Dean Sunni Green Tolbert, Longtime Head of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Retires from Haverford
When Sunni Green Tolbert first arrived at Haverford 10 years ago, the school was adjusting to a new president, a new Dean of the College, and a new urgency from students to address issues of multiculturalism across campus.
Now, as the longtime Dean of Multicultural Affairs and Associate Dean of the College prepares to retire (her last day is Friday, April 10), the College remains dedicated to multiculturalism and is examining new ways to express its commitment to diversity and social justice. Much thanks is owed to Tolbert’s tireless efforts as head of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA).
During Tolbert’s tenure, the OMA established a Multicultural Affairs Leadership Council (MALT); developed UnityFest, a three-day event set aside for campus-wide exploration of racial diversity; collaborated with the Dean of First-Year Students to create Ambassadors for Multicultural Affairs (AMAs), who serve on Customs teams as resources to incoming students; and coordinated the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF), which encourages underrepresented students to train for academic careers. The OMA has also provided training in conflict resolution and diversity awareness to students, faculty and staff, encouraged countless conversations on timely topics, and assisted in bringing such artists as filmmaker Louis Massiah (current Humanities Center Distinguished Artist-in-Residence) to the faculty.
“The OMA’s legacy of the last 10 years provides solid ground on which the College can continue to build,” says Tolbert. “There is still much to be done as we stretch ourselves to live up to the ideals of Haverford, this country and the world.”
She leaves Haverford with mixed emotions. “In the 10 years I’ve spent [here], I’ve experienced some of the most meaningful moments of my professional life,” she says. “I am grateful, too, for the opportunity and privilege to work with some of the most amazing students on the planet, and proud to know that they are bringing and preparing to bring their gifts and talents to the unfolding of a more just and peaceful world."