President’s Office

Members of the Gender and Sexual Diversity Club participate in the Alma College Homecoming 2018 p...

Our Alma family is a lot like our tartan. Each student, staff and faculty member represents a valued thread that, when woven together, create a vivid pattern of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.  

Alma College aspires to be a more just, diverse, and inclusive community while also building better community education and understanding of our diverse campus. In fact, it’s one of the key themes of Evergreen, the college’s strategic plan for moving our mission forward. You can monitor our progress in each area, including diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, on the Evergreen Dashboard

We aim to foster an environment in which faculty, staff, and students from diverse backgrounds have supportive networks available to help ensure their success at Alma and beyond. As a community we strive to cultivate an environment in which it is clear that we value a wide range of experiences and diverse identities, and create space for ongoing, transformative dialogue.

Goals

Four overarching goals guide our work within diversity, equity and inclusion.

1. Thoughtfully and intentionally respond to the recommendations outlined in the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) assessment conducted in 2020 and communicate the response to campus.

2. Define as a campus community what inclusive excellence looks like.

3. Create a culture committed to inclusive excellence.

4. Utilize stakeholders across campus in the college’s intentional DEI efforts.

Recent Updates
  • We hosted a successful Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day week of events, highlighted by a well-attended keynote address by author and essayist Candice Benbow. Other events included a panel discussion on implicit biases in healthcare, a silent march through downtown Alma and a Unity Celebration at the Wright Leppien Opera House.
  • At the conclusion of MLK week, the first-annual Excellence in Inclusion Award winners were announced: Drs. Stephany Slaughter and Phil Andre, student Lauryn Bishop and the Kappa Iota sorority. The Excellence in Inclusion Award is an acknowledgement that diversity, equity and inclusion work is occurring all across campus.
  • Through the Diversity and Inclusion Office, began offering a third Safe Zone training course, “Safe Zone 201: Race, Gender, Sexuality Online Webinar.” This training explores the relationship between race, genders, and sexuality using the framework of intersectionality. The training centers on queer and trans people of color, to understand how race shapes experiences like coming out and transitioning.
  • Damon Brown, Vice President for Student Affairs has been named Chief Diversity Officer for Alma College. Brown will take on additional responsibilities to ensure that the college is considering diversity, equity and inclusion when making key decisions.
  • We expanded the Diversity and Inclusion Office by hiring Julia Dang as assistant director and Em Wolfe as graduate assistant to support the cultural programs and our Campbell Scholars and King-Chávez-Parks Mentor Programs.
  • The Diversity and Inclusion Office has moved to a new space in Tyler Van-Dusen, which will allow staff to help meet the needs of our campus community.
  • We presented Julius Chatman, the first Black student to attend Alma College, with an honorary degree to celebrate his life and achievements at our May commencement ceremony. To build on our celebration of his life and legacy, we launched the Julius Chatman Living Learning Community to support first-year students of color and their allies enrolled in the Campbell Scholars Program.
  • Through the AmeriCorps Vista Volunteer Program in partnership with Highland Blush Cafe, we launched the Gratiot County Gender-Affirming Closet. Members of our local community, particularly our LGBTQ+ community members, can receive clothing that supports their self-expression.
  • To foster a campus environment that is inclusive and that encourages self-expression, we established a chosen name policy whereby any current student or employee may use a chosen first name on campus.
  • The recently established Financial Counseling Food Pantry provides grocery gifts and personal care items to any Alma College student. The pantry is meant to address food insecurity at Alma and supplement students’ meals plans.
  • The Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board (DIAB) has been recommended as an official standing committee. 
  • We recently conducted lighting assessments across campus and made updates for increased accessibility. 

Diversity Statement

Alma College recognizes that we are all transformed when we celebrate and value the varied identities, backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives in our campus community. We are committed to recognizing and removing barriers to success and providing equitable access to opportunities through education and advocacy. In our increasingly diverse campus and world, we pledge to create a climate where everyone is safe and free to grow intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally.