VSU Hires the University First Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging

VSU office to prioritize support for LGBTQ+ community and others who may experience discrimination  

Virginia State University is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. A.C. Fowlkes as the Director of the University’s newly established Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. The office will work to promote good relations and practices toward historically marginalized populations and will work within the VSU community to support people who may be subject to discrimination. 

The new VSU Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging will focus on engagement with students, employees, and the local community. In addition, it will offer workshops and trainings as well as events focused on deepening the understanding of members of the VSU community who have multiple minority status: Black, Indigenous, or Persons of Color (BIPOC) in addition to being women, minorities as it relates to sexual orientation and/or gender identity, religious minorities, persons with disabilities, etc.  

“At VSU, we are committed to developing a robust diversity, inclusion and belonging program; one that is deeply rooted in our history as an HBCU, our commitment to excellence, and our intentionality in creating an inclusive environment,” said Dr. Fowlkes. “I am excited to be the first to lead this new office. Having the opportunity to give back to an institution that poured so much into me when I was a student—is an assignment that I do not take lightly.”  

Dr. A.C. Fowlkes is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, LGBTQ+ Subject Matter Expert, and has worked in the field of Diversity and Inclusion for more than a decade.Dr. Fowlkes is a Forbes Contributor, where he writes about LGBTQ+ sensitivity, transgender inclusion, and allyship. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Trevor Project (a crisis support services group for LGBTQ+ young people).  

Dr. Fowlkes has three degrees from Virginia State University. His terminal degree is a Ph.D. in health psychology with a clinical specialization.  

“As a transgender man, Dr. Fowlkes has made clear his profound appreciation of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. Having an alumnus with his level of commitment and expertise working at VSU is invaluable,” said VSU President, Dr. Makola M. Abdullah. “In addition, the new office supports Virginia State University's strategic plan by ensuring a personable, stable, nurturing holistic atmosphere for all--conducive to GREATER learning, growing, and transforming.”