students sharing meal at international education event

Status of People of Color


The UNH President's Commission on the Status of People of Color proposes, recommends and evaluates programs, policies and services aimed at enhancing diversity and supporting people of color within the UNH community. The commission acts to ensure implementation of goals to increase campus diversity through minority student, faculty and staff recruitment and retention, and through curriculum development.

The mission of the President’s Commission on the Status of People of Color is to facilitate the development of a diverse university community by exploring ways to resolve concerns of students, faculty, and staff of color and recommending policy change to the Associate Vice President for Community, Equity, and Diversity.

Students, staff and faculty serve on the commission.

Please contact us if you questions or comments.

Shelly-Ann Richmond, Tito Jackson, Malik Aziz, Earlene Mends

L-R, Shelly-Ann Richmond, Tito Jackson, Malik Aziz, Earlene Mends

Black Student Union 15 years ago - remembrance of BSU sit-in in 1998 (read the story)

On June 12, 1997, the Campus Journal wrote, "Recognizing the need to support people of color through specific programs, additions in the curriculum, and the evaluation of policies and services, the university administration has taken a critical step in creating the UNH President's Commission on the Status of People of Color."

Today, inequities and disparities still exist, and the Commission works to fulfill the promise of full inclusion and equity. The mission of the UNH President's Commission on the Status of People of Color is to promote diversity at the University of New Hampshire, to support people of color and to foster an inclusive university community through education, assessment, advocacy and activism.

The Commission makes recommendations to the President of the university on issues for people of color. It actively monitors the status of people of color and the environment of inclusion and equity and communicates its findings and concerns with the UNH community. In addition to policy work, the commission supports educational and cultural opportunities to raise awareness; it recognizes accomplishments; and it advocates for change.

The members of the Commission work with other organizations, individuals, offices, departments and administrative groups at UNH to recommend both policies and programs promoting diversity of culture and curriculum, and diversity among students, faculty, staff and administration at UNH. Recent Commission projects have included supporting the continuation of a Chinese Lectureship Series, supporting additions to the curriculum, working with Admissions, to monitor the recruitment and retention of students of color, advocating for the recruitment and retention of faculty of color, offering a promotion and tenure workshop for under-represented groups, hosting a speaker series to promote discussion of issues, and offering receptions for faculty and staff of color. The Commission has also supported a grant program, New England Center for Inclusive Teaching (NECIT), which seeks to provide voice and identity for faculty through the sharing of experiences that support inclusive teaching and learning. It also explores how the scholarship of pedagogy can foster the success of diverse students. It's goal is to build a supportive network of faculty who engage in diversity-related initiatives.

A Tangible commitment to enhancing diversity at UNH was made in July 2004 with the appointment of a Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity Initiatives. This office was charged with developing a comprehensive diversity plan and serving as a resource to deans, department chairs, Faculty Senate Agenda Committee and university administrators in matters related to the advancement of the University's diversity goals. Subsequently, a Diversity Strategic Planning Task Force was established in September 2004 to develop a five-year strategic plan for enhancing diversity at UNH.

In January 2005, the members of the Diversity Task Force and other key leaders supported the creation of the Office of the Office for Diversity Initiatives and the appointment of Dr. Wanda Mitchell as Vice Provost for Diversity. The office was created to provide leadership and resources for the fulfillment of the University's Strategic Plan for Diversity. The Strategic Plan solidifies the University's commitment to excellence in providing the highest quality, broad-based education for students in a diverse, inclusive and welcoming setting. It identifies seven comprehensive strategies, to be implemented over the year few years. These strategies deal with organizational structure, recruitment and retention, curriculum, community climate and outreach and engagement.

To view the 2010-2020 Diversity Strategic Plan

Investing in Diversity at UNH: The Turbulent Years, 1968-1972

"Other institutions followed with changes in curriculum and student/faculty population in the late 1960s, including the University of New Hampshire in 1969. At UNH as at other campuses, change did not come easily. Administrative offices were taken over; academics went on strike; rhetoric became heated and threatening."  read more

Group photo: Commission Members

Commission membership is reviewed annually in April. Members are appointed by the President. If you are interested in becoming a member of the commission, please contact us.

Members of the Commission

2017-2018 Members

  • Avery Smith,Chair, Business Manager, IT BSC
  • Carmela Amato-Wierda, Associate Prof of Material Sciences
  • Yamilex Bencosme, Undergraduate Student
  • Raul Bernal, Director of Career and Professional Development, COLA
  • Darnelle Bosquet-Fleurival, Assistant Director, Office of Residential Life
  • Cliff Brown, Associate Prof of Sociology
  • Tara Flippo, Clinical Asst Prof., Browne Center,  School of Health and Human Services
  • Rogers Johnson, Community Member, Seacoast NAACP
  • Kayode Lewis, Recreational Sports Coordinator
  • Jhenneffer Marcal, Undergraduate Student
  • Andres Mejia, Educational Program Coordinator, Connect Program, Univ Advising & Career Ctr
  • Subhash Minocha, Professor Biological Sciences
  • Sriyaa Shah, Undergraduate Student
  • Brandon Thomas, Academic Coordinator, Athletics

Ex-officio Members

  • Thuy Nguyen, International Employee Specialist,  Office of International Students & Scholars
  • Sean McGhee, Director, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs
  • Donna Marie Sorrentino, Director, Affirmative Action & Equity Office
  • Sylvia Foster, Educational Program Coordinator, Office of Community, Equity and Diversity
  • Janice Pierson, Administrative Coordinator, Office of Community, Equity and Diversity

Coming up...

faces of 3 people set in grid format using facial features

Black New England Conference
Fri-Sat, Oct 19-20, 2018, Huddleston Hall

Theme: "Express Yourself: Identity, Style and Adornment".  Panelists and speakers will explore the traditions, artistry and social histories that have shaped different forms of African American style and will explore the present impact of various forms of artistic expression.  More conference info and registration details


Join BSU in celebrating our 11TH Annual Black Family Weekend
April 13th - April 15th

Black Family Weekend (BFW) is dedicated to Black students and their families to celebrate culture, family, friends, and just about anything that pertains to the Black community, both good and bad. BFW is BSU's largest event of the academic school year and this year will be our 11th Annual one. It is an inclusive event and we invite everyone and their families to celebrate with BSU. Every year, BFW is centered around a specific theme and we hold events each day of the entire weekend (Friday through Sunday). For complete details on planned weekend events

It's About Everybody

News & Announcements

  • Aseeb Niazi

    Aseebulla "Aseeb" Niazi '15

    “I was incredibly honored and humbled when I received news that I would be a Rangel Fellow,” Niazi explains. “I have been working toward joining the Foreign Service since my junior year at UNH, and this fellowship is my first step toward achieving that goal.” Only 30 students are selected for fellowships each year from across U.S. and Aseeb was awarded a Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship for 2017.