Merrimack College

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative

Merrimack’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Merrimack College’s founding values of teaching, learning and serving inform the institution’s unwavering commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We work on building and nurturing a culturally, racially diverse community, anchored in intersectional justice and respect for all identities and differences.

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

Agenda for the Future

The College’s commitment to DEI is now a pillar of our new five-year strategic plan, the Agenda for the Future (AFF). Inspired by our Catholic Augustinian mission and values, the College is more committed than ever to fostering a culture that values and nurtures diversity, inclusion and a sense of belonging for all, across racial, cultural, political and other identities.

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.

The two-day event was first introduced in Oct. 2020 to underscore Merrimack’s commitment to ongoing education, reflection and action on diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice. Speakers, workshops, and cultural events have addressed such issues as racial injustice, gender equality and LGBTQ+ rights, disability and accessibility, systemic inequalities exposed by COVID-19 and more.

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.

Multicultural Initiatives

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.

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.

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 several staff and faculty affinity groups that have been active on campus, creating space for like-minded people to connect with and support one another and to explore ways to collaborate with student groups that share their identities and passion.

Contact Us

Simona Sharoni
Vice President for Inclusive Excellence, Institutional Access & Leadership