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Upcoming Events

Inclusion Awareness Team

  Wakanda Forever: The Opportunity of Black Panther
Even if you aren’t an avid movie goer, you’ve likely heard buzz about Marvel Studios’ Black Panther. The film’s title character serves as a protector and king of the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda, which has used its technological advancement to isolate itself from most of the world and avoid the colonialism that impacted many real-world African nations.

Its Impact

The film’s impact has been enormous. It has earned over $1.1 billion in ticket sales worldwide, making it the fourteenth highest-grossing film of all time in just over 30 days—and it’s continuing to claw its way up that chart. It’s also being critically acclaimed; review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes notes an approval rating of 97% from film critics.
More important than Black Panther’s financial impact, though, is its cultural one. The film is a unique pop culture artifact. It features a nearly all-Black cast, most of them portrayed as aspirational and heroic. The multiple women who support Black Panther’s fight to protect Wakanda are distinctive, talented, and integral to the hero’s success. Carvell Wallace’s The New York Times Magazine article makes the case
Why Black Panther Is a Defining Moment for Black America”—and hundreds of articles and thinkpieces agree with that assessment.

Its Opportunity

Movies like Black Panther provide student affairs professionals and educators like us a wonderful opportunity. The film can open the door for discussion for any of its myriad of themes, influences, and homages. A brief list can include:
  • Differences in experiences of Black Africans and Black Americans
  • Effects of White colonialism in Africa
  • Black feminism
  • Relationships—and tensions—between tradition and advancement
  • Effects and impact of representation in film
  • Ethics of revolution
  • Ethical obligations of assisting oppressed foreigners
  • Afrofuturism
These are all rich opportunities for deep exploration with students of all colors and backgrounds. As students sometimes experience discomfort discussing issues of race and diversity, using the film as an initial focal point may help ease them into exploring them at a deeper level.
Tess Raser, a Chicago sixth-grade teacher, has created
a middle school lesson plan which uses the film to discuss African colonialism and American racism from non-Eurocentric perspectives. The curriculum has been widely shared on the Internet and praised as a creative way to teaching complex topics. You might find elements useful for your diversity discussions and programming.

Tough Talks

To view an example of using films to discuss diversity issues, I encourage you to attend “Has Hollywood Woke?”, a part of Lyle Foster’s Tough Talks series. During this session, participants will discuss what it means to have diverse film choices such as Hidden Figures, Moonlight, Lion, and Get Out and why these films might be popular.
This session will be held 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28 in PSU 308A&B. RSVP by emailing Lyle Foster at



Do you realize you interact with students with non-apparent disabilities every day?  Are you being inclusive?  Join us to expand your knowledge and application of non-apparent disabilities inclusion.  We’ll get you interacting to learn about psychological, health, Autism Spectrum, and learning disabilities.  We’re building on the student panel offered in October to expand knowledge and application of disability inclusion. 
Question: Where are you going to be on Wednesday, March 28 from 1-2pm?
Answer:  In PSU 317 at the DOSA Inclusion Awareness Team session
Get Your Daily Double on Disability Inclusions!
Division of Student Affairs
Disability Inclusion
Autism Spectrum

Interfaith: It’s OK to Talk About
Monday, APRIL 18
12-1 p.m. in PSU 313

This session will focus on how staff can be inclusive of individuals with various faith or non-faith backgrounds they may come into contact with, even if those beliefs do not align with their own.

Inclusive Environments: Effective Tools for Managing Power and Privilege in the Workplace
Tuesday, May 1
12-2 p.m. in PSU 313

While we try to host open environments, our individual power and privileges may create barriers to creating a truly inclusive environment. This presentation will assist attendees in recognizing specific privileges that may exist, as well as how to manage those privileges in social and professional settings.

Mock Interview Day provides risk-free interview practice
“Tell me about a time you went ‘above and beyond’ to assist a customer.”
“What was your greatest contribution to your most recent position?”
“Give me an example that demonstrates your leadership skills.”
“Tell me about yourself.”
These are just a few examples of questions that employers could ask during job interviews, but the possibilities are endless. Mock interviews, also known as practice interviews, enable you to rehearse your answers to questions such as these. While you can practice your answers by yourself, you benefit more from practicing with a professional during Mock Interview Day.

Sign up for Mock Interview Day!
Friday, April 6, 2018
PSU Ballroom West (3rd Floor)
9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Registration deadline: April 2, 2018 (or until space is filled)
This event is free, but registration is required.

Register through the
Career Center’s JobTracks. After you have uploaded an updated résumé on JobTracks, you can sign up for an interview time that best fits your schedule. If you register early, you will have more options in selecting the recruiter who will interview you.
 Representatives from the following employers are volunteering their time to interview:

Jack Henry & Associates
Killian Construction
Lowe's Home Improvement
Missouri State Highway Patrol
Northwestern Mutual Financial Network
O'Reilly Auto Parts
Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
Springfield Police Department
The Arc of the Ozarks
Verizon Wireless
Allow at least an hour for the interview and arrive a few minutes early. Dress professionally. Feel free to ask questions during the mock interview. The interviewers will provide feedback and suggestions, and at the end of the interview, they will give you a form that shows their evaluation of your interview.
The benefits of mock interviews are numerous. Not only do you get advice and information from employers, but also if you make a mistake, it’s not a big deal. Everyone knows this is “just practice,” and you’re not risking a job offer.


Student Registration Open: Dinner with Eight Bears
The Alumni Association is launching a new program called Dinner with Eight Bears. The goal is to give students them the opportunity to meet and network with alumni who have shared interests. The alumni hosts cover the cost for the dinner—we just need students to sign up and attend!
You can find more information about the program
here, and send students to the same website to register. Dinners take place between April 8-19 and include all sorts of topics including general career advice, business majors, volunteerism, getting involved in Springfield and FSL. Student registration closes on April 2, so encourage students sign up now!
If you need more information or want someone to visit your department or students to discuss the program, email

Missouri State University Student Summit 2018

April 28th - 10 am to 4:30 pm

Multicultural Programs in collaboration with Diversity & Inclusion are hosting a student summit, which will serve as the student-day portion of the Collaborative Diversity Conference. Workshops will be for students led by other students.
Registration is FREE for current Missouri State University students and will include a FREE meal. 
As staff who advise or work closely with student leaders on campus, I would like to request that you encourage your groups to attend this summit. This is the first time we are hosting such an event and we hope that this becomes a new tradition at Missouri State University.
It is my hope that students eventually take on the planning and execution of this event in collaboration with our office and Diversity & Inclusion.
Students who are interested in attending will need to register via this link
(the last day to register is Friday April 13th


NASPA Presenters

So proud of Matthew Banks and Laura Backer for presenting their work titled,
" Engendering Healthy Masculinity: A Look at Missouri State University's MASC Program" .
Their presentation at the National NASPA Conference in Philadelphia, PA was not only a well researched program but has paved the way for future research at Missouri State.  You both are great examples on taking your research to the next level by presenting at a National conference.  Thank you for your hard work and dedication.

Spring Immersion Trips    

MSU students, faculty, and staff put Public Affairs to practice over Spring Break 2018 by serving alongside communities across the country, including, Asheville, Atlanta, Aurora, Chicago, Dallas, Indianapolis, and New Orleans.  In each location, groups focused on particular social issues such as homelessness and hunger, environmental sustainability, community health, etc.  Students are able to utilize their skills, abilities, and passions to create positive change while learning about another culture.  Here's what some participants had to say:

"This is an experience that I would recommend to anyone and everyone. It truly is a stunning experience and my views and perspectives on homelessness and the human ability to overcome are forever changed. Thank you Bear Breaks and Missouri State for this amazing opportunity!" - Atlanta, GA participant (trip focused on Self-Sufficiency)

"I was extremely grateful to be able to spend my day at La Casa Norte and to provide them with all the help that I could. Knowing more about the statistics and overall facts about homelessness in Chicago, it made me grateful that I had the family, housing, support system, etc. that I have. I am grateful for the school I am in and to be able to serve on trips like these." - Chicago participant (trip focused on homelessness and hunger)

 "I am truly immersed in the city of New Orleans and have a connection to the city that no tourist walking up and down Bourbon Street could ever experience. The people that welcomed me into their homes and shared their life stories and findings with me are something I will never forget. I have concluded that the city of New Orleans will always be a great city, not from the Cajun food and unique architecture, but because of the spirit that connects the community." - New Orleans participant (trip focused on community revitalization)

These trips are a series of service-learning initiatives called
 Bear Breaks
Immersion Trips
.  Trips take place during university holidays, and focus on social issues, active citizenship, service, and the Public Affairs Mission.  To read more about students' experiences, check out their blog

Now that they have returned to Springfield, the goal is for participants to take what they have learned and apply it to their home communities.  A formal reorientation event called Coffee and Change will take place on April  11th during the Public Affairs Conference 2018, and students will network with local non-profit agencies and share about their Bear Breaks  experiences.
Student Affairs Staff Development Committee

On March 20, 2018, the 2nd Annual Unity Prayer Breakfast was held in the East Ballroom in the Plaster Student Union. This event is a unique opportunity for staff, faculty, and students to begin their day with a positive message and a full and delicious breakfast. In the spring of 2017, Dr. Rabekah Stewart organized the first Unity Prayer Breakfast and created a motivating and encouraging space for staff and students alike to come together in the name of love, unity, community, and support. The program included a dance performance from His Legacy faith-based student organization, a MSU women’s history presentation from student, Grace Walker; spoken word poetry by TRIO student, Glynessa Smith; prayer cards, a community prayer led by Antwan Eaves of MSU Faith Ministries, and an uplifting keynote address from Brandon Rachal, North Campus Pastor at Courageous Church. The keynote address focused on the concept of loving oneself and learning to love other people to create unity and oneness. There were approximately 70 people in attendance.  A special thanks to Chartwells Catering, the PSU staff, the division of Student Affairs, TRIO staff, the program participants, Prof. David Embree of Campus Ministers’ Association, and Pastor Brandon. Look for the 3rd Annual Unity Prayer Breakfast next spring 2019!

Speaker Brandon Rachal, Campus Pastor at Courageous Church—North Campus

Highlights from the
 Missouri State Birthday

  On Tuesday, March 20 students, staff, and alumni celebrated the 113th anniversary of the founding of Missouri State University at the Missouri State Birthday Party, hosted by the Student Alumni Association. Guests enjoyed mini cupcake treats by Star Cakes, performances by MO State Improv and the MSU Band, photos with President Smart, food by Traditions Council, games, and more!

Yard Show Highlights

The National Pan-Hellenic Council  (NPHC) is made up of the nine historically African American fraternities and sororities. Missouri State University has 7 of these organizations represented on campus that participated in a yard show for the community on Wednesday, March 21st at the North Mall. The organizations performed in founding order.

Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Inc.,

Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, Inc.,

Omega Psi Phi fraternity, Inc


Zeta Phi Beta sorority, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta sorority, Inc. and
Sigma Gamma Rho sorority, Inc.



Multicultural Programs Presents

Women's HERSTORY Month

Women’s HERstory Month, hosted at Missouri State University by the office of Multicultural Programs, put women and femme identifying individuals at the center of the conversations surrounding the many events that took place throughout the month.

HERstory Month kicked off with an open mic night event entitled SpokeHER Word where members of Poetry Club Untamed Tongues and other members of the MSU community took to the stage to use to art of poetry to describe their various experiences as women.

The month continued as students helped spearhead events, including a discussion of the #MeToo movement facilitated by student worker and HERstory Month Committee member, Lupita Perez Lopez. Another student worker, Claudia Sanchez, kept with the continuous them of intersectionality with her event that focused on women in the LGBTQ community.

Women faculty from across disciplines gathered together to share about their time working in research, teaching and practice in a variety of fields for the Women in Academia Panel Discussion. Panelists included Dr. Shurita Thomas-Tate, Dr. Indira Palacios-Valladares, Dr. Tamera Jahnke, and Jocelyn Millana.

Coming back from Spring Break with a bang was our keynote address sponsored in part by Diversity and Inclusion as a part of the Shattering the Silences series. This keynote feature a one-woman show performed by nationally renowned artist and activist Fanshen Cox-DiGiovanni who uses the United States Census and its changes throughout times in American history to talk about race.

Keeping with the spirit of activist minded theatre, Giving Voice Troupe presented their Title IX interactive theatre forum for students and staff as a form of training for various sexual assault scenarios. This event was also facilitated in part by Jill Patterson who serves as the University’s Title IX officer.

The month continues this week with the Womxn of Distinction Awards Reception where the Multicultural Programs Office and the Department of Gender studies will award various womxn throughout campus who have done exemplary things in the areas of academia and community service. This will take place Tuesday, March 27, 2018. HERstory month will conclude with a discussion regarding the Defeminization of Eating Disorders.

The Office would like to thank all of its cosponsors including the College of Humanities and Public Affairs, the College of Natural Sciences, the Department of Computer Science, Panhellenic Association, Ekklesia, Psychology Club, Student Government Association and Student Activities Council. Also, thank you to the many members of the MSU and greater Springfield community who contributed to this month in any way.

The hope is that this month of events will help to carry over into the rest of year as we continue to make women central to all stories. The Office also invites you to join us in April for the celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

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