Lift Every Voice Live Webinar Pt I

Earlier this year, the WCUI Smith Library was 1 of only 50 institutions around the country chosen to participate in the ‘Lift Every Voice: Why African American Poetry Matters’ grant. The Lift Every Voice grant is a national public humanities program dedicated to enhancing appreciation of the extraordinary range and richness of the 250-year-long African American poetic tradition. The focus is to provide a voice and discover what African American poetry can tell us about American history, our national identity, and how we can build on the work of earlier generations to improve our world today. Representing Los Angeles, WCUI joins New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, and public institutions around the country in offering two free public events. 

The first of the two sponsored events will be held on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, from 1:30 – 3:00 pm PST, in a live Zoom webinar. In part one, spoken artist, Michael D. McCarty will guide a 1.5-hour reading and discussion “Ode to Herb Kent” (2015) written by poet and R&B singer Jamila Woods. The poem reflects on Herb Kent, “the longest-running DJ in the history of radio” and is set in Chicago where our webinar speaker, Mr. McCarty, was born and raised. Register today join! 

Register here and join us on Wednesday, October 21st at 1:30 pm PST: 

The Lift Every Voice program will stimulate discussion about family and community service to stress the importance of volunteering in communities and its subsequent benefits. The event is complimentary and open to the public and all WCUI campuses, students, staff, faculty, and friends so please feel free to share with others who may be interested!


Meet the Speaker: Michael D. McCarty

Michael McCarty

Michael D. McCarty has been telling stories for almost three decades. Michael’s multicultural stories reveal the struggles, joys, triumphs, and beauty of African and African-American history and culture, urban legends, international folk tales, historical tales, stories of science, spiritual stories, and stories of the brilliant and absolutely stupid things he has done in his life, in order to inform, educate, inspire and amuse communities at schools, libraries, and prisons. We are thrilled to have him lead this program alongside the WCUI Smith Library and hope to see you there! 

This program is part of Lift Every Voice: Why African American Poetry Matters, a national public humanities initiative of Library of America presented in partnership with The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture with generous support from The National Endowment for the Humanities, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Emerson Collective


To learn more about the Lift Every Voice programs visit: 

 Stay tuned for information about Part Two of the Lift Every Voice program at WCUI on Wednesday, November 18th! For questions about the event, please email 


The month of September marks World Suicide Prevention month, but mental health isn’t just a topic that needs attention one month or one day of the year, it’s a 365 days a year issue; so let’s talk about it!

Every 40 seconds, someone around the world commits suicide. In the US alone there are 132 suicides on average each day. These statistics are alarming and something that can be prevented by ending the stigma around mental illness and getting help.


The stress of 2020 alone can be taking a toll on your mental health and you are not alone. It’s important to take steps towards real self-care and addressing these issues.

  • Talk to a friend – Pick up your phone, create a Zoom or Teams call, meet up at a park or outside your home, whatever the method is, go talk to a friend or family member you can trust and ask them to listen. Let them know how you’re feeling, oftentimes this helps alleviate the stresses we hold on our shoulders.
  • Eat well – Food has a huge impact on our mood and cognition. Not getting a specific nutrient can affect your mental health! In fact, researchers have found that poor diets play a role in worsening mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. It’s important to put food in your body that doesn’t just make you feel better in the moment, but also the next day.
  • Meditate or Take A Break – Oftentimes, we’re too busy running around, thinking too much about changes we need to make, or wondering what the future looks like that we forget to slow down and take a breath. It’s critical to give yourself time to decompress and live in the now. You can take a walk, meditate for a few minutes, try out yoga, or work on some breathing exercises, whatever you can do to force yourself to slow down.
  • Stay Active – Your physical health affects your mental health! If you are not taking care of your body, this can easily affect your mood and stress levels. Even by just moving your body for 30-60 minutes, three days a week can help relieve stress and sleep better. Exercise can not cure depression, anxiety, or other mental illnesses but it can help boost your overall mood and provide an additional outlet to manage your mental health.
  • Go Outside –  Time spent outside may have a positive impact on your mental health! Some studies have shown that nature can lift your mood or lower anxiety. So take a minute to step outdoors and reduce your screen time!


Helping others is also critical we can’t all go through this alone.

  • Check-In! Ask Questions – If you know someone who may be struggling or if you don’t know, it’s important to check-in and ask! Everyone shows emotions differently and they may be struggling on the inside and hoping someone will reach out to help.
  • Help Them Connect – Help them connect with others who can support them, either through an online group or a local chapter. Having a support group that has felt what they are feeling or helping them find the resources they need for professional guidance can make a significant impact.
  • Follow Up and Keep Showing Up – It’s easy to check in on your friends once but it’s important to keep checking in on your friends. Keep the conversation going! Consistency can make a world of difference for someone that is struggling.


Did you know your WCUI Student Services team is also here to help? They are always available to be the listening ear and can help you connect with resources in your area to support you, your education, or your health. Connect with them:

In addition, there are a lot of wonderful foundations and programs available if you are in need, want to help someone in need, or are looking to advocate for suicide prevention. We’ve made a short list here, but your Student Services team can also help you find a resource for your specific needs:

There is no judgment. You are not alone. So let’s keep talking.

On Constitution Day 2020, we were reminded of all the rights we have as United States citizens, one of those rights is the right to vote! It’s important to utilize this right to make sure your voice is heard. The people and propositions on your ballots can impact your community, so it’s important to make sure you and your opinions are represented. Hit that unmute button, make sure you’re registered to vote, and show up on election day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020! Go to to get registered today! Or use the resources below to find more information for your state.


How to Register to Vote in California

California residents are able to register to vote online, via mail, or in person!

Voter registration deadlines in California:

    • Online registration deadline: Monday, October 19, 2020
    • Mail-in registration deadline: Must be postmarked by Monday, October 19, 2020
    • In-person registration deadline: Tuesday, November 3, 2020

If you plan to register to vote online, you will need:

    • Your California driver license or California identification card number,
    • The last four digits of your social security number and 
    • Your date of birth.

Your information will be provided to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to retrieve a copy of your DMV signature.

If you do not have a California driver license or California identification card, you can still use this form to apply to register to vote. However, you will need to take additional steps to complete your voter registration.

Not sure if you’re registered to vote?

Use the California Secretary of State website to see if you’re registered to vote and where you’re registered to vote:

You can also use the above link to find your polling place, find information for upcoming local and state elections, and find contact information for your county elections office.

Executive Order by Governor Newsom:

All voters who register in California by October 19, 2020 will automatically receive a mail-in ballot for the November Election by Executive Order:

“Recognizing the threat COVID-19 continues to pose to public health, Governor Gavin Newsom today signed an executive order to ensure that Californians can exercise their right to vote in a safe and accessible manner during the General Election this November. The order requires that each county’s elections officials send vote-by-mail ballots for the November 3, 2020 General Election to all registered voters. Californians who may need access to in-person voting opportunities – including individuals with disabilities, individuals who speak languages other than English, individuals experiencing homelessness, and others – will still be able to access in-person voting opportunities”

Due to the executive order, registered California voters do not have to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot for this election.

How to vote by mail:

    1. Fill out your ballot
    2. After you have voted, insert your ballot in the envelope provided, making sure you complete all required information on the envelope.
    3. You may return your voted ballot by mail, in person, or to a drop box
      • If you are returning your ballot by mail, it must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county elections office no later than 17 days after Election Day.
      • If you are returning your ballot in person or dropping it in a drop box, it must be delivered no later than the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on November 3rd.
      • Anyone may return your ballot for you, as long as they do not get paid on a per ballot basis. In order for your ballot to be counted, you must fill out the authorization section found on the outside of your ballot envelope.

Important Voting Dates in California

    • November 3, 2020 – Election Day – All ballots must be received by 7:00 am to 8:00 p.m.
    • November 3, 2020 – Personally delivered ballots must be delivered by close of polls.
      • Mailed ballots must be postmarked on or before November 3, 2020, and received by your county elections office no later than November 20, 2020.
    • Vote early: California voters can also vote before Election Day. The early voting period runs from Monday, October 5, 2020, to Monday, November 2, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live. Early voting and vote-by-mail ballot drop off locations may be found on the Secretary of State’s Early Voting website.

What to Bring to the California Polls

    • If you’ve voted in California before, you don’t need to show ID.
    • If you’re a first-time voter who registered by mail and didn’t include your driver’s license number, California ID number, or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number on your registration, you may be asked to provide ID when you vote. Acceptable forms include:
      • copy of a recent utility bill,
      • the sample ballot booklet you received from your county elections office or another document sent to you by a government agency,
      • a US passport,
      • driver license,
      • official state identification card,
      • or student identification card showing your name and photograph.
    • Voters without ID: If you are unable to provide ID, you will be able to vote a provisional ballot.


How to Register to Vote in Arizona

Voter registration deadlines in Arizona:

    • Online registration deadline: Monday, October 5, 2020
    • Mail-in registration deadline: Must be postmarked by Monday, October 5, 2020
    • In-person registration deadline: Monday, October 5, 2020

Not sure if you’re registered to vote?

Use the Arizona Secretary of State website to see if you’re registered to vote and where you’re registered to vote: 

Find your Arizona Polling Location:

Use the Arizona Secretary of State website to find your polling location so you know where to go on election day!

Important Voting Dates in Arizona

    • October 7, 2020 – First day for counties to mail ballots to voters (and the first day of in-person early voting begins through November 3rd).
    • October 23, 2020– Last day to request a ballot-by-mail or sign up for PEVL (Permanent Early Voting List)
    • October 27, 2020 – Please mail back your ballot-by-mail as soon as possible and no later than Tuesday, October 27. If you are unable to mail your ballot back by Tuesday, October 27, you should return it to any voting location or secure ballot-drop box in your county by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.
    • November 3, 2020 – Election Day – All ballots must be received by 7:00 p.m.
    • Maricopa County Residents: Check the Maricopa Country website for early voting drop-off box locations and early voting locations in your area. The site will also allow you to check the status of your ballot after you drop it off to ensure it was counted.  Some of these locations will be open as early as October 7th, so do not wait till Election Day.

What to Bring to the Arizona Polls

Arizona residents must go to their assigned, polling place. You can find your assigned polling location here: When you arrive to vote at the polls on Election Day you will announce your name and place of residence to the election official and present one form of identification from List #1 or two different forms of identification from List #2 or 3.

List #1 – Sufficient Photo ID including name and address (One Required)

    • Valid Arizona driver license
    • Valid Arizona non-operating identification card
    • Tribal enrollment card or other forms of tribal identification
    • Valid United States federal, state, or local government-issued identification

List #2 – Sufficient ID without a photograph that bears the name and address (Two Required)

    • Utility bill of the elector that is dated within 90 days of the date of the election. A utility bill may be for electric, gas, water, solid waste, sewer, telephone, cellular phone, or cable television
    • Bank or credit union statement that is dated within 90 days of the date of the election
    • Valid Arizona Vehicle Registration
    • Indian census card
    • Property tax statement of the elector’s residence
    • Tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification
    • Arizona vehicle insurance card
    • Recorder’s Certificate
    • Valid United States federal, state, or local government-issued identification, including a voter registration card issued by the County Recorder
    • Any mailing to the elector marked “Official Election Material”

List #3 – Mix & Match from Lists #1 & #2 (Two Required)

    • Any valid photo identification from List 1 in which the address does not reasonably match the precinct register accompanied by a non-photo identification from List 2 in which the address does reasonably match the precinct register
    • U.S. Passport without address and one valid item from List 2
    • U.S. Military identification without address and one valid item from List 2


California Voting Resources:

Arizona Voting Resources:

General Voting (All States) Resources:

America’s’ most influential document, the Constitution, was signed on September 17th, 1787 by our Founding Fathers. Now every year on September 17th, we commemorate the signing of this document, which protects individual freedom, and the fundamental principles that govern the United States. The Constitution places the government’s power into the hands of citizens, and through the structure of the Constitution, legislative, judicial, and executive branches are kept in check with one another. To celebrate the day, we’ve put together important facts and activities to help you understand how the document relates to our world today including, why the Constitution is important, knowing your rights, the Liberty Medal Tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and interactive online games!

WCUI Students, you can find all these resources today and after Constitution Day in your Online Student Resource Center (OSRC) in Canvas under the Smith Library module. Make sure to look through the activities and fill out the form to enter into the raffle to win a prize! *One winner will be selected for each campus.

Why the Constitution is Important

Have you heard of the Schoolhouse Rock? If you haven’t seen this already now’s the time to watch this cartoon video! “The Preamble” by Schoolhouse Rock helps explain the purpose of the Constitution in a catchy way, but why is the Consitution still important today?

The Constitution:

  • Creates a government that puts the power in the hands of the people
  • Separates the powers of government into three branches: the legislative branch, which makes the laws; the executive branch, which executes the laws; and the judicial branch, which interprets the laws
  • Sets up a system of checks and balances that ensures no one branch has too much power
  • Divides power between the states and the federal government
  • Describes the purposes and duties of the government
  • Defines the scope and limit of government power
  • Prescribes the system for electing representatives
  • Establishes the process for the document’s ratification and amendment
  • Outlines many rights and freedoms of the people – like the right to vote, the right to protest, freedom of speech, and so many other human rights that are key in our political landscape today.

Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor, former associate justice of the Supreme Court, put it this way:

“What makes the Constitution worthy of our commitment? First and foremost, the answer is our freedom. It is, quite simply, the most powerful vision of freedom ever expressed. It’s also the world’s shortest and oldest national constitution, neither so rigid as to be stifling nor so malleable as to be devoid of meaning.

Our Constitution has been an inspiration that changed the trajectory of world history for the perpetual benefit of mankind. In 1787, no country in the world had ever allowed its citizens to select their own form of government, much less to select a democratic government. What was revolutionary when it was written, and what continues to inspire the world today, is that the Constitution put governance in the hands of the people.”

You can learn more about the Constitution, explore scholarly resources, and understand your rights as a citizen as deemed by this living document by visiting the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution website. (Links to an external site.)

Test your knowledge with games like “Do I Have A Right?”, “Cast Your Vote” and more through free, interactive online games created by iCivics:

Know Your Rights

 Know your rights by carrying the Interactive Constitution in your pocket.

The app version of the Interactive Constitution features a full analysis of the first 15 Amendments to the Constitution and the Articles, or Structural Constitution, from scholars representing different viewpoints. For each Amendment or Article, the scholars first agree on a Common Interpretation, and then they discuss Matters of Debate on each point.

To learn more and download the app, go to the following links in the App Store or Google Play:



2020 Liberty Medal Ceremony – A Tribute to Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg

On September 17, 2020, Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, will receive the Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center during a live broadcast at 3:30 p.m. PST. This 32nd annual award will be given to Justice Ginsburg for her efforts to advance liberty and equality for all and is the apex of a year-long celebration that marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment of the Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.

To join in, visit the National Constitution Center’s website on Thursday, Sept 17th at 3:30 pm PST!

On Monday, June 1, 2020, WCUI released this statement to our students, staff, and faculty:

Dear WCUI Students,   

We are deeply appreciative of all members of the WCUI community and we believe that WCUI, as a community of Students, Staff, and Faculty, has an obligation to work to end social injustice and systemic racism. The losses of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many others to violence driven by hate and prejudice affirm our responsibility to work together to create a society where discrimination and racism are no longer tolerated.   

WCUI has structured a continual donation to Color of Change, which leads campaigns to fight for racial justice and build strength for Black communities. Racial injustice must be our focus not only in times of civil unrest but also in times when injustice may go unnoticed. WCUI is committed to driving change in our communities and working to end unequal justice and systemic racism. As always, we are open to your feedback on how we can do better as a school on these issues, please use Text-the-Top for your thoughts, concerns, or suggestions.  

The safety of our students, staff, faculty, and surrounding communities have always been a top priority at WCUI, this is why our campuses are closed today and likely tomorrow. We will monitor the situation on a day-to-day basis. For MRI and Nursing, please wait to hear from your instructor or Program Director.    

We encourage everyone to speak out, reject hatred, share peace, and always be safe. If you have any concerns, our Student Advocates and the WCUI team are here to support you and listen. Please connect with us by emailing your students advocate at:  

Mental Health Resources:  

  •  Text HOME to (741741) from anywhere in the United States, anytime. Crisis Text Line is here for any crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from our secure online platform. The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment.  
  • California Peer-Run Warm Line –   

 Thank you WCUI, we appreciate everything you do. Please join us as we continue to get better and promote positive change. 

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