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The departmental Diversity & Inclusion committee was formed in 2017 and currently includes faculty of all ranks and a graduate student representative. In addition to advising on faculty hires, the committee works on a variety of projects to improve the climate in the department.

Fall 2021 – Spring 2022 Initiatives

  • D & I, D.E.I: Debate, Clarify and Name Change Proposal’s:
    • What diversity, equity, and inclusion means to and for individuals, communities, institutions
    • How to make such work meaning-full
  • Departmental Student Survey  (of undergrad majors, minors, non-majors)
    • Initiated and Led SPR 21 by Professor Hedi Kim & Professor David Baker, with substantial COAS admin support.
    • Planning Review Survey Data, Conclusions and Student Feedback
    • Make Recommendations for Initiatives to Departmental Leadership & Department Community based on Student Expressed Needs
      Review & planning for future surveys to increase student & faculty participation)
  • 225 Timeline DEI Updates
    • Providing feedback and contributions with a DEI lens on historic & historiographic dynamics of the 225 in visual, narrative and archival approaches
    • Curating entries that make visible, for example, faculty such as James (Jim) Coleman with long-standing, significant contributions to ECL and University in scholarship, teaching & service.
    • Curating entries that counter historical erasure by making visible, Black Queer Studies faculty research and teaching contributions, initiatives and departmental presence.
  • ECL Black Lives Matter Statement and Commitment to Plan of Action (Led Sum 2020, by Professor Rebecka Rutledge Fisher and Professor Meta DuEwa Jones with contributions and feedback from departmental community (approved 7/20/20).
    • Review Statement and Commitment Data, Feedback from Faculty
    • Make Recommendations for Initiatives to Departmental Leadership & Department Community based on Faculty and Departmental Need
  • ECL Graduate Admissions Demographic Report Review and Outreach
    • Led SPR 21 by Professor Matt Taylor and Professor Jennifer Larson
      Initiate Graduate Outreach to HBCUs in North Carolina through Application Information Session
  • Address and support graduate student needs concerning teaching assignments, graduate course scheduling potential conflicts, areas of research support and recruitment
  • Address the disproportionately homogenous composition of ECL graduate student admissions
  • Support EROT: Ebony Readers/Onyx Theater, Slam Poetry Fall Show Stone Center
    • Work to promote a more inclusive culture of support and departmental community for diverse undergraduate student creative writing groups and activities
  • Support Departmental Faculty Searches in Latinx Studies, Creative Writing, and Carolina Postdoctoral Fellowship Candidates
  • Preliminary planning for Spring 2022: The James (Jim) Coleman Endowment Fund-Raising Campaign
  • Spring 2022 Work with DLC lab to create a compelling ECL DEI website presence
  • Spring 2022: continued review and update and implementation of ECL Student Survey
  • Spring 2022: Digital Flyer and Advertisement of ECL Course Offerings with a D & I lens and relevant field concentrations and foci.

Eliza Richards

Member (Spring)

Photo of Eliza Richards, taken by Sarah Boyd




Rebecka Rutledge Fisher


Photo of Rebecka Fisher, taken by Sarah Boyd




Tyree Daye




Martin Louis Johnson

Member (Fall)

Photograph of Martin L. Johnson



Sejal Mahendru

Graduate Student Member




Tyler Curtain



Photo of Tyler Curtain, taken by Sarah Boyd