Our Commitment to Inclusivity & Intercultural Competency

Diversity and Inclusivity

Hollins has long been dedicated to fostering a campus community that encourages and values diversity and inclusivity.

Working to abolish prejudice never ends and Hollins is committed to promoting racial and cultural understanding. Most notably:

  • Over the years, our Student Government Association, Black Student Alliance, OUTloud, Spiritual and Religious Life Association, ACCENT (Association of Countries, Cultures, Events, and National Traditions), and other student clubs and organizations, along with faculty and staff, have developed a variety of activities and implemented programs that support diversity and inclusivity. Examples include the Diversity Monologue Troupe, a team of student leaders that promotes understanding of the university’s rich diversity while helping to broaden perspectives on the various stereotypes common in society, and Face2Face, where students engage in cultural identity exercises with the goal of improved mutual understanding.
  • Cultural and Community Engagement (CCE) was created 13 years ago to support an inclusive community, promote acceptance, and celebrate difference. It includes the Early Transition Program, which is designed to assist new students from underrepresented groups, and the International Student Orientation Program, which focuses on helping international students adjust to living and studying at Hollins and in the United States. CCE also conducts Safe Haven workshops for those who want to serve as advocates for Hollins’ LBGTQ community.

To complement these efforts, the following steps have been taken or are under way:

  • We have held listening sessions with students; conducted training sessions for faculty to help them lead classroom discussions where every student can feel respected; and provided workshops for student affairs staff and student leaders.
  • A series of insight conversations have occurred where students can share perspectives and build capacity for critical dialogue. As a result of these conversations, we facilitated mixed group conversations exploring the use of social media.
  • Our New Student Orientation added a program for incoming first-year students that is devoted to cultural competency and inclusivity.
  • Sustained Dialogue, a program used at more than 40 colleges and universities brings small groups of students, faculty, and staff from widely different backgrounds together for a semester of deep, peer-facilitated conversations that focus on transforming relationships, community change, and moving dialogue to action.
  • Idella GlennIdella Goodson Glenn serves as Special Advisor on Inclusivity and Diversity. Glenn is a collaborative leader with 25 years of higher education experience, including two decades focused on leading diversity and inclusion initiatives. She has oversight of and coordinates all inclusivity and diversity activities and programs at the university.
  • Students, faculty, staff, and Roanoke community leaders serve on the The Hollins University Working Group on Slavery and Its Contemporary Legacies. Chaired by Associate Professor and Director of International Studies Jon Bohland, the committee seeks to gain a deeper understanding of Hollins’ history and make recommendations on how best to recognize and honor the mid-19th century enslaved and others whose work ensured Hollins’ survival during its early years. The committee’s work is the basis of Hollins’ membership in Universities Studying Slavery; in Spring 2018, Hollins hosted the biannual meeting of this group.

Hollins University is proud to welcome students from around the globe.


Hollins has and will continue to sponsor or participate in events that illuminate important issues related to diversity, inclusivity, and cultural history. Please check back later for updates for 2018-19 events.

Black History Month Events

(2017-18 year)

  • Artist/visual activist, Zanele Muholi’s development as a photographer is deeply intertwined with her Photo of Zanele Muholiadvocacy on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community in South Africa and worldwide. After Muholi cofounded the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) in 2002, she enrolled in the Advanced Programme in Photography at the Market Photo Workshop in Newtown, South Africa, begun in 1989 by the photographer David Goldblatt. In 2009 Muholi earned her M.F.A. in documentary media from Ryerson University in Toronto. Her work has been exhibited internationally. She is represented in the United States by Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York. Thursday, February 8, 6 p.m., Eleanor D. Wilson Museum.
  • A screening of the 2017 film Marshall, directed by Reginald Hudlin. Friday, February 9, 7 p.m., Niederer Auditorium, Wetherill Visual Arts Center.
  • A screening of the 2017 film, Love Beats Rhymes, directed by RZA. Saturday, February 10, 7 p.m., Niederer Auditorium, Wetherill Visusal Arts Center.
  • Brittany Flowers ’17 will be discussing the importance of remembering black contributions on the Hollins campus. She will share her personal experiences of creating a fuller memory and how creating that historical representation made Hollins even more dear to her. Flowers majored in English with a concentration in creative writing and multicultural literature with a minor in social justice. Monday, February 19, 5:30 p.m., Goodwin Private Dining Room, Moody Student Center.
  • Photo of Pages MatamPoet Pages Matam is a Cameroonian artist residing in the D.C. Metropolitan area. He is a Write Bloody author, Callaloo fellow, and 2014 National Poetry Slam champion. Matam is the author of The Heart of a Comet (Write Bloody, 2014), winner of the Best New Book 2014 by Beltway Poetry Quarterly. He is a proud gummy bear elitist, bowtie enthusiast, professional hugger, and anime fanatic. When he takes stages-as a performer, educator, or activist for immigration and surviving sexual trauma-be prepared to be taken on an experience of cultural, socially conscious storytelling. Thursday, February 22, 7 p.m., Talmadge Recital Hall, Bradley.
  • An Evening with Mel Sherrer. Sherrer completed her B.F.A. in English at Hollins and her M.F.A. at Photo of Mel SherrerConverse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. As a native Virginian, she incorporates her southern roots and knowledge of sonic aesthetic into poems which have reverence for place, time,and societal evolution. She is currently the managing poetry editor for South 85 Journal, and she regularly interviews writers for literary blogs. She currently lives in Las Vegas. Monday, February 26, 5:30 p.m., Goodwin Private Dining Room, Moody Student Center.


Spiritual and Religious Life Activities – 2018-19

Weekly events include:

  • Sanctuary (Tuesdays at 4:30pm in the Meditation Chapel), a weekly faith discussion seeking meaning through stories, scripture, and crafting in community.
  • Meditation Group (Fridays at noon in the Gordh Room), silent 20-minute seated meditation open to all.
  • Walk N Talk with the counselors and chaplain (Thursdays at 10:30am, meet at the Meditation Chapel)
  • Religious Communities Fair (Thursday, September 6th, 11:30am-1:30pm, RAT), explore the diversity of religious and spiritual offerings in the Roanoke valley and connect with a place of worship.
  • Walking the Labyrinth (Wednesday, Oct. 24th, Front Quad)
  • Sharing the Light: A Holiday Celebration in Story and Song [formerly White Gift Service] (Sunday, December 2nd, 7pm, duPont Chapel): a candlelight event of music, readings, and dance that will welcome the spirit of the season and embrace the variety of faith traditions in our community. Sponsored by the office of spiritual and religious life and the department of music. 
  • Student groups include Student Chaplains, Better Together Interfaith Club, Muslim Student Association, Divine N Motion Praise Dance Team, and Christian Community Fellowship.

Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month
September – October 2018

Photo of Claudia BernardiArtist’s Talk with Claudia Bernardi, who is a socially engaged and community-based artist, printmaker, and installation artist. Her artwork is impacted by the effect of war and political violence. She is a professor of community arts at the California College of the Arts. She will speak about her collection of prints titled “Palabras de Arena/Words of Sand” and how her human rights work has influenced her art.

Students who are interested in studying abroad in a Spanish-speaking country or learning about Hispanic cultures are invited to attend a study abroad panel with students who have participated in Hollins’ affiliated and exchange programs in Spain and Cuba.

Photo of Robyn Henderson-Espinoza“Constellations of Difference: Rethinking Intersectionally” with Robyn Henderson-Espinoza. Knowing intimately that the borderlands are a place of learning and growth, Dr. Robyn draws on their identity and heritage as a queer Latinx in everything they do. From doubt to divine and everywhere in between, their call as an activist-theologian demands the vision to disrupt hegemony and colonialist structures of multi-layered oppression.

Photo of Martin EspadaAuthor Martin Espada has published almost 20 books as a poet, editor, essayist, and translator. His latest collection of poems is called Vivas to Those Who Have Failed. Other books of poems include The Trouble Ball, The Republic of Poetry, and Alabanza. His many honors include the 2018 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, and an American Book Award. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The title poem of Alabanza, about 9/11, has been widely anthologized and performed. Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Photo of Bill KrauseHollins Professor Bill Krause presents Casticismo: Before and After 1939 traces the changing views of what it meant to be a truly Spanish composer. The meaning of asticismo–the authentic representation of Spain–was controversial before, during, and after the Franco regime of 1939-1975.

Photo of Myrna Wallace-FuentesRoanoke College Associate Professor of History Myrna Ivonne Wallace Fuentes will speak about her book, Most Scandalous Woman, that chronicles the story of Magda Portal, a 20th century revolutionary Peruvian woman who changed the course of politics in her country and incited women to become agents of political and social change.