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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

Diversity, equity official to leave GW in July

Hatchet File Photo

Vice Provost of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement Caroline Laguerre-Brown will leave her position at GW on July 1, per a University release Thursday.

Brown has worked at the University since 2016 and directed efforts at the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service, Disability Support Services, the Title IX Office and the Multicultural Student Services Center. After her departure from GW, Brown will continue to work in the DEI field and serve as a higher education consultant and educator for her company Designing Equity, LLC and as the vice chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, the release states.

During her tenure, Brown’s office launched a sweeping Title IX policy which included a review process for instances of sex-based harassment and a separate provision regarding prohibited student-teacher relationships. As part of her work directing DEI efforts, Brown helped launch the “Race in America” speaker series as part of GW’s annual Diversity Summit, which has included speakers like activist Angela Davis and the creator of the 1619 project, Nikole Hannah-Jones since its inception in 2018.

Brown’s departure comes after a string of staff exits from the Multicultural Student Services Center. Former MSSC Director Michael Tapscott retired in 2022 after 19 years in the role, and former MSSC Director Dustin Pickett resigned abruptly in February after serving in the position for one year.

Community members previously expressed concerns over staff turnover and the MSSC’s lack of full time staff members when Pickett’s departure left the center with one full time staff member after MSSC’s LGBTQ+ resource leader AJ King left for a position at Howard University in December 2023. Graduate assistant for religious and spiritual life Robert Zayd KiaNouri-Zigmund also departed the MSSC after the ODECE took over planning of Interfaith Week, which the MSSC was originally in charge of planning, due to concerns about the center’s alleged exclusion of “Zionist voices.”

The ODECE also received the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification, which recognizes institutions that demonstrate a commitment to community engagement, under Brown’s leadership.

GW has not yet named a replacement for Brown.

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