Kent State diversity plan officially introduced


Alfreda Brown, vice president of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, presents her expectations of the diversity plan. Photo by Carley Hull.

Carley Hull

The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Kent State staff gathered Monday in the Kent Student Center Ballroom Balcony for the official introduction of the DEI leadership team and the division’s Equity Action Plan.

Dana Lawless-Andric, executive director of Diversity and Inclusion, started the event with an introduction of Alfreda Brown, vice president of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Brown started her presentation by introducing the DEI leadership team.

The leadership team includes: Lawless-Andric; Shana Lee, director of the Student Multicultural Center; Keith Wisdom, executive director of AALANA Initiatives; Heather Adams, director of the Women’s Center; Denise Harrison, English lecturer and provost faculty associate for the Women’s Center; Joseph Ortiz, geology professor and provost faculty associate for the Student Multicultural Center; and Willie Harrell, associate professor of English and faculty associate for AALANA Faculty Recruitment and Retention, who was unable to attend.

The leadership team was created to help motivate and encourage staff in relation to diversity and facilitate what Brown calls “transformative change.”

Brown also discussed content and expectations for the diversity plan, Charting Our Course Five-Year Equity Action Plan.

“[The diversity plan is] really about transformative changes,” Brown said. “Something that is sustainable and actually becomes institutionalized and becomes part of who we are and what we do, and we do it very naturally without having to create a program or an initiative.”

Roxie Patton, program coordinator of the LGBTQ Student Center, said the center is currently using the plan to bring other cultures to the LGBTQ community, such as the upcoming Queering History that will discuss Latinos in the community.

Brown said she was surprised with the outcome of the event, which concluded with casual conversation between about 45 Kent State and DEI staff.

“I think [the reception] worked really well. We were kind of in competition with Faculty Senate today, and we didn’t realize it until we scheduled the event, but based just on the number of people who did come who were faculty staff, and even a few students, it worked out really well, Brown said. “It worked out better than I thought it would.”

Carley Hull is the diversity reporter for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].