April 6, 2022: Unity in Diversity Days

Our two-day virtual event kicks off on Tuesday, April 5, and is available for Merrimack faculty, staff, students and community members. Please review the schedule below.
Looking for the April 5 schedule? 
See Speaker Bios

Schedule for Day Two - Wednesday, April 6, 2022

8-9:15 a.m. - Closing the Gender and Race Pay Gap: Challenges and Strategies

Speaker: MaryRose Mazzola ’12
Moderators: Rémy Boyd and Melissa Driver
In this session you will learn strategies for negotiating your salary, interventions that are proven to close pay gaps, and ways to support women and people of color in the workplace. The speaker will share her rich experience as Executive Director of the Boston Women’s Workforce Council, a public-private partnership between the City of Boston and 250 of the largest companies in greater Boston dedicated to closing gender and racial pay gaps. During her tenure, Boston became the first city in the nation to use real compensation data to analyze the pay gap by race, gender, and professional category.

Join 4/6 Closing the Gender and Race Pay Gap Zoom Session

9:30-10:45 a.m. - Life is More than He and She

Speaker: Jeffery Marsh
Moderators: Susan Marine and Rowan Salhi
Beyond the feel-good but sometimes vacuous cry of “be yourself!” the ways we use labels can have unforeseen consequences. Often, Jeffrey’s social followers expect their “right label” to cure them and be a total panacea. It doesn’t work that way. Through research and personal stories, Jeffrey presents the ways labels and categories do more harm than good, and how labels that seem empowering can ultimately divide and conquer us.

Join 4/6 Life is More than He and She Zoom Session

11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. - Restorative Justice Behind the Wall: A Roundtable with Criminal Justice Professionals

Speakers: Jessica Oljey, Kara Hayes & Andy Peck
Moderators: Jaleh Dashti-Gibson & Dennis Everett, Jr. 
This roundtable will engage criminal justice professionals who are deeply involved in how criminal justice institutions are using restorative justice to move institutional practices in a new direction at both the regional and state levels.

Join 4/6 Restorative Justice Zoom Session

12:30-1:45 p.m. - Reconsidering Reparations

Speaker: Dr. Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò, Georgetown University 
Reparations for slavery have become a reinvigorated topic for public debate over the last decade. Most theorizing about reparations treats it as a social justice project - either rooted in reconciliatory justice focused on making amends in the present; or, they focus on the past, emphasizing restitution for historical wrongs. Olúfemi O. Táíwò argues that neither approach is optimal, and advances a different case for reparations - one rooted in a hopeful future that tackles the issue of climate change head on, with distributive justice at its core. This view, which he calls the “constructive” view of reparations, argues that reparations should be seen as a future-oriented project engaged in building a better social order; and that the costs of building a more equitable world should be distributed more to those who have inherited the moral liabilities of past injustices. This approach to reparations, as Táíwò shows, has deep and surprising roots in the thought of Black political thinkers such as James Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr, and Nkechi Taifa, as well as mainstream political philosophers like John Rawls, Charles Mills, and Elizabeth Anderson. Táíwò’s project has wide implications for our views of justice, racism, the legacy of colonialism, and climate change policy.

Join 4/6 Reparations Zoom Session

2-3:15 p.m. - Addressing Health Disparities: Practical Applications

Speakers: Alvin Morton & Nicole Williams
Moderator: Lindsay Carbone
A panel discussion about practical ways students can aid in the reduction of health disparities seen in various sub-populations. Panelists will provide background information on potential causes of health disparities, and students will learn what they can do to reduce these health disparities in their communities.

Join 4/6 Health Disparities Zoom Session 

3:30-4:45 p.m. - Preparing Students to Thrive in Diverse Society: The Role of High School Educators

Speakers: Raisa Carrasco-Velez, Stacey Ciprich, Chet Jackson, Sabrina Marte and Chris Rinchon
Moderator: Katrina Everett
The roundtable will highlight ongoing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives at the high school level, featuring key administrators in the Merrimack Valley. Roundtable participants will discuss the shifting practices in their districts to better prepare high school students for real world success, as well as the challenges facing these efforts. As Early College programs expand regionally and nationally, participants will explore how enhanced collaboration between high schools and colleges can help , like Early College programs, to prepare students to thrive in a diverse and ever changing society.

Join 4/6 High School Educators Zoom Session

5-6 p.m. - Gender & Diversity in Leadership: Career Pathways for Student Leaders

Speakers: Tiana Lawrence ’20’ M’21 and MaryRose Mazzola ’12
Merrimack alumnae will share insights and lessons so far on their professional journey. Attendees will learn strategies for finding internships and post-grad jobs in gender advocacy nonprofits, politics, government, and law firms. Speakers will also share insights and strategies for taking on new professional roles in the nonprofit world and in academic spaces while stressing
the importance of maintaining a network, taking risks, and the beauty of ongoing lifelong learning.

Join 4/6 Gender & Diversity Leadership Zoom Session

6:15-8 p.m. - Celebrating Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Work at Merrimack College – A Community Reception

Hosted by the President’s Initiative on Diversity Equity and Inclusion, this reception will feature hors d’oeuvres and cocktails in Arcidi. 


Certificate Program

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Distinguished Educator Certificate

The President’s Special Initiative on DEI and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) introduce a new certificate program for faculty and staff who have completed at least 25 hours of DEI education and training since January 2019. Relevant experience may include education and training on and off campus. Faculty and staff who complete the minimum hours required will be recognized publicly and receive a certificate and a LinkedIn badge. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. To apply for the certificate, applicants should complete the training recognition form, listing the date, hours and nature of the training they wish to get recognized for.

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Looking for additional diversity training?

Diversity, equity and inclusion are an institutional priority at Merrimack College.  The special assistant to President Hopey for diversity, equity and inclusion is leading the efforts to provide additional diversity training and initiatives. We welcome your feedback and participation. Please contact us to find out how you and your team may participate in additional diversity training. 

Contact Us

Students holding up "Say their name" t-shirts. 

Contact Us

Simona Sharoni, Ph.D.
Vice President, Inclusionary Excellence, Institutional Access & Leadership
Professor, Women’s & Gender Studies Department

How to Tune In

Each session has a Zoom link listed. Please click on the Zoom link at the beginning of the event to join.


Need more information about the event or how to watch our sessions?


Schedule of Events

Tues., April 5

Wed., April 6