Prescott College Appoints First Chief Diversity Officer

Prescott College Appoints First Chief Diversity Officer

Dr. Anita Fernández to Implement Action Plans to Increase Racial Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion at the College 

Dr. Anita Fernández has been appointed Prescott College’s first Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). Dr. Fernández will be responsible for defining and assuring implementation of priorities and action plans to increase ethnic diversity, equity, and inclusion. She will report directly to the President and will serve as a key strategic advisor to the President, the Provost and the Senior Leadership Team. 

Dr. Fernández most recently served as Director of the Master of Arts in Social Justice and Community Organizing program at Prescott College. She is currently Director and Assistant Dean, Prescott College Tucson and is co-founder and Director of XITO, an urban educational consulting collective that trains educators and organizers in decolonizing and re-humanizing pedagogy. Her teaching, scholarship, activism and organizing have been focused on the areas of racial justice, decolonizing pedagogies, Chicanx rights and social justice education. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from The University of Arizona College of Education.

“Dr. Fernández is exceptionally qualified to fill this position, and I am particularly pleased that we were able to hire from within,” said Prescott President John Flicker.  "Prescott College has been a leader in social justice for over a decade and by instituting a Chief Diversity Officer position the college is solidifying its commitment to racial justice and inclusion,” added Dr. Fernandez. “I'm thrilled and humbled to be the first person to take on this role and to have an opportunity to help develop and support academics, policies and practices that are humanizing and culturally responsive,"

The CDO will oversee the continued development and implementation of the college’s Strategic Plan regarding racial justice and inclusion (RJI) and the expansion of partnerships to support these efforts for the strength and success of the College. This includes implementing climate surveys and racial impact analyses, serving as an HSI liaison, and supporting existing and new partnerships with outside institutions and organizations. The CDO will support the college’s curricular and professional development in collaboration with the Racial Justice and Inclusion Committee and the Faculty and Staff Leadership Councils. Additional priorities for the CDO include providing guidance in planning for recruitment and retention of BIPOC faculty, staff and students, and assuring training, development, and other support to racial justice and inclusion practitioners throughout the College.