Diversity Initiatives & Activities Historical Time Line

Diversity Initiatives & Activities Historical Time Line

Timeline of Diversity Initiatives
and Related Activity at Providence College 2010-current 


1968 – Committee on Administration approves the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Fund, with monies raised through pledges from the faculty and staff.

1970 – The College makes the decision to admit women to undergraduate day school.

1973 – President first notifies a female that she will be tenured.

1975 – First woman receives a Ph.D. from PC.

1978 – Women outnumber men in the freshman class for the first time.

1989 – First Black History Month banquet is held

1990 – First Annual Multicultural Awareness Celebration held on campus.

1995 – Black studies program was created and implemented into the school’s curriculum.

2007 – New Women’s Studies major offered

The Past Decades

2010 – The College approves its first Strategic Plan for Diversity.

2011 – The Board of Trustees approves the College’s new Strategic Plan for 2011-2015: Pursuing Truth, Achieving Excellence, Transforming Lives. “Embracing Diversity” is identified as one of five core values in the plan.

2012 – Rafael Zapata is hired as Providence College’s first Chief Diversity Officer. The College creates the Office of Institutional Diversity.

2012 – The Multicultural Scholars Transition program is expanded to include non-scholar multicultural students, more than doubling the number of participants. In 2015, the program is expanded further to include first-generation college students.

2013 – The College’s revised Mission Statement is approved. “Community and Diversity” is one of five explicit focus areas.

2013 – Providence College becomes an original member of the Creating Connections Consortium (C-3), a Mellon Foundation-funded initiative supporting diversity and institutional change through collaboration within a consortium of highly selective liberal arts colleges.

2013 – The Division of Student Affairs creates – and Trustees endorse – the “Friar Four Foundation Pillars,” which include “Cultural Agility” (previously referred to as “Cultural Competence.”)

2013 – The Office of Safety & Security holds a half-day professional development training for its entire staff of security officers entitled, “Cultural Awareness & Competency.”

2013 – The Director of Campus Safety & Security announces the establishment of an official Non- Biased Policing Policy.

2013 – The College formally revises its “Non-Discrimination Statement” to include “sexual orientation and gender identity.” Fr. Shanley communicates the changes to the campus via email on October 4, 2013.

2014– Cathy O’Leary is welcomed by Providence College as the first administrative assistant for the Office of Institutional Diversity.

2014 – Tierra Marshall is hired as the first Assistant Director of the Office of Institutional Diversity.

2014 – The Friar Foundations Program, a five-week summer initiative supporting the academic and social transition for approximately 30 multicultural and first-generation entering students, is launched.

2014 – Providence College is awarded a grant from the consortium on High Achievement and Success to support an ongoing Inclusive Pedagogy Initiative.

2014 – The Office of Institutional Diversity launches a Difficult Dialogues initiative. The initiative includes a variety of components aimed at fostering a culture of dialogue among students, faculty and staff to help create an inclusive and collaborative campus. Components include campus-wide community conversations, professional development workshops and an annual Community Conversation with Fr. Shanley and CDO Zapata.

2014 – The Office of Admission launches the Pathways to PC Program as part of their outreach to first-generation, multicultural and local students.

2015 – The College Strategic Plan for Diversity is revised and updated.

2015 – Students of color hold a peaceful, midnight march through campus to protest racism at the College. Fr. Shanley and many other high-level College administrators attend and march with the students.

2015 – Fr. Shanley tells student protest leaders he will meet with them to discuss their demands on the first day of the spring semester (January 11, 2016).

2016 – AVP/Dean of Students Steve Sears, and AVP/CDO Rafael Zapata call a meeting with students of color and their allies to address their concerns about the Jan. 30-31 incident. The meeting, from 6-10 p.m., is attended by close to 125 students (primarily students of color), including several of the women of color complainants, relatives of one of women of color (mom, brother), Dr. Julia Jordan–Zachery, and, at the invitation of the PC student chapter of the NAACP, Ms. Pilar McCloud of the Providence Branch of the NAACP.

2016 – Fr. Shanley tells the campus community that the College will hire the Washington, DC-based law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr to investigate the incident independently.

2016 – A group of students, many of whom are part of the same group which issued the demands to Fr. Shanley in November, holds a sit-in and occupies the President’s office, demanding that Fr. Shanley agree to all their previously-issued demands. The sit-in lasts 13 hours, ending around 9:30 p.m., when Fr. Shanley signs a document saying that he will address each of their demands in 20 days.

2016 – Students and faculty sponsor a campus-wide discussion about racism, racial discrimination and academic freedom. About 175 people attend.

2016 – Fr. Shanley issues a response to the student demands addressing (but not necessarily agreeing to) each demand and outlining a series of actions steps. The most significant of these steps is the immediate formation of a Diversity and Inclusion Implementation Committee to be comprised of nine individuals, three students (chosen by the students), three faculty members (chosen by the Faculty Senate) and three administrators (named by Fr. Shanley). The committee is to be chaired by Executive Vice President & Treasurer Fr. Ken Sicard, O.P., and report directly to Fr. Shanley.

2016 – Initial meeting of the new Diversity and Inclusion Implementation Committee.

2016 – Second meeting of the Diversity and Inclusion Implementation Committee.

2016 – PC hosts the 2016 Black Women and Girls Symposium, which draws regional and national attendees.

2016 – The College hosted Dr. Clayborne Carson of Stanford University, one of the foremost experts on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for a presentation entitled “Martin Luther King, Jr. and Liberal Arts Education.”

2016 – About 60 students marched peacefully through campus to protest the latest in a series of articles written by a member of the faculty which they perceived to be hostile to diversity initiatives on campus. Fr. Shanley met with the students for over an hour and listened to their concerns. He then issued a statement to the campus community the following day affirming the professor’s right to free speech but stating that the professor spoke only for himself and did not represent Fr. Shanley’s views or those of the College in any way.

2016 – PC hosts the 16th Annual Black and Latino Male Conference, sponsored by the Consortium on High Achievement and Success. The conference attracted approximately 150 Black and Latino male-identified college students, faculty, administrators and community members.

2016 – Fr. Shanley notified the campus community that he has added his name to a statement published by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU). The statement affirmed the collective intention of ACCU member institutions with regard to immigrant students in their communities. Fr. Shanley also told the campus community that the College would provide and fund on- campus access to legal experts in the field of immigration and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. (The first such program, featuring attorney Deborah Gonzalez, associate clinical professor and director of the Immigration Clinic at Roger Williams University, would take place on campus on December 8th.

2017 – Fr. Shanley wrote to the campus community about President Trump’s Executive Order temporarily suspending entry into the United States for refugees and for nationals from seven predominately Muslim countries. His message emphasized that PC welcomes and embraces people of every nation and faith, and that the College stands in solidarity with all the immigrant and international members of our community, documented or not. He also announced that the College’s Board of Multicultural Student Affairs had organized a Solidarity Walk around campus to support our Muslim, immigrant, and LGBTQ populations, and other marginalized groups, including women and people of color, to take place later that same evening and encouraged people to participate.

2017 – Fr. Shanley, several PC faculty members, and members of the administration, represented the College at an Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities conference in Washington, DC on the topic of “Inclusion on Campus: Exploring Diversity as an Expression of God’s Grandeur.” Members of the President’s Cabinet, along with several faculty members, represented the College as panelists at sessions on Mission, Student Affairs, and Shared Governance. Fr. Shanley and Chief Diversity Officer Rafael A. Zapata teamed up with two other college presidents to share their experiences in Presidential Leadership on Diversity.

2017 – Fr. Shanley signs a new letter to the Trump administration, this one issued jointly by the American Association of Catholic Colleges & Universities and the American Council on Education. The letter asks President Trump to allow “Dreamer” students to continue working and studying in the United States while his administration and Congress arrive at a permanent solution.

2017 – The College hosts a presentation on the future of Jewish-Catholic dialogue, the culminating event in a series of lectures, exhibits, events and presentations celebrating the 50th anniversary of Nostre Aetate, a Vatican document that set the stage for Jewish-Catholic dialogue after Vatican II.

2017 – The Office of Alumni Relations, in concert with the Undergraduate Dean’s Office and the Office of Institutional Diversity, announces that the weekend of November 3-5 will be a celebration of multiculturalism at PC. The weekend-long celebration is being chaired by two members of the College’s Board of Trustees, Duane Bouligny ’94 and Andre Owens ’85. A highlight of the weekend is expected to be the official opening of a new campus center focused on the College’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, located at Moore Hall. Designed as multipurpose space, the center is expected to foster ongoing engagement with the arts, scholarship and learning, and be a place for authentic dialogue focused on themes of social justice and community.

2017– Reflecting forward is an event that offered alumni a chance to reconnect with classmates and friends. Activities included the official opening of The Center at Moore Hall, a new campus center focused on the College’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. This multipurpose space fosters ongoing engagement with the arts, scholarship, and learning, and as a place for authentic dialogue focused on themes of social justice and community.

2018 – Providence College welcomes Jacqueline Peterson as a Special Advisor to the President

2018– Providence College hosts the first ever MLK Convocation week, with his Daughter Dr. Bernice King as the keynote speaker

2018 – Providence College welcomes Dr. Shan Mukhtar as the director for the Center at Moore Hall.

2018 – The Dialogue, Inclusion, and Democracy (D.I.D.) wall is created in Feinstein Academic Center, which allows students to have an open conversation about important topics on their campus and beyond.

2019 – Cathy O’Leary, who had been the administrative assistant in the Office of Institutional Diversity for five years, was promoted to executive assistant

2019 – Quincy Bevely, formerly assistant dean of students and director of Cultural Education, transitioned to institutional diversity as an assistant vice president.

2019 – Dr. Shan Mukhtar, director of the Center@ Moore Hall was promoted to assistant vice president for institutional diversity and director of the Center@ Moore Hall

2019 – The Strategic Diversity Steering Committee is formed

2019 – Rebranding the office to, The Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (IDEI).

2019 – Providence College welcomes Nick Sailor ‘17 as the Director of Training and Education for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

2019 – The Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (IDEI) launch two student groups; Advocates of a Beloved Community (ABC’s), and Student Diversity Advisory Council (SDAC). ABC’s will address bias incidents and preventative training on the college campus. SDAC allows students and IDEI staff to work together harmoniously, and create programming and workshops centered around DEI.

2019 – Strategic Directions Steering Committee (SDSC) develop DEI 5-focus areas framework

2019 – Everfi DEI online modules offered to all incoming students

2019 – Phase 1 employee professional development initiative was launched through Everfi online platform

2019 – Dr. Kara Cebulko appointed Campus Immigration Liaison

2019 – DEI Website created

2019 – Workshops on conducting bias-free searches for faculty search committees began

2019 – Division of Athletics Strategic plan launched

2019 – Increased opportunities for workshops on inclusive pedagogy and curricula developed

2019 – Created Student Diversity Advisory Council (SDAC) and Advocates of a Beloved Committee (ABCs) initiatives

2019 –25th Anniversary of Women’s and Gender Studies department

2019 – The first woman appointed Executive Vice President of the College: Ms. Ann Manchester- Molak

2019 – DEI committees, point persons, task force formed in areas across campus

2020 – Task Force for Faculty Inclusion submit a final report

2020 – PC Summer anti-racism series established

2020 – Professor Christopher Chambers joins IDEI as a Faculty in Residence-creates (IEC)

2020 – Frist LBGTQ resource established and theological praxis coordinator to launch belonging project for LBGT+ campus community members

2020 – Board of Trustees approves a standing committee on DEI

2020 – Students revise 2015 demands and present 2020 Demands for redress

2020 – President’s Advisory Council on Equity and Inclusion formed

2020 – Launched Campus-wide community conversation around race/ethnicity, held virtually

2020 – Second HEDS climate survey administered

2020 – An external funding was created for DEI initiatives

2021 – Faculty Search Resource Toolkit developed for online use

2021 – Mr. Sokeo Ros named second Director of the Center@ Moore

2021 – Presidential Inauguration speech re-affirms commitment to DEI-Beloved Community

2021 – President released the first progress report on Continuing our Journey

2021 – Student Affairs creates a diversity task force

2021 – DEI strategic funding approved-employee Professional Development

2021 – Funding to support DACA & immigration students

2021 – Diversity Proficiency course assessment completed


2022 – Part 2 of Employee DEI Professional Development was successfully attended by various members of the faculty, staff, and administration.

2022 – Ms. Perla Castillo Calderon named assistant director of DEI for Student Success

2022 – PC recognizes Juneteenth as a holiday and holds its first campus-wide celebration

2022 – $250,000 grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to support Conversations for Change awarded to Dr. Nick Longo & Dr. Quincy Bevely

2022 – Faculty Senate Bylaws amended to add a DEI Standing Committee

2022 – First African American Director of Public Safety hired: Chief Chad Carnegie

2022 – First person of color hired as Associate VP for HR: Mirlen Annette Mal

2022 – Dr. Comfort Ateh named Associate Provost for DEI

2022 – President released the second progress report on Continuing our Journey