Diversity Committee Helps Campus Celebrate Juneteenth

“Juneteenth is a holiday for everyone,” says Lita Little Giddins, assistant dean for Diversity, Collaboration, and Inclusion in the College of Family, Home, & Social Sciences. “As long as it is a fight that involves humanity, we are all included.” 

Taking that sentiment to heart, students on the college’s Diversity, Collaboration, and Inclusion (DCI) committee set up an opportunity for the campus community to celebrate the holiday on the afternoon June 21. The group aimed to educate others on the meaning of Juneteenth and the symbols on the Juneteenth flag, and shared red velvet cookies.

“The majority of [passerbys] had a basic understanding of what Juneteenth is,” says Kame’e Parker, a junior from Honolulu majoring in family life and a member of the DCI committee. But she was happy to share more details. “Our history textbooks don’t teach us about marginalized groups, or if they do they skim over it. If textbooks aren’t putting a focus on these events, we need to put a focus on educating ourselves and others about these events.” In addition to details about the holiday, students shared information about rooting out more subtle forms of racism or exclusion, such as microaggressive behavior.

As for how the holiday is traditionally celebrated, Giddins explains that in the South, many people wore their Sunday best. In other states, people began to wear clothing that is significant to their cultural heritage if they know which African tribe they originate from. Many people eat red-colored food because red symbolizes loyalty, power, and the blood that was shed during enslavement. The symbolism highlights the triumph of African Americans as they were officially liberated from slavery.

 Finally, Juneteenth brings to light the ongoing struggle of inclusion that African Americans feel and how we all need to be more inclusive in our communities. 

“Right now, we will inform people about Juneteenth. But I hope to one day reach a point when people already know the significance so we can simply celebrate together. After all, Juneteenth is a celebration at its core of inclusion and community,” says Giddins.

Find more resources on race from the Diversity, Collaboration, and Inclusion committee.

Kame’e Parker at the “Celebrate Juneteenth!” booth sponsored by the DCI committee of the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences.

Resource Spotlight: Find External Research Funding with Brittany Freeze

Managing research projects, student assistants, teaching loads, citizenship assignments, and more can leave faculty wondering when they have a moment to do one more thing — evening if it’s as important as finding funding for their next project.

This past year the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences hired Brittany Freeze as a research development specialist. Her specific mission is to work with professors and students in the college to make finding and securing external funds a breeze.

Brittany Freeze works exclusively with FHSS faculty and students to secure outside funding for research

Because of her experience receiving a PhD in Human and Social Services, Freeze is well suited to meet the needs of faculty in our college. She understands the grant process and can mentor faculty and students alike in their efforts to gain external funding.

For faculty, Brittany not only helps start the grant process, but also helps manage every detail all the way until the grant is submitted. She helps determine deadlines, appropriate formatting, eligibility requirements, and identify all necessary documents and elements for submission. She also edits grant proposals and ensures they are submitted in a timely manner.

“As I was going through all of my schooling, I didn’t know that grants were so attainable, and so I think it’s nice to know that you can use outside funds as you progress,” explains Freeze. “Students can get paid, or they can have financial support when they do research.”

With Brittany’s help, faculty and students in the college can find more funding sources to support research on social science topics they are interested in.

Email Brittany Freeze or visit fhss.byu.edu/external-grant-support to learn more about the research development process.