Above (L–R): Office of Institutional Diversity staff Charissa Owens, Rénard Harris, Kim Gailliard and Shamone White

Hi Faculty and Staff!

It’s been an eventful year and I would like to share a few highlights about the work of the Office of Institutional Diversity.

The Office of Institutional Diversity is committed to supporting the College of Charleston in leading pathways to equity and inclusion for URM (underrepresented minority) faculty, staff and students, to create equity in learning and living as part of the CofC community and beyond.

Below are some exciting initiatives and collaborations!

  • AALANA Retention InitiativesDiversity liaisons from divisions and academic units created diversity initiatives for all students to attend during the spring 2022 semester. The initiatives were creative and varied: They were AALANA (African American, Latinx, Asian and Native American) focused, inclusive, educational, entertaining, reflective, health focused and informative. A survey was sent to student participants to inquire about their sense of belonging and DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) initiative satisfaction.
  • DiversityEDUFaculty and staff are highly encouraged to take the diversity module, DiversityEDU. We close the academic year with staff leading completion of the module at 80.3% and faculty at 56.8%, coaches at 35.4%, temps at 22.8% and adjunct faculty at 16.9%.
  • Launchpad for Success – Launchpad for Success (LP4S) is a career-development initiative with AALANA students in mind. The program will support students in the following areas this fall: mentoring, financial literacy and career development. Program applications will open on June 1, 2022.
  • Eddie Ganaway Diversity Education and Resource CenterThe Eddie Ganaway Diversity Education and Resource Center (EGDLC) is a space made in honor of the life and achievements of Eddie Ganaway ’71 during his time at CofC. This space is equipped with the resources to promote learning and nurture a strong culture of inclusivity. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to reserve the space for any campus activity. During this semester, EGDLC has been promoted and highlighted through various campus resources such as CofC’s social media and the MyCharleston portal.
  • Department Equity Education Program – In collaboration with the Safe Zone Committee chair of the Office of Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS), the Department Equity Education Program (DEEP) is a diversity training curriculum built for departments, divisions, offices and programs on campus. DEEP reinforces the unit’s alignment with the College’s ongoing commitment to a globally oriented and diverse academic community. Since its inception in 2020, 19 cohorts of faculty, staff and student organizations have completed the series, learning more about topics, including systemic oppression, social identities, antiracism and equity mindedness.
  • If These Walls Could Talk‘ – In a city of historically complicated interracial relations, we are intentionally building a bridge for healthy reconciliation through a film that captures the narratives of marginalized individuals who contributed to the first municipal college in the United States. If These Walls Could Talk is an award-winning film centered on the imprint of four small fingers in an antique brick found near our campus, and how other enslaved Africans contributed to the architectural beauty of the College. While it challenges what most know about the College, viewers are prompted to discover, embrace and positively respond to the College of Charleston’s pluralistic history.

The Office of Institutional Diversity strives to transform our campus community into an inclusive and equitable learning and living environment where faculty, staff and students are affirmed regardless of their ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, ability or place of origin.

Take Care,

Rénard Harris
Vice President of Access and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer
with Kim Gailliard, Charissa Owens, Shamone White, Alec Maruki (grad asst.) and Solomon McKenzie (grad asst.)