What does the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives do?
The Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives advances efforts engaging the Samford community in multicultural curricular and cocurricular development. Through programming, community partnerships, training and collaboration with offices and departments across campus.the office promotes a variety of campus events that enhance cross-cultural initiatives and celebrate diversity and inclusion while promoting respect for others.
What would you want any Samford employee to know about what you do?
We are constantly working to educate campus about diverse issues while furthering the sense of belonging amongst all persons in the Samford community! The office welcomes all faculty and staff members to visit us and we are always looking for opportunities to further our partnerships throughout the university. The office also has an online form where anyone may request a training session for their class, department, organization or committee.
How does the office empower others to create a community that is welcoming and equitable for all?
In congruence with the Samford University Vision, the office seeks to also promote “a diverse community, stressing vigorous learning and personal faith, in the Baptist tradition.” The proposals funded by this grant work to enhance retention of under-represented faculty, staff and students, foster diversity and inclusion across the curriculum, recruitment and/or focus on scholarship related to diversity on Samford’s campus. The grant application and a list of previous grant projects are available on the department's diversity development grant page.
How does the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives connect with the local community?
We find strength in our partnerships. Denise Gregory, assistant provost for diversity and intercultural initiatives, is a part of a city-wide diversity committee comprised of diversity officers from Birmingham Southern College, University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Montevallo. The office has a great working relationship with the Birmingham Education Foundation (BEF). Annually, faculty and staff from throughout campus join Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives staff for mock interviews during the BEF 8th Grade Summit. Additionally, students in the Health Academy of Birmingham City Schools visit the School of Public Health and learn about the opportunities available to them in this field and at Samford.
What is your favorite part of working with students?
In the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives, we love every part of working with the students! We support cultural student organizations and partner with the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement to create and support programming that encourages community. Students often spend their free time throughout the day in the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives catching up and sharing accomplishments with our staff. Students are also an overwhelming source of support for events, trainings and activities.