but recognition” and “GenderF*ck causes bathroom confusion.” A list of UC’s gender-neutral restrooms can be found on GenderBloc’s website.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Another Amazing Find!

As noted in a previous post, the history of RAPP comes in bits and pieces, stalls and spurts.
Today I received an amazing find from Arthur Walton of the UC Career Development Center. He found it among Linda Bates Parker's belongings in her office.
I'll post photos of the book later, but for now I'll post a brief description.
It has a simple cover and simple binding, the only artwork the old "horseshoe" UC logo and the original RAPP logo.
Inside is a wealth of information from the first year:
  • Information on the members selected for the first year (25 out of 68 applicants);
  • Documents from a presentation by Patricia Russell McCloud, Esq.;
  • A handout from the first RAPP Orientation, held Sunday, October 26, 1986 in the Boom Boom Room;
  • A partial copy of Clifton Magazine from spring 1986 - the cover story was "A Look at Racism in Black and White";
  • Promotional materials for RAPP;
  • A wide variety of letters to the editor written by RAPP members and articles written about RAPP;
  • Handout of "Racial Awareness Pilot Project: An Overview of the R.A.P.P. Program" presented at the ACPA/NASPA National Meeting in 1987.
I'll chronicle on-line in greater detail the documents in this book here on this blog!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Coming Up This Summer

Today is the last day of classes for students here on the quarter system. For many, that means they'll soon be taking a few months off of classes to work, relax, or do whatever else they do with their summer break.
In the RAPP office, it means a shift in focus rather than a break. Here are a few things we'll be focusing on this summer (which you'll get regular updates on through this blog):
  • Recruiting RAPP XXVI! New to us this year is a student leadership position for recruitment. Jojo of RAPP XXIV and Brice of RAPP XXV will be working together to coordinate our recruitment efforts, including keeping our usual efforts going and innovating new means for connecting with potential RAPPers.
  • Interviewing RAPP XXVI! For our second year, we'll be offering interviews over the summer. We already have one lined up for next week and hope to have a steady flow of interviews throughout the summer.
  • Finding the rest of RAPP! The search for RAPPers will kick into full gear over the summer. We hope to find the names of all who have graduated RAPP and contact information for those still around. This is partly for the intrinsic benefit of knowing who we are, but also as a lead up to...
  • Planning the RAPP 25 Year Reunion! The RAPP Reunion Committee has already been working on this and our "save the date" mailers will start coming out in the next few weeks. Still, there is much to do to get ready for this amazing coming together of RAPPers!
  • Mini-Reunions! RAPPs XXII-XXIV have been talking about their desire to reconnect, so we're working together to plan "mini-reunions" for the summer.
  • On-going community outreach! While UC groups need less of us during the summer, we'll still be offering workshops. Already scheduled are workshops with Student Orientation Leaders, Leadership Scholars, and Upward Bound at the College of Mt. St. Joseph.
  • Hiring our newest facilitator! RAPP hopes to employ a Public Ally for the coming year, so we'll be working with them to find the best new facilitator we can!
  • RAPPORT! At the last RAPPORT meeting of the school year, many members said they'll be around over the summer and don't want to lose the connections they've made. So, we'll be having RAPPORT meetings and hopefully community service throughout the summer.
  • Lots of randomness! There will be many other random things that come up throughout the summer - hopefully you'll keep reading up here to find out what they are! :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Internationally Known Civil Rights Activist Judge Nathaniel R Jones is our Commencement Speaker

From UC News:
Jones’ contributions to racial equality include a stellar career as a civil rights lawyer, a federal judge and a world activist.

Date: 5/5/2010 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Provided

UC ingot Nathaniel R. Jones, a retired judge for the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and current Senior Counsel and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the firm Blank Rome LLP will address graduates at the 191st University of Cincinnati Spring Commencement Ceremonies. The ceremonies take place at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, June 12, at Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center.

Judge Jones served two decades on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals after he was appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. From 1956 to 1959, he was executive director of the Fair Employment Practices Commission of the City of Youngstown. In 1960, he was appointed by President Kennedy as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

An authority on civil rights litigation, his career included service as deputy general counsel to President Lyndon Johnson’s Commission on Civil Disorders (the Kerner Commission), which investigated the 1967 race riots across the country. In 1969, he became general counsel of the NAACP, a position formerly held by Thurgood Marshall. During his 10-year service as general counsel, he argued school desegregation cases in cities across the nation, Ohio and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

An internationally renowned civil rights activist, Judge Jones played an important role in furthering the abolition of apartheid in South Africa and was consulted by the drafters of South Africa’s new constitution and laws. In 1986, he served on a four-member team that went to the former Soviet Union to meet with Soviet officials and Jewish Refuseniks in connection with human rights.

On Feb. 20, 2003, the Nathaniel R. Jones Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Youngstown, Ohio – just blocks from where he was born – was named in his honor. A World War II veteran, he served with the United States Army Air Corps before completing his education at Youngstown State University, earning his AB in 1951 and his LLB in 1956. He was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1957. Among his many honors, he is a member of the National Bar Association Hall of Fame and has received The American Lawyer’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2009, he was awarded the prestigious Laurel Wreath by Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. In 1997, Judge Jones was honored as a Great Living Cincinnatian.

Jones serves as honorary co-chair and director of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, after serving as co-chair until its opening in August 2004. He participates in a variety of other activities and serves as a member of the Toyota Motor Manufacturing, North America, Inc. Diversity Advisory Board; member of KnowledgeWorks Foundation Board of Trustees; and director emeritus of the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative.

He has taught at several law schools throughout the United States including the UC College of Law. He holds numerous national awards and honorary degrees including an honorary doctorate from UC. In 1996, the Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones selected the UC College of Law to be the repository of his papers covering his entire career. He is currently completing the writing of his memoir.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

First/Last RAPPORT Meeting

RAPP XXV members have been invited to their first RAPPORT meeting! It's also our last RAPPORT meeting of the '09-'10 school year.

We will be meeting Wednesday, June 2nd, from 6-8PM. Our meeting starts in a joint session with the Student Orientation Board in 310 University Pavilion. We'll be exploring diversity initiatives at UC with them.
RAPPORT breaks from the Board around 7:45 where - weather permitting - we'll be at the University Gate (fancy name for the fountain outside of University Pavilion) for our own meeting.

See how friendly our RAPPORT folks are! (pic is from RAPP XXV and RAPPORT walking in the BRIDGES Walk for a Just Community)