Office of Identity, Equity, and Engagement
On July 1, 2018, the Division of Student Affairs went through a structural realignment. As a part of the realignment, the Multicultural Resource Center, Student Advising for Freshmen Excellence, Religious and Spiritual Life, and Latinx Student Services combined to create one unit under the Dean of Students Office. The staff and ideals of student identity development transformed these offices into Identity, Equity, and Engagement with a new mission, vision, values and programming.
Religious and Spiritual Life
In 1965, the United Religious Ministry was initiated by Dr. Bonnie Cone, housed within the Office of Religious Affairs. Bonnie Cone appointed Loy Witherspoon as URM/ORA's first director who served in addition to teaching full- time in the Religious Studies department. In 1997, the URM's name changed to Inter-Religious Council (IRC) and expanded its membership from campus ministers of registered student organizations to any interested individual at UNC Charlotte. The IRC focused on developing and maintaining a cooperative and non-threatening environment of understanding, mutual respect, and meaningful interaction between all faith groups on campus. In 2007, the office name changed to Religious and Spiritual Life and became a subunit of the Multicultural Resource Center.
Latinx Student Services
The Latinx Student Services office engaged the Charlotte Latinx community by collaborating with various community organizations to promote college access and awareness. Latinx Student Services seeked to support, guide, and empower students to build community and promote holistic social and academic success. They also provided family members of Latinx students with bilingual resources and support. IEE will continue to provide support and resources to the Latinx community.
Multicultural Resource Center
The Multicultural Resource Center started with the vision of a former UNC Charlotte student, Joseph Toomer. As senior class president, Toomer often thought about the legacy students left to their alma mater. In 1996, Toomer developed a proposal to educate others in the campus community about the need for a warm and inviting place for people of diverse backgrounds. A place where those differences would be welcomed and embraced. A place where people would be educated and challenged. He rallied the support of student leaders, student organizations, and from University staff and faculty who, in turn, made the idea a reality. For twenty-two years, the Multicultural Resource Center stood as a physical reminder that one person can make a difference. IEE will continue to educate the campus community and support students.