At Governors State University there’s a good chance you’ll meet classmates who look a lot like you – or completely different. The diversity of our learning community is one of the things that makes us stand out – everybody fits in here. Our diversity is just one of the reasons GSU changes lives. We have programs that honor our diversity – and they’re just waiting for you to get involved in - special events, workshops, meetings and organizations. No matter which you choose, each recognizes the ethnic and cultural diversity of the campus as a community strength.

Celebrating Diversity & Social Justice

Let's celebrate diversity with our observance of history and heritage months. Throughout each designated month, Governors State University features a variety of programs and events highlighting the culture, traditions and contributions to society which these groups have made. During these months we host a variety of special events - you are bound to find one (or more) that you won't want to miss.


The Office of Intercultural Student Affairs stands in solidarity with those impacted by the recent events in Charlottesville, VA.  Hate, bigotry as well as acts of terrorism and violence should not be welcome in any community. We will continue to take a stance that ensures our community is one of love and inclusion and reflects the voices and experiences of all.  Let us remember the students, faculty and staff of UVA as they prepare to open for the academic year in the midst of this tragedy.  



  • Male Success Initiative



    Male Success Initiative Retreat

    Thursday, August 24th - Friday, August 25th

    Camp Manitoqua


     On Your Mark, Ready, Set….GROW!!!  These are the words that speak to the awesome experiences you will embark upon as a student at Governors State University.  College is a time of exploring, defining who you are and figuring out what it takes to be successful in college and beyond.  Well there's great news... 

    YOU ARE INVITED to become a part of the Male Success Initiative (MSI).   The Male Success Initiative is an intergenerational enrichment program designed to increase the retention, engagement and graduation rates of male students, particularly men of color at Governors State University.  The Male Success Initiative will focus on the following four tenets to enhance the educational experiences of program participants.


    Civic engagement

    Participants will engage in efforts that will enable them to serve others and gain experiences on how to be better leaders. 

    Cultural exploration

    Participants will engage in a wide range of opportunities to explore their creative, social and intellectual ambitions through immersion in cultural activities.   

    Curricular enhancement

    Participants will engage in seminars focused on study habits, time management and learning styles tutoring through peer to peer tutoring and study groups that will encourage scholastic achievement.

    Character enrichment

    Participants will engage in activities that will increase their consciousness about their own identity through social justice education to enhance personal and professional development


    Male Success Initiative Kick-off Retreat

     At this overnight off-campus excursion, dozens of new and returning male students come together to talk about transitioning to the GSU campus, team-building, sharing successes and overcoming setbacks, personal and collective visioning, and fellowship. The retreat is free and includes transportation there and back, meals, and snacks. For more information contact Sean Smith at or x7619 or in A2133. Register at

  • Latino Heritage Month, Sept. 15 - Oct. 15, 2017




    Latino Heritage Month

    Latino Heritage Month celebrates the history, culture and contributions of Latinos in our global society past, present and future.  The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.  The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively.

    Submit your program by visiting


    We are looking for campus community members interested in joining our efforts.  Send an email to Mr. Robert Clay, Director, Intercultural Student Affairs at or call x4551 if interested or for more information.



  • I.D.E.A.S. Lab



    Intercultural Development for Equity and Success Labs (IDEAS Lab) is an innovative program designed for faculty, staff and students to engage in a think tank acknowledging campus inequities that may limit student success.  This provides an opportunity for our community to develop resolutions regarding these matters in a holistic inclusive manner.  IDEAS Labs will be facilitated by community members with expertise in addressing the respective topics.  The IDEAS Labs serve as professional development for faculty/staff and leadership development for students. 

    IDEAS Lab will take place on the following dates from 3pm – 4:30pm.  Location to be determined.


    Thursday, September 21st 
    Thursday, October 19th
    Thursday, February 22nd
    Thursday, April 19th


    At this time we invite students, faculty and staff to facilitate an IDEAS Lab.  Please submit your proposed workshop at by Friday, September 1st. 

    For more information email or call x4551.





  • 2017 Men's Leadership Summit - Friday, November 17th



    The Men’s Leadership Summit explores the variety, as well as the essential elements of what it means to be a man in a leadership role.  The intersection of male gender and leadership will allow us to explore topics essential to create a cohort and community of male leaders who will begin the work of developing self-awareness and trust among peers to be positive contributors and influencers in their communities. 

    This year’s theme is “From Reasonable Doubt to 4:44: The Evolution of Maleness, Masculinity and Manhood.”  Using the musical career of Jay-Z as a backdrop, the conference theme speaks to men discovering the influence of maleness, masculinity and manhood on their journey to be leaders. 

    MALENESS is biological (i.e. anatomy and physiology), psychological and dictated by appetite (i.e. feelings, instincts, and urges), emotional (i.e. passion and pleasure), and dependent (unable to be self-sufficient).

    MASCULINITY is a socially constructed reality developed by way of practices within structures (i.e. school, sports and popular culture) intersected by other identities (i.e. race/ethnicity, social class, age, sexual orientation) as men grow and mature

    MANHOOD is disciplined (control of maleness), consciousness (accurate awareness), responsible (ownership of choices and consequences), and altruistic (selfless concern for the well being of others).

    We are currently seeking nominations for the 2017 Men’s Leadership Summit.  Submit your workshop proposal by October 6, 2017 at  For more information email or call x4551.  


  • Unlearn, Relearn, Learn: Cultural Conversations 2017-2018




    UNLEARN the myths
    RELEARN the truth
     LEARN to bridge cultural divides


    Wednesdays at 7pm
    Location TBD

    September 27th 
    October 25th
    November 29th
    February 28th
    March 28th

     This program series will provide an opportunity for the GSU community to unlearn myths, stereotypes and fallacies about various subject matters, relearn the truth and learn ways to shape their understanding that will aid in bridging cultural divides in the campus community.   Participants will be exposed to current cultural issues as well as challenge the GSU community to realize the benefits of living in a multicultural world.  


    For more information email or call x4551. 

  • LGBT History Month 2016




    Governors State University celebrates Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month with a series of events during the month of October.

    “For a community deprived of its history, LGBT History Month teaches our heritage, provides role models, builds community, and recognizes our extraordinary national and international contributions,” said Malcolm Lazin, executive director of the Equality Forum, an international civil rights organization.

    LGBT History Month was first celebrated in 1994. October was chosen as the month for the celebration because National Coming Out Day was first held in October, and October commemorated the first march on Washington by LGBT people in 1979.

    GSU Library

    Seeking to be more aware of the LGBT community? GSU Library has a collection of books, DVD’s and eBooks dedicated to the LGBT

    Visit, and select the Library Catalog located under Library Resources. Type in Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender or LGBT for your keyword and you will find a listing of items that are currently available in the GSU Library. Visit the library or contact us at

    October 17th—October 31st
    B Wing Display Case

    Tuesday, October 4th
    3:30pm - 5pm, Engbretson Hall

    This workshop will be presented by Amanda Evans (former YWCA
    Advocate) and Vicki Meilach (Community Outreach Coordinator) for South Suburban Family Shelter. The workshop will highlight
    domestic violence and sexual assault certifications that can be obtained giving viable experience for program majors such as; Social Work, Counseling, Psychology, and Addictions. This experiential
    learning opportunity will help students to develop in their programs while offering real life experience.

    Tuesday, October 11th
    3:30pm, Hall of Governors

    Join us as we celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) or as an ally. Hear stories from the LGBT community, their families and allies about their experiences and learn how to support those who came out. Refreshments will be served. ALL are welcome to join the celebration regardless of sexual

    Monday, October 17th
    7:30pm, Engbretson Hall

    GNSX is sponsoring this meet and greet to connect members of the GSU LGBT community. There will be a movie discussion and great networking opportunities.

    Thursday, October 20th
    4:30pm, Engbretson Hall

    From the network dramas of Empire and How to Get Away With Murder, to sitcoms like The Real O’Neals and Modern Family, on prestige cable in Game of Thrones and Mr. Robot, and streaming everywhere on Transparent, Grace & Frankie, and Sense8, LGBT characters have carved out a small but visible presence in pop culture. Come join the students from Intro to Media Studies and Intro to Gender and Sexuality Studies for an interactive discussion on queer media representation.

    Monday, October 24th
    3:30pm, Student Commons

    Come learn more about the Gay Straight Alliance and become a part of this organization as a member of the LBBTQ community or as an ally.

    Thursday, October 27th
    3:30pm – 4:15pm, Engbretson Hall

    Come learn more about the not so common sexual orientations beyond lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender such as asexual, pansexual and others.

    For updates and/or more information visit or email


  • Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration, November 30, 2017


    The Pre Kwanzaa Celebration will be held on Thursday, November 30, 2017.  This celebration will reflect a key element of Kwanzaa, according to Maulana Karenga, PhD, founder—to bring the community together so that it can collectively reflect on “the rich resource(s) and meaning of a people’s culture” and to individually and collectively affirm how they will contribute to enhancing the culture.  There will be vendors, performances and communal address.  This event is free and open to the public.  More details to come.

  • MLK Commemoration Program and Day of Service



    Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    Commemoration Program & Day of Service
    Monday, January 15, 2018

     The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Program and Day of Service is an opportunity for members of the Governors State community and surrounding area to join thousands of Americans in honoring the work and legacy of Dr. King through community service. As Dr. King once said, “Everybody can be great, because everyone can serve.”

    Plans are underway.  Please forward questions or service site recommendations to




  • Inclusive Leadership Conference - January 19, 2018


    Community Leadership Engagement Promo 

    The Inclusive Leadership Conference is designed to help our campus community create an understanding and appreciation for multiple identities through self-awareness while encouraging them to be free of misconceptions and prejudices through social justice education. 

    Volunteers for the program are also needed as well.

    For more information call 708-534-4551 or email

  • Black History Month, February 2017



     Thursday, February 2nd

    11am – 4pm, Hall of Governors
    While times change, and people also change, our memories don't have to. BSU will bring back memories of our childhood and favorite candy and snacks

    Tuesday, February 7th

    6pm, Engbretson Hall
    Come join us as we sing songs written and performed by Black musical artists.

    Wednesday, February 8th

    Noon – 5pm, Hall of Governors
    This is an exhibit of improvements and or inventions that have been made by African Americans. People who have used their ingenuity to create career paths for themselves. The contributions of Blacks are endless and have positively impacted modern day society revolutionizing many industries.
    Such contributions have promoted the civilization of mankind and are being honored during African American History month. Inventions and improvements of inventions can be seen in science, technology, business, and domestic settings.

    Thursday, February 9th

    11am – 3pm
    Come purchase your Valentine a Crush soda or cake pop in honor of Mr. Herbert Smitherman, Sr. Smitherman joined Procter & Gamble in 1966 as its first Black hire with a doctorate in physical organic chemistry and worked on flavors for Crush soda, Safeguard soap, and Biz detergent, among others.

    Friday, February 10th

    6pm, E-Lounge
    We are pairing singles as couples for Valentine's Day, who might not have found their "significant other" during this love season as well as learning how to develop healthy relationships from married GSU faculty/staff.

    Tuesday, February 14th

    This event is for anyone that want a nice date night with their significant other celebrating the love journey of the first Black president and first lady, Barack & Michelle Obama. There will be popcorn and mocktails (non-alcoholic beverages).

    Wednesday, February 15th

    3pm – 4:30pm, Hall of Governors

    3:30pm – 4:30pm, Hall of Honors
    This workshop is designed to give African American women a forum to discuss natural hair in a professional setting. This presentation will not only highlight the plight of the African American woman and their decision of wearing natural hair but it will view this subject from various aspects such as; beauty industry, law, and health.

    Saturday, February 18th

    6pm, Center for Performing Arts
    The 5th Annual Black Women Rock Awards Ceremony will be held on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 6pm in the Center for Performing Arts. Black Women Rock celebrates the contributions and accomplishments of Black female students, faculty/staff and administrators at Governors State University. This event is FREE and open to the public.

    Wednesday, February 22nd

    11:30am – 2pm, Hall of Governors
    The Soul of GSU is a food competition for students, faculty/staff and administration to showcase who can prepare the Best Soul Food Dishes. The entry fee into this competition is FREE. Participants are asked to prepare a dish that will serve 100 people. Proceeds from this event will support programming efforts of the Black Student Union and support a civic cause. Please express your interest in participating by submitting your entry at no later than Friday, February 17, 2017.

    featuring Dr. Lasana Kazembe

    3:30pm, Lakeside Lounge
    The purpose of this program is to contribute to the bridging cultural divides in the campus community. Participants will be exposed to current cultural issues as well as challenge the GSU community to realize the benefits of living in a multicultural world.

    Thursday, February 23rd

    6pm, Lakeside Lounge
    Come join us as we share Black history through spoken word, song and other performing arts

    Saturday, February 25th

    6pm, Hall of Governors
    $20/person, $35/couple
    This program celebrates Black excellence by acknowledging the accomplishments of African Americans and their legacy. There will be dinner, entertainment and keynote speaker. This event is open to the public.

    Monday, February 27th

    6pm – 8pm, Hall of Honors
    Join over a million readers from all ethnic backgrounds in celebration of Black History Month--we are looking for readers to participate in the African American Read-In. The African American Read-In celebrates literacy as a significant part of Black History Month. The program is endorsed by the International Reading Association. Select a poem, excerpt from a book, or other literary work to read written by an African American author. Please email Dr. Rashidah Muhammad at or call 708.534.6974 to sign up or receive additional information. All are invited to participate.


  • 6th Annual Black Women Rock, February 24, 2018




    Saturday, February 24, 2018

    6:30pm, Center for Performing Arts


    On Saturday, February 24, Governors State University Presents: The 6th Annual Black Women Rock Awards Ceremony (BWR) celebrating the outstanding achievements of black female students, faculty, and staff at GSU.  Inspired by BET's Black Girls Rock, BWR aims to empower women to pursue their personal aspirations, encourage women to support others who are making positive strides, and enlighten women on tools for success. 
    For more information or inquiries, please call x4551 or email.


  • SHERO: Women's Leadership Conference, March 30, 2018


    Governors State University annually coordinates the S.H.E.R.O. Women’s Leadership Symposium (Sharing Her story of Empowerment Resilience & Opportunity) to facilitate students’ professional leadership development.  This year, the program will be hosted on Friday, March 30, 2018.  If you, or someone you know would be interested in facilitating a small program during this event, please email the following to

  • Connections


    Connections provides opportunities for community members to engage in co-curricular opportunities to explore their identity through multiple dimensions of diversity and how they intersect. Participants will become more cognizant of the impact of privilege, power and oppression and how to become advocates and allies to ensure we are a welcoming, inclusive campus and all students have a holistic educational experience.

    For more e-mail

  • Sexual Assault Awareness Month, April 2016


    Tuesday, March 31st 

    3:30pm, Hall of Governors
    Come receive your teal ribbon as a sign of solidarity for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. There will be information shared about sexual assault prevention as well as resources for survivors. 
    Monday, April 6th
    7:30pm, Hall of Honors 
    There is no set legal system in the military that properly handles cases as there is in the civilian world. More sexual assaults go unreported because of fear that the situation will not be handled properly. The Invisible War is a documentary that sheds light on sexual assault in the United States military. 

    Tuesday, April 7th

    All Day, Hall of Governors

    The SAAM Day of Action is nationally recognized to focus awareness on sexual violence prevention. Highlights will include the We Believe Campaign to promote ways to support survivors of sexual assault.


    Tuesday, April 14th-Thursday, April 16th
    Ask Me About My Shoes is a campaign to provide awareness about sexual assault against men and women. Join us in this effort by wearing masculine attire with feminine shoes if you identify as male or feminine attire with masculine shoes if you identify as female. Your participation will encourage conversations that demonstrate how our community is willing to partner with survivors of sexual assault in making the world a safer place. 


    Wednesday, April 15th
    Showcasing I Believe in Me: Fighting for Trans Rights in Prison & What World Do You Live In
    4:30pm, Hall of Honors
    The power of film to educate and influence, to inspire and engage, and to ultimately exponentially grow the number of active allies in the fight to end the embarrassing injustice that mass incarceration represents, is the catalyst for the (In)Justice for All Film Festival. For more information visit


    Friday, April 17th
    Sponsored by Gay Straight Alliance
    The National Day of Silence is a day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools. The Breaking the Silence Drag Show purpose is to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment and effective responses. Come explore the diversity of gender and sexuality through education and entertainment. 
    Friday, April 17th-Saturday, April 18th
    Gender Matters is an academic conference highlighting research on gender, women, and sexuality across all disciplines and historical periods. Conference planners seek to bring together students, activists and researchers to discuss the ongoing role of gender in structuring society. For more information visit
    Wednesday, April 22nd

    4:30pm, Hall of Honors

    What is consent? Does no mean yes? Does yes mean no? Come learn about the importance of consent in preventing sexual violence through educational resources and role playing.


    Tuesday, April 28th
    10am-3pm, Hall of Governors  
    The Clothesline Project (CLP) is a program started on Cape Cod, MA, in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women. It is a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. They then hand the shirt on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence against women. 


    7pm, F1622

    From the makers of the Invisible War comes a startling expose of rape crimes in the U.S. college campuses, their institutional cover-ups, and the devastating toll they take on students and their families.

    Wednesday, April 29th
    Denim Day
    Denim Day was sparked by a 1998 Italian Supreme Court decision that overturned a rape conviction on the grounds that the victim was wearing tight jeans. Jeans are now donned worldwide in solidarity with Sexual Assault Awareness Month in protest against injustice and rape culture. Denim Day intends to raise awareness concerning the prevalence of sexual violence and victim blaming in our society. We encourage all of GSU to wear jeans to work/school on Wednesday April 29th.




    Chicago Metropolitan Area


    Co-sponsored by

    Anthropology Department

    Community Standards

    Counseling Center

    Intercultural Student Affairs

    Gay Straight Alliance

    Gender Studies

    Graduate Professional Network

    GSU Intellectual Life Committee

    Human Resources

    Psychology Club

    Sexual Assault Response Team

    Sociology Department

    Student Life

    Student Senate

    University Program Council

    Veteran Student Affairs

    YWCA Metropolitan Chicago South Suburban Center



  • Women's History Month 2018


    Women’s History Month can trace its roots back to March 8, 1857, when women from New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions. International Women’s Day was first observed in 1909, but it wasn’t until 1981 that Congress established National Women’s History Week to be commemorated the second week of March. In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month. 

    Plans are underway for the 2018 Women's History Month Calendar.  Please forward program ideas and questions to  below are events from last year





    GSU Library

     Are you seeking historical information regarding great women throughout history?  GSU Library has a collection of books, DVD’s and eBooks dedicated to women’s history.   Visit and select the Library Catalog located under Library Resources.  Type in Womens History Month for your keyword and you will find a listing of items that are currently available in the GSU Library. Visit the library or contact us at


     March 7th


     2 p.m., D34150

    SafeZone is a training program open to faculty and staff ONLY at this time.  The goal of this program is to raise awareness about the dynamics of gender and sexual orientation while exploring different ways to embody inclusive allyship for people of all orientations, genders, sexualities, identities, and levels of being out.  Participants must RSVP at by March 3rd. Space is Limited.


    March 8th


     11am, Hall of Governors

    Come celebrate women of all cultures and diverse backgrounds as well as learn about how women have played a major role in the world. There will be information shared about women and their experiences.  For more information call 708-235-7611.


     March 22nd


     12:30pm, Lakeside Lounge 

     Inspired by TED Talks, come hear messages of hope and success delivered by GSU women to empower, encourage and enlighten all that attend as they share stories of being a woman in various arenas. For more information call 708-534-4551.


     March 30th


     6pm, Cafeteria Annex 

    Come join us as we celebrate women through spoken word, song and other performing arts.  For more information call 708-235-7362.


    March 31st


    9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sherman Hall

    The Shero Women’s Leadership Symposium allows women to share stories and experiences that will empower them, increase resilience, and promote opportunities in their personal and professional development.  Register by Friday, March 24th at For more information call 708.534.4551 or email