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Diversity & Inclusion Fellows Program

Fellows work in collaboration with campus entities to design programs, policies, and/or procedures that focus on one of the following institutional priorities with respect to diversity and inclusion:

  • Recruitment and retention and success of diverse students, faculty, and staff
  • Analyzing and expanding curricular offerings
  • Cultivating inclusive partnerships or community engagement with diverse external organizations
  • Developing policies and procedures for the reporting and addressing of bias incidents
  • Facilitating grant collaborations to support diversity and inclusion initiatives
  • Development and evaluation of innovative professional development in diversity and inclusion for students, staff, and faculty

Fellows will serve for a minimum of one calendar year and maximum of three consecutive years. During the fellowship time, each fellow will commit to the following:

  • Creating a proposal for work that includes a timeline with clear objectives and outcomes
  • Attending regular project meetings with divisions relevant to the fellow’s project
  • Attending regular meetings with all diversity fellows
  • Sharing the results of fellowship work on campus and with community organizations in a spring research and engagement forum

Fellows will receive a $3,000 stipend that will be split and paid monthly during the academic year. 

Our 2023-24 Fellows are...

Dr. Satlaj Dighe
Department of Educational Leadership

Dr. KaToya Ellis Fleming
Department of Creative Writing

Gino Galutera
Business Services

Dr. Kris Hohn
School of Social Work

Dr. Jonathan Kladder
Department of Music

Dr. Remington Poulin
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Dr. Menaka Raguparan
Department of Sociology and Criminology

Latisha Rivera
Office of Admissions

Dr. Priyadarshini Shanker
Department of Film Studies

Kirsten Wisneski
Research and Innovation

Student Fellows

Sophia Dephillips

Audrey Kent

The application process includes completion of a short online form (Fellows or Departments) and an interview.

The University of North Carolina Wilmington annually memorializes Missing and Murdered Indigenous women through the red dress project. We strive to raise awareness and advocate for justice. Our memorial stands as a symbol of remembrance, solidarity, and amplifying the voices of the silenced.

The MMIW Red Dress Project is a symbol of awareness and remembrance for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) epidemic that has plagued indigenous communities across North America. This powerful movement began in 2010 with Canadian artist Jaime Black's installation, which featured red dresses hung in public spaces to draw attention to the staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls. Since then, it has become a global movement advocating for justice, recognition, and action to address this crisis.

The choice of red dresses as the central motif of this project holds deep significance. Red symbolizes both the bloodshed and the resilience of Indigenous women and girls who have been victimized and marginalized. The dresses tell the story of a missing sister, mother, daughter, or friend whose absence leaves a void in their communities. By placing red dresses in public spaces, the project demands that these stories be seen and heard, challenging society to confront the systemic issues that perpetuate violence against Indigenous women and girls.

The use of legislation to enact laws in support of victims plays a crucial role in addressing and preventing this pervasive issue. By passing comprehensive laws, governments can provide a framework for protecting survivors, holding perpetrators accountable, and providing resources for recovery and rehabilitation.

Savanna’s Act 

The legislation was created in response to the murder of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, an enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Nation of North Dakota who was killed in August 2017. At the time of her death, Savanna was 22 years old and eight months pregnant. Savanna’s Act, signed into law in October 2020, improves the federal response to missing or murdered indigenous persons (MMIP) and increases coordination among federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement agencies. 

Kayla's Act: Protecting Domestic Violence Victims 

Legislation was submitted into the North Carolina General Assembly in 2023 in response to the death of Kayla Hammonds, a 31-year-old woman from Lumberton, N.C. Kayla was killed on November 21, 2022, by Desmond Sampson in a Food Lion parking lot. Hammonds had obtained an order of protection against Sampson less than a month earlier.  Three days before her death, a Robeson County judge dismissed charges against Sampson because Hammonds failed to appear in court to testify. This bill will allow survivors of domestic violence to testify remotely, even if the defendant objects, under certain criteria.

Native: (noun) 

  • one born or reared in a particular place
  • an original or indigenous inhabitant 

Indigenous: (adjective, synonym of aboriginal) 

  • of or relating to the earliest known inhabitants of a place and especially of a place that was colonized by a now-dominant group

Aboriginal: (adjective, synonym to indigenous) 

  • being the first or earliest known of its kind present in a region 
  • of or relating to the people who have been in a region from the earliest time; of or relating to aborigines 
  • Aborigines: a member of any of the indigenous peoples of Australia 

Colonize: (verb) 

  • to take control of (a people or area) especially as an extension of state power; to claim (someone or something) as a colony 
  • to take or make use of (something) without authority or right  

Terms: Source

Red dresses hanging from tree

MMIW Conference

In collaboration with the MMIWNC, UNCW is hosting the annual MMIW conference May 3-4, 2024, to highlight the ongoing issue plaguing indigenous communities and to support families impacted. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is requested.

Violent Crimes

Recent studies suggest that American Indian women are 2.5 times more likely than the national average to experience certain violent crimes, according to the National Institute of Justice.

Painting on a canvas of an indigenous person

Missing Persons

The National Crime Information Center reports that, in 2016, there were 5,712 reports of missing American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls, though the US Department of Justice’s federal missing persons database only logged 116 cases.

Red dresses hanging from tree

Homicide Rate

According to 2018 Centers for Disease Control’s datasets from the National Vital Statistics System among those aged 1–44 years, homicide was the sixth leading cause among American Indian and Alaska Native females.

An Indigenous headdress with light shining through the feathers

Media Coverage

A 2016 study by the Urban Indian Health Institute determined that more than 95 percent of cases were not covered by the national or international media.

Silhouettes of people holding hands