UTSA - through its Equity Advocacy Initiative - will develop an overarching framework for implementing the recommendations put forth by the 21st Century Learning Environments Task Group. The task force's primary objective is to foster healthy and inclusive learning environments. The initiative will formally connect those efforts to the work of tactical teams on academic programs, core curricula and degree pathways as a part of our fundamental commitment to diversity, inclusion and the success of UTSA students. Collectively, this work will further define the Roadrunner student experience — in and out of the classroom — with an intentional grounding in diversity, inclusion and equity advocacy. In support of the initiative, UTSA’s colleges and academic support divisions will develop new and enhance existing activities to advance diversity, inclusion and justice.

UTSA's College of Liberal and Fine Arts touches nearly every student who chooses to study here by offering core classes and education in nine different departments that include: art and art history; anthropology; communication; English; history; music; philosophy and classics, including medical humanities; modern languages and literatures; and political science and geography. Diversity - of thought, of experiences, of people and ideas - is embedded in everything the college has to offer. Faculty, staff and students are all working to create systemic change and build a future based on equality.

Social Justice and Equity Initiatives 2020-2021

Human Migration and the Borderlands

The College of Liberal and Fine Arts (COLFA) has put together a team of faculty and researchers tasked with putting forth an application for a Mellon grant to support research at the intersection of human migration and borderlands with social justice and equity. The research will then inform social change toward a just and equitable society for all. The College has already developed a large working group committed to the project and they have already submitted an NEH proposal. The group will work closely with undergraduate, graduate-students and community members to translate research findings into digitally curated exhibits with the help of the Institute of Texan Cultures. The university plans to hire two faculty members whose areas of study, Latin American Studies and digital technology, will support this research and this initiative.

Summer Residential Program

COLFA will also create a residential program for Summer 2021 to involve more URM in classroom-to-career opportunities. Students will be recruited from select universities, including UTSA, to be involved in the summer program, which will emphasize career readiness and network building to URM students. There will be a significant investment in scholarship and teaching resources. The summer program will also include social justice-oriented academic programming utilizing the rich resources of UTSA and the San Antonio region.

Book Club

Over the fall semester, the philosophy and classics department is hosting a bimonthly reading and discussion group on the topic of Classics and White Supremacy. The group’s sessions will be run by UTSA faculty and alumni in Classics, but will be open to other disciplines and neighboring institutions. The group will be examining the connections between Classics and White Supremacy—inherited, assumed, explicit or concealed—which are becoming increasingly visible across the field. Neo-Nazis adopt Classical images and Classical tropes, and within the community of professional Classicists, there is no shortage of white supremacist ideology and behaviors. This reading group invites people interested in Classics from across San Antonio to engage with recent literature that probes the troubling relationship between our construction of the ancient Mediterranean world and modern strategies to uphold and center whiteness.

History of Human Rights since 1948

Award-winning history professor, Dr. Catherine Nolan Ferrell, teaches History of Human Rights since 1948 as a service learning class. It's cross-listed with Honors 3233, His 4603 and His 4973. The goal of the class is to have students link human rights issues, which they tend to see as problems that happen "somewhere else," to human rights issues in San Antonio. Students will be broken up into small groups to partner with community organizations including the PRIDE Center, RAICES and the Multicultural Student Center for Equity and Justice to participate in hands on projects that examine such topics as discrimination, equality, hate speech and economic inequality.