What's in a Name?

Jun 22, 2020

Welcome to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.


Cal U’s the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Education has been renamed to better reflect the University’s commitment to providing a welcoming environment for students, faculty and staff. 

The “new” Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is located on the first floor of Carter Hall. 

“There is nothing wrong with ‘multicultural affairs,’” said Sheleta Camarda-Webb, Cal U’s associate director of on-campus living and director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “But sometimes people focus mainly on race and ethnicity, and we want our campus to be as open and welcoming as possible to all, and for our name to reflect that.” 

The new name was chosen after careful consideration. 

“We thought that leading with ‘diversity’ was very significant,” Camarda-Webb said. “It applies to race, ethnic culture, nationality, gender – many, many things. 

“We want to consider equity in every facet of the University. How can we provide a quality education for all of our students? Inclusion means that we are all invited to the table.”

The office is located in the Jennie Adams Carter Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which also includes meditation rooms that are open to people of any faith for devotions, prayer, meditation or reflection, and offices for the Black Student Union, the Lambda Bridges LGBTQA+ program, and the National Panhellenic Council. 

In 1881, Elizabeth “Jennie” Adams Carter became Cal U’s first African-American graduate. 

“Jennie Carter is a steady influence in the office,” Camarda-Webb said. “She and her presence and what she meant and continues to mean for the University and students of color is the foundation of the center. It’s an honor for me to represent that and help our students to learn who she was and to send them out into the world to reflect her life.” 

Cal U also offers a residential Diversity, Equality and Inclusion community that is open to first-year and returning students. 

The D.E.I. community in Smith Honors Hall brings like-minded students together based on similar experiences or interests, such as sexual orientation, political affiliation, race, religion or spirituality, gender identity and expression, nationality and social class.