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Advancing Racial Equity

UIC and Chicago skyline

Recent ARE Updates Heading link

  • The UIC Counseling Center welcomes three new Staff Psychologists who have been recruited as part of the Advancing Racial Equity Initiative. Dr. Steve Pamieri, Dr. Silvia Salas and Dr. Cheryl  Taliaferro share a little about themselves:
    • Dr. Steve  Palmieri — My clinical interests include LGBTQ issues, sex and sexual wellness, non-monogamous relationships, cultural identity development and exploration, political anxiety, sustainable social justice activism, and training and supervision. I approach therapy from a cognitive-behavioral theoretical orientation that is informed by a strong multicultural, feminist, and LGBTQ-affirming values framework. I identify as a gay and queer, non-monogamous, autistic, atheist, White, US-born, English-speaking, cisgender man.
    • Dr. Silvia Salas — Dr. Salas received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the APA accredited program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Wisconsin and completed her APA pre-doctoral internship at the University of Akron’s Counseling and Testing Center. She is a generalist and works with common mental health concerns such as stress, ethno-racial trauma, anxiety, depression, relationship and adjustment concerns, identity concerns, and acculturation concerns, for example. Dr. Salas is interested in advancing a strength-based psychology for BIPOC students, w/focus on Latinx student’s psychological well-being. Dr. Salas received specialized training in Latinx Mental health and a large part of her clinical training has focused on providing culturally responsive and racially conscious mental health services to the Latinx community. While She identifies strongly with her Mexican roots, she uses her Latinx Mental health training to honor the within-group differences that exist within this vibrant and diverse community. She can provide mental health services in English and Spanish.
    • Dr. Cheryl Taliaferro — “Kindly allow me to introduce myself. My name is Cheryl Taliaferro. I am an African American and Belizean who grew up with my grandmother always stating “school days will be school days” at the beginning of each school year. I came from a family that values education, community, and support. The following areas are of special interest to me: adjustment concerns, anxiety, depression, relational distress, trauma, diversity, social justice, training and supervision, outreach, and working with international students. I approach therapy from an integrative perceptive, which entails components of Cognitive Behavioral, Adlerian, Humanistic, and Interpersonal Process. I firmly believe in the utilization of a collaborative approach in my work with clients to help them explore and address underlying factors that may cause distress. Adlerian theory stresses the significance of social interest and community as part of its core tenets. I approach supervision using the integrative developmental model and a collaborative approach. My work with supervisees entails developing and/or exploring supervision goals, exploring diversity, addressing ethical considerations, and creating an environment to help them reflect on growth and improvement as part of their journey in becoming clinicians.”
  • As part of the Chancellor’s Advancing Racial Equity initiatives, the Associate Chancellor and Vice Provost for Diversity’s Office of Community Collaboration is hiring a Community Coordinator to support the work of new neighborhood centers in Auburn-Gresham and Greater Lawndale.
  • The UIC Public Safety Board has been formally established as an enduring board to provide opportunities to improve the public safety on campus based on feedback gathered directly from community members. As part of these efforts, the board, in partnership with the UIC Police Department, will make recommendations about issues related to public safety at UIC, especially viewed from a perspective of racial equity and social justice. Click here to read the rest of the official announcement here.

UIC's Commitment

UIC’s commitment to equity and inclusion has been a strategic priority for the last decade. However, we are well aware that while we have made some important advances, many more steps are needed to create a more equitable and just university. This year we have experienced a new sense of urgency, as our nation and city have experienced the two pandemics of state violence against Black community members, and the heightened impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. The movement for Black lives, most recently manifested in the protests against racial injustice this summer, has resonated deeply in Chicago, a city with a long history of anti-racist struggle. Many members of our UIC community participated in protests throughout Chicago, while the scholarship of our faculty on these issues has informed local and nation-wide conversations on social justice, structural racism, and anti-racism initiatives.

UIC is also responding to this historical moment.  Our UIC community of students, faculty and staff relied on petitions, meetings, and town halls to express the need to work against systemic racism in our own campus spaces, reviewing and changing existing policies and practices, and investing the resources needed to make us more inclusive and equitable.

Racial Equity Taskforce

In June 2020, UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis UICs commitment to addressing systemic racism, improving our campus climate, and advancing racial equity on our campus. To pursue these goals he created a Racial Equity Taskforce to review the state of our campus and prioritize key action items. This task force consisted of four working groups and one board: Student Life and Support, Community Engagement, who completed their work in September, and the  Staff Recruitment and Retention, and the Public Safety Board (who are still in process). The first three groups have completed their work and submitted their recommendations.  Additionally, a group of external experts was invited to review our campus policies and practices and provide their advice.

On October 8, 2020, the Chancellor shared with the campus the first set of actions the campus will take, with the commitment to make announce additional measures in the Spring term.

On January 29, 2021, the Chancellor announced “Phase Two” of the actions taken in the Advancing Racial Equity Initiative.  A third phase of action items will be announced later in the semester once the Staff working group and the Public Safety Board have completed their recommendations.


UIC’s Advancing Racial Equity (ARE) initiative is a response designed to address the institutional and structural racism that impacts our campus and our neighboring communities. Between June 2020 and January 2021 we reviewed student and faculty petitions and recommendations from four working groups: student life and support, community engagement, staff recruitment and retention, and the Public Safety Board. Additionally, we worked directly with three external advisors, Nancy Cantor, Earl Lewis and Claude Steele, with expertise in higher education and race to review and make recommendations related to the recruitment and retention of black faculty and students. Finally, the Chancellor’s African American Advisory Council also met with the Chancellor and presented their report with a set of key recommendations. During this period, UIC leadership has had many meetings with students, faculty, community members and experts to ensure that all key stakeholders and engaged and have a voice in the process.

Advancing Racial Equity aspires to ensure that UIC is a campus where Black Lives Matter, Black students matter, Black voices matter, Black dreams matter, and Black communities matter. Our overarching goal is to engage in the hard work that required to become a campus where BIPOC students, faculty and staff are always valued and can reach their full potential. ARE has five goals as its pillars: centering student equity and inclusion, advancing faculty and staff inclusive excellence, collaborating with community, reimagining public safety, and ensuring accountability. We believe that all five are necessary to move our campus forward.

ARE Strategic Planning

Introducing the 2021 Bridge to the Faculty Scholars Heading link

The Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity is pleased to announce the members of the incoming 2021 cohort of Bridge to the Faculty (B2F) Scholars. We will release new B2F Scholar announcements each week throughout the summer.

Bridge to the Faculty Heading link

Bridge to the Faculty is a postdoctoral program designed to recruit underrepresented scholars with the goal of transitioning them to faculty members after two years. This recruitment initiative aims to attract and retain promising scholars to UIC as well as diversify our faculty, with particular emphasis in departments with low or no presence of faculty who are underrepresented in their field. Postdocs will participate in a cohort mentoring experience in which they will have the opportunity to meet other postdocs through the Office of Diversity in collaboration with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and the Center for Teaching Excellence.

Learn more about the Bridge to the Faculty Program

Progress Tracking: Advancing Racial Equity at UIC

Main Goals Heading link

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Upcoming ARE Events Heading link

Recent ARE News Heading link

Other Campus Anti-Racism Initiatives Heading link