Chattanooga State Community College recently named Quincy Jenkins as its inaugural executive director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).
According to Jenkins, Chattanooga State’s creation of the DEI division indicates that the institution is ready for the journey toward establishing and maintaining cultural plurism.
“Representation matters,” he explained. “If you don’t see anyone who looks like you achieving or going to college, it’s really hard to imagine yourself in that position.”
Jenkins, a native of Carrolton, Georgia, comes to Chattanooga State after most recently being the inaugural director of Latinx Outreach at Dalton State for seven years, which led to it becoming Georgia’s first Hispanic-Serving Institution.
A current doctoral candidate at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, Jenkins brings 12 years experience in higher education to Chattanooga State as well as proficiency in English, Spanish, Italian, and Chamorro/Guamanian languages.
Jenkins said Chattanooga State’s DEI division is particularly relevant now, as the country struggles through a dynamic period, marked by cultural and ethnic shifts.
“This dictates that we have to remain committed to inclusive excellence more than ever before,” he noted. “Preparing our students for a rapidly increasing diverse and inclusive job market must be a critical component of any successful academic outcome.”
Jenkins said building a campus of “inclusive excellence” requires “vigilance, thoughtful strategies, reliable data and intentional leadership.” With that in mind, his initial goals include:
- Empower the Equity Team to lead and sustain on-going, and often uncomfortable, campus-wide conversations concerning race, ethnicity, identity, poverty, gender and opportunity;
- Expand the common institutional understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion;
- Embed equity-mindedness in practices, policies and procedures across the institution;
- Increase the success rates of underrepresented demographics (Black/African American, low-income, rural, Latinx), and expand the definition as more awareness is born; and
- Frame and introduce Chattanooga State as a leader in inclusive excellence through evidence-based research.
“Now more than ever, diversity, equity and inclusion are paramount to the health of an organization like Chattanooga State,” Dr. Rebecca Ashford, Chattanooga State president, said. “I look forward to partnering with Quincy to lead our college to be more inclusive for students and employees. He is already making a positive difference at Chattanooga State and in our community.”
For more information about the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Division, contact Jenkins at (423) 697-3244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.