The Beacon Spotlighting inclusivity at James Madison University

Welcome to The Beacon

JMU Office of Access & Inclusion's Newsletter

January/February 2018

Welcome back JMU family. We hope everyone had a great break, holiday season and of course a Happy New Year.

This installment of The Beacon highlights some great people, programs and upcoming events at JMU. Attend, participate and continue to make JMU more welcoming for everyone. It’s our collective work and efforts that make the JMU community great.

In a community of over 27,000 people it’s hard to spotlight everyone and everything. Of course if you have individuals, groups or programs that should be highlighted please make sure you share their contact information with The Beacon staff.

Have a great semester and let’s all continue to make JMU welcoming and accessible for everyone.

Arthur Dean

Executive Director for Access & Inclusion


Chilean-born artist Edgar Endress is a professor of new media and graduate program director at George Mason University’s School of Art. Endress creates content and context-specific work, ranging from large installations to audio and video presentations, that bridges the gap between art and social engagement. Jan. 8th – Feb. 16th Reception: Jan. 22nd Duke Hall Gallery

Stepping Out

Experience the sights and sounds of Ireland in this dance and music extravaganza! Monday, January 22nd at 8:00 p.m. Mainstage Theatre, Forbes Center

Visiting Scholars Program Lectures

Development-Induced Displacement: Case Studies of Impact and Community Engagement from India

Nalini Bikkina, Fulbright Scholar at the University of Nebraska, Omaha Associate Professor and Director of the School of Gandhian Studies, GITAM University Thursday, January 25th at 5:00 p.m. Health and Behavioral Studies Building, G010

The Deepening Divide: Underlying Sources of Civil Conflict in the US and What to Do About Them

Richard Rubenstein, Professor of Conflict Resolution and Public Affairs, George Mason University Thursday, February 1st at 5:00 p.m. Madison Union Room 256

12th Annual Diversity Conference

Don’t miss the 12th Annual Diversity Conference. This year’s theme "Voices of Diversity, Visions of Inclusion" resonates with our vision of campus inclusion. Registration opens mid-February. This event is for Faculty and Staff.

Democracy in Peril Lecture Series

Strongmen from Mussolini to Trump

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, NYU Historian and public political commentator Wednesday, February 7th at 5:00 p.m. Madison Hall – Room 1001

Madison Vision Series

Education for Democracy

Dr. Lynn Pasquarella

President, Association of American Colleges and Universities

Lynn Pasquerella has been president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities since July 2016. A philosopher whose career has combined teaching and scholarship with local and global engagement, she has continuously demonstrated a deep and abiding commitment to ensuring that all students have access to excellence in liberal education, regardless of their socio-economic background. Tuesday, February 13th, 3:30-5:00p.m. Memorial Hall Auditorium


Parade is a musical featuring students from JMU’s School of Theatre and Dance and School of Music. This Tony Award-winning musical is based on the true story of Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-raised Jew living in Georgia amid religious intolerance, political injustice and racial tension in 1913. Tue - Sat, Feb 20th - 24th at 8:00 p.m. Sat, Feb 24th at 3:00 p.m. Sun, Feb 25th at 2:00 p.m. Mainstage Theatre, Forbes Center

Student Focused Events

Connect with CMSS for a variety of opportunities that include:

DEEP Impact Diversity Dialogues in Madison Union Ballroom, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Jan. 17th: Civil Rights to Social Justice

Jan. 31st: Hate vs. Heritage - Symbols of the South

Feb 7th: Toxic Masculinity

Feb. 21st: In Your Backyard - Human Trafficking in the US

Recognition Nominations

Nominations are currently being accepted for the following awards:

The Compass Award

Note: The Compass Award evolved from the Diversity Enhancement Award Program.

Presented by the Office of the President, the Compass Award recognizes an individual or groups’ demonstrated outstanding contributions to diversity and inclusion at JMU. Any member of the JMU community may be nominated in any of the four award categories:

Visionary – forward thinking, innovative

Leader – mentoring, guiding, facilitating

Advocate – providing a voice for the underrepresented

Catalyst – transforming societal understandings

Nominations due by 5:00 p.m. on February 7th

The Women of Distinction Award

• Displays leadership: Vision, innovation, creativity and/or the courage to take risks.

• Provides inspiration and motivation to others.

• Enriches and improves the quality of life of others.

• Has shown a special commitment to support and empower other women.

• Recognition as a positive role model through example, mentoring and/or educating.

• Demonstrates excellence in their respective field.

Award recipients will be recognized at the Diversity Conference, March 14th.

Nominate Today!


Meet Caitlyn

Access and inclusion of personal identities

Throughout my time at JMU, I've been a consistent member of Madison Equality (an LGBTQIQAP+ group on campus) for three years, and am currently a representative for SGA, a member of the SGA Diversity Council, and am a student staff member for CMSS/DEEP Impact.
These involvements have provided me with access to various conferences surrounding topics on inclusion and diversity efforts made by social justice communities regarding both my personal identities and the identities of others.


Don’t miss JMU’s feature in the current issue of Insight into Diversity starting on page 24.
Each year the list of Military Friendly® Schools is provided to service members and their families, helping them to select the best college, university, or trade school to receive the education and training needed to pursue a civilian career. JMU is proud to be a school committed to supporting military students.

and more...

Stompmania, Japanese Cultural Night, ACA Panel Discussion, Veterans Day on the Quad, AASCU Award at the Board of Visitors meeting, Nicole Sealey reading, DIGITAL - Women in Computing

Broaden your diversity IQ

A glimpse of significant dates in January and February

January 15: Martin Luther King Day commemorates the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr., the recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize and an activist for non-violent social change until his assassination in 1968.

January 27: The International Day of Commemoration to remember the victims of the Holocaust. The anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in 1945 and UN Holocaust Memorial Day.

February is Black History Month in the United States. Since 1976, the month has been designated to remember the contributions of people of the African Diaspora.

February 1: National Freedom Day, which celebrates the signing of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in 1865.

February 13: Mardi Gras, the last day for Catholics to indulge before Ash Wednesday starts the sober weeks of fasting that come with Lent.

February 14: Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent in the Christian faith. As a display of atonement, ashes are marked on worshippers. Lent, which is observed during the seven weeks prior to Easter, is a time of reflection and preparation for the Holy Week and is observed by fasting, charitable giving, and worshipping.

February 16: Lunar/Chinese New Year, widely celebrated in Asian countries, is a time of family reunions and celebrations. It takes place on the first day of the first month according to the Chinese calendar, whose months coordinate with the phases of the moon.

February 19: President’s Day, a federally recognized celebration in the United States of George Washington’s birthday, as well as every president proceeding after Washington.

“As an institution of higher education named for the Father of the Constitution, there is no higher calling for JMU than to be a beacon of civil discourse on the major issues of our time. True learning is only possible when we put aside our differences, and begin listening to one another. That is what higher education is all about.” - President Alger

The Beacon has been created by the Office of Access & Inclusion to share the good work of academic and administrative departments, students, affinity groups and more in supporting diversity and inclusion at JMU. If you have an article or upcoming event that should be considered for the next newsletter please send us an email:


Created with images by JMU University Marketing Photography Department; George Bates Studio "Thanks", www.cami.com, Richard Hilliard

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