Newsletter 4: October 5th, 2020

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) is celebrated annually from September 15 - October 15 to acknowledge the history, culture, and contributions of Americans whose ancestry can be traced to over 20 countries in Latin American, including Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. In the United States, there are approximately 60 million people who have ancestries connected to these countries who reside in the United States, representing approximately 18% of the U.S. population. Many labels are used for this racial-ethnic group, with the most common umbrella terms being “Hispanic” and “Latina/e/o/x.”

Since 1968, HHM has been recognized by the federal government and celebrated across the United States. The start of the month, September 15, is significant, as several Latin American countries celebrate their independence from Spain on this day, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile also celebrate their independence during the month on September 16 and 18 respectively.
In September 2018, a University-wide committee chaired by Dr. Gina Garcia and the Latinx Student Association (LSA) launched the first HHM set of programs at Pitt as a grassroots effort to increase the University community’s knowledge and understanding of the Hispanic/Latina/e/o/x community. Each year the committee designs a series of cultural, educational, social, and advocacy events for the Pitt, CMU, and greater Pittsburgh community.

To learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month,
click here!

New CDI Staff

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion would like to officially welcome our new staff to the CDI team. Come and get to know them below!
Landry Igiraneza is our new Coordinator for the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. He is originally from Burundi, a small country in East Africa. He is the oldest of five children. He considers himself an eternal student. He is a proud alumnus of SUU, one of the many who walked during our unique ceremony of 2020. He has a Master's degree in Public Administration. Before joining the CDI as a coordinator, he was involved with the CDI as a member of some of the clubs in the CDI.

“One of the things that helped me when I joined SUU was the amazing camaraderie that exists in the CDI. When I was offered the Coordinator position, I saw an opportunity to help other students find a home away from home.”

In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, reading, and watching movies in French and Russian.
Geneva Williams is one of our newest Beacons to join the team. She is a Sophomore at SUU studying Psychology with minors in Theater and Creative writing. She loves the CDI because it’s a safe space for minority students like her. She also loves the sense of community and unity the CDI brings. When the opening for the Beacon position came up, she knew that she wanted to give the same experience to everyone. In her spare time, she love to write poetry, act, watch movies, and go hiking.
Mahala Sutherland is another new member to the Beacon team. Mahala is a young Navajo woman from Winslow, AZ, and she likes to go by her nickname, Molly. She is a junior currently studying Sociology and Psychology here at SUU. She is also the current President for the Native American Student Association. She loves Jingle dress dancing and beaded earrings.

TEDx SUU: Unity in Diversity

Diversity can be found everywhere. In businesses, schools, universities and cultures, and every time something significant happens within this diversity, the definition of the word is put under the spotlight and changed. Redefined. A lot has happened recently that is redefining diversity. A worldwide pandemic. Racial controversy and protests. A heated political race. And with school starting, fall starting, and the world gradually reopening, the world is going through yet another period of change. Unity is more critical than ever as we tackle these and other significant current issues together. To do so, TEDxSUU will be hosting an event on Tuesday, October 6 from 5 to 9 PM in the Church Auditorium with the best presenters to help them do that, including our own CDI students, Rian Watson-Davis, and Cynthia Hawk.
Rian-Watson-Davis is from Las Vegas, NV. She was raised in a single mother household alongside her twin brother. Soon her family will be extended by adding a stepfather and an older stepbrother. She is currently studying for a degree in Kinesiology with a minor in Psychology. She has always been one to speak out about injustices that cross her path. Her talk is called: Microaggressions: Let It Die To Unify, and it will be about how certain actions can create divisions. 
Cynthia Hawk was born and raised in Saint George, Utah. SUU campus and Cedar City has become her new home since she graduated from Tuacahn High School of the Performing Arts in 2016. She is a Political Science major with a double major in Women's Gender Studies and Graphic Design. She is the current president of SUU Students United for Reproductive Freedom and has served leadership roles in the Pride and Equality Club. Her deep passion in life is LGBTQ activism. When she isn't a busy college student, you'll most likely find her studying theory or playing her favorite video game series The Legend of Zelda. 
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit

SUWA's Stewardship Scholarship Essay Contest

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) is holding their Autumn 2020 Stewardship Scholarship Essay Contest for BIPOC students in all areas of study. Students are invited to write a 750-1250 word essay on the topic of "land stewardship" or "trust in the more-than-human world" for a chance to win a cash scholarship for your educational endeavors. One grand prize scholar will be awarded $1000 for their essay, and two semi-finalists will be awarded $500 each.

Eligible students are those who:
  1. Are self-identified as Black, Indigenous, and/or a Person of Color
  2. Live in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, or a Tribal Nation in the region
  3. Are enrolled at least half-time as an undergraduate at a college or university, technical school or vocational institution in the Spring 2021 academic year.
The scholarship application period opened September 22, 2020 and closes on Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 12:00 PM PST.

For more information, please visit
SUWA's website, or email them at

If you need any help with this essay, please feel free to let Donnie, Landry, or any of the Beacons know. You can also ask Hayden Coombs, a Professor for the Communications department here at SUU. He has extended his help to all students, and you can reach him at or (503) 779-8457. We are all more than happy to help!

CDI Student of the Month

The CDI is excited to highlight some of the amazing students who are a part of the T-Bird family. This year we will continue our Student of the Month initiative where outstanding students can be nominated and featured throughout the school year. 

Nominations are accepted from any SUU faculty, staff, or student. Winners will be chosen by the CDI team and will be recognized physically in the CDI, in the electronic newsletter, and will be awarded a gift card in appreciation. 

The Student of the Month nominee should demonstrate the qualities of a leader, exemplify the CDI’s mission, and actively promotes the center’s message of inclusivity. There's still some more time to nominate a deserving student for September 


Hispanic Heritage Month Events
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15. Join us in acknowledging the history, culture, and contributions of Americans whose ancestry can be traced to over 20 countries in Latin American, including Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean at the following events:
  • Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration on Wednesday, October 7th from 11AM to 2:30 PM. Come join the Latinx Student Alliance in the Student Center Living Room in an event that showcases eight countries in Central America (Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama) to celebrate their different traditions, all rooted in Hispanic and Latinx culture.
  • "What Does It Mean To Be Hispanic Latina/e/o/x In the United States?" Discussion Panel on Tuesday, October 13 from 11 AM to 1 PM. Come join us in the Starlight Room of the Student Center to listen and learn more about the experiences of people from the Latinx community on growing up in the United States.
  • City of God Movie Screening on Tuesday, October 13 from 5 to 7 PM in the Student Center Theatre. City of God is a 2002 Brazilian crime movie depicting the growth of organized crime in the Cidade de Deus suburb of Rio de Janeiro, between the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1980s, with the film's closure depicting the war between the drug dealer Li'l Zé and vigilante-turned-criminal Knockout Ned.

Indigenous Peoples' Day
On Monday, October 12 from 11 AM to 1 PM in the Student Center Living Room, the Native American Student Association (NASA) will be holding an event to display and celebrate the various cultures to be found in the different Native American tribes. There will be speakers sharing their cultures, arts and crafts displays, and performances from the NASA members, so don't miss out on this event!
President's Book Club
This month, the President's Book Club is reading Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. This alternate history novel tells the story of Cora and Caesar, two slaves in the southeastern United States during the 19th century, who make a bid for freedom from their Georgia plantations by following the Underground Railroad, which the novel depicts as primarily a rail transport system in addition to a series of safe houses and secret routes. If you're interested in reading and discussing this book, the club will meet on Thursday, October 22 to do so. For more information, please contact the club's president, Ashton Weagle through
Miss Native American Applications Open!
The Native American Student Association of Southern Utah University will be holding its annual Miss Native American SUU (NASUU) Scholarship Pageant on Saturday, November 21, 2020. The pageant will be a stepping stone to encourage young women to strive for self improvement, leadership, and the opportunity to represent Southern Utah University as an official ambassador on behalf of Native American students. A scholarship will be awarded to the newly crowned Miss Native American SUU for the 2020-2021 academic school year. To get an application, please contact Mahala Sutherland or Landry Igiraneza, the Coordinator of the CDI. Applications will close on Friday, October 30 at 5 PM.

Utah Humanities Virtual Book Festival: Marginalized Voices
The Utah Humanities program is proud to highlight the voices of historically marginalized groups, including the LGBTQ+ community and minoritized ethnic groups. From readings and Q&A’s with indigenous women authors to deep dives into Ethiopian history with Maaza Mengiste, this year’s authors cover themes as far-ranging as social justice, identity, immigration, history, and more. For more information, click here or contact Willy Palomo at

Club Meetings

African Union Club
Every other Friday, 5 PM at the CDI (ST 102)

Asian American Student Alliance
Every other Monday, 6 PM at the CDI (ST 102)

Black Student Union
Wednesdays, 6:30 PM at the CDI (ST 102)

Latinx Student Alliance
Wednesdays, 5:00 PM at the CDI (St 102)
Middle East Club
Fridays, 4:30 PM at the CDI (ST 102)

Native American Student Association
Tuesdays, 6 PM at the CDI (ST 102)

Polynesian Club
Every First and Last Monday, 6:30 PM at the CDI (ST 102)

Pride and Equality Club
Thursdays, 6 PM at the CDI (ST 102)

UndocuMigrant Alliance
Thursdays, 8 PM at the CDI (ST 102)

Our Clubs

African Union Club (AUC)
Club President: Anthony Musimbi
Social Media: IG @suu_a.u.c

Asian American Student Alliance (AASA)
Club President: David Nguyen
Social Media: IG @suu_aasa

Black Student Union (BSU)
Club President: Dominique Erwin
Social Media: BSU Facebook, IG/Twitter @suu_bsu

Latino Student Alliance (LSA)
Club President: Hunter Cordova
Social Media: LSA Facebook, IG @suulsa

Middle East Club (MEC)
Club President: Abdulelah (Abdul) Fakhrani
Social Media: Middle East SUU Facebook, IG/Twitter @middleeastsuu

Native American Student Association (NASA)
Club President: Mahala Sutherland

Social Media: NASA Facebook, IG @nasa_suu

Polynesian Club
Club President: Victor Ledua
Social Media: PC Facebook , IG @suu.poly

Pride and Equality Club (PAEC)
Club President: Victor Carvajal-Lopez
Social Media: PAEC Facebook, IG @suu_paec

UndocuMigrant Alliance (UMA)
Club President: Erick Peña
Social Media: IG @uma_suu

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) exists to validate the multiple identities present on our campus, while integrating the voices and experiences of marginalized people. We provide emotional, social, and financial support to students from historically underrepresented communities (e.g. students of color, LGBTQIA+ students, first-generation college students, etc.)

The CDI collaborates with campus partners to foster a learning environment that respects multiple perspectives and differences through multicultural clubs, workshops, trainings and cultural programming. The CDI invites members of the campus community to join in conversation about how to cultivate an inclusive, safe, and welcoming campus culture.

Sharwan Smith Student Center, Room 101 and 102

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