Paulette Granberry Russell, J.D.
President's Message

We Look Forward to Seeing you at NADOHE’s Virtual Annual Conference, March 9 - 12!

(More information can be found here.)

One year ago, Covid-19 became our reality. Since that time a pandemic has devastated this country and the lives of so many. Covid-19 laid bare the health inequities that exist within the U.S., and where blame on the source of the virus led to threats on the health and safety of members of the Asian community. We also witnessed sustained protests, here and abroad in response to the horrific killing of George Floyd, preceded by the killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many others that forced this country to face the grim realities of deadly force and racism.

Over the last year, higher education had to quickly “pivot” and move to on-line learning environments, with the expectation that students live off-campus, and return to their homes, where possible. Faculty were required to teach using technology that was unfamiliar to many. Here again, Covid-19 made obvious the differential impact of the virus based on race, income, geography, and other identities. We witnessed housing and food insecurities, the lack of access to the necessary technology to perform well among our students, and the responsibilities of family differentially impacting students, faculty and staff that lacked the supports in place to “balance” both.

The resulting protests, as the world witnessed the brutal killing of Mr. Floyd, led to what many regard as a day of reckoning by this country. College campuses were not immune from the need to make bold statements that not only acknowledge racism but begin the work to dismantle structural racism and its impact through changes in policies, procedures, practices, teaching, research, and service.

NADOHE represents those who lead and influence these efforts. Our goal is to provide the support, resources and research that informs the work of senior diversity officers, diversity practitioners, and those committed to justice, equity and inclusion. This year’s virtual conference theme: Dismantling Structural Racism: Transforming Higher Education and the varied sessions offered over the next three days will provide new approaches that can lead to systemic change within our institutions.  

Our keynote speaker, the incomparable Stacey Abrams, will open the 2021 virtual conference and ignite a new sense of urgency in creating a more just nation. Our Health Equity Track opening speaker, Dr. Camara Jones, is one of the foremost authorities on the intersectionality of how race and social inequalities effect health and health inequities. Dr. Mildred Garcia, our closing keynote speaker, is the current president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. She has a long and distinguished record in challenging systems that perpetuate inequities.  These phenomenal leaders will change the trajectory of progress and we are grateful that they are able to join us at this year’s conference.

Thank you to our sponsors and presenters for their time, expertise and resources that made this possible. And finally, thank you to the Conference Planning Committee and the NADOHE staff for their support and efforts in creating our program.

Paulette Granberry Russell, J.D.
President, NADOHE



2020 and 2021 Annual Conference Sponsors