Diversity director strives for inclusivity

Stevenson University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, now known as the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, provides a safe space for all students to come in and be their genuine selves.

Cristina Garcia, the new director of Diversity and Inclusion, wants students to have a more positive experience. She wants to do that by broadening the scope of diversity, inclusion, intersectionality and identity at Stevenson.

Cristina Garcia, director of Diversity and Inclusion at Stevenson University (Photo from SU Marketing)

Garcia is of Cuban descent and was born and raised in New York. She started her career in residence life and diversity affairs, and has previously worked for six years at Loyola University and two years at John Hopkins University.

Her first impression of Stevenson, she said, was that it is “super welcoming and friendly!” She added that she was looking for something that reminded her of the atmosphere at her alma mater, Siena College. Garcia said, “Multicultural affairs has been here but a lot of things at Stevenson still need to be done… I want to try to get Stevenson to be more open about diversity and inclusion.”

Garcia wants to make the Diversity and Inclusion center more vibrant and to get more people to use its facilities. She said, “It [The Center for Diversity and Inclusion] is a space for everyone. You don’t have to consider yourself diverse to use the space. We are inclusive and caring for everyone.” She would also like to campaign for more language learning opportunities so that people can be more inclusive.

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion is a safe space for discussion on race, political perspectives and sexual orientation. (Villager file photo)

Being the director of Diversity and Inclusion means that Garcia gets to sit on the Diversity and Inclusion committee, advocate for students, look after the bias reporting system, set up Safe Zone trainings and collaborate with and support student-led clubs and organizations. She said, “I make sure there are things going around campus to show diversity.”

One event that the Center for Diversity and Inclusion will host this year is “Let’s Talk,” held every Wednesday night discussing on a variety of topics. The Pulse series will return on the first Thursday of every month. Desserts with D&I (Diversity and Inclusion) will be held every Tuesday. “Hidden in the Arts” is an event in which people can explore all the different kinds of art that involve Diversity and Inclusion. Lastly, the center will be collaborating with Arts Alive! for coffeehouse events every month.

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion is located in Caves 249 on the Owings Mills campus and is open to all students, faculty and staff to utilize.

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