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Jeffrey (Jeff) Smith, who has been the Director of Multicultural Programs at Emmanuel since 2014, is taking on a new role as Director of Diversity and Inclusion/Multicultural Programs.
This is a new position that the Emmanuel Administration instilled in order to expand upon Smith’s former responsibilities.
Smith’s new responsibilities include carrying out long range goals related to diversity and inclusion as well as leading in the initiation of discussions in the Emmanuel community. He will additionally be acting as an overseer of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, which is adjoined to his new office in Marion 222.
Wishing the happiest of birthdays to our amazing advisor Jeff! We're so grateful for everything you do for us! pic.twitter.com/Z9BjybWoGb
— Emmanuel YIG (@EC_YIG) August 19, 2016
Last year, the Emmanuel College Black Student Union (BSU) requested a multipurpose space from the college in which marginalized and multicultural students could convene. The request was granted, and Smith will manage this space in which students may hold meetings, socialize, work on projects, and display cultural artwork.
Smith said he hopes that the space will be a place in which students can “be themselves and engage with other students who are looking to connect,” as well as “embrace different cultures, different backgrounds, [and] different identities.”
He believes the student body will benefit from having a space in which to celebrate their differences. He stated that you will find students here who are willing to “address racism, homophobia, sexism,” and anything “detrimental to members in our society.”
Smith has several plans for the upcoming year as he undertakes his new position. He intends to expand on his work from previous years as well as ensure that “students of color, the LGTBQ+ community, and other marginalized students feel like they have a program that speaks to them.”
Smith will also continue with his work as an ACE instructor. Although he does not feel as though his experience as an ACE instructor greatly influences his position as Director of Diversity and Inclusion/Multicultural Programs, he feels fortunate to be able to connect his director position to relevant material in the class.
Smith has already managed two programs this year as a part of the “Through the Wire” series and has many more in place. A dialogue with campus security will be held on Thursday October 6 in which students are encouraged to ask questions regarding law enforcement at the Emmanuel campus as well as throughout the nation. Smith has great respect for the Emmanuel campus security and hopes the program will, “build dialogues that aren’t happening,” regarding the relationship between law enforcement and people of color.
— saints multicultural (@multisaints) March 1, 2016
“Through the Wire” will join with OutSpoken on National Coming Out Day on Tuesday, October 11 to allow students to support one another through sharing personal experiences with coming out. Smith hopes the program will receive a good attendance as it did when he oversaw the event last year.
As a celebration of Native American History Month, a program on Thursday, November 10 will explore tribal activism around environmental justice. Smith will be working with the Emmanuel History and Political Science departments for this event.