Published: Sept. 19, 2023

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of updates on campuswide diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives that will continue throughout the year.

In this issue

Read about the Adelante employee affinity group and the DEI Impact Grant Summit, as well as National Hispanic Heritage Month, Indigenous Peoples Day and other campus events happening through October.

Adelante, other employee affinity groups champion community-building

ֱ Boulder’s employee affinity groups enable staff, faculty and their allies to meet on campus, network, share resources and support each other. Upcoming employee affinity group events include:

  • Sept. 21 :Faculty and staff can learn more about all employee affinity groups by attending this summit—in advance. The summit will take place 11 a.m.–1 p.m. in the C4C Abrams Lounge.
  • Sept. 25:Join the Adelante employee affinity group for its first community event this semester, 11 a.m.–1 p.m. in the C4C Abrams Lounge.

Recently, the staff lead of Adelante, an affinity group for staff and faculty who identify as Latine, Latinx, Latina, Latino or Hispanic—and their allies—answered a few questions about the group’s purpose and its hopes for the future.

5 questions for María Castro Barajas

When she isn’t working to recruit, retain and graduate first-generation and other minoritized students as director of the campus’s Precollege Bridge Program, María Castro Barajas champions the success of her peers and colleagues.

What is your affiliation with Adelante, and why did you decide to get involved with this employee affinity group?

I am currently the lead for the Adelante Latina/x/o staff and faculty affinity group. I decided to be involved with this group to champion others, to provide a sense of connectedness and to create a supportive and sustaining community at ֱ Boulder.

How many faculty and staff members belong to Adelante, and what are the group’s priorities for the 2023–24 academic year?

We currently have 90 faculty and staff members but believe our membership will continue to grow as other Latina/x/o employees learn about our organization. Our first community event will be on Sept. 25.

We are still developing our priorities for the upcoming academic year. However, we will be guided by our overall mission, which is to bring ֱ Boulder Latina/x/o staff and faculty together to build community; dialogue around our vision and concerns; and recognize our brilliance, contributions and successes. We will also advocate for one another and for the interests of other Latina/x/o staff and faculty on campus to best support and retain our sisters and brothers within this community.

Adelante staff lead María A. Castro Barajas

María A. Castro Barajas

‘Adelante’means ‘forward’in Spanish. What do you hope members will take from the name of this employee affinity group?

“Adelante” symbolizes our shared commitment to advancement and growth. We envision a community where each member is on a journey of self-improvement, education and support for one another. It also serves as a call to action and a reminder that, together, we have the strength to overcome challenges and propel ourselves toward a brighter, more inclusive future. It embodies our shared values of unity, empowerment and progress.

What added value do employee affinity groups bring to the faculty and staff experience in higher education?

Employee affinity groups like Adelante enhance the higher education experience by fostering a sense of belonging and authenticity among faculty and staff. This inclusivity improves engagement, performance and retention rates. Additionally, these groups contribute to the diversity of thought within academic institutions, leading to more innovative approaches to education and research.

What do you hope staff and faculty take away from their experience as members of Adelante?

I hope Adelante provides staff and faculty with a profound sense of collaboration, diversity and inclusion. It should be a place where members can thrive personally and professionally. Adelante aims to be an organization that appreciates and celebrates the invaluable contributions that Latina/x/o individuals have made to our university, fostering a vibrant and inclusive community.

DEI Impact Grant recipients to share experiences at summit

The is an opportunity for grantees to share stories of their successes and challenges as they prepare for the next funding year and for prospective grantees to learn about application and review cycle details. For faculty and staff interested in submitting DEI Impact Grant proposals:

  • to attend the inaugural Impact Grant Summit taking place on Oct. 25, 1:30–3:30 p.m., in CASE E422.
  • Log in to the to obtain more information about how the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion can support you through the proposal and grant process.

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations, commemorations, resources

Upcoming events

In case you missed it

Sustaining our practice of inclusion

Campus efforts and investments to address pressing and painful inequities at ֱ Boulder are only a beginning. Creating a culture of belonging will take each member of our community practicing sustained personal work to truly embrace and support diverse perspectives and intersectional identities in our community.

Chancellor Philip DiStefano and other campus leaders urge every member of our community to join in learning more about diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism, and to work continuously together to address these challenges more actively and in ways that can help authentically transform our campus culture.

Campus resources

  • ֱ Boulder Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Website: Find more information about the campus’s work to create and sustain a more inclusive campus community and explore the results of the 2021 Campus Culture Survey.
  • Center for African and African American Studies (CAAAS): Provides a focal point for Black community and culture at ֱ Boulder and a multipurpose space where scholars, students, artists, activists and allies come together to study Africa, African Americans and the African diaspora.
  • Center for Asian Studies (CAS): Strives to be a space of community, curiosity and respectful engagement with Asia, views the area studies endeavor as a necessary yet distinct complement to disciplinary knowledge, and recognizes the historic and geographic centrality that Asia has and continues to play in the human venture.
  • Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies (CNAIS): Promotes collaborative research focusing on local and global Indigenous knowledge and fosters projects that aspire to open conversations in ֱ and the world.
  • Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL): Offers programs focused on creating inclusive classrooms and supports ֱ’s community of educators through free consultations, teaching resources, programs, seminars, workshops and other events.
  • ֱ Boulder History Project: Seeks to share ֱ Boulder’s history based on intersectional perspectives to demonstrate our commitment to inclusive excellence and to deepen our institutional memory.
  • Latin American and Latinx Studies Center (LALSC): Provides an institutional space for research, teaching and discussion on Latin America and Latinx/Latina/Latino studies.
  • Research and Innovation Office (RIO): Offers resources focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion in research and innovation.
  • : Provides a rich assortment of diverse reading materials and other resources, events and initiatives for students, faculty, staff, alumni and ֱ residents.