“We’re faced with a moment when we’re asked to demonstrate who we are.” -Dr. EJ Edney
Dr. EJ Edney, director of the Center for Inclusion Cross-Cultural Engagement (CICCE), joins us for this episode of Community Chats to discuss his position on campus and in the community as well as the work he and so many others are doing to ensure a more equitable and diverse campus experience. EJ talks about some initiatives that the CICCE has set in place, future plans to stay active in their mission, and some of the challenges he and others meet in doing this work. Tune in to learn more about EJ, his staff, and all the great work happening at the CICCE.
EJ was born in Vicksburg, MS, and moved to the Jackson area in junior high where he graduated from Clinton High School. He graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2011 with a bachelor of arts in biology and went on to obtain his doctorate in higher education in 2019 from the University of Mississippi as well. Throughout his time at the University of Mississippi, EJ has been well aware of the inequities he and other marginalized students have faced which drives his passion for his work. “I felt compelled to make opportunities,” EJ says regarding these inequities. He credits the start of this work to his predecessors like the “Ole Miss 8,” a group of black students who were arrested and expelled in 1970 for protesting for equal opportunity.
The CICCE was born out of this need for equity and opportunity for marginalized students, and so a committee was formed to assess the campus climate for underserved and marginalized students who felt unheard. Student leaders came together to make these assessments and benchmark them against other universities, and thus, the CICCE was established. “We’re ever-aware of the opportunities that lie before us to strengthen our relationships and gain even more perspective,” EJ says. He says that the CICCE is there to fill in the gaps in student experiences through programming and retention initiatives such as MOST, Stronger Together, and bias training services.
You can stay engaged with the CICCE by following them on social media: @uminclusion on Instagram and Twitter and “UM Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement” on Facebook.
You can also contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.