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Assistant Provost for Inclusion Diversity and Equity

SU names first Assistant Provost for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity

16 September 2020 Winchester News

Associate Professor of Music Therapy Hakeem Leonard, Ph.D., has been named as Shenandoah University’s (SU) first Assistant Provost for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity.

In this new role, Dr. Leonard will “collaborate with and provide leadership to faculty and deans to create and promote curricula and pedagogy that are anti-oppressive and that integrate more histories and stories from those who have had to show ‘historical resilience’ in negotiating the barriers of racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ableism and cisgenderism and barriers that are anti-Black”, according to a news release from SU.

“Our mainstream curriculum no longer needs to be colorblind or culture blind,” Leonard said in a news release. “It should promote deep inclusion. There’s been a sense that racism is an overt action toward people. We now understand how systemic it is. It’s in our culture, and one way it exists is through colorblind racism.”

Leonard’s goals are to help faculty shape academic programs that raise race and cultural consciousness, that are anti-racist and anti-oppressive, and that move coursework and program structure toward transformation.

Leonard will continue to maintain his current role in the Shenandoah Conservatory as associate professor of music therapy. 

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