Black History Month Profile: Alfreda Brown

Alfreda Brown, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Alfreda Brown, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Kara Taylor

During Black History Month, the Daily Kent Stater will feature a leader in Kent State’s African American community. These people will describe their involvement in the African American community on campus, how the community has changed over time and who will be its leading voices in the future.

Alfreda Brown, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion

Alfreda Brown joined the Kent State community as the university’s first vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion in 2009.

Brown is responsible for leadership of the diversity programs and departments such as the Student Multicultural Center, LGBTQ Center, TRiO pre-college programs and The Office of Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services.

Before coming to Kent State, Brown was the interim chief diversity officer at the Rochester Institute of Technology and implemented several diversity councils there.

She is a member of the Rochester Women’s Network, National Association for Diversity Officers in Higher Education, Black Women’s Leadership Forum Steering Committee and the American Association for Affirmative Action.

Under Brown’s leadership, the division of diversity, equity and inclusion received the 2013 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from the INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. Brown was also featured on the cover of Phenomenal Woman magazine last summer.

Since you have started working at Kent State University, how have you seen the African American presence and involvement on this campus evolve?

I see the presence of our students in many efforts through the Student Multicultural Center, the University Diversity Action Council, Undergraduate and Graduate Studies, Commission on Women in STEM, individual colleges across the university, and a variety of student clubs and organizations. In addition, we have a student of color serving as a member of the Kent State Board of Trustees (Monique Menefee).

Who do you think the new and upcoming African American Leaders are on this campus?

There are too many to name. I feel that the university is very blessed to have many wonderful great students and faculty of color who contribute to our community and make a difference in some way, large and small, every day.

How do you see the African American student body evolving on this campus in the future?

I believe in engagement and collaboration with constituents across the campuses and within our greater community. Our goal is to maximize individual and collective contributions, thereby creating an environment that welcome diversity of thought, continuous personal growth, academic attainment and above average achievement. I have a deep embedded hope for our university of the future.

Contact Kara Taylor at [email protected].