Three African American Scholars Who Have Been Appointed to Diversity Positions

Rashanda Booker will be the inaugural chief diversity officer at Fresno State University in California, effective January 3. She has been serving as the inclusive excellence and engagement director at the University of Mississippi.

Dr. Booker earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southeastern Louisiana University. She holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership, research, and counseling from Louisiana State University.

Kenny Emmanuel Yarbrough was named vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, effective in February. He was the inaugural chief equity, inclusion and diversity officer at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Prior to joining the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2018, Dr. Yarbrough served as the diversity officer of Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tennessee.

Dr. Yarbrough is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin, where he majored in biology. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in counseling from the Jacksonville Theological Seminary in Florida and an MBA from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee.

Elwood Watson, a professor of history at East Tennessee State University, has been appointed as the new vice president for diversity, outreach, and inclusion for The Popular Culture Association. Professor Watson joined the faculty at the university in 1997. His most recent book, Talkin’ to You, Bro!: Liberate Your Mind From the Confusing, Ambiguous Messages of Contemporary Masculinity (Lasting Impact Press, 2021).

Dr. Watson holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Delaware. He earned a Ph.D. at the University of Maine.

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