Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Council Launched

Hartford Seminary’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Council, established this summer after President Joel N. Lohr called on the Seminary’s leadership to respond to the national reckoning around racial justice, had its first meeting on Sept. 17.

The council is chaired by Lorraine Browne, newly named Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. Other members are:

    • Naseem Shaikh, Trustee
    • Ann Crawford, Chief Operations Officer
    • Jean Amos Lys, Trustee
    • Lucinda Mosher, Faculty Associate in Interfaith Studies

    In its first meeting, the council established an annual meeting schedule and began a review of the recommendations put forward by the Seminary’s Senior Leadership Team. The council also agreed that the Seminary’s website should include a section on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to serve as a clearinghouse for internal initiatives, news, resources, and upcoming events. The council is beginning to examine opportunities for structured dialogue on race and social justice, implement a process to respond to racial incidents at the Seminary, as well as partner with and support other groups in Hartford working to further social justice. As the council begins to compile and analyze various data, diversity targets will be established and shared.

    After the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others, President Joel N. Lohr encouraged the Seminary community to work with him and senior leaders to address how we as an organization—systemically—will deliver on our commitment to support racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement.

    “Questions of racial justice and the inclusion of all people in society and at Hartford Seminary, especially those most at risk, historically less privileged, or oppressed, go to the very core of our mission and identity,” President Lohr said.

    The Seminary’s senior leadership team, led by Academic Dean David D. Grafton and Chief Operations Officer Ann Crawford, was tasked with leading an exploration of these questions and to make community- based recommendations rooted in action—a deep, foundational educational commitment that goes to the Seminary’s core and informs everything we do.

    Two of the recommendations that came out of that call included the establishment of a diversity officer and an advisory council. The council will now vet and begin to implement the other recommendations put forward, as well as developing its own. If you have thoughts or ideas, please email lbrowne@ hartsem.edu.


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