Transform Mid-Atlantic Equity Initiative
As a higher education convening organization, Transform Mid-Atlantic (TMA) recognizes the unique opportunity to harness the collective resources and capacity of higher education institutions in advancing equity across the region. Because of this role, TMA understands the responsibility we hold as an organization to collectively address issues of inequity and oppression in our communities, including systemic racism, economic poverty, discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disabilities, language, and culture. We condemn racism, discrimination, and inequity in all forms, both direct and indirect, recognizing that bias inequity in any form diminishes us all, and impedes our efforts for co-creating just and equitable communities.
As we continue to grow in our understanding of the realities many in our communities face, we understand that our work in higher education plays an essential role in developing systemic change agents and overcoming oppressive systems. Previously, the work of higher education in addressing racism, discrimination based on gender, sexual identity, disabilities, and other inequities, has been accomplished through institutions engaging Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work. As learning in the field changes, many institutions and organizations are looking for ways to deepen their work, not only on their campuses, but within surrounding communities. While equity seeks to “guarantee the fair treatment, advancement, opportunity and access for all individuals,” through identifying and eliminating barriers that prevent access and participation, and improving overall quality of life (International City/County Management Association, 2020); what does this ultimately mean for communities that experience marginalization and inequity? Creating healthy, holistic, and sustainable communities by centering the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our work is a form of justice. Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic firmly believes that justice is not separate from our work in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and encourages those within our network and beyond to consider this in how we collectively create meaningful positive change and address systemic oppression
Affirmations and Commitments
WE embrace our collective journey and lived experiences, as we celebrate our commonality while addressing the inequities between us.
WE strive to center voices experiencing marginalization, including Black, Indigenous, Latino, Latina, Latinx, and Asian American and Pacific Islander in our equity work.
WE strive to lead with intention, care, and empathy in creating justice and equity within our region.
WE strive to examine and challenge the historical ways we have defined knowledge and knowing.
WE strive to create a culture of accountability and considered feedback within leadership.
Transform Mid-Atlantic has launched an Equity Taskforce to further the efforts TMA will undertake to advance equity both within our organization and throughout the culture of our membership in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Taskforce identifies, examines, and recommends opportunities for TMA to become more anti-oppressive, equitable, and accountable in its own internal policies, procedures, and practices, as well as to support our member institutions in advancing equity in higher education and in communities throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
Equity Taskforce Recommendations
The Equity Taskforce submitted recommendations to Transform Mid-Atlantic’s Board that include action steps TMA will take in order to create a culture of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion across the region. The recommendations are at the bottom of the page, after the ETF Taskforce members.
Dr. Tracy Rone, ETF Co-Chair, Assistant Dean, Research and Community Partnerships, School of Education & Urban Studies, Morgan State University
Tracy R. Rone, Ph.D. is Assistant Dean for Research and Community Partnerships, and Associate Professor in the Department of Advanced Studies, Leadership, and Policy in the School of Education and Urban Studies at Morgan State University. She previously served as Research Associate Professor at the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University, where she also taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. She is trained as a linguistic anthropologist. Her research aims to illuminate urban education issues in high-poverty, resource-challenged contexts through an anthropological lens. She is especially interested in how identity informs academic performance, the intersection of health and educational disparities, and how narrative can be used to illuminate lived experiences in urban communities. She has served as Research Co-director for the Baltimore Education Research Consortium (BERC), a partnership of Baltimore City Public Schools, Morgan State University, and Johns Hopkins University. Her publications explore issues in urban poverty, narrative, African-American academic success, and strategies for creating civic and intellectual engagement in undergraduate classrooms. She has published in College Teaching and Transforming Anthropology. She earned a B.A. from Goucher College, a M.A. from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Zandra Cuff is in her fifth year of national service as an AmeriCorps VISTA member. She previously served as an AmeriCorps VISTA Leader for North Carolina Campus Compact in 2018. During her time at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, she developed a passion for public policy and law, and how these tools can be used to address poverty. Her undergraduate thesis was “The Color Blind Dilemma: Affirmative Action and Racial Quotas in College Admissions Policies.” Her experience with AmeriCorps VISTA has deepened her belief of the power of community and how we must work together with unique partners to accomplish change. Her role with TMA will focus on JEDI and other special projects relating to anti-racism and institutional equity. She looks forward to deepening her understanding and influence on public policy.
Ms. Zandra Cuff, TMA VISTA Leader for JEDI and Special Projects, Transform Mid-Atlantic
Ms. Madeline Yates, Founder and Executive Director, Transform Mid-Atlantic
Madeline is the founding director of the Transform Mid-Atlantic with twenty-five years of experience in cross-cultural programming and service-learning, both K-12 and higher education. She has traveled extensively, living, working, and volunteering for extended periods of time in Japan, Haiti, the Philippines, Nicaragua, and New Zealand. While teaching and working at the Maryland State Department of Education, she received several fellowships, including two Fulbrights to India and South Africa, and others to Kyrgyzstan and Ecuador. She has consulted domestically and internationally. Her B.A. and M.A. are from Gettysburg and Hood College, respectively. For more about Madeline, see her full bio.
Pamela Mosley Gresham is currently the director of Labor Relations and Diversity in the Office of Human Resources at Delaware State University. She is responsible for conducting investigations of various complaints filed by faculty, staff and students relating to discrimination and harassment claims, and allegations of conduct violations. She facilitates mediations and conflict resolution to assist with resolving complaints and disputes. She also interprets and provides guidance on HR policies and programs, interprets and adheres to collective bargaining agreements, responds to union grievances, and initiates and administers progressive discipline. Gresham has been appointed as Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Council and has been appointed as an Administration Representative for Chapter-University. Gresham has a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from the State University College at Buffalo, N.Y., and a Juris Doctor from the University of Buffalo, School of Law. She is admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, U.S. District Courts, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, District of New Jersey, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Prior to her arrival at DSU, she was the Associate Director of Human Resources and Ethics and Compliance Officer for Kean University in Union, N.J. She was previously employed with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office as a Deputy Attorney General and served as the Assistant Section Chief of the Employment Counseling Section, specializing in employment litigation. She also practiced labor and employment law as legal counsel for the City of Newark, N.J., and Essex County, N.J. Gresham moved to Delaware in 2015 with her husband, Anthony, and two children, Jonathan and Christopher.
Ms. Pamela Mosley Gresham, J.D., Director of Labor Relations and Diversity, Delaware State University
Dr. Shawntay Stocks is the Assistant Director of Fellowships and Community Engagement with Inheritance Baltimore at Johns Hopkins University. She has over a decade of experience in service and community-based learning, coordinating service and diversity programs, and teaching. Dr. Stocks obtained her bachelor’s degree in History from Guilford College, Master’s degree in English and African American literature from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and her Ph.D. in the Language, Literacy and Culture Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her dissertation research focused on faculty diversity within higher education at the intersections of inclusive excellence and faculty agency. Dr. Stocks is trained in Critical Participatory Action Research (CPAR), which she utilizes in planning and executing trainings for community-based/community engaged learning. Additionally, Dr. Stocks uses her poetry as a reflective tool within her workshops and trainings.
Dr. Shawntay Stocks, Assistant Director of Fellowships and Community Engagement, Johns Hopkins University
Ms. Carmen Marshall, Director of Consulting Group, Maryland Nonprofits (DEI Consultant with TMA)
Carmen knows first-hand how transformative it can be when people get serious about confronting racism, sexism and the other -isms and schisms that divide us in the workplace and community. Informed by her work in civil rights, Carmen is dedicated to working with world changers – organizations and leaders – who are serious about making progress in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Through her coaching, facilitation and consulting, she helps those who are committed to establishing an environment or culture where individuals can succeed, grow and thrive regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender. She helps CEOs, boards of directors, and teams to find their way through sensitive conversations about racial and ethnic disparities (such as board diversity) to bold and progressive action. In addition, she facilitates workshops on DEI, racial equity, unconscious bias and managing racial conflict in organizations. Her passion is integrating coaching, facilitation, and training to call upon the giftedness and greatness in those who work in the nonprofit sector to develop systems and processes, with built-in accountability that lead to success and sustainability. Carmen created" Uncovering and Confronting Racism: Laying the Foundation for Transformative Change," a program designed to help organizations in their equity and inclusion work and is a Standards for Excellence® Institute licensed consultant. Carmen is the former Executive Pastor of the historic Bright Hope Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (formerly led by the late Congressman William H. Gray III). In that role, she served as the executive and senior pastor responsibilities, in the absence of a senior pastor. She was the first woman to lead the congregation in 107 years. She is also the former Executive Director of the National Black Media.
Clayton Railey earned his Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and bachelor’s degrees in English and economics from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Dr. Railey joined Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) in January 2018 as Executive Vice President and Provost of Teaching, Learning, and Student Success. In this role, he provides leadership, direction, and oversight to programs and initiatives that work to improve student success, an area that he strongly supports. Between earning his undergraduate degrees and his doctorate, Dr. Railey entered the Society of Jesus, a religious order of the Catholic Church, where he began studying for the priesthood. His studies took him from Baltimore, Maryland to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, St. Louis, Missouri, and Berkeley, California. He also studied in Hong Kong and Munich, Germany. He became an ordained Jesuit priest in 1987. After receiving his doctorate, Dr. Railey worked at St. Ignatius Loyola Academy in Baltimore, where he originated the 7th and 8th grades at a new middle school for boys and helped transition members of its first graduating class to high schools in the area. Dr. Railey left the Jesuits in 1996 to teach English and philosophy at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, Maryland. After 11 years, he moved on to an administrative position at Delaware County Community College, where he served as Dean of Arts & Humanities for the next seven years. In 2014, Dr. Railey became the Provost for Bucks County Community College in Newtown, Pennsylvania, where he integrated credit and non-credit health professions programs and strengthened the workforce development programs. In 2016, Dr. Railey returned to Chesapeake College to serve as the Vice President of Workforce and Academic Programs. Born in Washington, D.C., Dr. Railey attended school in his early years at Georgetown Prep in Garrett Park, Maryland.
Dr. Clayton Railey, Provost, Prince George’s Community College
Dr. Vernon J. Hurte, Vice President of Student Affairs, Towson University
Dr. Vernon J. Hurte serves as Vice President of Student Affairs at Towson University, where he provides leadership for the Division of Student Affairs. Prior to joining Towson University, Vernon served as Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Iowa State University. In this role, he provided leadership, strategic vision, organization, and administrative oversight for 16 departments and functional areas within the Division of Student Affairs. Prior to joining the leadership team at Iowa State University, Vernon served on the student affairs staff at both The College of William & Mary and The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He earned a B.S. in psychology at Bowie State University, a Ph.D. in educational psychology at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a M.Div. from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. In addition to serving as a university administrator, from 2010-2017, Dr. Hurte served as Senior Pastor of the historic New Light Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia. Under Dr. Hurte’s leadership, New Light experienced significant, holistic growth. An active member of the professional community, Vernon serves on the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Region IV-East Executive Board and the Board of Directors for ACCESS, a nonprofit offering services for survivors of abuse and those in housing crisis. He is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including being named in 2010 as one of InSpire Magazine’s “Top 40 Inspirers in America” and in 2018, being named recipient of the Iowa State University Green Dot Change Agent Award recognizing an individual who has utilized transformative leadership that engages campus community in support of culture change.
Lynnette Young Overby (Ph.D., University of Maryland) is a Professor of Theatre at the University of Delaware. She has served as Equity Administrator for the University of Maryland College of Health and Human Development, where she spearheaded efforts to recruit and retain minority students and faculty. Before coming to the University of Delaware, she served as the College of Arts and Letters Associate Dean of Outreach, Engagement, and Inclusivity at Michigan State University. Currently, she serves as Faculty Director of Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning and a Professor of Theatre and Dance. Her publications have appeared in The Journal of Mental Imagery, The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, Cognition, Imagination and Personality, and the Journal of Dance Medicine and Science. With co-authors Beth Post and Diane Newman, Overby published the book, Interdisciplinary Learning through Dance: 101 MOVEntures. She serves as co-editor of seven volumes of Dance: Current Selected Research.
Dr. Lynnette Young Overby, Professor of Theatre and Dance, Faculty Director of Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning, University Of Delaware
Mr. Vasu Moodley, Operations Manager SAFE Center, University of Maryland
Vasu Moodley is the Operations Manager with The University of Maryland’s SAFE Center. Vasu served as the Transform Mid-Atlantic AmeriCorps VISTA member in 2020 developing the SAFE Center’s economic empowerment and volunteer programs. Vasu has over 17 years’ non-profit experience in South Africa, India and the United States with special focus on community development and adult basic education for social change. As the Business Manager of CV Projects SA, Vasu led the establishment of the Ikusasa Development Trust, a nonprofit organization that spearheaded a clustered, integrated rural development called the S3Village Project. Vasu was the former Acting Director of Operation Upgrade of South Africa, a literacy nonprofit that was awarded the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Confucius Prize for Literacy in 2008. Vasu currently serves as a Trustee of the James Nxumalo Education Trust, and as an advisory board member of the Family Literacy Project. He has also served as a Rotarian with the Umhlanga Rotary Club, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa from 2012 until 2019. Vasu holds a Bachelor of Social Science in Politics and History from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (previously University of Natal).
Equity Taskforce Recommendations
The Transform Mid-Atlantic Equity Taskforce submitted these recommendations to Transform Mid-Atlantic’s Board that include action steps TMA will take in order to create a culture of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion across the region.
- What does a high level of integration of CE and JEDI look like for community partnerships, students, and for faculty projects?
- How do we move from the what we say we do on paper, and the measurement in numbers, to how people experience JEDI--how people within communities and partnerships experience JEDI?
- How do we narrow and eliminate the gap between the official practice and the lived experience of students, faculty, all members of the campus-community (including contractual workers), and the larger community of which the campus is a part?
- How do we know, and how do we show that JEDI is embedded in the DNA of the culture of institutions’ civic and community engagement partnerships?
- How do we use JEDI as a framework for making decisions in our community partnerships and civic and community engagement initiatives?
- Walk the Talk: TMA will continue its own internal equity audit, ongoing learning, and reflection.
- Use the term JEDI: Add “Justice” to DEI language, using “JEDI” moving forward, in TMA website, documents, plans. (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion)
- Provide Resources to Members: Gather, develop, and share (on the TMA website) resources about the intersection of civic engagement and JEDI work for students, faculty, institutions, community partnerships, including how to recognize, incentivize, and sustain it.
- Highlight Best Practices: Collect and highlight best practices where CE and JEDI are deeply integrated.
- Develop Guiding Questions: Create guiding questions that can assist institutions in reflecting on how they are integrating JEDI explicitly and intentionally in their civic and community engagement moving forward.
- Develop Institutionalization Rubric: Adapt the Furco rubric to show intersection with JEDI to support campuses as they institutionalize and sustain JEDI in their civic and community engagement efforts and culture. Link this institutionalization document with MSCHE Standards and Carnegie Community Engagement questions/standards.
- Provide Thought-Leadership: Host panels, COPs, and continuously raise awareness and interest to build JEDI skill and muscle.
- Develop Assessment Tools: Together with IR specialists, build out how we can assess progress in student learning, faculty development, institutionalization, and community partnerships.
- Develop and Administer Survey(s): To asset map institutions’ work, and what (resources, convenings, professional development, etc.) they need to move forward.
- Develop Training Tools for campuses, including those starting out on their journey and institutions focused on sustaining their efforts.
- Assess Collective Impact: Determine collectively how institutions can not only assess their own progress but assess our progress as a consortium and region toward this collectively embraced vision of integrating civic and community engagement with explicit JEDI outcomes. How will our combined higher education institutions demonstrate CE-JEDI progress for students, faculty, institutions, and communities?
- Continue the Conversation: Invite ETF members to continue this conversation and work. Include other leaders who are drawn to and committed to this work, especially including IR/assessment specialists.