Messages of Inclusion

In periodic messages, Iowa State vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion Sharon Perry Fantini shares insights to help the university community better understand the significance of events, issues or observances happening locally and globally.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15, 2022

A message from Dr. Sharon Perry Fantini, office of diversity, equity and inclusion, and Yamille Perez and Loerna Dorado-Robles, co-chairs of Colegas

Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 to October 15. An annual celebration in the United States, this month recognizes the independence days of several Latin American countries that fall within this time frame and commemorates the history, culture, and achievements of the Hispanic and Latin American communities.

Research Questions

  • Hispanic Heritage Month began as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968. What led to the creation of Hispanic Heritage Week? When did Hispanic Heritage Week become Hispanic Heritage Month?
  • In the 2020 Census, how many people identified as Hispanic or Latino/a in the United States? How many live in Iowa? 
  • Hispanic and Latino/a are often used interchangeably but represent different communities. What is the difference between these terms?
  • Latinx is a gender-neutral alternative for Latino/a. What is the story behind this word? 

Get Involved 

Colegas is Iowa State’s Hispanic and Latinx faculty staff association. To learn more about Colegas, sign up for their newsletter, follow the ISU Colegas page on Facebook, and check out their Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration on October 4


Message Archive

About Juneteeth

June 1, 2022

Please join us in recognizing, celebrating and honoring Juneteenth during the month of June.

Aligning with Iowa State University’s Principles of Community, we encourage you to learn more about Juneteenth and share your knowledge with others. Please access the Iowa State University Library Juneteenth Guide to aid in your exploration, and consider these four questions to expand your understanding of this annual commemoration:

  • What is Juneteenth short for and what was it originally called?
  • Why did it take more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation for all slaves to be freed?
  • What state became the first to make Juneteenth an official holiday and when?
  • What are some Juneteenth traditions?
June is Pride Month

June 1, 2022

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month. This annual month-long celebration honors the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. The purpose is to commemorate and recognize the historical impact of LGBTQ individuals and the ongoing pursuit for civil rights and equal justice under the law.

Explore the following resources to learn more:

Now test your knowledge by answering these questions:

  1. The first Pride march was held in what year?
  2. Why is the rainbow flag a symbol of LGBTQ pride?
  3. When did The Center open at Iowa State University and what is its mission?

Thank you for doing your part to expand your knowledge and help make our campus and community a more welcoming and inclusive place.


April 28, 2022

Please join us in recognizing, celebrating, and honoring Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI) during the month of May.

Did you know …

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have contributed substantially to countless facets of culture and society, including science and medicine, literature and art, government and politics, and law. Kamala Harris became the first Asian American Vice President of the United States in 2021. In the film industry, AAPI people, stories, and traditions have become more visible. Bong Joon Ho, South Korean director, won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2019 with Parasite. In 2021, Marvel debuted the first Asian superhero in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

As we strive to be the best land-grant university for having a welcoming and inclusive campus, we challenge you to expand your knowledge by exploring the following:

  • What is the origin of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month?
  • Which U.S. President signed the first presidential proclamation?
  • Why is the date of AAPI Heritage month significant?
  • When did the character of Shang-Chi make his comic-book debut?

You may use the following links to aid in your exploration:

Join the celebration at Iowa State University
AAPI Heritage Month Celebration
Sun Room in the Memorial Union
May 7, 2022, 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Buffet included.
Please register (free) online at

Remote video URL

The inaugural Ames Asian American and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month Celebration was held May 7 in the Memorial Union. Video courtesy of the event steering committee.

Women's History Month

March 1, 2022

Please join us in recognizing and celebrating Women’s History Month during the month of March. We honor the accomplishments and reflect on the trailblazing women who have shaped and continue to shape our culture and society.  

As we strive to be a leading land-grant university for having a welcoming and inclusive campus, we challenge you to expand your knowledge of women’s history by considering the following: 

  • What is the origin of Women’s History Month? 
  • Which U.S. President signed the first presidential proclamation? 
  • Can you identify at least three women who have contributed to developments in science and technology? 
  • How many years has the Library of Congress been gathering materials to tell the stories of women? 

You may use the following links to aid in your exploration: 

Did you know … Iowa State University offers the following: 

  • Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity aims to ensure that people of all genders have access to what they need to be successful as well as their need for community.
  • University Committee for the Advancement of Women and Gender Equity is devoted to the mission to advance gender equity and welcomes membership from the campus community.
  • Cardinal Women* provides growth opportunity specifically for women who are Iowa State University Faculty and Staff. Participants engage in discussions designed to foster leadership development, goal orientation and purpose in their personal and professional spheres.
  • SISTER (Supporting Inclusive Spaces Through Experiences and Recognition) seeks to create an inclusive, supportive space for faculty and staff who identify as women of color (WOC) through a sister circle framework.
  • The Womxn of Colour Network Retreat is a signature program presented by the Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity and The Womxn of Colour Network student organization with generous support lent by campus volunteers as part of the Planning Committee.
  • ISU ADVANCE has evolved from a focus on women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines to a subsequent emphasis on underrepresented faculty, and is now an institutionalized program with broad impact across the Iowa State community.
  • Program for Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) seeks to advance gender equity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) by inspiring, supporting, and empowering current and future students to persist and thrive in their chosen STEM communities.
  • Women's and Gender Studies Program focuses on the study of issues and scholarship relevant to women and gender, challenges existing systems of knowledge, and forges new scholarship based on the centrality of gender as a category of analysis.
  • Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics focuses on programs that blend resources and scholarship of the academic environment with the experiences of practitioners in fields important to the political process.

This is not an exhaustive list. We welcome the opportunity to learn more about other campus units and organizations supporting women. Please email your ideas, comments and questions to

Black History Month

February 2, 2022

I’m so pleased to join Iowa State University as your new vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion. From my arrival on campus just three weeks ago, I have felt a wonderful sense of community and opportunity.

I feel encouraged that diversity, equity and inclusion aren’t just priorities for one person or one office – they are important to all of us. We have a dedicated team in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and we are deeply committed to fostering collaborative partnerships across campus and working together with you.  

Over the coming months, I look forward to meeting with many members of the Iowa State and greater Ames communities to listen and learn. Rooted in the strength of ISU’s land-grant mission and Principles of Community, I feel excitement and optimism about advancing our collective goal to make Iowa State a national leader for having a welcoming and inclusive campus where all students, faculty and staff can succeed and thrive.

One of my priorities is to communicate with campus about topics, issues and events that help us advance our knowledge and understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion. I want to begin today by asking you to please join us in honoring Black History Month.

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans held in February. It is also known as African American History Month, which cultivated out of “Negro History Week,” the innovation of historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans.
Aligning with our mission to create, share, and apply knowledge to make Iowa and the world a better place, we challenge you to learn more about Black History Month and share your findings with others (trivia night, brown bag lunch, over coffee, etc.). To help you get started here are some questions to consider:

  • What is the origin of Black History Month?
  • Why was February selected as the month for the celebration?
  • Who was the first U.S. President to designate February as Black History Month? What year did this originate?
  • What is the theme for 2022?

Feel free to use the following to guide in your quest for knowledge:

History Channel -

The White House (briefing room) -

We also encourage you to attend one of the many Black History Month events held on campus throughout February.
The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion seeks to be a resource and a partner. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions, comments or ideas: We look forward to continuing the conversation with you.