|BCC Hires Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Director|
|By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff |
10:45AM / Thursday, September 01, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College has hired a director of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Former Director of Alumni Relations Antonia "Toni" Buckley has taken on the role of DEI director for the college. President Ellen Kennedy announced her appointment at the BCC Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday.
"I just want to share that I'm really grateful and super excited about this opportunity to support the college in this next phase to becoming the most inclusive organization that we can be," Buckley said, adding that her heart lies within equity efforts and with BCC.
Buckley was born in Germany to two Syrian parents and moved to the United States in 2015. She has a master's degree in communications and design and is approaching another master's degree in management of nonprofits and cultural organizations.
The DEI director sees herself as an artist, activist, and active volunteer in the community. She was the former coordinator of the Berkshire Immigrant Stories project, which collects and shares the stories of recent local immigrants and their families.
In the last year, other communities and organizations in Berkshire County have made similar moves.
The city of Pittsfield appointed North Adams City Councilor Michael Obasohan as the head of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in February. During the fiscal 2022 budget season, a six-month budget of $99,760 was passed for the office.
In July, Berkshire Health Systems hired Charles Redd, a registered nurse, for the newly created DEI officer position. It is the organization's first full-time role for proactively developing and implementing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
In March, the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee passed a fiscal year 2023 budget that included a $100,000 allowance for a newly created director of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
The college's classes start on Tuesday. Kennedy announced a number of other organizational structure updates for the upcoming year including moving the Community Education and Workforce Development team from Academic Affairs back under the president and the STEM and Allied Health Program taking on Business, Fire Science, and Culinary and Hospitality.
Laurie Gordy was also announced as the interim vice president of academic affairs while a national search is conducted and Matthew Muller as the interim dean of behavioral and social sciences. Both are former faculty at BCC.