Diversity Initiatives

Diversity Affairs Office

The Diversity Affairs Office serves as an advocate and resource for students, and works collaboratively with staff and faculty to promote an inclusive, Christ-centered campus community. With support from inter- and intra-campus offices, organizations, and programs, the Diversity Affairs office provides:

  • Vision and leadership for the university’s diversity efforts through creative programming, consultation and partnerships
  • Supportive and sustaining relationships with students, colleagues and various public constituents
  • Attention to needs, issues, and concerns impacting diversity throughout the campus
  • Oversight of the university’s strategic diversity priorities;
  • Coordination of activities that promote the identity of students of color
  • Opportunities for celebration of the harmony in diversity on the campus and within the community

For inquiries relating to any diversity initiatives, please contact Dr. Cheryl Chatman, Executive Vice President and Dean of Diversity at chatman@csp.edu or at (651) 603-6151.

Various academic, social and intercultural programs and activities are linked with the Diversity Affairs Office. Below are a few of the major initiatives and/or organizations that this office oversees annually. 

  • Building Opportunities for Leadership and Development (BOLD) Scholarship Program
  • Coalition for Acceptance, Respect, and Equity (CARE) Committee 
  • United Minds of Joint Action (UMOJA)
  • Concordia Hmong Unity Student Association (CHUSA)
  • Concordia Sisterhood of Empowerment (CSE)
  • Shades of Harmony Gospel Choir 
  • Diversity Conferences (Local/Regional) 
  • Community Outreach 
    • Association of Black Women in Higher Education
    • ARTS US
    • Minnesota National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education
    • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • Central High School - Intervention for College Attendance Program (ICAP)/Advancement Via Individual Determinatin (AVID)/Seeds of Change Program

Building Opportunities for Leadership and Development (BOLD) Scholarship Program

The scholarship is designed to provide students with the academic support and financial assistance needed for them to be successful here at Concordia University, St. Paul. Through this scholarship we help to assist students in developing their leadership potential. The goal of the BOLD Scholarship is to insure that students have a healthy and meaningful transition into the college environment and that students successfully complete their college education here at Concordia University, St. Paul. Through the scholarship, students receive individual attention, positive interactions, ongoing support and wonderful opportunities to grow intellectually, spiritually and socially. Participants are expected to:

  • Utilize resources at Concordia University to improve their academic performance
  • Attend individual meetings to assess each participant's needs and academic progress throughout each semester
  • Attend on-and-off campus educational, cultural and social events planned or required by the program
  • Encouraged to be involved in various organizations, social activities and other extracurricular activities

Shades of Harmony Gospel Choir 

The choir is a volunteer chorus made up of students, faculty, and staff from varying races, cultures and backgrounds who are interested in learning about, experiencing, and singing music from diverse cultures.The group focuses on the African American Gospel Choir tradition, but also explores choral music of other cultures. The group performs occasionally in Concordia's chapel service and/or an off-campus service performance. Non-music major/minors may use up to eight ensemble credits towards graduation. 

For more information about Shades of Harmony Gospel Choir, please contact Andrew Griffin, the director and an alumna, at griffin@csp.edu.

C.A.R.E. Committee (Coalition for Acceptance, Respect, and Equity)

The C.A.R.E. committee is comprised of Concordia staff and faculty who began an organized effort to identify, engage and eliminate racism as it exists in its various forms at Concordia and beyond. The mission of the committee is to promote equality and peaceful coexistence through developing awareness of self and others, sharing knowledge, encouraging mutual understanding, and healing the historical and continuing trauma of injustice and inequity by acknowledging that racism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, and sexism still exist. 

The committee aims to support a campus community where the dignity, value, and human potential of each member is equally honored and respected through the creation of a campus environment free from violence and discrimination. Annual events and efforts sponsored by C.A.R.E. for the campus and wider community include interactive dialogues, focus groups, panels, sensitivity and awareness training, written and verbal communications and exchanges, unity activities, support of community issues and actions, and presentations at local and national conferences. Student involvement on all levels of this work is essential and critical to this team. Collaboration with on- and off-campus groups, departments and organizations is central to the planning and execution of events led and supported by C.A.R.E.

United Minds of Joint Action (UMOJA)

United Minds of Joint Action (UMOJA) is an organization that provides students opportunities for leadership, mentoring, advocacy, outreach, internships, and culture-specific educational, social and recreational activities. Opportunities to serve as officers, committee chairs, artists, performers and ambassadors exist from the freshmen to senior years. The mission of UMOJA is to:

  • Foster academic achievement and service
  • Address issues and concerns affecting students from diverse backgrounds
  • Promote an understanding and appreciation of cultural differences
  • Create unity among students of multi-cultural heritage within Concordia University and the surrounding community

Annual events hosted by UMOJA include:

  • Black History Month
  • Multicultural Night
  • Cultural Awareness Events
  • Can We Talk Sessions
  • Open Mic
  • Present at Diversity Leadership conferences

For more information about UMOJA, please contact the UMOJA's advisors, Adrian Perryman, Assistant Director of Academic Advising at perryman@csp.edu; (651) 641-8843; and Charles Hines, Coordinator of Military Services in Admissions at hines@csp.edu; (651) 641-8758.

Concordia Hmong Unity Student Association (CHUSA)

Concordia has an active Hmong organization and support program, which provides advocacy, leadership experiences, internship opportunities and social connections. CHUSA’s mission is to promote Hmong culture, practices, and history through academic leadership workshops, events and collaborations. CHUSA offers students a channel to make meaningful connections with other students and the overall campus. CHUSA’s presence on campus is widely known and highly respected. The goals of the association attempts to:

  • Promote awareness and understanding of the Hmong Culture
  • Promote and support Hmong related initiatives, activties and events
  • Promote and encourage communication, collaboration and unity within the university and throughout the Twin Cities community

CHUSA annual events include:

  • Hmong Heritage Month
  • The Secret War Simulation
  • Hmong Awareness Night
  • Hmong Professionals Panel 
  • Ua Tsaug Night (Thanksgiving Night)

For more information about CHUSA, please contact CHUSA’s advisors, Louisa Vang, Program Coordinator for Diversity Affairs at lvang@csp.edu: (651) 641-8851; and Brenda Vue, Admissions Counselor/PSEO Admissions Coordinator/Southeast Asian Student Recruiter at bvue@csp.edu; (651) 641-6275.

Concordia Sisterhood of Empowerment (CSE)

Concordia Sisterhood of Empowerment is an organization that encourages young women of Concordia to celebrate individual accomplishments, support each other in difficult times, and empower one another to become leaders in the community. CSE offers students a channel to build connections with other women on campus to support them along with having workshops/lectures to discuss about women's rights and society's view on women. The goals that CSE tries to stride:

  • To promote self confidence in communication skills
  • To promote optimal college and learning experience through activities, events, and collaboration with other clubs and organizations
  • To promote participation in related initiatives that empower women

Events that CSE has hosted include:

  • Can We Talk Sessions
  • Professional Women Panel
  • Title IV Awareness Session
  • Holiday celebration activities

For more information about CSE, please contact CSE's advisors, Louisa Vang, Program Coordinator for Diversity Affairs at lvang@csp.edu; (651) 641-8851; Kimberly Newton, Student Activities and Leadership Development Coordinator, at knewton@csp.edu; (651) 641-8757; and Caitlin Perszyk, Career Counselor and Employer Relations Specialist, at perszyk@csp.edu; (651) 603-6241.