Presidential Initiative on Racial Equity and Diversity

Carmen Twillie Ambar

This Presidential Initiative seeks to address issues of violence, police-community relationships, and racial injustices.

In her charge to the commission, President Ambar wrote:

The work of dismantling the vestiges of white supremacy, anti-Black policies, and gender inequality has long been embedded in the promise of Oberlin College. This work in the 21st century, however, looks different than it did in 1833. The work of this commission in part will help Oberlin lead in a moment critical to higher education and to the nation. This commission will work to evaluate our current programming, look broadly across our curriculum in both the college and conservatory, review our hiring practices, and examine divisional and departmental climates to identify areas for mission-centeredness and policies/practices that elevate our long-standing commitment to equity. This work will reflect the times and the issues that George Floyd’s murder invoked. This work is now more critical than ever as we look both internally and externally.

Read the full declaration
Read the news release

Commission Roster

  • Carmen Twillie Ambar, President, ex officio
  • Meredith Gadsby, Special Assistant to the President on Racial Equity and Diversity, Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Comparative American Studies and President, Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars and cochair
  • Bill Quillen, Dean of the Conservatory and cochair
  • Corey Barnes ’98, Robert S. Danforth Associate Professor of Religion and Chair of Religion
  • Manuel Carballo, Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid
  • André Douglas, Area Coordinator for Multicultural and Identity-Based Communities
  • Justin Emeka ’95, Associate Professor of Theater and Africana Studies
  • Jenny Garcia, Assistant Professor of Politics and Comparative American Studies
  • Dana Hamdan, Executive Director, Career Development Center and Associate Dean of Students
  • Henry Hicks ’21
  • Chris Jenkins, Associate Dean for Academic Support and Liaison to the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Deputy Title IX and Equity Coordinator
  • David Kamitsuka, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Gunnar Kwakye, Associate Professor of Neuroscience
  • Kristina Mani, Associate Professor of Politics and Chair of Latin American Studies
  • Jasmine Mitchell ’21
  • Jan Miyake ’96, Associate Professor of Music Theory and Division Director, Music Theory
  • Rebecca Mosely, Director for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Title IX Coordinator
  • Katelyn Poetker ’23
  • Meredith Raimondo, Vice President and Dean of Students
  • Alexa Still, NEA Conservatory Associate Professor of Flute
  • Natalie Winkelfoos, Delta Lodge Director of Athletics and Physical Education and Associate Vice President for Athletics Advancement

Commission member biographies

Campus Bulletins

Our Commitment

Our efforts are designed to support, to teach, and to lay the foundations for lasting change at Oberlin and across the nation.

President Ambar addresses a group of alumni

News and Special Events

The Fist is Still Raised: A Conversation with Tommie Smith

In 1968, Olympic gold medalist Tommie Smith raised a fist to protest racism and injustice against African Americans in the United States. On November 17, he joined a Zoom discussion moderated by George Smith ’87.

A Conversation with Rachel Cargle, Featuring Professor Meredith Gadsby

Tune in September 23 and 24 to watch Rachel Cargle, an Akron, Ohio-born public academic, writer, and lecturer, in conversation with Professor Meredith Gadsby. Cargle’s activist and academic work are rooted in providing intellectual discourse, tools, and resources that explore the intersection of race and womanhood.

Media Coverage

Area news outlets report on President Ambar’s initiative to address issues of violence, police-community relationships, and racial injustices.

Additional Resources