Opening Our Hearts and Minds

It is our duty, as an institution of higher learning and faith, to continuously ask ourselves how will we make the world a better place and how will we better the lives of others. To do this, we must listen. We must learn. We must pursue progress. And most of all, we must open our hearts and minds.

A Call to Action

At Merrimack College, the summer of 2020 was a catalyst to visibly renew and live our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and to make investments in the coordination and institutionalization of inclusion and equity.

Following many campus-wide meetings, President Hopey raised diversity, equity and inclusion as an institutional priority and announced the creation of a Special Assistant to the President position to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. After an extensive interview process that included a diverse hiring committee of students, faculty and staff, the appointment of Dr. Simona Sharoni as special assistant to the President for diversity, equity and inclusion was announced.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Goals

  • To integrate diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) into all aspects of campus life
  • To facilitate coordination and collaboration among all perspectives on campus
  • To provide ongoing education and training for faculty, staff and students
  • To focus on DEI in recruiting, hiring and retention of faculty, staff and students
  • To enhance support for students, faculty and staff from underrepresented groups

Programs and Initiatives

Merrimack has been focused on advancing diversity, equity and inclusion for more than a decade. Our efforts have led to the creation of particular programs and initiatives tailored to increase access and to promote diversity and inclusion.

Hands to Help


Hands to Help is a drop-in center that provides a variety of services to the community of Lawrence and surrounding areas. Services include after-school tutoring, applying to college, ESL classes, tax assistance, job preparation and resume building, summer day camp and general form assistance.

Hands to Help group posing
Female student smiling
Office of Multicultural Initiatives


The Office of Multicultural Initiatives celebrates cultural diversity and provides education on systemic inequalities. In addition to the ongoing work of affinity groups and Unity House programming, the office has appointed a special assistant to the President for diversity, equity and inclusion, developed an advocacy and support group of faculty and staff of color, and created a diversity coalition.

Unity House Council


The Unity House Council is a student-run organization that includes its own dedicated physical space and promotes diversity and multiculturalism. We aim to create a strong, active network of individuals and groups from currently underrepresented populations and their allies.

Members of Unity House standing outside of the Unity Hosue
Students standing in front of bus.
Early College Program


The Early College Program offers a unique dual enrollment option for high school students from Abbott Lawrence Academy, the honors program within Lawrence High School. Participants earn college credits on Merrimack’s campus. Our program provides a viable, affordable pathway to college for underrepresented students.

Create Your Impact


Create Your Impact is a development and leadership initiative for full-time female employees seeking to grow personally and professionally in their respective fields.

Create Your Impact logo
Pioneer Scholars pose together during Abbott Lawrence Academy ceremony. 
Pioneer Scholars


Each year, the Pioneer Scholars Program offers up to ten Abbott Lawrence Academy students a full scholarship to Merrimack College covering tuition, room and board, fees and books. 

Faculty and Staff Affinity Groups

There are currently four groups of faculty and staff, focused on connecting faculty and staff to one another and offering support for students who identify with these groups. Existing groups include:

  • First Generation Faculty and Staff
  • International Faculty and Staff
  • LGBTQ+ Faculty and Staff
  • Merrimack Professionals of Color (MPOC)

If you are interested in joining one of these groups or you have an idea for another group please email diversity@merrimack.edu.