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 Hollins Heritage Committee. 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 has and will continue to sponsor or participate in events that illuminate important issues related to diversity, inclusivity, and cultural history. Below are highlights from the 2017-18 academic year. Please check back later for 2018-19 events.

Black History Month Events

  • 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

  • The student chaplain program is focusing on facilitating “story circles” where students can share their faith stories. The goal is to grow in one’s own faith, gain appreciative knowledge of other faiths, and build community among the differences.
  • Sanctuary, a weekly gathering in the Meditation Chapel (Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m.) invites a different member of the campus community to discuss religious experiences and spiritual practices that have been meaningful to them.
  • Photo of Peggy ShriverThe Office of Spiritual and Religious Life and Meriwether Godsey are pleased to announce that the date of the annual Golden Rule Dinner has been set for Tuesday, March 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Moody Dining Hall. For many years, this simple meal of soup and bread has raised awareness of our neighbors who struggle with food insecurity. As many religions and spiritual traditions have a version of the “golden rule”, an injunction to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, we show compassion for those who are hungry and work toward hunger relief. Peggy Shriver, chief development officer of Rise Against Hunger, will be the Golden Rule Dinner’s featured speaker on issues of women, poverty, and hunger relief. Tuesday, March 13, 5:30 p.m., Goodwin Private Dining Room, Moody Student Center.

A Celebration of Hispanic/Latin Heritage Month

  • Photo of Daniel AlarconDaniel Alarcón is a Peruvian-American author whose work has appeared in The New YorkerHarper’s, Granta, and Virginia Quarterly Review. His debut novel, Lost City Radio (2007), was named a Best Book of the Year by critics across the country, and eventually translated into over a dozen languages. At Night We Walk in Circles (2013), his most recent novel, was a finalist for the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Foundation Award. He has also written a collection of short stories, War by Candlelight (2005). In 2012, Alarcón cofounded the Spanish language podcast Radio Ambulante, the first to cover Latin America with long-form narrative radio journalism, which NPR picked up in 2016. Currently, he is an assistant professor of broadcast journalism at Columbia Journalism School.
  • Students who are interested in studying abroad in a Spanish-speaking country or learning about Hispanic cultures were invited to attend a study abroad panel with students who have participated in Hollins’ affiliated programs in Cuba, Argentina, and Spain.
  • Nanci Buiza, assistant professor of Spanish at Swarthmore College, gave a talk titled “Crossing Mexico on  Photo of Nanci BuizaLa bestia: The Tragedy of the Central American Migrant in the Films Which Way Home and Who Is Dayani Cristal?” Her talk focused on some of the current geopolitical issues that are forcing many migrants, including unaccompanied children, to flee their homelands.




Author of Somewhere Else, Matthew Shenoda

Photo of Matthew ShenodaShenoda is a writer and professor whose poems and essays have appeared in a variety of newspapers, journals, radio programs, and anthologies. He has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His debut collection of poems, Somewhere Else, was named one of 2005’s debut books of the year by Poets & Writers and won a 2006 American Book Award. He is also the author of Seasons of Lotus, Seasons of Bone; editor of Duppy Conqueror: New & Selected Poems by Kwame Dawes; and most recently author of Tahrir Suite: Poems, winner of the 2015 Arab American Book Award, and co-editor of Bearden’s Odyssey: Poets Respond to the Art of Romare Bearden. Thursday, February 22, 8:15 p.m., Green Drawing Room, Main.

Sankofa Traveling Exhibit

Join us for a celebration and remembrance of African American culture with the Sankofa African-American Museum on Wheels. This exhibition is comprised of hundreds of artifacts from the past through the current decade. This is a one-day opportunity open for all sponsored by the Student Government Association, Office of Student Activities and Orientation, Hollins Activity Board, Black Student Alliance, the Office of Cultural and Community Engagement, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Monday, March 5, Ballator Gallery, Moody.

Michelle Ferebee, Strategy and Business Development manager for the Aeronautics Research Directorate at NASA

Photo of Michelle FerebeeFerebee is currently the Strategy and Business Development manager for the Aeronautics Research Directorate at NASA Langley Research Center where she aligns and advocates the use of Langley’s research assets to support NASA’s aeronautics strategy and to partner with academia and industry to advance fundamental research. Ferebee has been with NASA for 25 years. She has received numerous awards at NASA including the Strategic Leadership for Women NASA Fellowship at Simmons College and has been honored by the Women of Color in STEM for her corporate responsibility. Hollins Science Seminar, Wednesday, March 14, 7:30 p.m., Babcock Auditorium, Dana Science Building.

Premilla Nadasen: “Building an Intersectional Feminist Agenda for the 21st Century”

photo of Premilla NadasenNadasen is currently an associate professor of history at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she is affiliated with the Barnard Center for Research on Women, the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, and the Institute for Research in African American Studies. She also serves on the editorial board of the following academic journals: Women’s Studies Quarterly, Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, the Journal of Civil and Human Rights, and sits on the advisory committee of the New York Historical Society’s Center for the Study of Women’s History. Nadasen has given workshops and presentations for the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the Ms. Foundation’s Economic Justice Program, the Department of Labor, and the New York State Labor Committee. Sponsored by history and gender and women’s studies. Thursday, March 29, 4:30 p.m., Green Drawing Room, Main.