For the first time in the history of Seattle Colleges, all colleges have established campus diversity officers under the title of Associate Vice President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. These positions will report directly to their respective college presidents. Additionally, each position will be tasked to work collaboratively across the district and to help establish and monitor the equity and inclusion goals in the Seattle Colleges strategic plan.
This milestone is a result of several years of engagement from employees and students across Seattle Colleges to move towards greater equity and inclusion in our work. It is also reflected in the adoption of a new strategic plan for the Seattle Colleges that includes Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Community as one of four goals.
The need to greatly increase our work in this area is critical – for our institutions, our students and the communities we serve. Seattle Colleges is deeply appreciative for the knowledge gained and the progress made through the dedication of students and staff in this process.
New Associate Vice Presidents for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
- D’Andre Fisher: North Seattle College
- Valerie Hunt: Seattle Central College
- Betsy Hasegawa: South Seattle College
D’Andre Fisher serves as a Diversity and Inclusion consultant. Prior to establishing the consultant firm, Mr. Fisher served as the Special Assistant to the Vice President and Director of Operations in the Office of University Community, working alongside Vice President Jabar Shumate to promote campus diversity and inclusion at the University of Oklahoma.
In these positions, D’Andre serves as a liaison to faculty and staff departments with Diversity and Inclusion Programs, including Admissions and Recruitment, Student Affairs, and the Center for Student Life. He assists with the cultivation of faculty, staff, and alumni advisory boards for the Office of University Community and helps implement their recommendations.
D’Andre’s role also includes collaborating with students, alumni, and external groups to enhance diversity and inclusion efforts. He assists the Vice President with the development of a strategic plan and implementation of mandatory diversity and inclusion experiences for all freshman students.
D’Andre has a passion for working with college students and earned his Master’s in Adult and Higher Education all from OU. Prior to his position in the Office of University Community, D’Andre served as Assistant Director of Diversity Enrichment Programs in OU Admissions and Recruitment. He met with thousands of high school students each year, primarily reaching out to under-represented minorities and students with low socioeconomic backgrounds. D’Andre co-founded the George McLaurin Male Leadership initiative in 2012 which is now supplemented by the Sylvia A. Lewis Women’s Leadership Initiative. These programs are now under the Office of University Community and annually bring approximately 150 prospective students to OU’s Norman campus for a conference that builds relationships with first-generation college students. In addition, D’Andre is an adjunct instructor in Human Relations.
D’Andre believes that education is a human rights issues, it is transformative, and should be used as a tool for societal change and for the improvement of the quality of life for all citizens. He advances this philosophy in his daily work as well as community service and by becoming an ally for the following communities; LGBTQA, DACA, marginalized and underrepresented groups, first-generation students, men of color, women of color in STEM, religious freedom, person with a disability and veterans.
An educator for over 25 years, Dr. Valerie Hunt has devoted her professional career providing equity and access to education for marginalized and minoritized communities. She is a first-generation graduate who grew up in the Jim Crow South. Dr. Hunt’s personal philosophy is that the purpose of education holds a moral imperative to act—individually, with community and systemically. ‘We educators have a moral obligation to equip ourselves, our students and our society in order, as Dr. King states, “to achieve the legitimate goals of [our] lives.”’
Dr. Hunt holds a PhD from the University of Washington in U.S. immigration policy, a master’s degree in International Political Economy from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in Middle East Affairs from Rhodes College. She currently serves as Interim Dean for the Business and Behavioral Sciences Division at Seattle Central College and is tenured faculty in the bachelor’s program of Applied Behavioral Science.
Dr. Hunt also co-chaired Central’s DREAMERs Taskforce and co-founded of the Women of Color and Female Identified Affinity Group. She received the 2015 Faculty of Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Service Award at Seattle Central College. In 2016, she received the Union Activist Award from the American Federation of Teachers Local 1789. She has served on the Human and Civil Rights Committee of her local union AFT 1789, as faculty senator for AFT-Seattle Central and on the AFT Executive Board as Professional Issues Chair. She is a Senior Ford Foundation Fellow of the National Academies of Science and serves primarily to increase the percentage of educators and administrators of color in the academy. She mentors many students at all levels of the educative journey throughout the nation. Dr. Hunt has taken on leadership and fundraising roles in organizations including the Women’s Funding Alliance, College Success Foundation and the Alliance for Lupus Research.
Betsy Hasegawa (she/her/hers; Japanese and Ainu; Ed.D., Harvard Graduate School of Education) has been Director for Intercultural Affairs and Leadership at Whatcom Community College (WCC) since 2013. Betsy particularly enjoys her work building community and developing leadership with systemically non-dominant students and has the honor of serving as co-advisor to the college’s Latinx Leadership Club, Muslim Student Association, and the Native/Indigenous Student Association. Her current passion is promoting more active, relational, and connected ways of teaching and engaging, with the hope that we can improve educational experiences and achievement, and eliminate the equity gap.
Prior to her work at WCC, Betsy consulted to international non-profits, and taught classes in adaptive leadership, organizational complexity, adult development, group dynamics, and the politics of identity, at Western Washington University, Columbia University (Teachers College), and Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Prior to her academic and consulting career, Betsy was co-owner of an art gallery in Seattle. Betsy also leads the Change Facilitators team for the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges, serves on the Lummi Peacemaking Circle Leadership Team, is a Fellow of the AK Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems, is a Co-creator with Group Relations International, and is an organizational consultant and executive coach with Kindling Consulting, New York, NY.