Posted 3:01 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9, 2020

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New web-based project shares experiences of people of color at UWL, beyond.

New web-based project shares experiences of people of color at UWL, beyond

More than 30 people of color from UW-La Crosse and the surrounding community are sharing their experiences surrounding diversity, inclusion and tolerance on a new website that went live Friday, May 6, “Diverse Voices of UWL.” The UWL College of Liberal Studies grant-funded project includes testimonials and photos similar to “Humans of New York,” a popular blog with photos and captions of people on the streets of New York City. One second-year student was surprised by the lack of diversity in UWL’s student body when she first arrived on campus. She writes … “I have never felt for a second that I have been treated unfairly because of my race. However, this isn’t the case for every minority on campus. There are still many changes that need to be made to promote diversity and equality at UWL.” Read more. Voices range from domestic and international people of color to allies in the broader community. They share thoughts on topics such as the immigrant experience, international student experience and experiences surrounding tolerance, diversity or lack thereof. “The project promotes greater awareness among the campus community about people of color in terms of the concrete experiences of those affected by not being part of the white majority,” says Gita Pai, History, who co-founded “Diverse Voices of UWL. “Our project seeks to address the palpable absence of diverse faces and voices on campus.” Puja Mehta, a professional web designer, and Amirah Neely, a UWL history major and photography minor in one of Pai’s courses, helped with the project. Radhika Agarwal, ’10, a University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC) graduate student, was also a lead investigator on the grant. “I'm passionate about raising awareness around diversity, inclusion and tolerance,” says Agarwal. “It is my way of giving back to my undergrad institution, UWL, and also to the greater La Crosse community. I felt that this project was needed given my experiences and the experiences of other people I knew in La Crosse.”