The University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) lhas established the Institute for Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Social Justice. The new institute, housed within the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, aims to address pressing social justice issues in central Illinois and beyond through academic programs, community partnerships, and research initiatives.
Chancellor Janet L. Gooch expressed UIS's steadfast commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice, noting that the institute will amplify ongoing efforts and foster growth. By consolidating existing programs like African American studies and women and gender studies, the institute will facilitate DEIJ workshops, research talks, and the creation of an online repository of publications and presentations.
Lan Dong, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, highlighted the institute's role in coordinating DEIJ efforts campus-wide and forging partnerships with local and regional communities. The institute also plans to provide training for faculty and staff, enhance recruitment and retention efforts, and create professional opportunities for students through scholarships, internships, and career connections.
“The institute will identify and develop professional opportunities for students, including scholarships, internships and career connections,” said Tena L. Helton, interim associate dean of the UIS College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. “It will also secure internal and external funding for events and research projects related to DEIJ.”