Samantha is the inaugural Director of Equity Initiatives. As a member of The Office of Internationalization and Equity in Academic Affairs, she works closely with the Vice Provost to provide individual and systems advocacy, and to also implement structural interventions to reduce barriers to access, increase diversity, and advance equity within the Emerson College community. Central to her role is the responsibility to lead regular assessments of Academic Affairs’ policies and practices. Additionally, Samantha’s 20+ years of experience in higher education enables her to serve as a thought partner and compassionate leader in support of Emerson’s faculty, students, and staff while advocating for increased cultural responsiveness and equity in education.
As the Director for Equity Initiatives, Samantha’s work centers marginalized communities with hopes of providing an equitable enriching experience for students, faculty, and staff. Here at Emerson, Samantha helps facilitate the Annual Teach in on Race, the Deans’ Fellowship for Racial Equity and Leadership Development, and The Renewal Collective. Samantha is an experienced educator, specifically focusing her work in small liberal arts colleges (Dartmouth College (NH), Haverford College (PA), and Bennington College (VT). Furthermore, she has been a volunteer organizer and presenter within several professional organizations, including: Diversity Abroad, College Student Educators International (ACPA), The Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), The National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education (NCORE), The Center for Whole Communities (CWC), and Social Justice Training Institute (SJTI).
Samantha is a radical Black woman who speaks truth to power. She is a progressive Christian who pursues justice and revolutionary love in hopes of living with intention and empowering others to do the same. Samantha continues to deepen her understanding of what Micah, an old Testament prophet, meant when he wrote, “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Samantha chose to work in a higher education setting in order to better understand and address inequities in obtaining access to higher education. She is drawn to this work for the people, the people who say, “wow, that’s really important work,” and for the people who do not understand or appreciate the relevance of her work.
To understand how Samantha approaches her work, it is important to note: she has been impacted by hate and prejudice; she is here for all people and in particular those for whom society has deemed less than; there is a process she employs to do this work; and finally, she believes seeking justice requires both kindness and humility. Finally, she’s a music connoisseur, a bibliophile, and a daughter-sister-niece-fun aunt who loves to laugh.
Emerson Today Feature: Teach-In on Race: Deans’ Fellows Highlight Arts Festival, Syllabi Mapping Project
People @ Emerson: Staff Profile - Samantha Ivery