The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) is committed to creating spaces and cultivating conversations that support an inclusive and diverse campus community. These efforts are vital and timely, as the country engages in important conversations on civil rights and renegotiates institutional and political practices of equality, fairness and access. The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) with the help of DDCE is proud to be a part of the dialogue, and in some ways, leading the conversation.
Starting this June, DDCE will elevate the conversation through the launch of As We Saw It: The Story of Integration at The University of Texas at Austin. With the help of long-time Austin resident and writer Louise Iscoe and the Precursors—the first African American students to attend UT Austin— every month we will post a new segment on the history of integration with stories about the African-American students, faculty and others who demonstrated courage and convictions that helped shape UT Austin into the institution it is today.
Although DDCE’s primary focus is on the future of equality, access, and social justice, we cannot forget the past as it plays a vital role in informing our future. John Lewis said it best at this year’s monumental LBJ Civil Rights Summit, “we can’t re-remember things incorrectly, or past hurts and misguidances will continue to lead us.” Such words are ever important given the Fisher v. University of Texas case and the social and academic ramifications that will result when a final decision is made. DDCE is committed to helping document these oral histories and sharing these significant stories to encourage reflection and evoke forward movement.
We invite you to join us on this historical journey. Visit As We Saw It for monthly stories, photo galleries and updates here: http://ddce.utexas.edu/integration/. For questions about the project or to share stories or feedback, please email Virginia A. Cumberbatch at firstname.lastname@example.org.