Office of Institutional Diversity & Equity > Education > Programming > Cultural Programming > Diversity Signature Series

Diversity Signature Series

2019-202​0  Current Issues. Diverse Voices. 

The Diversity Signature Series (DSS) highlights prominent national heritage month celebrations and other cultural events of the university's centers, institutes, and academic departments.  Through this collaboration, OIDE creates an annual diversity calendar of sponsored programs that we help to promote throughout the academic year. Our theme this year is Current Issues. Diverse Voices

Diversity Signature Series Speakers

2019: Jose Antonio Vargas

Jose Antonio Vargas is a journalist, filmmaker, and immigration rights activist. Born in the Philippines, Vargas came to the United States when he was twelve. He was part of the Washington Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking Reporting in 2008 for coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting. Vargas founded Define American in 2011, a nonprofit project aimed at facilitating dialogue about immigration issues including the DREAM Act. 

2018: Wes Moore

Wes Moore is a bestselling author, Army combat veteran, social entrepreneur, and CEO of one of the largest anti-poverty agencies, Robin Hood. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University in 2001, Moore served as a captain and paratrooper with the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne. He later serves as a White House Fellow to Secretary Condoleeza Rice.

2017: Immaculee Ilibagiza

Immaculee Ilibagiza was born and raised in a small village in Rwanda, Africa. After months of hiding during the genocide, Ilibagiza emigrated to the United States where she worked for the United Nations. Iligabiza has received numerous honorary degrees, humanitarian awards, and is the recipient of the Christopher Award for "affirming the highest values of the human spirit." Iligabiza is regarded as one of the world's leading speakers on faith, hope, and forgiveness.

Application Process and Submission Details

OIDE accepts submissions for inclusion in our annual Diversity Signature Series Calendar. Programs related to civil discourse, social and restorative justice, healing, and moving towards action can be a guide to determine which cultural program/event from your area may be appropriate for the series. A calendar list of nationally recognized heritage months is provided below. Please contact us to have additional heritage months included.

Please submit a cultural programming proposal via our online form to officially apply for Diversity Signature Series inclusion and funding (optional). Select the Diversity Signature Series funding category. Please confirm the event logistics before submitting your proposal for consideration, (date, time, location, invited guest/speakers, etc.). Email your confirmation along with the event budget to You can also contact us at (312) 362-6872 for questions about the process.

Submission Deadline for the 2018-2019 Academic Year:

For fall and winter quarter programs:  Friday, September 13, 2019.

For spring quarter programs:  Friday, January 24, 2020.

Next Steps

The OIDE Cultural Programming Committee will review proposals in September. Notifications are sent out on a rolling basis. Selected events will be promoted as the Diversity Signature Series for the upcoming academic year. Submissions that are not selected may still be considered for an Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity grant under an applicable alternate category.

Please contact us at or (312) 362-6872.  

Nationally Recognized Heritage Months

September Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15)
October National Disability Employment Awareness Month
November American Indian Month, Veterans Month, Military Family Month
December Universal Human Rights Month
February Black History Month
March Women's History Month, Irish American Heritage Month
May Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, National Military Appreciation Month
June LGBTQ Pride Month