October 21, 2020

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Higher Education, with Dwight Hamilton

Episode 63:

Dwight Hamilton, J.D. is the Director of the Office of Equity and Access for the Adtalem Global Education Group. Prior to coming to Adtalem, Mr. Hamilton worked at Northwestern University as its Associate Vice President for Equity and Smith College as its Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity and was its first Chief Diversity Officer. After practicing law for fifteen years, Mr. Hamilton transitioned into higher education by working at Grand Valley State University as its Associate Vice President for Affirmative Action and Title IX Coordinator.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Dwight’s background in legal practice transitioned into his career in diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education
  • How the Adtalem Global Education Group runs a number of educational institutions in the US and throughout the world
  • What impact Dwight recognizes from the global pandemic on diversity, equity and inclusion in the online education space
  • Why there are differences between diversity, equity and inclusion work within higher education versus in other settings, and how those differences impact the work itself
  • Why faculty play such a crucial role in creating an inclusive learning environment, and why there is an important power dynamic between tenured and non-tenured faculty
  • What Dwight believes the diversity, equity and inclusion field can do better, both within and outside higher education
  • Why a double standard exists where people sometimes look down on students getting in through Affirmative Action initiatives but not through being legacy students
  • Why “food, flags and festivals” are great for engagement but aren’t sufficient for creating meaningful change within an organization
  • Why greater diversity at higher education institutions benefits all students, and why the Supreme Court agrees that it is a compelling governmental interest
  • What advice Dwight would share with people who are just beginning to enter diversity, equity and inclusion work

Additional resources: