NNU announces new Diversity Commission

NNU announces new Diversity Commission

Northwest Nazarene University
Oct 21, 2020
Students walking on campus.

NNU recently announced the creation of its Commission for Diversity. The group will evaluate the current state of the University in regard to matters of cultural diversity and, in light of their findings, develop recommendations that will guide NNU as it seeks to live into Christ’s reconciling work to be an institution that fully embraces our value of Community and encourages equity for all members.

Dr. Joanne Solis-Walker is serving as a resource person to the Commission. Solis-Walker is an associate professor in the College of Theology and Christian Ministries and serves as special assistant to the president on diversity.  She is also an ordained minister and serves as co-founder, partner and strategist for CaminoRoad, an intercultural development company that provides leadership and advocacy on issues of culture, equity and accessibility.  Her consulting work focuses on leading institutions and organizations through the change processes required to be more culturally responsive. 

“NNU is a Christ-centered institution that values racial, cultural, and ethnic diversity as an essential dimension of what it means to be human,” Solis-Walker said.  “We are striving to be a culturally responsive educational community that is welcoming and supportive of all members.  Despite NNU’s long-standing desire to celebrate and encourage diversity, we have the opportunity to be an institution that clearly reflects the kingdom of heaven. We want our ethnically diverse members to know they belong at NNU, a beloved community of God.”

The Diversity Commission is composed of 21 NNU community members that includes students, staff, faculty and administrators. The convener is Dr. Christina Smerick, Professor of Philosophy.  It is anticipated the initial review and recommendations will be completed by early December and implementation will begin early 2021.