UNC Asheville Welcomes New Director of Multicultural Affairs, Luke Givens

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UNC Asheville welcomed Luke Givens to the role of director of multicultural affairs on Oct. 9. A North Carolina native, Givens previously served as retention and multicultural center coordinator at Portland Community College's Cascade campus.

Givens plans to build on UNC Asheville's core value of diversity and inclusion through his work as multicultural affairs director. "Ultimately, I really want to build that diversity infrastructure," Givens said. "There are a lot of institutions that will throw diversity, equity and inclusion into a strategic plan, but have no real idea what that looks like. It's figuring out how we as a community actually envision that. Part of my role in a lot of ways is to serve as an architect for that."

Givens' goals will include incorporating and building on work that has already begun at the university, and helping to make connections between those on campus already involved in that work.

"Part of my work will be figuring out how we build a campus climate where students feel like they're empowered, they're getting a great education, they feel like they're more prepared when they go out into the world," Givens said. "Where faculty and staff really love working here, and then where alumni want to come back, and the community feels like it's a partner that's attached to what we're doing."

These are goals that require ongoing effort, Givens said, but he's encouraged by the support he's seen so far.

"It feels like there is going to be a system of support that would allow us to move forward and reimagine the space," Givens said. "I'm also a really creative person, and I like building things, and it feels like there is going to be the professional space created for me to build."

Givens was awarded a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award for Activism for his work at Portland Community College and in the community. He holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University, where he also holds a certification in servant-leadership, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in criminology and social control from Appalachian State University.

For more information about UNC Asheville's Multicultural Affairs, visit multiculturalaffairs.unca.edu.