News and Events

Jen Fry to speak at SC4 in October

Jen Fry

Social justice educator Jen Fry will speak on the SC4 campus on Friday, October 9.

Jen Fry is a native of Arizona, a Division II athlete, and veteran volleyball coach with over 15 years of experience at the collegiate level with coaching stints at Elon University, the University of Illinois (2011 National Runner-Up), Washington State University, and Norfolk State University. She turned social justice educator when she realized there was a need for educating not only our student-athletes of all ages, but the administration, staff, and coaches who train them through an antiracist lens on issues of race, inclusion, intersectionality, diversity, and equity. She is also working on her Phd in Geography at Michigan State University.

Social justice education assists everyone in their process of critically thinking of how to become culturally competent, how to self reflect on one’s position, power and privilege, and lastly, how to create an inclusive culture that allows diversity to be a part of the culture not BE the culture.

She spoke at TEDxDuke in February 2019 on the topic of “Radical Social Justice Education Through High Fives.” Here’s a video of her presentation:


D.E.I. Reading Series Discussion initiative

The D.E.I. (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Reading Series Discussion initiative aims for students, staff, faculty, and the community to have an honest and open dialogue on their perspective lens and connect with the subject in a comprehensive way to promote respect and empathy in others; by creating a safe space to share discussion and transparency about the issues surrounding the select topics.

The first group discussion will be on Friday, September 25, 2020. Tentatively, this will be held in the Fine Arts Theater. The book being discussed will be White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. Our facilitators will be Dr. Leah Howell and Dr. Portia Watkins.

Dr. Howell currently serves as the Director of Health, Wellness, and Accountability for Alpha Phi International Fraternity, transitioning to this role after nearly two decades of direct experience in post-secondary education. She completed her Ph.D. in Educational Studies, with a focus in Developmental and Learning Sciences, at the University of Cincinnati where her research focused on the intersection of identity development and high-risk alcohol use. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Family Studies & Psychology from Central Michigan University. Her functional experience includes work in the Ombud’s Office, Student Conduct, Title IX, Disability Support Services, Fraternity and Sorority Life. Her curriculum development and facilitation experience are diverse, covering topics including academic success, leadership development, sexual violence prevention, harm reduction, and cultural competence. As a proud first-generation college student, she has an affinity for opportunities which allow her to impact the expansion of inclusion and access practices for post-secondary communities.

Dr. Watkins is an equity and inclusion minded higher education professional with over 8 years of experience. She is a Level 1 trainer of the Kingian NonViolence Conflict Reconciliation program which is based on the life and readings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Her research interests include: Black Women Professors and Staff in higher education, Othermothering, Black Feminist thought, Critical Race theory, group dynamics, access in higher education, social justice, supervision and assessment. Dr. Watkins is currently serving as the Director of New Student Orientation at Michigan State University. 

Available books

The following books are available for SC4 employees to borrow, read, and then participate in discussions as we move into the fall semester.

There is no cost to participants. To get a copy of one or more of the books, send an email to DEI@sc4.edu with the following information:

  • Your book choice (or choices)
  • Your book delivery preference: Either pick it up at the Office of DEI, have it delivered by interoffice mail, or have it mailed to your home (include your mailing address if you choose this option)
  • Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla Saad
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
  • White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson
  • How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Please contact DEI@sc4.edu or jdbrown@sc4.edu if you have any questions.


Focus Group sessions for Faculty, Staff and Students

The DEI Office will facilitate focus group sessions for SC4 faculty, staff and students for an opportunity for everyone to express their questions, concerns, experiences, and perspectives on diversity, equity, and inclusion at SC4 and how SC4 can move the needle for change. Seats are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis by emailing dei@sc4.edu to reserve your spot.

Focus group sessions:  

  • Aug. 14 —FACULTY Noon to 1 p.m. Reserve your spot by Aug. 13 (virtual session)
  • Aug. 21— STAFF 3 to 4 p.m. Reserve your spot by Aug. 20 (virtual session)
  • Aug. 28 — FACULTY 4 to 5 p.m. Reserve your spot by Aug. 27 (virtual session)
  • Sept. 9 — STUDENT 3 to 4 p.m. Reserve your spot by Sept. 8 (location TBA)
  • Sept. 11 — STUDENT Noon to 1 p.m. Reserve your spot by Sept. 10 (location TBA)
  • Sept. 18 — STAFF 10 to 11 a.m. Reserve your spot by Sept. 17 (location TBA)

Additional plans for the coming year

  • Host national and regional diversity, equity, and inclusion speakers on campus
  • Develop and conduct professional development opportunities for employees on campus
  • Coordinate with the Global Diversity Advisory Council, Civic Engagement, G.L.O.W., SC4MPowers and other groups on campus on shared interests and similar activities
  • Connect with community groups
  • Advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in all campus systems, activities, functions, and efforts