Division of Diversity and Community Engagement
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You Belong Here

You Belong Here

Students, Faculty, Staff in Longhorn Fiesta


The following timeline represents diversity, equity and inclusion-related milestones that have occurred over the past year. These achievements are a continuation of the many significant improvements the university has made over the years, including the sweeping campus changes that began in summer 2020. Together, we have made great strides in laying the foundational infrastructure for a more welcoming, inclusive campus.

President Hartzell Launches Strategic Direction for Change Starts Here

While delivering his inaugural speech, President Jay Hartzell unveils the first phase of the “Change Starts Here” ten-year strategic plan, pointing out diversity, equity and inclusion as a top priority for the university’s strategic direction.

Jay Hartzell speaking at State of the University address 2021 and inauguration
President Jay Hartzell delivering inaugural speech

Students Take Finals for the First Time at New Campus Testing Center

In collaboration with Disability & Access (D&A), Testing and Evaluation Services opened UT’s first centralized testing center for in-person accommodated tests. In addition to the new testing center, the President’s Office has expanded many other campus resources and services to improve accessibility, including increased staffing in the D&A office and a higher budget for ADA construction improvements.

Front of Sanchez building lit up
The George I. Sanchez Building, home to the Testing Center (5th floor, Suite 5.102)

McCombs School Opens Peggy Drake Holland Student Lounge

The McCombs School of Business celebrates the grand opening of the Peggy Drake Holland Student Lounge. In honor of Drake Holland, a beloved member of the UT Precursors group, the lounge serves as a space for all members of the university community to learn about and be inspired by her achievements.

Peggy Holland
Peggy Drake Holland, BBA ’63, McCombs’ first Black graduate

Sweatt Center for Black Males Receives Major Gift

Martin Taylor, managing director at Vista Equity Partners, gives a $1.5 million to university programs, with a $750,000 gift commitment to the Sweatt Center for Black Males. With this funding, the center has expanded many of its programs including transformative experiential learning trips abroad.

President Hartzell with two individuals for Sweatt Center gift
UT Austin President Jay Hartzell, Martin Taylor and Emmanuel Williams

UHD Launches Family and Friend Expanded Roommate Option

University Housing and Dining (UHD) launches the Family and Friend Expanded Roommate Option, a two-year pilot program that allows UT students to live together in certain residence halls with students of any gender or sexual identity.

Jester Dormitory for Expanded Roommate Option
Jester Dormitory

President Hartzell Launches ‘You Belong Here’ Strategic Direction

As part of the university’s “Change Starts Here” strategic plan, the Division of Diversity & Community Engagement (DDCE) released “You Belong Here” strategic direction, laying out a three-year roadmap for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion on campus.

President Hartzell tweet about You Belong Here direction

First Cohort of Impact Scholarship Graduates Makes History at UT

Four years after the university launched the Impact Scholarship—the largest scholarship offered to undergraduates at UT—32 students in the first cohort graduated in the spring. The Impact Scholarship recognizes outstanding Texas students who have made a remarkable impact on their communities.

Impact Scholars sitting on steps in front of UT Tower
Members of the first cohort of the UT Impact Scholars

UT Joins Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities

The university announces its partnership with the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities with the goal to increase opportunity for those historically underserved by higher education.

Two students smiling at 2022 LatinX convocation
2022 Latinx Graduation at Gregory Gym

Cockrell School Receives $1.2M NSF Grant to Establish Center for Engineering Equity

The National Science Foundation awards the Cockrell School of Engineering a $1.2M grant to create a Center for Engineering Equity in an effort to recruit and support Hispanic/Latino and Black/African American undergraduate and graduate students.

DDCE Establishes Military/Veteran Faculty & Staff Association

The DDCE launches the Military/Veteran Faculty & Staff Association, a university resource group that works to provide resources, support and a community to active military, veterans and families.

MVFSA members smiling in a group photo
Engineering Education and Research Center interior atrium

President Hartzell Announces ‘Reimagining East Mall’ Project

President Hartzell announces a new initiative to re-envision the East Mall landscape as a celebration of the history and impact of the Precursors, UT’s first generation of Black students.

Watercolor drawing of East Mall landscape
Watercolor of East Mall landscape

LLILAS Benson Receives $2.1M from the Department of Education

LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections is awarded two major grants from the U.S. Department of Education. The funds will support outreach, program development and fellowships in line with three central priorities mandated by the Department of Education.

Olmec sculpture in Benson Library, Sid Richardson Hall
LLILAS, Olmec sculpture

University Honors First Cohort of Darren Walker Scholars

UT alum and philanthropist Darren Walker joined university leaders at a celebration event honoring the first cohort of the Darren Walker Scholars program, which provides a fully funded undergraduate education at UT for students of the highest caliber with substantial financial need and a history of overcoming economic, social or educational obstacles.

President Hartzell, Darren Walker with Scholars
President Jay Hartzell and Darren Walker with the first cohort of the Darren Walker Scholars

BGSA Hosts Inaugural Multicultural Research Symposium

The Black Graduate Student Association hosted its first annual Multicultural Research and Professional Development Symposium. Supported by the President’s Office and co-sponsored by the DDCE and the Graduate School, the symposium is among several new initiatives that aim to bolster world-changing research and unlock student potential.

A group at the BGSA Symposium
Members of the BGSA at the Multicultural Research and Professional Development Symposium

University Releases DEI Statement

UT publishes a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion statement, emphasizing the university’s commitment to providing equitable access and inclusion in all activities, and to creating an inclusive environment of teaching, research and service in which all can learn from each other.

Group of faculty in an office discussion around a table
Dr. Richard Reddick (front, center), of the Department of Educational Administration and the UT Faculty Council, leading a research team meeting