History of the Center for Race, Ethnicity & Diversity Education
A group of concerned students submitted to Dean of Students Ron Klepcyk and Provost Warren Board a proposal for an African American Resource Room, which was created in the Chandler Residence Hall. A grant by the United Church of Christ was used to provide resources for the room.
Upon the recommendation of the Provost Warren Board to the Board of Trustees, the Office of Minority Affairs was created. The primary function of the office was to create and maintain supportive programs for the development and advancement of African American students. La’Tanya Richmond ‘87 was hired as the founding director and served joint appointments in both Multicultural Affairs and Admissions.
The African American Resource Room was moved to the Moseley Center in December.
While continuing its outstanding programs to support African American students, the African American Resource Room expanded its mission to serve an increasingly diverse student body and support diversity education opportunities for all students. Hence, the Multicultural Center was established in the Resource Room location. For the first time, the Multicultural Center contained an office for the director.
The programs of the Multicultural Center fell into three categories: mentoring and support for students of diverse populations, multicultural education, and scholarship programs. Some signature programs were S.M.A.R.T. (Student Mentors Advising Rising Talent), the Watson & Odyssey Scholars Program, Spectrum (the campus gay-straight alliance), Multicultural Leadership Roundtable, and D.E.E.P. (Diversity Emerging Education Program).
L’Tanya Richmond departed her role for a position at Smith College in Massachusetts, and Leon Williams became the second director of the Multicultural Center, serving until his departure in 2013.
Melissa Jordan ‘04 served as the interim director of the Center for one year. During her leadership, the university increased its coordination of university-wide diversity and inclusion-related offices. As a result, the Multicultural Center’s focus became race/ethnicity and student diversity education.
El Centro de Español merged with the Multicultural Center to further organize university efforts for underrepresented racial and ethnic communities.
Randy Williams was hired as dean of Multicultural Affairs, and in the fall, the Center’s name was changed to The Center for Race, Ethnicity, & Diversity (CREDE) to accurately reflect its role in the university system of diversity and inclusion efforts.
Randy Williams was promoted to the Associate Vice President for Campus Engagement, and Sylvia Muñoz served as Interim Director of the CREDE for the 2016-2017 academic year.
Tyrone Jean was hired as the Assistant Dean of Students & Director of the CREDE in the Summer of 2017.
Sylvia Muñoz accepted the role as the Assistant Dean of Students & Director of the CREDE in October 2021.
The Division of Inclusive Excellence was developed.
Dr. Jonathan McElderry accepted the role as the Dean of Inclusive Excellence.