Starting the Conversation: Dr. Diane Ariza & Shante Hanks

Published on: 26th October, 2020

In 2020, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officers are rapidly becoming the real MVPs at colleges and universities across America. As Southern Connecticut State University's first chief DEI strategist, Dr. Diane Ariza brings more than two decades’ experience of administrative leadership in social justice and a background of teaching and research in ethnic studies to address issues of documenting and amplifying equity, anti-racism, and anti-oppression work. Dr. Ariza holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Sociology with a concentration in ethnic and race relations, as well as a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology. Her bachelor’s degree is in history and Spanish.

A Southern alumna and CT's deputy commissioner of housing, Shante Hanks is a thought leader, educator, community advocate, political strategist and author. Her grassroots approach allows her to connect the dots between policy and the pulse of the community. Ms. Hanks has a Bachelor of Science in History and Secondary Education, Master of Science in Elementary Education, Sixth-Year Degree in Educational Foundations with a focus in Urban Studies & Curriculum, and is currently a doctoral student. 

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About the Podcast

Real Talk: A Diversity in Higher Ed Podcast
Addressing issues of equity and inclusion with authenticity and vulnerability
In Season Two, student activist Jamil Harp and Professor KC Councilor break down communication barriers and get to the heart of equity and inclusion conversations on college campuses.

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Southern Connecticut State University

At Southern, we are committed to identifying and addressing systemic barriers to equity, access, and success for all members of our community. We are also committed to constructive dialogues where we treat one another with dignity, respect, kindness, compassion, and civility as we share varying perspectives, with the goal of creating an inclusive culture. By joining social justice and free speech with critical thinking in and out of the classroom, we prepare students to engage with societal issues on campus, as well as in our local communities, our nation and our world.