The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion hosts an array of engaging events and programs for the greater Kent State University community. 


Annual Events and Programs

Black History Month

Kent State University celebrates Black History Month 2020 with a full schedule of events and programming. Connect with Kent State on social media using the hashtag #BlackHistoryMonthKENT. 

2020 Events and Programs

February 4

Dance Across Cultures

6-8 p.m.

306 ABC, Kent Student Center

  • Sponsored by: Barefeet Dance Troupe


February 5

Black United Students Mass Meeting

7-9 p.m.

Room 250, Oscar Ritchie Hall

  • Sponsored by: Black United Students


February 6

Double Victory: African Americans in WWII By Kate Fitzgerald, National WWII Museum

12:05 – 1:00 pm

Live-streamed to Geauga - Clark Commons

Twinsburg Academic Center, Rooms 113/115

  • Sponsored by: Twinsburg Academic Center and Geauga Campus


Soup & Substance

3-5 p.m.

Student Multicultural Center Lounge, Kent Student Center 206

  • Sponsored by: Student Multicultural Center


February 7

Film Friday

2-4 p.m.

LGBTQ+ Center, Kent Student Center 024

  • Sponsored by: LGBTQ+ Center


February 11

Sojourner Truth: Featuring a dramatic recreation of the life of Ida B. Wells by a performer from Women in History Ohio

12:05 – 1:00 pm

Clark Commons

  • Sponsored by: Geauga Campus


February 13

Ida B. Wells featuring a dramatic recreation of the life of Sojourner Truth by a performer from Women in History Ohio

12:05 – 1:00 pm

Twinsburg Academic Center, Rooms 113/115

  • Twinsburg Academic Center


Round Table Discussion

2-3 p.m.

LGBTQ+ Center, Kent Student Center 024

  • Sponsored by: LGBTQ+ Center


Don't Touch my Hair

7 p.m.

Student Multicultural Center Lounge, Kent Student Center 206

  • Sponsored by: Textures


February 14

Love Lottery

7 p.m.

Ballroom, Kent Student Center

  • Sponsored by: Black United Students


February 15

Black History Month 50th Commemoration and Keynote

4-8 p.m.

Cartwright Hall Auditorium

  • Sponsored by: Kent State University Black Alumni Association


February 19

What's The Tea? Hour: Natural Hair, Don't Care

2:30 pm

Trumbull Tech Building, Room 113

Join us as we discuss the Natural Hair Movement. Voice your opinions and foster understanding of racial and cultural groups in our community. Light refreshments will be served.

  • Sponsored by:Trumbull Campus


Race in the Rainbow: Cultural Competency 101

3:30-4:30 p.m.

LGBTQ+ Center, Kent Student Center 024

  • Sponsored by: LGBTQ+ Center


February 20

Art To Go - Art from West and Central Africa By The Cleveland Museum of Art

12:05 – 1:00 pm

Twinsburg Academic Center, Rooms 113/115

  • Sponsored by: Twinsburg Academic Center


Breast Oasis and Bra Give-a-way

5-7 p.m.

Williamson House

  • Sponsored by: Epsilon Mu, Akron and Greater Cleveland Alumnae Chapters of Delta Sigma Theta, and The Links of Portage County


February 25

Where to Black Women Go To…?

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Williamson House

  • Sponsored by: Women’s Center


Diversity in Nursing Association Meeting

7:30 p.m.

Room 201, Henderson Hall 

  • Sponsored by: Diversity in Nursing Association


February 27

Art To Go - Art from West and Central Africa By The Cleveland Museum of Art

12:05 – 1:00 pm

Geauga - Clark Commons

  • Sponsored by: Geauga Campus​​​​​​​


Horror Noire: A Shudder Original

Showings: 3:30 pm, 6:00 pm

Trumbull Lecture Hall B (Classroom/Administrative Building)

  • Sponsored by: Trumbull Campus​​​​​​​


Curlhood: Healing Trauma through Hair

7 p.m.

Room 250, Kent Student Center

Student Multicultural Center Lounge, KSC 206

  • Sponsored by: Textures


If you have any questions or need more information about events please feel free to contact Shana Lee, Director for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Leadership at or 330-672-8582.

Annual DiversiFEST 

As part of Kent State University’s annual homecoming celebration, the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion hosts the annual DiversiFEST . This festival is a celebration of Kent State University's culture and diversity. Attendees have the opportunity to learn more about the services and events provided by the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This is a family-friendly, free event open to the public. All are welcome!

Unfortunately, this event has been postponed until further notice. 


What is offered at DiversiFest?
  • Food will be provided for all who attend, however, a reservation is required. We simply ask that you complete the form below to reserve your spot!  
  • You'll have the opportunity to play many games including corn hole, basketball, and many other games
  • You are more than welcome to bring your own chair or blanket.

View photos from the 3nd Annual DiversiFEST

  • Parking for DiversiFEST will be located at the Williamson House (1200 E. Main Street, Kent, Ohio). A limited parking will be made available at the Williamson House for individuals in need of handicapped parking. Additional parking is available at Terrace Hall Annex (125 Terrace Drive, Kent, Ohio).

View map of parking at Kent State University


If you have questions or need additional information please contact DEI at (330) 672-2442 or email


Karamu Ya Wahitimu/Celebración de los Graduados

Karamu Ya Wahitimu/

Celebración de los Graduados

This pre-commencement celebration and final Rites of Passage is graduation ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of all graduating African American, Native American, Latinx, Hispanic and Multiracial undergraduate and graduate students. A senior speaker will provide remarks before students are recognized and bestowed with a cultural cloth by a faculty member in their respective college.

Celebration Date and Time

Spring 2020 Karamu Is postponed. We are currently planning a virtual celebration to honor our graduates, with more details to follow. 

Eligibility Requirements

African American, Latinx American, Hispanic, Native American and Multiracial students graduating in Spring 2020.

Registration is now open until Sunday, April 5, 2020

Register Now for Karamu 2020

Information and Questions

If you have any questions, please call the Student Multicultural Center at, (330) 672-3560 or email us at,

Kupita/Transiciones (K/T)


Kupita/Transiciones (K/T) is a free four-day cultural orientation and year-long mentoring program for newly admitted and transfer African American, Latino American, Native American and Multiracial studentsSpanning over the four-days, students will engage in activities to learn how to successfully navigate their college career by focusing on the cultural and social climate of Kent State University.

As a result of participating in the four-day Kupita/Transiciones (K/T) cultural orientation, we hope students:

  • Feel more connected to Kent State University 

  • Establish their Kent State University La Familia

  • Are affirmed in their cultural identity

  • Gain an appreciation for different cultures 

  • Identify opportunities of engagement at Kent State University 

After students participate in the four-day cultural orientation they seamlessly transition into the K/T Mentoring Program. The K/T Mentoring Program offers students an opportunity to have their mentor from K/T provide continued assistance, guidance and support throughout their entire freshman year.


Kupita/Transiciones registration will open for incoming and transfer students on June 3. Be sure to check your emails!

Student Leadership Opportunities 

Apply to become a K/T Mentor or Navigator for the 2020-2021 Academic Year!

Eligibility and Application for K/T Mentors and Navigators


If you need any additional information or have any questions, please contact the Student Multicultural Center at (330) 672-3560 or via e-mail at

Lavender Graduation

Lavender Graduation

Show your PRIDE! Join us for the 2020 Lavender Graduation commencement celebration! Lavender Graduation honors the achievements of graduating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally (LGBTQ+) students at Kent State University. The event is free and includes dinner, keynote speaker, award certificates and more.

  • 2020 Lav Grad Alumni Keynote: Preston Mitchum, Kent State University Class of  2008, Attorney, Activist, Advocate

Celebration Date and Time

Lavender Graduation will be held Friday, April 17, 2020, 6:00 - 8:30 PM on the Kent Campus inside the Kent Student Center Ballroom.

  • The LGBTQ+ Alumni Reception will be held prior to the Lavender Graduation from 5:00 - 6:00 PM in Ballroom Balcony located on the Third floor of the Kent Student Center.

Register for LavGrad 2020

All attendees must complete the following registration in order to attend. Graduating students must register to participate and be recognized. Also, tag us in your social media posts with #KSULavGrad 

Register for Lavender Graduation 2020

LavGrad Awards
  • Outstanding Collaborative Ally Award: An ally or student organization that has worked collaboratively with LGBTQ organizations on campus to create a better place for LGBTQ+ identified people.
  • Out and Proud Student Leader Award: Out and proud LGBTQ+ identified student who exemplifies student leadership.
  • Rising Star Award: First year student who has made tremendous effort to bring visibility, support, and leadership to the LGBTQ+ community at KSU.
  • Faculty/Staff Award: Awarded to a faculty/staff member who has worked to create a better campus environment for LGBTQ+ identified people
  • Alumni Award: Awarded to a Kent State alumni who makes efforts to create a better world for LGBTQ+ identified people.
  • Community Award: Awarded to a community member who has worked to create a better environment on campus, in Kent, or in Ohio for LGBTQ+ identified people.

Nominate an individual for the LavGrad 2020 Awards


Parking is available at the parking lot located in front of the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center (MAC Center). 

Information and Questions

If you have any questions, please call the LGBTQ+ Center at, (330) 672-8580 or email at,

Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

A Celebration to Honor the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, Jan. 24, 2020
4 p.m.
Kent Student Center Ballroom

About the Speaker

Melissa Harris-Perry, Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University, TV host, author and political commentator, will join Kent State University in celebrating the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 24 at 4 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Ballroom.

For more than a decade, Harris-Perry has contributed to American public life through her distinct combination of scholarship and wisdom applied to the analysis of race, gender, politics and power. Currently, she is editor-at large of and a contributing editor at The Nation. She hosted the award-winning television show “Melissa Harris-Perry” on MSNBC, winning the Hillman Prize for broadcast journalism in 2016.

Committed to diversifying American journalism and mentoring emerging public voices, Harris-Perry has developed and implemented innovative mentoring efforts, including the scholars program centering the stories of women and girls of color and BLACK ON CAMPUS, a national student journalism program in partnership with The Nation.

Harris-Perry received her B.A. degree in English from Wake Forest University and her Ph.D. degree in political science from Duke University. She also studied theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Harris-Perry previously served on the faculty of the University of Chicago, Princeton University and Tulane University.

Diversity Awards

As part of the commemoration, the university will announce the 2020 recipients of Kent State’s Diversity Trailblazer Award, the Beverly J. Warren Unity Award for Diversity and the Rozell Duncan Student Diversity Award. 

The Trailblazer award honors diversity pioneers associated with Kent State; the Unity award recognizes the contributions of any Kent State unit that demonstrates significant contributions in the areas of diversity, equity and/or inclusion; and the Student award recognizes a student or student organization demonstrating through positive interactions with others a respect for, and value of, differing backgrounds and points of view within Kent State or in surrounding communities.

Learn More About Previous Diversity Award Recipients

Diversity Trailblazer

Beverly J. Warren Unity Award for Diversity

Rozell Duncan Student Diversity Award

Symposium on Race

Your voice matters! Please join us on Jan. 24 at 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. in the Kent Student Center for a collaborative conversation on race, access and learning at Kent State University.

Register for the Symposium

Call for MLK Programming and Calendar of Events

The Kent State University MLK Planning Committee is requesting that university divisions, departments and student organizations submit programming, activities and events (scheduled Jan. 14-31) to the MLK Calendar of Events.

Calendar of Events


For more information, call 330-672-8563, e-mail or tweet/follow us @DEIKentState. Tag your posts using #KentStateMLK

Mothers, Mentors and Muses

Mothers, Mentors and Muses is the Women’s Center's signature event that recognizes Kent State University woman-identifying faculty or staff who have made a significant difference in the life of a student or colleague. More than 450 individuals across the university have received this honor. 

This award is intended to honor woman identifying faculty or staff of Kent State (with five or more years of service) who have served in any of three roles:

  • Mother – one who has helped “birth” ideas, thoughts and academic endeavors in others, or who serves as a nurturing individual to others.
  • Mentor – one who serves as a trusted counselor, colleague and/or role model.
  • Muse – one who inspires creativity and artistic/academic passion in others.

Keynote Speaker:
Virginia Addicott, Retired President and CEO of FedEx Custom Critical

Tuesday, April 7, 2020
5-7:30 p.m.
Kent State University Hotel & Conference Center


Register Now


Mothers, Mentors and Muses Class of 2020

Jamie Aiken, Housing Clerk, Residence Services
Jennifer Arnold, Executive Director, Advancement Events
Karen Baker, Special Assistant, College of Public Health
Melissa Bauer, Online Learning Librarian and Associate Professor, University Libraries, Stark Campus
Cherie Brokar, Director, Library, Tuscararwas Campus
Courtney Brown, Associate Professor, School of Theatre and Dance
Tammy Christopher, Administrative Assistant, Foundation, Leadership and Administration
Dr. Valerie Cubon-Bell, Associate Professor, Chemistry
Louise Ditchey, Academic Program Director, College of Business Administration
Joanne Fenn, Associate Professor, The Kent State University Museum
Rae Ann Franks, Senior Secretary, Stark Campus
Nzinga Hart, Academic Program Coodinator, College of Communication and Information
Jennifer Hebebrand, Project Director, Academic Affairs, Provost's Office
Natalie Jean Huya, Associate Lecturer, Theatre and Program Director, Ashtabula Rising Scholars, Theatre, Ashtabula Campus
Tracee Jackson, Assistant to an Executive Officer, Provost's Office
Ann James, Lecturer, College of Nursing
Jennifer Johnstone, Assistant Professor, Ethnomusicology
Nicole Kotlan, Director, Exploratory Advising Center
Pamela LaFleur, Assistant Director, Student Financial Aid Office
Lori Lee, Senior Special Assistant, Ashtabula Campus
AJ Leu, CCI Diversity and Career Development Director, College of Communication and Information
Jian Li, Associate Professor, School of Foundations, Leadership and Administration
Dawn Lipscomb, Administrative Clerk, Admissions Office
Ashley Lyons, Doctoral Candidate - Early Intervention
Erika Marino, Matching Gift and Pledge Coordinator, Kent State University Foundation
Marianne Martens, Associate Professor, School of Information
Kim Ólafsson , Administrative Clerk, College of Business Administration
Erica Pelz, Facilities Mechanical Systems Specialist for Laboratories, University Facilities Management
Beverly Petersen-Fitts, Faculty, School of Theatre and Dance
Kel Reed, Career Advisor, CBA- Career Services Office
Megan Rodgers, Lab Assistant/Biology, East Liverpool Campus
Kelly Schobinger, Special Assistant, School of Communication Studies
Almut Schoeder, Associate Professor, Physics Department
Irene Skleres, Senior Advisor I, Ashtabula Campus
Jeanne Ruscoe Smith, Writing Commons Director, English
Gyongyike (Gingy) Stypa, Administrative Assistant to the Dean, College of Nursing
Rebecca Urycki, Senior Secretary, College of Arts and Sciences
Emily Vincent, Director, University Media Relations
Denise L. Walden, Emergency Services Dispatcher, Police Department
Cathy Walsh, Manager, Compliance & Communication, Office of Continuing and Distance Education
Jasmina D. Waters, Program Director, Upward Bound Classic Academy
Dr. Nicole L. Willey, Professor of English, Mentor Program Coordinator, Kent State Tuscarawas
Misty Williamson, Director, Advancement Operations, SAVP
Sue Yoder, Assistant Professor, School of Fashion Design and Merchandising


If you have any questions or need more information please contact the Women's Center at (330) 672-9230 or

Rainbow Run 5K

Join the LGBTQ+ Center for our fourth annual Rainbow Run 5K will take place Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. The final date will be confirmed soon! Walk, run, or roll your way through a 5K course through campus. Along the way, collect glow items to help you finish with some bright color!


Run Information

  • The 2019 Rainbow Run 5K will start promptly at 7 p.m. and will start and end on Risman Plaza located on the Kent campus. Please arrive prior to start.
  • A portion of the proceeds from this event benefit the LGBTQ+ Emergency Fund.

View photos from the 2019 Rainbow Run!


Campus Address, Directions, Map and Parking

Campus Address Directions and Map Parking
Kent State University
1075 Risman Drive
Kent, Ohio 44242
Google Directions to the Kent Student Center Please park in the C lot located at the front of the Memorial Athletic Convocation Center (MACC). Parking is free after 5 p.m.
  Kent Campus Map  

Rainbow Run Sponsors

Featured Sponsor


Rainbow Sponsor

Don Joseph's Toyota

PNC Bank at Kent State University

Business Sponsor

Skullz Salon
University Chiropractic and Wellness
Marathon Petroleum
Jim Masi, Attorney at Law
KSU LGBTQ+ Alumni Chapter
Summit County Public Health
Freedom Valley Camping  
The Eye Opener
Equality Ohio
leaf of Akron



If you have any questions or need additional information please contact the LGBTQ+ Student Center at (330) 672-8580 or via email at

Take Back the Night

Take Back the Night (TBTN) is an international march and rally that started in the 1970s as a protest and direct action against rape and other forms of sexualized violence and sexualized subordination of women.

Today, TBTN provides a symbolism of an individual's walk through darkness and a united front against fear and sexual violence. TBTN is open to any survivor and allies.

2019 Take Back the Night

October 8, 2019
MACC Plaza
7:30 PM  Name Burning Ceremony
8:00 PM Opening and March Begins

For more information about the national Take Back the Night organization, please visit