by Jade Foote / News Editor
Julia Golden-Battle says she loves her job. As the assistant director and LGBTQ Liaison of the Center for Diversity and Cultural Enrichment, Golden-Battle helps students gain access to beneficial clubs, connect with students who have similar experiences, and become more comfortable with their identity.
While Golden-Battle enjoys all aspects of her job, her favorite part is the students. “I love having honest conversations with students about their goals,” Golden-Battle said. “Students know why they’re here at Salem State,” she added. “They have a lot to accomplish with their time here, and I’m so excited that they share these thoughts with me.”
The Center for Diversity and Cultural Enrichment is a space for members of the campus community to explore critical issues through initiating authentic dialogues regarding race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexual
orientation, and nationality. The center encourages everyone to visit the center to decompress, do homework, or connect with other students. Students can also utilize the space for meetings or to host programs.
Located in Ellison Campus Center, the Center for Diversity and Cultural Enrichment is a space for members of the SSU community to challenge and support students and faculty to be conscious citizens who find unity within their differences.
In addition to being a place where people come together, the Center for Diversity and Cultural Enrichment creates and hosts several programs throughout the academic year. One such event, the MLK Day of Service, gives students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members the opportunity to come together to assist nonprofit organizations in the area.
The program serves as a chance to commemorate Dr. King’s legacy through participating in a social justice focused community service project. There are various service opportunities for volunteers, such as creating care packages for those at Boston Children’s Hospital, as well as writing letters to veterans.
Graduate retention fellows help keep the Center for Diversity and Cultural Enrichment running smoothly. They assist the center with everything, from putting up flyers around campus to brainstorming ideas for events.
One graduate student, Shanee LeBaron, has been a part of the center for over a year. LeBaron is passionate about diversity and loves having conversations with students about what it means to them.
“The most rewarding things about working in the center are the students,” LeBaron said. “They give me the strength and determination to keep creating programs for them and the institution.”
For graduate retention fellow Nayeli Lopez, the Center for Diversity and Cultural Enrichment is her home away from home.
This is Lopez’s second year working in the center as well as programming BEES (Bold, Educated, Empowered, Sisters), an initiative supporting women of color. “I love my job,” she said. “I’m happy to be working with great supervisors who help me reach my full potential.”
Lopez’s biggest source of inspiration are the students. “I learn a lot in my interactions with students. They inspire me to be a better person,” Lopez said. “I love motivating them and helping them achieve success.”