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The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (ODEI)

The mission of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) is to provide visible leadership and direction for the College’s efforts on behalf of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, to promote diversity awareness and understanding within the larger campus community, to foster community and advocate for changes so that students and employees feel they belong, be a resource to students, faculty and staff in their efforts on behalf of diversity and inclusion, and advocate on behalf of minoritized communities. 



At McDaniel, we understand that marginalized and underrepresented groups require specific support. As part of this work, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion actively seeks to support the following student populations*:

  • Students of color: Students from underrepresented and systemically marginalized groups based on racial and ethnic identities
  • Students who identify as gender and sexuality minorities (LGBTQ+): Students who may identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming, queer, asexual, intersex, etc.
  • First-generation students: Students who are the first in their family to attend an institution of higher education.

*The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion acknowledges the challenges of language when categorizing identity. We strive to ensure our terminology represents the above groups in the language that best reflects and affirms their individual and collective identities.

Richard Smith

Sociology professor and alumnus Richard M. Smith named inaugural associate provost for equity and belonging

McDaniel College has named Richard M. Smith as the college’s inaugural associate provost for equity and belonging. Smith is a 2000 alumnus and has taught sociology at McDaniel since 2010. For the past three years, he served as special advisor to the provost.

McDaniel College entrance sign in Spring.

LGBTQ+ Support Chosen Name Policy & All-Gender Restrooms Inclusive Excellence

McDaniel College recognizes how important it is to have the ability to be addressed by the name that an individual prefers. Accordingly, procedures for preferred name policy are set and are intended to provide guidance to help individuals navigate college systems and make adjustments where needed. Though some offices must utilize a students legal name (Financial Aid, for example), every effort is made to respect our student's chosen name.

Additionally, McDaniel College provides more than a dozen all-gender restrooms across campus. We believe that the removal of gender designation from restrooms is a meaningful step forward in our commitment to inclusive excellence.


Our students have developed a variety of organizations that recognize and celebrate diverse populations. These organizations are active and plan an important role in educating and developing our community. New students are invited to join the organizations that interest them.

Explore Culture & Diversity and Gender & Sexuality Organizations

Campus Activities: Recognizing & Celebrating Our Diverse Populations

Our campus is proud to host events that celebrate our diversity. These events add to the vibrant social fabric of our community and provide opportunities for recognition and increased awareness among students, staff and faculty.

Annual Cultural Events

Annual Global Dinners: Taste of Africa, Taste of Latin America, Taste of Asia and Taste of Arabia are offered throughout the academic year. Students in Africa’s Legacy, Asian Community Coalition, and Hispano Latino Alliance plan and organize these annual dinners highlighting food, fashion and education related to the respective cultures of each group. The Department of World Languages and the Arab & Middle East Studies Program hosts the Taste of Arabia event which includes Arabic food, music traditional Arabic Dabka (folk dance), belly dancing, and Arabic calligraphy.

Annual Kwanzaa Celebration Dinner: Celebrating and honoring the first specifically African-American Holiday.

Annual UNITED Event: Students from multicultural student organizations, Global Fellows, and the Greek Community collaborate to host the annual UNITED event.  This year’s theme was, “Back to our Roots” and the program included dance performances, singers, a special performance from A1 Chops, and diverse food options representing a variety of cultures. 

Lectures & Performances

Though specific events and speakers change annually, our commitment to diversity programming does not. The list below provides a sampling of the kinds of events students can expect at McDaniel

Global Issues Colloquium: “Migration and Communities in the U.S. and Beyond”

This community-wide, interactive discussion of global migration provided participants the opportunity to come to a greater understanding of the forces that drive migration and how immigration shapes communities in the U.S. and in other countries.

National Coming Out Day Celebration

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, in collaboration with the McDaniel College Gender Sexuality Alliance, celebrates National Coming Out Day. 

Alina Fernandez: Daughter of Fidel Castro

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Alina Fernandez shared her first-person, intimate account of growing up in Cuba, and the many, broad sweeping changes effecting Cuba today and into the future, as a result of Obama era politics and social and political reforms.

C. Anthony Muse: “Race, Faith and Politics”

Mr. Muse is a Baltimore native who earned a Doctorate from Howard University, currently the Senior Pastor of Ark of Safety Christian Church and serving his third term as a senator representing Maryland's 26th Legislative District. He discussed the intersection of Race, Faith and Politics.

National Museum of the American Indian: Weekend Blitz Trip

In celebration of American Indian Heritage Month, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in collaboration with the Office of Student Engagement sponsored a trip to the National Museum of the American Indian. The focus of the trip was to attend the exhibit: Return to a Native Place:  Algonquian Peoples of the Chesapeake.

Transgender Day of Remembrance 

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Wellness Center and McDaniel College Gender Sexuality Alliance observed Transgender Day of Remembrance.  There was a vigil to honor and remember all of the transgender individuals who had died this year and various other events for students, faculty and staff to observe this day.

Ernie G, Empowerment Comedian

Ernie G is one of the hottest, multi-talented, young Latino entertainers in the country today. Ernie has developed his own unique form of Comedy he calls “Latino Edutainment – Educating and Entertaining with a Latino Flavor!” and has performed for many of the country’s top organizations and corporations, including Disney, Pepsi-Co, General Mills, U.S. Armed Forces, National Council de la Raza, Latin American Educational Foundation and the Hispanic College Fund. Co-sponsored by League of League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

Ernie G, Leadership Workshop

Ernie G facilitated a Leadership workshop for students to increase and maximize their leadership potential. Co-sponsored by League of League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

Enzo Silon Surin, Poet, Educator, publisher and social advocate

Enzo Silon Surin, Haitian-born poet, educator, publisher and social advocate, and the author of two chapbooks, A Letter of Resignation: An American Libretto (2017) and Higher Ground (2006). He is recipient of a Brother Thomas Fellowship from The Boston Foundation and is a PEN New England Celebrated New Voice in Poetry. Enzo’s talk “We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For” focused on reclaiming our past in order to liberate and empower our present. Co-sponsored by Black Student Union. (Part of Black History Month celebration)

Kavindu Jointe, Spoken Word Poet

"As a Black Transgender Queer person, Kavi bridges the intersections of personal and political identity, with poems that focus on a range of topics, such as street harassment, sexuality, class, gender, race, love, relationships, grief and hope." Co-Sponsored by McDaniel College’s Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA)

Phenomenal Women Awards Banquet

In Celebration of Women’s History month, ODI honored a student and faculty/staff member that exemplified what it is to be a McDaniel College woman. The program was based off the Maya Angelou poem “Phenomenal Woman”. Co-sponsored by Phenomenal Women and Part of Women’s History Month celebration.

Storm Smith: The Untapped Gold Mine of Adversity that Virtually No One Knows About 

This presentation invited the audience to experience the powerful story of Storm Smith, a Deaf woman of color and acclaimed creative filmmaker/visual storyteller. They learned all about her transformative journey from growing up in Los Angeles, to constantly making the ultimate decisions as a Psychology student in Washington D.C., to unexpectedly landing a dream career at a top advertising agency in New York. Co-sponsored by the ASL Program.        

1st Generation Student Panel

Office of Diversity and Inclusion sponsored a 1st generation student panel to hear from faculty, staff and students that identify as a 1st generation student. The panel discussed what they have gone through as a 1st generation student, what were some of the obstacles and how to overcome these challenging barriers. Co-sponsored by Palabras 2 Words.

Henry Navarrette Méndez

Henry’s presentation depicted his journey that took him from El Salvador to the United States. Henry walked the audience through his encounters with cartels; ending up in a Mexican juvenile detention center and eventually getting the opportunity go to college in the U.S.

Inclusive Excellence Award Ceremony

ODI proudly celebrates McDaniel College’s graduating seniors who have demonstrated inclusive excellence during their career here at McDaniel College. 


Workshops and trainings change annually but the list below provides a sample of trainings that have occurred on our campus, some of which are on-going. 

Inclusive Language: The language that we use matters. It also helps to create open dialogue with one another. Participants learn to what are micro-aggressions, their impact, and how to avoid using them. There is also a portion of workshop learning about how your words have consequences and how to have open and honest dialogue about race, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity etc…

Multicultural Competence: It is important to learn and recognize difference cultures, backgrounds, perspectives, and how to appreciate and live within are ever changing globalized society.

The Safe Zone Program provides a network of safe and supportive allies to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) community at McDaniel College.  Safe Zone Training allowed a space for the McDaniel community to learn how to advocate for and provide a welcoming environment for LGBTQ students, staff, and faculty.  This training was offered multiple times throughout the academic year for Resident Assistants, Faculty, Staff, and the McDaniel community at large.

Transgender 101 Training: Provides faculty, staff and students an understanding of terminology, how to support individuals who identify as transgender, identify some of the barriers that transgender individuals encounter and provide a welcoming and affirming space for our transgender faculty, staff and students.

Additional workshops include:

  • Privilege, Power and Oppression
  • Difficult Conversations: Challenging the Idea, Not the Person 
  • Creating Inclusive Spaces
Dr. Richard Smith and Rev. Nontombi Naomi Tutu at McDaniel Convocation 2-16-22

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion ODEI PROGRAMS Programs/Events

The ODEI seeks to support students, staff and faculty in achieving a more diverse, equitable and inclusive McDaniel. The Office hosts various events, workshops and groups to foster community, facilitate discussions, and raise awareness. The ODEI works with different student organizations to support and plan different cultural or religious events on campus. For faculty and staff, in addition to the many trainings and workshops, the ODEI facilitates a semester long book club.  

Every semester, the ODEI also runs a speaker series. The ODEI Cultural Speaker Series hopes to honor and celebrate the different history and heritage months throughout the year. 


Interior of Baker Memorial Chapel.

Supporting Faith Traditions Sacred Spaces

In addition to the chapels on campus, an interfaith meditation room is also available to all students, faculty and staff of any religious or non-religious identity for prayer, reflection and meditation. The room is open Sunday through Saturday from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. The Interfaith Meditation Room is a place where students can meet with local religious leaders to seek guidance and religious/spiritual support. These volunteers offer weekly office hours and assist ODI with religious and spiritual programs. The room provides Prayer Rugs, a resource library with various books (Quran, Bible, Torah), and meeting space for religious/spiritually affiliated student organizations

Connect With Us

Dr. Richard M. Smith

Associate Provost for Equity and Belonging

Phone: 410-386-4644