Narce Rodriguez, chief officer of the Center of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ODEI), is new to the Pacific community, having only been here for two years.
She comes from a background with 25 years of experience promoting diversity and inclusion. As head of the ODEI, Rodriguez works to create a varied community that fosters equity and incorporation in every way.
Rodriguez spent all summer organizing various projects for the ODEI, and will continue this work throughout the fall semester.
It was a busy summer for the ODEI. Rodriguez worked in collaboration with other stakeholders on campus to bring forward a Student Multicultural Center coordinator, and to hire a few more students for staff.
Another large project that was in the works this past summer was the “Welcome Dinner and Movie,” put on by students.
“This event was important for the students of color to get to know other students of color as we returned to school,” Rodriguez said. “The event was planned for students with the help of other students.”
Rodriguez has big plans for the upcoming academic year. Her office is working to implement a bias and hate reporting system.
Rodriguez is also working closely with the diversity committee to further strategize and plan a campus climate survey.
The office looks toward bridging connections with the Hispanic community in Washington County and key leaders in the Pacific community.
They also plan on working closely with the Hawaiian students to ensure retention programs serving them are fully supported and remain strong.
The next upcoming event for the OEDI is the workshop for Co-Liberation from the Poisoned Well: Healing from Racism in Affinity Groups, on Friday, Sept. 21.
“It is a workshop for anybody on campus divided into groups of people of color and non-people of color to talk about the trauma POC face in racial America; and a group of white people on how they can help understand the historical context and biological way of how racism works,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said that she wants students to know that she is there to support them and answer any question they might have.
Since this is only her second year at Pacific, she is open to student and faculty feedback. And if students have any ideas, she would love to hear them.