Vice President Priorities and Initiatives

Vice President Priorities and Initiatives

The Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs aims to create a campus climate that advocates for equal access, participation, representation, inclusiveness, and community for all. Many initiatives and projects support this work.

Diversity Education and Cross-Cultural Engagement

In September 2020, Monica Johnson was appointed as the associate vice president for Diversity Education and Cross-Cultural Engagement at Indiana University (DECCE). DECCE facilitates various educational opportunities across IU campuses for staff, faculty, and students, with the goal of fostering an inclusive and respectful environment that encourages dialogue and interaction about issues related to equity, social justice, and diversity.

Yearly Highlights:

  • Consulting and training sessions with departments to include admissions, human resources, IU School of Medicine, IU Southeast, Center for Rural Engagement, IU Northwest, Kelley School of Business, Office of Vice President for Communications and Marketing, University Information Technology Services, and Dance Marathon.
  • Facilitating a series of cross-cultural leadership development programs with student leaders from across all campuses over a four-month period.
  • Conducting 29 DEI educational sessions for more than 1,200 participants.
  • Hosting a “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” Leadership Retreat for IU faculty and staff.

Indiana University, Faculty and Belonging

Pamela Braboy Jackson came on board in May 2022 as IU’s first associate vice president for faculty and belonging. This critical role focuses on diversifying IU faculty; creating a new generation of scholars and administrators; developing and presenting programs and workshops focused on faculty recruitment and retention efforts; cultivating partnerships with minority-serving institutions and organizations; and participating in various research and scholarly activities.

Yearly Highlights:

  • Consulting and training sessions with departments to include Admissions, human resources, IU School of Medicine, IU Southeast, Center for Rural Engagement, IU Northwest, Kelley School of Business, Office of Vice President for Communications and Marketing, University Information Technology Services, and Dance Marathon.
  • Meeting with 36 percent of the incoming minority faculty and establishing valuable connections to local communities.
  • Initiating a partnership with the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning to develop resources and supports to enhance classroom climate.

Rashad Nelms as Executive-in-Residence

In November 2021, Rashad Nelms was named executive-inresidence in the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs. As part of his work, Nelms concentrates on diversifying faculty and leadership appointments across the university; enhancing the knowledge and skills needed by undergraduate and graduate students to succeed in today’s global workforce; and serving as an executive coach to mid-level and senior university administrators and the OVPDEMA management team.

Nelms also is a general resource on issues relating to diversity and inclusion for units within OVPDEMA and across the university, with the goal of attracting a new pipeline of diverse candidates.

Indiana University National HIV Conference

On June 8-11, 2022, Indiana University held the first national HIV conference at a major university titled "Stepping Into the 5th Decade—Evolving Our Response to HIV." Designed to provide information and unite around the goal of ending the HIV epidemic by 2030, the conference included workshops, presentations by national leaders and researchers, free HIV testing and resources, and multiple community dialogue sessions. PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS:

Program Highlights:

  • Bringing together almost 400 conference participants.
  • Conducting 41 workshop and poster sessions.
  • Hosting four keynote speakers.
  • Facilitating three community dialogue sessions to share information about the HIV epidemic.
  • Providing free HIV testing and resources, empowering community members with knowledge and information.

Indiana University Social Justice Conference

On January 17, 2022, Indiana University celebrated the 36th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a national holiday in the United States. An essential component of the event included the second annual social justice conference titled, "A Journey Toward True Education." The conference theme was taken from "The Purpose of Education," written by Martin Luther King Jr. and published in the Morehouse campus newspaper, The Maroon Tiger, in 1947.

Program Highlights:

  • Featuring the Reverend Dr. William Barber II and Professor Tabitha Jones Jolivet, who offered relevant and powerful keynote addresses on the power of education, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Boasting more than 1,000 registrants from across the IU system.
  • Presenting a student and a community member from each IU campus, regional center, and the IU School of Medicine with the annual Building Bridges Award, which recognizes individuals who capture Dr. King's vision, spirit, and leadership in their work.
  • Selecting student organizations on IU campuses to receive the MLK Student Organization Grant of $500 for programs, event sponsorships, or efforts supporting inclusivity, respect for diversity, and community service.

Development Initiatives

The Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs focuses on change and envisioning better tomorrows for new generations of students, faculty, staff, and the community. Through the generous support of alumni and friends, gifts of time, talent, and treasure are making a difference.

Initiative Highlights:

  • Receiving gifts totaling $579,976 in FY22; a cumulative total of $13,200,266 from 2,665 unique donors.
  • Generating gifts totaling $211,049 for IU’s Black Philanthropy Circle and $187,783 for IU’s Queer Philanthropy Circle.
  • Awarding $51,300 to 11 projects associated with five IU campuses by IU’s Black Philanthropy Circle during its inaugural grant cycle.
  • Awarding $208,700 to ten projects affiliated with five IU campuses by IU’s Queer Philanthropy Circle during its inaugural grant cycle.


The Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs supports high-impact projects that foster an inclusive, nurturing environment for diversity on all Indiana University campuses and communities we serve. These sponsorships support both on and off campus experiences hosted by university and community partners. Sponsorships align with one more of the following office priorities: outreach, climate, advocacy, recruitment, and or retention efforts.

Yearly Highlights:

  • Sponsoring 20 projects across the university.
  • Dispersing $27,780 in funds, with an average contribution of $1,389.
  • Funding seven outreach, one climate, ten advocacy, and two recruitment projects.
  • Supporting eight student organizations, eight IU departments, and four external organizations with diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Community Partnerships

As a way to broaden its focus on diversity and equity, Indiana University collaborates with other equity-minded community groups and organizations on numerous programs and special events.

Yearly Highlights:

  • Serving as the title sponsor of the 2022 Indiana Black Expo Education Conference, in which teachers, administrators, and others concerned with education garnered resources, best practices, and professional development training. Indiana University faculty and staff also served as speakers, presenters, and facilitators. The conference was conducted virtually due to COVID-19, reaching 2,000 participants from across the nation and boasting its highest attendance on record.
  • Partnering with the Indiana Latino Institute (ILI) on two initiatives designed to support the recruitment and retention of students. This work included a scholarship for students who completed ILI’s leadership program, as well as sponsorship of the Indiana Latino Higher Education Consortium. The latter project, facilitated by ILI, brings together higher education leaders to discuss college completion data, efforts to help retain students, and how to prepare their students for the workforce.
  • Conducting a series of workshops in partnership with ILI to provide students and parents with information about college readiness, scholarships, financial aid, and other topics related to the college preparation process.
  • Partnering with the Bowen Family Foundation and the Center for Leadership Development to introduce students in the Indianapolis area to the academic, professional, and social opportunities in STEM and business-related fields.

Jane Jorgensen Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Internship

Indiana University has made a bold commitment to serve as an exemplar institution on social justice initiatives. An endowed gift made by Jane and Jay Jorgensen provides an opportunity to advance this mission. The Jane Jorgensen Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Internship is designed to empower students and help them become leaders who possess the skills needed to transform society and be recruited as top candidates to further diversify IU’s professional staff.

Yearly Highlights:

  • Hosting the first cohort of student interns in the fall of 2021: Bukola Fasipe, Bhavika Khamesra, and Stephanie Mokube, all of IU Bloomington. (Read more on page 4.)
  • Facilitating a learning exchange session between Jane Jorgensen and the inaugural student interns.

Luminary Awards

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are the hallmarks of an outstanding higher education institution. Recently, IU’s Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (OVPDEMA) honored the people behind this work with the inaugural Luminary Award.

The recipients of the Luminary Award for outstanding DEI work included Maqubè Reese, M.S.W., associate director of diversity initiatives for the IU Kelley School of Business; Karina Garduno, M.S. Ed., director (formally assistant director) of the IU Indianapolis Multicultural Center, Rosalyn Davis, Ph.D., clinical associate professor of psychology at Indiana University Kokomo; Alvaro Tori, M.D., FAAP, associate dean at the IU School of Medicine; and Sam Young II, interim director (formally associate director) of the Groups Scholars Program.

Diversity Career and Internship Fair

On September 30, Indiana University hosted its virtual Fall 2021 Diversity Career and Internship Fair. This event served as an opportunity for students from all IU campuses to network with potential employers and to explore internships and fulltime employment with local, state, and national employers in public, private, and non-profit sectors. Participating companies included Eli Lily, Camp Tecumseh YMCA, Indiana Public Health Association, and Tiffany & Co.

Program Highlights:

  • Participation from more than 1,400 students.
  • Registration of more than 800 students for one-on-one sessions with employers.