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Diversity Advisory Council

Diversity Advisory Council (DAC)

About the Council

The Graduate College formed the Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) in spring 2020 to address issues of institutional racism, unconscious bias and racial inequalities within the Drexel community, raise awareness of these issues, implement action items, and support our Black community members. The council liaises academic and administrative units, and is aligned with the goals and efforts of the University's Anti-Racism Task Force (ARTF).

Alonzo M. Flowers III, PhD, served as the DAC's inaugural faculty chair and Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Graduate College from 2021-2022. Dr. Flowers appointed Ebony E. White, PhD, LPC, NCC, ACS who took over the role of faculty chair in 2022. The inaugural student chair of the DAC is Matthew Shirley, PhD student in Biomedical Engineering in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, NSF Graduate Research Fellow and former President of the Drexel Black Graduate Student Union (DBGSU).

Dr. Ebony E. White is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Counseling and Family Therapy Department at Drexel University. She is a licensed professional counselor, national certified counselor, and approved clinical supervisor. Dr. White runs the Reframing Outcomes through Afrocentric Research (ROAR) research lab in which she focuses on social justice and advocacy within the African diasporic community. She is President of Counselors for Social Justice and was appointed to the ACA Anti-Racism Taskforce in 2021.

The DAC has worked over the past two years to ensure it is operating with the goal of social justice. Over the past year we have identified our mission statement, understanding it is a living artifact that will grow as we continue to grow as a community. We also are dedicated to our role of holding the Graduate College accountable to Strategic Priority 2, ensuring we are prioritizing equity and justice in our words and actions. Finally we are working on ways to support faculty in ensuring their syllabi are anti-racist and include diverse voices.

Read the Graduate College's Strategic Plan

Last updated November 2021. Requires Drexel login.

Mission Statement

The Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) at Drexel University prioritizes equity at all levels within the Graduate College. The DAC will assist in evaluating and supporting the implementation of the Strategic Priority 2 as identified in the Graduate College strategic plan to achieve and sustain diversity, equity, and justice, and prevent academic redlining within our community. The DAC acknowledges not only the individual actions that impede equity and justice but also the White Supremacist and Hegemonic structures that shape decisions and actions that perpetuate and reproduce inequity. The DAC will identify measures and make actionable recommendations to ensure continued and persistent work toward equity within the Graduate College. Additionally, the DAC will hold accountable the Graduate College for their timely implementation of the Strategic Priority 2. Together as a university-wide community, the DAC is committed to self-assessing and strengthening our own cultural competence by creating a climate that values diversity, champions equity, and seeks justice within the Graduate College

Call to Action

The objectives of the DAC should be designed to serve as a vehicle to help move the Graduate College from its current state regarding justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) toward a more equitable environment for all members of the community. These objectives include:

  • Elevate important issues related to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion to the Graduate College.
  • Provide consultation and leadership on current and new initiatives including climate surveys, discussions, cross-cultural awareness and learning opportunities for students, staff, and faculty with the Graduate College.
  • Continue to address different forms of diversity within the scope of program development and other Graduate College initiatives.
  • Ensure diversity reflects the inclusion of emerging majority groups that have been historically excluded from the conversations and spaces.
  • Advise on the best approaches to attracting and retaining historically marginalized groups and equity student body generally.
  • Recommend approaches to ensure that ongoing efforts around JEDI are well-coordinated with the Graduate College.
  • Recommend that the Graduate College provides levels of transparency regarding data concerning diversity and inclusion initiatives (public data).

Council Tasks 

The DAC also worked on developing the membership guidelines for the committee. The council is fundamental to establishing an inclusive community of scholars where differences of ideas and backgrounds are respected, welcomed, and valued. As such we worked on the following measurable tasks:

  • DAC Membership Policy
  • Graduate College Strategic Plan
  • Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Framework & Evaluation
  • Handbook & Policies Review/Discussion
  • JEDI Commitment Statement

Council Members & Initiatives 

View the list of 2023-2024 DAC membership and initiatives.

Complete a Request Form

The DAC is pleased to announce a Qualtrics form for community members who are seeking guidance or support, who wish to engage in personal and professional development in JEDI, and/or who wish to learn more about the DAC and their initiatives and recommendations. The form also invites feedback and ideas.

Complete a Request Form [Qualtrics]