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Donald Carter
Donald Carter

Carter Appointed Chief Diversity Officer

By Vige Barrie  |  Contact Donald Carter
Posted August 31, 2010
Tags Africana Studies Anthropology Chief Diversity Officer Cultural Education Center Donald Carter MARC
As Chief Diversity Officer, Donald Carter hopes “to develop a broad diversity plan based on what’s going on today - the problems and successes we are having - and to build organically from the bottom up on what is already here.” Carter, professor of Africana studies, was appointed to the position by President Joan Hinde Stewart this summer to “oversee efforts in the area of diversity and help us to build the most inclusive and welcoming community possible,” according to a campus announcement.

Over the years, Carter has witnessed the College become a much more diverse place. Although he notes that students of color now make up 22 percent of the student body, he hopes to offer more programming that “encourages the whole student body to embrace all different kinds of diversity that we have on campus. … Diversity is an American quality, and the United States has people from every part of the world.”

Carter grew up in Oakland, California, where he lived “cheek and jowl” together with people of many different backgrounds and races. In his doctoral studies, he studied “invisible populations, the citizens of ‘nowhere’” beginning with Senegalese in Italy and expanding to many displaced and refugee populations in Europe. As an anthropologist, he observed how experts in his field contributed to both problems and solutions as they categorized populations by race, religion and politics.

Working with the Cultural Education Center Director Madeleine Lopez, Carter hopes to develop more intimate programs that are targeted at small group involvement and to assist students to “come out of their cultural bubble and embrace the great exciting adventures before them. … Diversity is part of the fabric of our world, an important quality in the context of today’s more global environment.”

Carter would like to address the challenges to diversity within our society in a broader context by bringing representatives to campus from different organizations, the military and the corporate world, for example, that have successfully developed models to address issues of diversity. “We are not alone – these challenges happen everywhere - and the corporate world has been doing this for so long and has developed different models to address the issues.”

Carter chairs the Diversity Coordinating Council, an ongoing group whose members include Associate Director of Alumni Relations Laurie Russell, Associate Dean of Admission and Director of Diversity Recruitment Kyra Young, Director of Opportunity Programs Phyllis Breland, Director of the Diversity and Social Justice Program Naomi Guttman, Associate Dean of Students for Diversity and Accessibility Allen Harrison, Madeleine Lopez and one or two students. The council is a focal point for building programs and “offers us the ability to inform one another and achieve a higher level of coordination between groups and their contributions to diversity practices on campus,” said Carter.

“Our students are going to be in jobs where the work force will be international with diverse backgrounds….This will be a real priority for our students to address,” explained Carter. “It will be important for students to embrace the world’s many differences.”

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