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MAY 2015

Dr. Gregory VincentMessage from Dr. Vincent

In case you have ever doubted that What Starts Here at The University of Texas at Austin Changes the World, you need to meet students involved with DDCE programs and initiatives. In the past month, the university tag line has been proved again and again, showing just how impressive our students are.

Early in February, a fraternity party that had a border-theme was held off campus. UT students responded quickly, making it clear that such events harm campus culture and perpetuate negative, false stereotypes. The Latino Community Affairs group, a student agency within our Multicultural Engagement Center, circulated a petiti

Dr. Gregory J. Vincent
Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement
W.K. Kellogg Professor in Community College Leadership
Professor of Law


DDCE Joins City of Austin and Local Organizations in Celebrating Texas Relays

Last Friday, the DDCE joined the City of Austin and the Austin Area Urban League in celebrating the 88th Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays at the new Google Fiber Space in downtown Austin.

Texas Relays Reception

Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement, was among the many guest speakers from the City of Austin and UT Athletics who shared their excitement about the event, which annually attracts more than 5,000 high school, collegiate and professional track and field athletes from across the nation.

In addition to a lively keynote address by Kevin Carr, founder and chief executive officer of PRO2CEO, the guests were treated to a live performance by Ballet Afrique Contemporary Dance Company and music by Austin radio personality/host DJ Kay Cali.

For six years, the DDCE has partnered with the City of Austin and local organizations to celebrate the historic event, which draws a predominately African-American crowd and an estimated $8 million in tourism dollars to Austin. The goal of the kickoff reception, in large part, was to show how the city and the university are embracing diversity and providing a welcoming environment for all visitors.

screenshotSpring 2015 Milestones Released

The DDCE’s newest publication, Milestones, has arrived! Click on this link to read up on the DDCE’s many achievements and developments throughout 2014—from receiving the Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification, to acquiring the University of Texas-University Charter School, to launching the Longhorn Campaign for Men of Color.

These milestones show how the DDCE is addressing challenging issues around social justice, equity and education, and making great strides toward fulfilling the university’s mission statement: What Starts Here Changes the World.

To order a print copy of Milestones, please email ddce@utexas.edu.

Betty Jeanne Taylor Receives President’s Outstanding Staff Award

Dr. Betty Jeanne Taylor, assistant vice president for strategic initiatives, has been selected to receive the 2015 President’s Outstanding Staff Award. Dr. Taylor was selected from a pool of 200 nominees in recognition of the positive effect that her work has had on campus, her commitment to excellence and her consistent, high-level performance.

“I am sincerely grateful that I was nominated and recognized. I feel fortunate to work in a field that I am passionately committed to,” says Taylor, “it’s telling that my personal book collection is also my professional book collection. I know there are so many people doing really important work and working hard—I feel honored that I get to work alongside my colleagues. I continue to gain insight from so many on a daily basis.”

Taylor holds a B.S. in communication and a M.S. in higher education from Florida State University. In 2005 she received a Ph.D. in higher education administration from UT-Austin, where her research was on racial identity development and white privilege. She began working at UT in 1999, serving as the director of Greek Life and Education at the Office of the Dean of Students. She started working at DDCE in 2010 as diversity and community engagement officer, where she successfully led the Diversity Education Initiatives (DEI) unit. Read more.

LCAE, Huston-Tillotson Partner for LSAC DiscoverLaw.org Summer Program

LSAC DiscoverLaw.org Summer ProgramThe Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin and Huston-Tillotson University are partnering in a new summer program to help acquaint students with a career in law.

The five-week program, DiscoverLaw.org PLUS,has been designed to help students learn more about the legal profession and what is needed to earn a law degree. It provides an intense focus on the skills required to succeed in law school, the law school admission process, and legal career opportunities.

This program is open to both students at UT Austin and Huston-Tillotson. DiscoverLaw.org Plus begins July 12 at UT Austin. Rising sophomores or juniors at UT Austin and Huston-Tillotson must apply online by 8 a.m. on April 27 in order to be considered for the program, which is free to students selected to participate. It includes room, meals and a small stipend and is funded by a grant from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).

The program will focus on logic, critical thinking, legal research and reading, legal writing and oral advocacy. Covered topics include law and social justice; constitutional law; the Socratic method; race, gender and the law; how to use the law library; analyzing legal texts and arguments; and how to prepare law school applications. For more information, email info@htutdiscoverlaw.org.

The DiscoverLaw.org Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program is a campaign of the Law School Admission Council.

Bevo’s Celebrity Golf Tourney and Gala to Benefit NLP

Bevo's Celebrity Golf Tournament Help us honor UT Austin President Bill Powers, play a little golf with 200 of your fellow Longhorn supporters, and raise money for the Neighborhood Longhorns Program by participating in Bevo’s Celebrity Golf Tournament, May 17-18.

The Gala will be held Sunday, May 17 AT&T Conference Center with a cocktail reception beginning at 6 p.m. followed by dinner. Guests will be treated to dinner, live music and live and silent auctions as we celebrate our honoree, President Bill Powers. The event will commemorate Powers’ distinguished legacy of leadership and commitment to education. You may buy tickets to the gala without participating in the golf tournament.

The tournament gets underway Monday, May 18, at the UT Golf Club (Tee Times, 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.) It features a double shotgun start: one for the morning and on for afternoon play. Forty NLP celebrity and 160 amateur players make up the field, which is divided into five-person teams consisting of four amateurs and one NLP celebrity. The tournament is played on a scramble format, with prizes awarded for the first three low-gross teams. Golfers will receive breakfast or lunch as well as commemorative gifts and the opportunity to win additional prizes throughout the day. Download the PDF that includes sponsorship levels and ticket prices.

Special thanks to All Matthews and the National Association of Professional Athletes (NAPA), who founded the Celebrity Golf Tournament in 1992 to benefit youth in our community.

All proceeds benefit The Neighborhood Longhorns Program.

Abriendo Brecha Activist Scholarship Conference to Focus on Austin’s Grassroots Movement for Social Justice and Economic Equality

Abriendo Brecha 2015 posterIt’s a tipping point for Austin, Texas. The city long heralded as the state’s liberal oasis has emerged as the most economically segregated metropolitan area in the United States, and the only fast-growing city in the nation to experience an absolute decline in its African American population. Racial health disparities in Austin/Travis County are among the widest in the state. Austin schools are as segregated as any other in the region. Many residents are subjects of discriminatory policing and incarceration practices.

But there remains a vibrant grassroots movement in the city, one that seeks to tip the balance of power in favor of social justice and economic equality. What are these forms of activism—old and new—taking shape in Austin? What role do community-engaged scholars play in supporting this work?

These and other questions will be taken up at the twelfth annual Abriendo Brecha Activist Scholarship Conference which will be held May 1 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. in the Gordon-White Building on the University of Texas at Austin campus, Room 2.302. Speakers include community activists, city council members, school board members and university faculty and students. This year’s conference is organized in partnership with the “Peace and Justice Day” of the Warfield Center for African and African American Studies. Read more.

Editors: Leslie Blair, Jessica Sinn. Web: Jason Molin

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