Our DEI History

image of 358 N. Pleasant Street

1998-2002: NIH Working Group on African American English

In 1998, Dr. Harry Seymour, Chair of the Department of Communication Disorders, was awarded a NIH grant to study African American English. His work with Co-Investigators Jill DeVilliers, Smith College Department of Psychology and Philosophy and Tom Roeper, UMass Amherst Department of Linguistics contributed to the field of study of African American English and to the creation of the Diagnostic Evaluation of Language Variation (DELV, 2003, 2005, 2018), now published by Ventris Learning. Learn More about the Working Group from this video narrated by Dr. Harry Seymour and from the Working Group's archived webpages:

1999-2000: Teaching and Learning in the Diverse Classroom Fellowship

In 1999-2000, our department had a Teaching and Learning in the Diverse Classroom Fellowship, which involved some departmental activities including bringing in Beverly Tatum, author of Why Are All of the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria and Other Stories? for a workshop.

2004: Establishment of the Harry and Charlena Seymour Scholarship for Diversity

In 2004, Drs. Charlena and Harry N. Seymour established the Harry and Charlena Seymour Scholarship for Diversity to increase and enhance the diversity of the student body of the Communications Disorders Department at UMass Amherst. “This scholarship provides financial support to those students who have been historically underrepresented due to race, ethnicity, gender, and economic reasons in higher education and to foster greater awareness and understanding of multicultural issues in communication disorders by the infusion of information about linguistic/cultural diversity in the curriculum of the Department of Communication Disorders.” (description from the https://minutefund.umass.edu/ website)

This scholarship achieved maturity in 2020 and so far this scholarship has been awarded to 4 students in our department.

Contributions to the Harry and Charlena Seymour Scholarship for Diversity can be made here: https://minutefund.umass.edu/project/6852/donate?des_id=116615