Dear Barnard Community,
By now you have seen the email from Ariana González Stokas, our Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, announcing her decision to relocate for family reasons. I want to offer my deep appreciation for all that Ariana has done during her time at Barnard and discuss our next steps as we build on this work that lies at the heart of our mission.
Ariana came to Barnard in 2019 as part of an ongoing effort to center diversity, equity, and inclusion across campus and promptly began advocating at the leadership table and coordinating institutional efforts to shift processes and procedures toward greater equity and inclusion. As the inaugural Vice President for DEI, she helped shape her own role and built the office, hiring Cammie Jones earlier this year as Executive Director of Community Engagement and Inclusion.
VP González Stokas was integral to the 2020 rollout of Access Barnard, a new vision and structure to support students who identify as first-generation, low-income, and international, creating a single point of access to the wide variety of resources the College has to offer. In leading the Community Safety Group, Ariana helped lay the foundation for CARES (Community Accountability, Response, and Emergency Services), Barnard’s path-breaking approach to personal and community safety. Her voice has helped advise and advocate for the coordinated efforts by faculty, students, staff, alumnae, and trustees, across every part of campus, who are putting racial justice and equity at the center of our work.
Throughout all of this, Ariana has built new networks of collaboration and bonds of trust, especially with our students. As we continue to move forward in this work, launching a national search for a new Vice President for DEI, it is imperative that we nurture those relationships. For that reason, I have created a new DEI Cabinet, tapping a talented group of leaders and advocates who are already rooted deeply in our community. The Cabinet will report directly to me, leading our DEI efforts while the search is underway, and will advise the new VP when that appointment takes place.
The DEI Cabinet will include:
- Nikki Youngblood Giles, Vice Dean of the College – Campus Life (DEI Cabinet Chair)
- Monica Miller, Professor of English and Africana Studies, Dean of Faculty Diversity and Development
- Cammie Jones, Executive Director of Community Engagement and Inclusion
- Jennifer Rosales, Executive Director of the Center for Engaged Pedagogy
- Holly Tedder, Director of the Center for Accessibility Resources & Disability Services
VP González Stokas and I have already begun meeting with the DEI Cabinet to ensure the continuity of our ongoing efforts. The DEI Cabinet will also hold a meeting open to all members of the Barnard community, on Thursday, May 13, at 5:30 p.m. Cabinet members will talk about their perspectives and the agenda they are developing for their work over the next year, and you will have a chance to ask them questions and offer input. A Zoom link will be provided to the community via email on Wednesday, May 12. Please use this form to send questions to the DEI Cabinet in advance of the meeting.
While Ariana will step aside as Vice President effective June 1, 2021, I am pleased that she has agreed to continue to work with me and with the College in a consulting role, helping conduct the search for her successor, serving as a resource for the DEI Cabinet, and facilitating the transition. I hope you will join me in thanking Ariana for her dedication to Barnard and our shared work and in congratulating the members of our new DEI Cabinet. I look forward to updating you as the search gets underway and as Barnard continues to find powerful and meaningful new ways to build diversity, equity, and inclusion, on our campus and beyond.
Sian Leah Beilock, President