Former Provost Jill Tiefenthaler launched Diversity 2009 and charged Dr. Barbee Oakes, the university’s first Chief Diversity Officer and Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, to be the architect of a comprehensive and institutional strategy to embed diversity and inclusion in the fabric of the Wake Forest mission. The Strategic Plan to Foster Diversity and Inclusion developed by Dr. Oakes served as a material representation that Wake Forest respects and values diversity and is committed to creating a culture of inclusion where everyone in our campus community can thrive – a culture that unlocks our enormous reservoirs of innovation and talent, and eradicates barriers to engagement and collaboration.
The mid-20th century included major milestones in diversity and inclusion at Wake Forest University. In 1942, women were able to attend and 20 years later Ed Reynolds became the first black student, following the Board of Trustees decision to end racial segregation. More than a half century later, those actions serve as a catalysts for the university’s evolving support of racial and ethnic diversity, religious pluralism, service to those with disabilities, acceptance of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and first-generation college students, among other matters related to diversity and inclusion.
You can learn more at facesofcourage.wfu.edu.
To learn more about how Wake Forest enhances the experience of domestic and international underrepresented groups, please visit our Intercultural Center website.