New era of diversity, equity and inclusion

By Aleksa Radenovic

Youngstown State University’s community is comprised of many, diverse communities. The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on campus is working to grow its impact of making students feel accepted and included, respectful and aware.

The mission of the DEI office is bringing together and celebrating different cultural communities. Susan Moorer, assistant director for Multicultural and Outreach Services at the DEI office, said it wants to bring together the separated YSU and Youngstown communities and events.

“YSU has their events and the [Youngstown] community has their own, but I really want to form a synergistic approach to both,” Moorer said. 

Moorer said the Office of DEI is designed to represent students of different ages, ethnicities, languages, religions, gender and cultures on campus.

“It’s a safe place for everyone,” Moorer said. “We provide training, events and mentoring programs for students at YSU.”

Donquail Mims, coordinator for transitioning and mentoring programs at the DEI office, said he sees the difference the office is making in comparison to his time as student at YSU. 

“Not only are you having a grand time meeting new people from diverse backgrounds, we are also promoting a sense of belonging here on campus, and that’s something I felt was lacking when I was an undergrad,” Mims said.

Mims has been working on advertisements for new activities and outreach for the office. He also said the goal of student engagement is even more important than the planning itself. 

“We recently took students to see [Black Panther:] Wakanda Forever. For spring break, we took the students to the Holocaust Museum and the Freedom Center in Cincinnati, and we also have our Women’s History Month events coming up,” said Mims.

Even from an athletics perspective, DEI plays an integral role at the university. 

Jaysen Spencer, the director of Athletic Academic Services and minority administrator, said the DEI office has incorporated diversity, equity and inclusion in many ways on campus. This includes recruiting highly diverse people.

“Everything we do needs to be done through a DEI lens,” said Spencer, “Whether it’s hiring more diverse coaches, recruiting a more diverse student-athlete population and hiring diverse medical staff.”

Spencer said he believes YSU lacks a sense of community, and his goal is to change that by creating multiple programs to bring student-athletes closer together and educate them about what inclusivity means and what it stands for.

“We can’t have a homogeneous society, we need a dissimilar society,” Spencer said. “We had formed a Black Indigenous People of Color Community because we have subcultures within the athletics that don’t know each.”

For more information and upcoming events, visit the office of DEI’s website.