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HR Diversity Committee E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

October 2020

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

In October, Americans observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) by paying tribute to the accomplishments of the men and women with disabilities whose work helps keep the nation’s economy strong and by reaffirming their commitment to ensuring equal opportunity for all citizens.

This effort to educate the public about the issues related to disability and employment began in 1945, when Congress enacted Public Law 176, declaring the first week of October each year as National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week. In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. Some 25 years later, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Learn more about NDEAM here.


Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Breast Cancer Awareness Month, marked in countries across the world every October, helps to increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection, and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease.

Facts about Breast Cancer:

  • Each year in the United States, more than 200,000 women get breast cancer and more than 40,000 women die from the disease.
  • Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older, but breast cancer also affects younger women. About 11% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age.
  • Studies show that women with disabilities are less likely than women without disabilities to have received a mammogram during the past two years.
  • Black women have the highest breast cancer rates of all racial and ethnic groups and are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women.

One in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. When breast cancer is found and treated early, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent.

learn more here:

  • https://breastcancernow.org/get-involved/breast-cancer-awareness-month
  • https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer.html


Global Diversity Awareness Month

October marked the beginning of Global Diversity Awareness Month, reminding us all the positive impact a diverse workplace can have on society. Over the years people have stopped looking at diversity, equity, and inclusion as a trend and more as a tool to strengthen cross-cultural and intercultural awareness.

What is global diversity?

It includes showing appreciation for gender equity, cultural diversity, differences in religion, ideologies, and uniqueness while also supporting an inclusive society worldwide.

Diversity is the basis for healthy debate and can help societies thrive. The exchange of ideas and information across cultural backgrounds is the basis of scholarly research and education in general. It aids communication and understanding among political parties, businesses, and governments. Without diversity, humanity is sacrificed.

For Further Reading…


Did You Know

  • October is the second Autumn month.
  • National Fire Prevention Week falls during the week of October 9 each year. It commemorates the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
  • October in the Northern Hemisphere is similar to April in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • The leaves of trees often begin to change their colors during this month.
  • The World Series for Major League Baseball generally takes place during October.
  • The NBA, National Basketball League, and the NHL, National Hockey League, both begin their seasons in October.
  • There are many health observances that have October as their national month. These include Healthy Lungs, Breast Cancer, Lupus, Spina Bifida, Blindness, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).


What We’re Reading



Wellness Resources


Campus Life 

Events happening on campus!

Vanderbilt’s Project Safe.

Civility and Respect Bystander Training

As we in the Vanderbilt community come together and reckon with injustice in American society, one of the most common questions posed is “What can I do to help? How do I as an individual help support my colleges and community members when I see something wrong?” As a response, the IDEA Committee is excited to offer People and Business Services staff the opportunity to participate in Civility and Respect Bystander Training through Vanderbilt’s Project Safe.

This training is designed to help staff navigate uncomfortable situations, such as microaggressions or unnecessary touching in the workplace, and balance what must be reported, may be reported, how to proceed internally, and other recommended practices for such behaviors.  It also teaches skills and options to consider when a bystander witnesses or is involved in an incident – the scenarios vary, thus the options for the bystander can vary.  They cover how to recognize what you’re seeing/hearing/feeling, how to pause or delay further harm, how to disrupt and reduce further harm, how to delegate or recruit reinforcements in your intervention, how to confront a situation directly, and how to address situations after they have occurred.  The training is designed to help participants identify their particular barriers or hurdles to intervening and brainstorm pathways to intervention around those hesitations or concerns.  The take-away should be that everyone can do something, no matter how small, but that no one has to do everything, it takes all of us.

Project Safe has set up three one-hour Zoom sessions specifically for People and Business Services staff. The information covered in each session will be the same so choose the one that works best with your schedule. We highly encourage everyone to consider this training and please feel free to forward this information along to anyone who may have been missed on this email.

Registration is required to attend. Once you sign up, you will be sent a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Engine for Art, Democracy, and Justice

Vanderbilt University is partnering with Fisk University, the Frist Art Museum, and Millions of Conversations to host “Engine for Art, Democracy, and Justice,” a trans-institutional series of virtual conversations and artistic collaborations focused on healing at a time of significant social unrest. Learn more here: https://www.vanderbilt.edu/eadj/


Vanderbilt University Divinity School

Collage of movie poster.

October 26, 2020, at 7:00 PM CST
Five intersex people come out of the shadows to shine a light on the medical scandal harming children for decades. These stories illuminate a unique perspective on what it feels like to be invisible in our culture and subject to abuse and shame for being born differently, and it helps to develop constructive conversations on one of the most divisive issues facing communities of faith. English. 80 min.

Presented by Stephanie Budwey, Luce Dean’s Faculty Fellow Assistant Professor of the History and Practice of Christian Worship and the Arts

*Filmmakers Megan DeFranza and Lianne Simon in attendance for post-screening Q&A


SPONSORED BY: Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality at Vanderbilt Divinity School; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Life at Vanderbilt University; Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture at Vanderbilt Divinity School; Vanderbilt LGBT Policy Lab; Vanderbilt School of Nursing


Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center

This fall the BCC will host a series of discussions focused on issues pertaining to racial and social justice. They are partnering with various community agencies in Nashville to help facilitate and inform the discussions. Participants will need to register for this event.

Click the link below to Register: https://vanderbilt.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYkf-utqz4tE9Ww1rPd8ddATsuEGuRWQE2a

Passcode = VU1953


Office of LGBTQI+ P.R.I.D.E. Training

Join the virtual P.R.I.D.E. (Pursuing Respect, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity) Training on October 28th and November 10th.

Get more details and register on their website.



The Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center


Vanderbilt University COVID-19 Updates

You can find the latest return to campus updates here

Check out the Anchor Down, Step Up: Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 video and learn more about Vanderbilt’s commitment to safety!


October Diversity Awareness Calendar 

All Month

  • Bullying Prevention Month
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • Down Syndrome Awareness Month
  • Family History Month
  • Filipino-American Heritage Month
  • Italian-American Heritage Month
  • LGBT History Month
  • National Disability Employment Awareness Month
  • National German Heritage Month
  • National Work and Family Month
  • Polish-American Heritage Month

October 2

International Day of Non-Violence

October 10

World Mental Health Day

October 11

National Coming Out Day

October 16

Spirit Day–Anti Bullying

October 17

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

October 18

Women in Military Service for America Memorial Anniversary

October 19

World Humanitarian Action Day

October 31

Halloween & Day of the Dead


We want to hear from you

If you have any ideas, D&I stories, or updates that you would like to share please send them to yasmine.mukahal@vanderbilt.edu so that we can spotlight them in the newsletter!

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