Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California, has announced the establishment of the Marie Fielder Center for Democracy, Leadership, and Education, a multidisciplinary research and advocacy center aimed at advancing diversity and inclusion throughout society. The new center honors the life and legacy of the late Marie Fielder, an influential African American educator and champion for social justice, who was a member of Fielding’s founding family in the 1970s.
A native of Texas, Marie Fielder moved to California at the age of 5. She held bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and earned a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. Dr. Fielder taught at San Francisco State College and the University of California, Berkeley before moving to Fielding Graduate University. Dr. Fielder died in 2002 at the age of 85.
Katrina Rogers, president of Fielding Graduate University, stated that “social and ecological justice has resided at the cornerstone of Fielding’s mission since its founding in 1974. Among its earliest leaders was Dr. Marie Fielder, who lived her life in pursuit of justice and inclusion of all people in all aspects of civic life. Through the Marie Fielder Center, Fielding reaffirms its commitment to conducting the research, providing the public and academic education, and engaging in the advocacy required to ensure that while ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, it bends toward justice.'”
The new Marie Fielder Center for Democracy, Leadership, and Education will be under the direction of Orlando Taylor, vice president of strategic initiatives and research at Fielding Graduate University. Before coming to Fielding in 2014, Dr. Taylor was the founding president of the Washington, D.C., campus of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Earlier, he spent more than 30 years as a faculty member and administrator at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Dr. Taylor is a graduate of Hampton University in Virginia. He earned a master’s degree at Indiana University and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.