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Nominations Form

Statement of Purpose:  To advise the president and administration of James Madison University with regard to issues of racial equity, receive and provide feedback on information related to current and planned initiatives, and generate additional recommendations for the short, medium, and long term.  

In order to provide focus for its work, this task force will concentrate primarily on issues related to racial equity.  The university is of course acutely aware of the many intersecting forms of identity, diversity and inclusivity that make up our JMU community and of the need to think broadly about all of these issues (as was the charge of the previous Diversity Task Force, and Task Force on Inclusion).  This broad range of issues will continue to be a central focus of the institution through the ongoing work of our diversity councils, as well as committees and other entities that focus on particular areas such as disabilities accommodations/access, gender equity, the needs of the LGBTQ+ community, etc.  The task force will review and build upon the recommendations and initiatives that have arisen from the work of entities such as the Diversity Task Force and Task Force on Inclusion, and will communicate and coordinate as needed with other existing institutional efforts and entities such as the diversity councils. 

The membership of the task force will include representation from various constituencies including the student body, faculty, staff, alumni, and community.  Task force members will be asked to serve for an initial appointment of two years, although it is understood that some individuals may need to opt out sooner (e.g., if a student is graduating).  The task force may decide to incorporate additional members as its work proceeds.  

The task force as a whole will meet at least once or twice a semester.  Given its size, and in order to conduct its work effectively and efficiently, the task force will have several working groups with different areas of focus as noted below.  The task force may decide to create additional working groups or areas of focus as needed.  Within their respective areas of focus, each working group will be asked to identify innovations and promising practices (e.g., to remove barriers, promote access and success, etc.), as well as potential partnerships and collaborations (e.g., with other institutions or other organizations).  

Given current circumstances, and in order to maximize participation by individuals on and off campus, it is anticipated that the task force meetings will be virtual at this point in time, although we hope that some in-person meetings and interactions will become feasible soon.  Art Dean and Rudy Molina, and their respective offices, will help to coordinate meetings, communications, and other logistics for the task force. 

The task force and its working groups will be asked to provide regular updates to the president and administration.  A lengthy report is not expected or required, rather, the goal is to promote the sharing of action-oriented ideas and discussion with the university’s leadership.  

Leadership Council 


  1. Cynthia Bauerle, Interim Vice Provost for Faculty and Curriculum
  2. Arthur Dean, Executive Director, Campus & Community Programs for Access and Inclusion
  3. Rudy Molina, Vice Provost, Student Academic Success and Enrollment Management
  4. Deborah Tompkins Johnson, Vice Rector, Board of Visitors

National Advisor:
Tia Brown McNair, Alumnus, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Student Success (Association of American Colleges & Universities) 

JMU Consultants:
Aaliyah McLean, Academic Affairs Racial Equity Coordinator
Jennifer PeeksMease, Associate Professor for Communication Studies

JMU Administrative Team:
Kim Moubray, Office of Access and Inclusion
Janina Peachey, Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Curriculum

Leadership Council Members: 

  1. Gilbert Bland, Alumni, President and CEO, Chair of the Governor’s African American Advisory Board
  2. Mike Davis, Executive Advisor to the President
  3. Charles Flick, Director of Human Resources
  4. Joanne Gabbin, Executive Director of Furious Flower Poetry Center, Professor of English
  5. Norman Jones, Student Representative to the Board of Visitors
  6. Meldorise “Lovey” Jordan, community member
  7. Karina Kline-Gabel, CAL Faculty Diversity Liaison, Madison Hispanic Caucus
  8. Rick Larson, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, Training and Performance
  9. Hak-Seon Lee, Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty Senate representative
  10. Brent Lewis, Student Affairs Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  11. Charles May, Alumni Association representative
  12. Besi Muhonja, Associate Professor and Coordinator, African, African American, and Diaspora Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies
  13. David Owusu-Ansah, Associate Provost, Diversity
  14. Allahjah Smith, Engagement Fellow for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Working group descriptions and Co-Chairs

  • Student Academic Success: Focus on building an end-to-end academic experience that prioritizes both the student academic outcomes and lived experiences of students of color and underrepresented minorities. Co-Chairs:  Marquis McGee (Associate Director for University Advising); Rudy Molina (Vice Provost, Student Academic Success and Enrollment Management); Fawn Amber-Montoya (Honors College Associate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion and External Engagement)
  • Student Co-curricular Life: Focus on issues impacting undergraduate and graduate students outside the classroom, including the role of student organizations and activities, residence life, career counseling, etc. Co-Chairs: Karina Kline-Gabel, College of Arts and Letters DEI Leader, Lecturer of Spanish; Brent Lewis (Student Affairs Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion); Briana Gaines (Graduate student, THRIVE Coordinator); Kendallee Walker (Chair of Diversity and Inclusion, Student Government Association);
  • Instructional Faculty Professional Development: Focus on developing a comprehensive plan, timeline and assessment benchmarks for advancing a diverse and multiculturally informed instructional faculty to meet the needs of JMU’s diverse student body.  Co-Chairs:  Cynthia Bauerle (Interim Vice Provost for Faculty and Curriculum); Cara Meixner (Executive Director, Center for Faculty Innovation; Linda Thomas (Professor and Director, School of Integrated Science;
  • Administrative and Professional Faculty Professional Development: Focus on issues related to recruitment, retention, mentoring, leadership and professional development opportunities for administrative and professional faculty.  Co-Chairs:  Cannie Campbell (Assistant Vice President for Constituent Engagement); Venus Miller (Assistant Director for Student and Staff Development, Career and Academic Planning) Chervon Moore (Associate Director, Center for Multicultural Student Services);
  • Classified Staff Professional Development: Focus on issues related to recruitment, retention, mentoring, leadership and professional development opportunities for classified staff.  Co-Chairs:  Charles Flick (Director of Human Resources); Kathy Lubkowski (Office Manager, College of Integrated Science and Engineering and Academic Affairs Administrative Staff Council); Jason Randall (Campus Police and Public Safety)
  • Awareness/Communication: Focus on internal and external methods to highlight and share information with the JMU community both on and beyond campus.  Expand communication, and explore best practices and potential partnerships, with our local community.  Co-Chairs:  Khalil Garriott (Director of Branded Content and Executive Editor of Madison Magazine); Karen Risch Mott, (Assistant Director, Advancement Marketing) Silvia Garcia Romero (Cultural Diversity Manager, Sentara RMH)
  • PreK-12 Engagement: Focus on outreach to PreK-12 schools, students and educators; and development of pathways to JMU. Co-Chairs: Chris Carlberg (Admissions Counselor); Amanda Randall (Assistant Director, Training & Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC)); Diane Strawbridge (Executive Director, Student Access and Inclusion, Centennial Scholars Program)
  • Athletics: Focus on student life, issues, ideas and concerns in athletics – e.g., how students are supported and communicated with; how they learn and navigate the community they have joined.  Consider new ideas for recruitment, retention and student success. Co-Chairs:  Adrena May (Alumnus, former student-athlete); Anthony Morris (Head Coach, Cheerleading); Kevin White (Associate Athletic Director)
  • Advocacy, Support and Public Safety: Review and enhance processes that support faculty, staff and students as they navigate the JMU community with regard to incidents of bias, discrimination and harassment.  Focus on how to build knowledge and awareness of those resources.  Training for key University community leaders and beyond that will enhance the overall safety, protection and well-being of people of color at JMU. We want to research and address public safety interactions especially with black people but including all other racial groups as well. Co-Chairs:  Kevin Lanoue (Interim Police Chief JMU); Amy Sirocky-Meck (Director, Title IX Office); Ashley Stovall (Assistant Dean of Students)
  • Alumni Engagement: Identify and develop diverse leaders and leadership opportunities within the JMU alumni community, and ways to cultivate diverse alumni to serve on various boards and organizations within the JMU community.  Co-Chairs:  Paula Bowens (President, Black Alumni Chapter); Darryl Coleman (Alumnus);  Carrie Combs (Director of Alumni Relations, Executive Director, JMU Alumni Association)
  • Economic Engagement and Business Relationships: Examine the economic footprint of JMU within Harrisonburg-Rockingham County. Examine business relationships with SWAM owned companies (Small, Women and Minority-owned businesses)  and the correlation with supplier diversity. Information and connectivity for students, faculty, administrators, alumni pursuing business ownership, particularly in  Harrisonburg-Rockingham community.  Review and explore the role of student entrepreneurship and economic engagement (especially by race). Co-Chairs: Towana Moore (Associate VP for Business Services); Cheryl Winston (Alumnus).


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