Diversity and Inclusion

Marist Announces the Appointment of First Senior Leadership Position Dedicated to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Anthony Proia, Director of Media Relations
Dr. Edward P. Antonio
Photo Courtesy of Concordia College

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – Following a national search, Marist College is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Edward P. Antonio to the newly created position of Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), effective September 1. Dr. Antonio brings nearly twenty years of advanced DEI experience to Marist, having served most recently as Chief Diversity Officer at Concordia College in Minnesota. He also has 25 years of experience teaching undergraduate and graduate students at universities in Europe, Africa, and the United States. At Marist, Dr. Antonio will lead the inaugural office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, partnering with President Kevin Weinman, his colleagues on the President’s Cabinet, and faculty and staff across the campus to develop a strategic direction for DEI initiatives, build community, establish a system of accountability, and develop resources to support diversity initiatives.

“We must continue to make progress towards the College’s goal of becoming a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable institution.” said President Weinman. “While this work is the responsibility of each and every member of our community, it also requires vision and coordination by skilled leaders. Dr. Antonio has a proven track record as a DEI strategist, and has implemented initiatives at other academic institutions with great success. I look forward to working closely with him to achieve similar successes here at Marist.”

“I am excited to be joining Marist at this pivotal moment in its history,” said Dr. Antonio. “What is especially exciting about the role of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Marist are the many opportunities it provides to motivate and galvanize the College for good, transformative change.”

Dr. Antonio has served at Concordia College since 2017, where he created DEI training and educational programs to support faculty and staff in their work with students. He also helped to create a yearlong Inclusive Teaching and Diversity Leadership Certificate program for faculty and staff and provided training to academic departments on implicit bias and belonging. In partnership with campus leaders, he also created and secured various scholarship programs for students from marginalized communities.

In addition, Dr. Antonio supported and consolidated LGBTQ+-related work at Concordia, overseeing a program designed to empower students to develop empathy and understanding of difference through storytelling. He participated in the creation of the Bias Incident Response Team and chaired the Diversity Council.

Prior to his time at Concordia, Dr. Antonio served as Associate Dean of Diversities at Iliff School of Theology in Colorado. There, he created the Office of Diversity and played a lead role in the strategic planning process. He worked to ensure that DEI was embedded in the curriculum, directed the Social Justice Program, and coordinated one of Iliff’s signature programs on Identity, Power, and Difference. He was also responsible for creating and overseeing the Title IX office.

The search for Marist’s new Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion was conducted by a campus-wide search committee chaired by Dr. Addrain Conyers, Associate Professor & Chair of Criminal Justice. “We were fortunate to have a talented and diverse search committee made up of faculty and staff, as well as a student representative. Committee members each brought tremendous knowledge and unique perspectives, helping us build a strong pool of candidates,” said Dr. Conyers. “Dr. Antonio stood out as a candidate with a reputation for strategic thinking and the ability to partner with campus stakeholders to drive change. He is an innovator who will build out our DEI infrastructure, challenge the status quo, and find synergies within our current efforts and initiatives.”

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Marist
Marist’s commitment to DEI and social justice is reflected in initiatives such as the Marist College Diversity Leadership Institute and The Marist Center for Social Justice Research. Dr. Antonio will build on these initiatives while also creating new opportunities. As a member of the President’s Cabinet and a visible presence on campus, he will also have a strong voice in all institutional initiatives and priorities.

“The College community is already doing important social justice work toward equity, diversity, and inclusion,” said Dr. Antonio. “My work and leadership at Marist will be informed by the values of equity, inclusion, and belonging. I will work with all stakeholders, with all members of the College community to embed these values in everything that Marist is about and in all its structures, policies, procedures, practices, and relationships. I know that students, staff, and faculty are ready to go beyond diversity to the next phase, to become a more deeply welcoming and inclusive college with a strong culture of belonging, an actively anti-racist culture, and a shared equity mindset. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead and guide this essential work,” he said.

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