Introduction to the Center for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Dr. Shawn Ricks


Earlier this year, Dr. Shawn Ricks was hired as the Assistant Vice President for the Center for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Ricks started at Salem in an interim position in Nov. 2017 and has since been hired as a full time faculty member.

Ricks started her career in higher education at Susquehanna University as the director for multicultural affairs. After taking a break from the workforce, she started work at Forsyth Technical Community College and taught in the Human Services program. She then taught and acted as an administrator at Winston-Salem State University for nine years.

Ricks joined Salem after a job as an associate professor at Old Dominion University. In addition to having her PhD in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Ricks is also a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist.

The Center for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’s mission statement, as defined on the Salem College website, claims “The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Salem College is committed to building an inclusive campus community. The Office works collaboratively…to cultivate a climate of awareness, understanding, respect, and inclusiveness for all individuals and groups. The Office designs and supports programs and initiatives that seek to ensure fair and equitable treatment for Salem College’s richly diverse community.”

Ricks mentioned that she is pleased that the name has been changed from “Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion” to “Center for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion,” although the Salem website does not reflect that change as of yet.

Based off the mission statement, the center hosts educational programs for students, faculty and staff of both Salem College and the Academy, and works with students to provide a more comprehensive understanding of cultural competence.

Ricks said that her plans for the center include more educational programs and supporting students and student-led groups. She wanted to make it clear that the center is for everyone and that all students are welcome in the center whenever they can come by. She has also asked that students reach out to her if they have any concerns or needs that she can assist them with; she can be contacted at

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