Inclusion Interchange: News from Pitt’s Office for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

A series of conversations between University of Pittsburgh students, faculty, and staff and Clyde Wilson Pickett, chief diversity officer and vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Episodes

Episode 5: Ron Idoko

Thursday Feb 15, 2024

Thursday Feb 15, 2024


Ron Idoko (A&S ’05, GSPIA ’07) serves as director of the office of social innovation in honors education in the Frederick Honors College, associate director of the Center on Race & Social Problems, and founding director of the Racial Equity Consciousness Institute.
 
He recently was presented with the University’s 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Creating a Just Community Award. The award includes a $5,000 prize.
 
“To fully address the systemic inequities in our community and society at large, we must recognize and confront it in all of its complexity,” said Idoko, who thanked the award committee with “deep humility and gratitude” for what he called an “incredible” honor.
“We as a community are capable of being incredible agents for positive social change,“ he said. “It relies on our willingness to develop and embody mindsets that align with our values, visions, and goals.”

Episode 4: Feminista Jones

Monday Jan 15, 2024

Monday Jan 15, 2024


Feminista Jones is a feminist writer, public speaker, community activist and retired social worker. She is an award-winning writer and the author of the critically acclaimed "Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World From the Tweets to the Streets" (Beacon).
Her work centers around diversity, equity and inclusion, critical race theory, intersectionality, mental health, queer identity and social work. She teaches courses on race, gender and LGBTQ experiences at Temple University.
Jones will be delivering the closing remarks Jan. 24 at the University of Pittsburgh's 2024 Diversity Forum. You can register online.

Tuesday Nov 14, 2023


Lisa Strother Upsher is director of health sciences diversity, equity, and inclusion. She came to the University of Pittsburgh after leading DEI efforts at the Center for Organ Recovery and Education, where she was instrumental in having CORE declared a site of the Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program, promoting positive health behaviors through public education by focusing on diseases and behaviors that lead to the need for transplantation in minoritized communities.
Bee Schindler is assistant director of health sciences diversity, equity, and inclusion and program manager for the Health Sciences Social Justice Fellowship. A proud, recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh's Doctor of Education program, they specialized. Their interest in knowledge translation — studying whose knowledge is valued, and why — has lent to deep connection to opportunities to engage with systematically oppressed individuals and communities, and utilizing insight to carve pathways for justice and action. 
 

Monday Sep 18, 2023


Tessa Provins is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Provins is also one of the organizers of the 2023 Indigenous Cultural Festival at the University of Pittsburgh. 
Her primary research examines the impact of legislative institutional design on the behavior and outcomes for groups divided by party status, gender, and race/ethnicity. She utilizes the variation in institutional designs across American legislative institutions — at the state and local level — to explain how institutional features effect the relationships between party leaders and their members, interactions between political parties, and the ways in which underrepresented groups are incorporated (or not) into the policy making process.
As a member of the Choctaw Nation, she also has research projects investigating the differing legislative structures of Native American Tribal Councils and their effect on intra-tribal, inter-tribal, and government relationships and policy outcomes. Her teaching interests include American politics, race politics, gender politics and quantitative methods.

Thursday Aug 31, 2023


Rory A. Cooper is the founding director and VA senior research career scientist of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh.
He has been a member of the Pitt faculty since 1994 and chaired the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology from 1997 to 2018.
A bioengineer, Dr. Cooper was inducted into the National Inventor Hall of Fame in 2023. He has authored or co-authored more than 370 peer-reviewed journal publications and has been awarded dozens of patents.
Dr. Cooper is the author of "Rehabilitation Engineering Applied to Mobility and Manipulation” and “Wheelchair Selection and Configuration,” and co-editor of “An Introduction to Rehabilitation Engineering,” “Warrior Transition Leader: Medical Rehabilitation Handbook” and the award-winning book “Care of the Combat Amputee.”
In 1994, he founded the Human Engineering Research Laboratories, a Rehabilitation R&D Center of Excellence operated in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
For his extensive contributions to wheelchair technology that have expanded mobility and reduced second-hand injuries for millions of people with disabilities, Dr. Cooper was awarded the 2022 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Biomedical Engineering Award in Glasgow, Scotland.
At the 2022 AUSA Conference, Dr. Cooper received The General Creighton W. Abrams Medal for exceptional service to the U.S. Army.

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