Paulette Granberry Russell, J.D.
President, NADOHE


President's Message

What is equity in higher education? Does it mean fairness and the ability to participate fully without artificial barriers to one’s success as a student, faculty, or staff member? When we think historically, at different points in time, institutions prioritized addressing the needs of those underrepresented and underserved on college campuses. As this essential work continues, this is also the time to look systemically at institutional policies and practices to achieve racial equity in higher education. 

In 2020, a pandemic laid bare health inequities based on race and class. The murder of George Floyd led to global protests against racism and a persistent anti-Black sentiment that extended beyond the borders of this country. Organizations, including institutions in higher education, committed to do more than issue statements denouncing the unjust and undeniable murder of Mr. Floyd.

Commitments were made by leaders to look at those institutional structures that may present barriers to achieving racial equity and campus communities insisted that institutions hold themselves accountable for the change they acknowledged was necessary. 

NADOHE has developed and released: A Framework for Advancing Anti-Racism on Campus

As the preeminent voice for higher education diversity officers, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) has the unique opportunity to assist our members in achieving equity in higher education. One approach to achieving that goal is through an anti-racism framework. To accomplish this, we have the responsibility of providing our members with resources that will assist them as they create safe and welcoming environments where diversity, inclusion, equity, inclusion, and justice are the rule rather than the exception. I want to thank the chair and task force who are scholars and fellow senior diversity officers for their contributions to this framework. 

While the various strategies outlined do not purport to provide solutions for every challenge, it does offer a foundation to transform our institutions of higher education into organizations they aspire to be. Because of the strength of the research in support of achieving racial equity, we are optimistic that institutions can meet this challenge and become a model for other industries. Eliminating racial inequities and creating more diverse and inclusive campuses is everyone’s responsibility, and the time to act is now. We are in this work together, and NADOHE is here to support our members as we make progress toward the goal of advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.

Paulette Granbery Russell, J.D.

President, NADOHE