Dear Members of the Salem Community,
As the Fall 2020 semester draws to a close, I am writing to provide you with an update, as promised, on the work that has been conducted at Salem on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
We are fortunate that Shayla Herndon-Edmunds joined Salem Academy and College last summer as a consultant focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion matters on both the Academy and College campuses. Shayla has spent the last fifteen years working and consulting with corporations, higher education institutions, and non-profit organizations through leadership coaching and strategic planning, training, and development. Earlier in her career, she was the founding Director of Diversity Education at Wake Forest University. While there, she was responsible for leading campus efforts to increase cultural competence and support the development and implementation of equitable policies and practices.
Throughout the fall, Shayla has facilitated training sessions related to diversity, equity, and inclusion for the Salem Academy and College Board of Trustees, the Presidential Cabinet, the College Student Affairs team, the Academy and College Alumnae Boards, and the Educational Leadership program. She continues to offer individual support to the Academy and College campus leaders while simultaneously working with several other groups and initiatives across the Academy and College campuses. This work includes—but is not limited to—the institution’s Marketing and Communications Committee, the Health Leadership Initiative, and the Anna Marie Samuel Project. Shayla coordinates with the many others at Salem who work on diversity, equity, and inclusion issues to ensure our approach is fully intersectional and addresses systemic concerns. She provides invaluable insight to the Cabinet and to me as we address the complex issues that our community has faced in the last months as we as a campus and as a nation navigate the challenging times that we face.
Shayla’s work will continue into the spring semester when she will focus on capacity building by providing executive leadership coaching and support on issues of equity and inclusion to our senior leadership and as she continues racial equity training for targeted groups of stakeholders. We will keep you informed of the progress of these initiatives in the coming months.
Shayla’s experience and knowledge bring a vital perspective to Salem and a heightened awareness that, as a community, we must continue the challenging work that we all face addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion not only within our campus life but in our personal lives as well.