Tufts health sciences schools names new associate director for diversity and inclusion

Adriana Morocoima Black was named associate director for diversity and inclusion education and training for Tufts’ health sciences schools, according to a Nov. 7 email. She will assume her role on Dec. 2

This is a new role developed as part of Tufts’ efforts to advance diversity and inclusion. 

“We … are working to expand our capacity for new programs and training by adding new educator positions. The new position on the Health Sciences campus is part of this effort, and is a welcome addition that will enhance our efforts on these high-priority issues,” Nadine Aubry, provost and senior vice president, said in an email to the Daily. 

Aubry led the search for the right person to fill this role alongside Joyce Sackey, associate provost and chief diversity officer for the health sciences schools, and Rob Mack, associate provost and chief diversity officer for the Medford/Somerville campus and School of the Museum of Fine Arts campus. 

Black will be working for and at the Boston health sciences schools, but her efforts will overlap and mix with the work being done on the Medford/Somerville campus. 

“She will collaborate closely with our colleagues in the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer on the Medford/Somerville campus in support of our shared goals,” Sackey said in an email to the Daily. 

As part of these university-wide efforts, all Tufts’ schools have appointed, or are in the process of appointing, assistant or associate deans of diversity and inclusion, according to Aubry. Black’s position is one of the new educator positions added to expand capacity for new programs and training.

“What I appreciated the most about the position upon first glance, was the explicit mentions of crucial terminology to the field like, ‘anti-racism,’ ‘critical race theory,’ and ‘privilege.’ The fact that Tufts was able to use this language to draft a job description, really spoke to the high-level work and transparent actions that they are looking to implement with this position,” Black said in an email to the Daily. 

According to the email sent to the student body, Black will work on creating and enacting training to educate and enforce values of equality, open-mindedness and inclusion. She will be focused on the intersection of race, cultural responsiveness and social justice. 

“What I hope to do starting off is to have many conversations with students, faculty, staff, and alumni all over the university to better gauge what is working, what is not, what is already in place, and what needs to be completely revamped versus augmented for more successful implementation,” Black said in an email.

Tufts is already engaged in efforts to expand diversity and inclusion, not only on the Medford/Somerville campus but also for the health sciences schools. 

Sackey co-chairs the university-wide Bridging Differences Initiative along with Mack and is involved with the academic leadership to achieve goals for diversity with Tufts’ health sciences schools specifically. She is also on the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council, a group tasked with directing the university’s diversity and inclusion policies and programming.

Black is looking forward to bringing her ideas to these kind of existing efforts, as well as working with those involved in diversity efforts on the Medford/Somerville campus.

“One of the first questions I asked Provost Sackey when interviewing for the position, was about the possibility of being able to have meetings and check-ins with the Medford/Somerville campus. I know that this work cannot be done alone or in silos. I think it is incredibly important to be able to have a team to turn to when doing diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice work,” Black said. 

Black previously served as the academic program administrator in the Department of Community Health Services at Boston University School of Public Health, where she organized educational programming for Master of Public Health Certificates. Her background is in community health, Latinx immigrant research and academic racial justice initiatives, according to the email sent on Nov. 7. 

“I am so excited to be able to continue to work in higher education. Most of my professional career has been working within university administration in some way,” Black told the Daily. 

Black emphasized the ways she believes her past professional experience will lend itself to this new role. 

“Though I have had job experiences in the clinical, research, and education realms, what has always remained constant in my professional career is working in the health world, working with young people, and ensuring that justice and equity are central to my work and my vision,” Black said.