Jasmin Robinson took up the mantle as EC’s new Director of Diversity and Inclusion on Jan. 2, following Roger Moreano’s sudden departure from the role at the beginning of 2017-2018 school year.
While Robinson has only been on campus for less than a month, she already has some pressing questions for EC as a whole.
“Who is in our community? How do they view experiences at the college and find similarities among difference? What are their values? What are we doing well and what can we do better with as it relates to diversity and inclusion? Those are some questions I plan to explore as I get connected on campus,” said Robinson in an email interview.
Robinson says that though she has not been at EC very long, her initial impressions already reveal areas for growth and education on campus.
“At first glance I see a homogenous community, which can present some challenges when people think about diversity,” she said. “However, diversity and inclusion is multi-faceted and shows up in more ways than just one identity. There are layers to identities that need to be explored, challenged, and celebrated.”
Robinson comes to EC from Lake Forest College where she worked as Assistant Associate and Interim Director of Intercultural Relations.
After accepting the job at EC, Robinson says she has felt ample hospitality in her new position.
“In the 3 weeks I have been here I have been welcomed by a large number of faculty, staff, and students.” Robinson said. “They are openly sharing their experiences at the college and providing some tips for success. It has been a wonderful experience so far, and it’s only J-Term. I can only imagine what Elmhurst will look like when the entire campus returns next week.”
Robinson admits that even though she has only been in the EC community for a short period of time, she is already seeing opportunity for her office to help in the education and growth of the campus.
“A common theme I’ve been hearing is the need to have more space for conversations, trainings, and education around diversity and inclusion.” she said. “In addition, I already have workshops available that I would like to begin offering and I’ve already been speaking to campus student leaders about some of their ideas.”
One of those aforementioned workshops was the racial day of healing on Jan. 16-20 where students were invited to write down their personal commitments to social change and share them in the Frick Center.
With the new semester looming, Robinson says she is looking forward to getting the necessary feedback from student leaders to take the necessary actions for facilitating a more inclusive campus.
“Once I have a full semester on campus I will be able to really identify the priorities of the office. For now, I want to continue to meet with as many students, clubs and organizations, faculty, and staff to determine where to start.”