Monica Johnson, former director of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, was promoted into the new position of assistant vice president for diversity education and cross-cultural engagement at Indiana University effective September 1.
“It’s an honor to be in this position,” Johnson said. “For years, we’ve had students, staff, and faculty requesting greater access to diversity education such as workshops, resources, and professional development activities. And while there hasn’t been a centralized location for these types of programs, IU students, faculty, and staff rose to the challenge of providing our community with these types of programs. Given all that our community is currently managing, the time was right to figure out how to pool together these previous resources and put them in a central location for our community.”
According to Johnson, she hopes that diversity education will “promote and produce diversity education workshops, cross-cultural dialogue, and vital resources for diversity work throughout the university.”
A prominent feature of diversity education and cross-cultural engagement is the ability for members of the IU community to submit proposals for diversity education workshops, training modules, or facilitated discussions. The office is preparing to release a detailed schedule of these IU community organized sessions in the upcoming weeks.
“We are working to build a robust set of offerings,” Johnson said. “It takes time to grow and turn out a good product.”
Johnson hopes IU will see a full roster of diversity workshops, training, and discussions spanning a full calendar year. The current goal is to eventually operate as a diversity education consultant for those programs and departments that need it.
“We want people to call diversity education not just when they want a presentation on the importance of diversity in higher education,” Johnson said. “But when they need help addressing and breaking down systemic problems they see in their departments.”
“I believe this is work I am particularly called to do, and I am ready to do the work,” Johnson said. “I’m proud to give voice to those who are systemically disenfranchised and a platform to those minoritized, allowing those folks, some for the very first time, to speak for themselves.”
For a list of diversity education workshops and events, please check the calendar here.