Our Historical Diversity Efforts

Diversity at UNC Charlotte

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) at UNC Charlotte was created in the fall semester of 2020 by Chancellor Gaber as a culmination of (a) the collective and ongoing efforts of engaged members of our campus community advocating for diversity and inclusion leadership, (b) institutional surveys and self-studies among campus stakeholders to identify needs, and (c) a continued multi-year university-wide effort to address diversity, equity and inclusion at UNC Charlotte. 

Listed below are key historical moments that have played a role in developing the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. For information on our more recent efforts, visit our Office Progress Updates page.


1965: UNC Charlotte founder, Dr. Bonnie Cone, created the United Religious Ministry, housed within the Office of Religious Affairs 

1969: Black Studies Committee, chaired by then-newly hired English professor Ann Carver was established 

1971: Ann Carver and Bertha Maxwell (Maxwell-Roddey) helped establish the Black Studies Program–now known as the Department of Africana Studies

1971: Bertha Maxwell-Roddey, UNC Charlotte’s first Black administrator becomes the founding director of UNC Charlotte’s Black Studies Program 

1986: Dr. Herman Thomas started University Transition Opportunities Program (UTOP) which is one of the institution’s earliest academic support efforts specifically for minority students 

1987: Student Advising for Freshman Excellence (SAFE) program, a peer mentoring program for first-year students, was established within the Division of Student Affairs 

1993: The Council on University Community (COUC) was established 

1993: COUC develops the “Rationale for Developing a Multicultural Campus” 

1994: COUC develops a statement on “Valuing Diversity at UNC Charlotte” 

1995: Office of Minority Academic Services (now known as the Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusion) was developed

1996: Former UNC Charlotte student, Joseph Toomer developed a proposal for what would later become the Multicultural Resource Center

1997: United Religious Ministry was changed to Inter-Religious Council

2006: Former Chancellor Phil Dubois launched the Chancellor’s Diversity Challenge Fund 

2007: UNC Charlotte presented its first Minority Presence Report 

2008: COUC released the first Plan for Campus Diversity, Access, and Inclusion 

2013: ADVANCE Faculty Affairs and Diversity Office (FADO) was created by Provost Lorden and led by Dr. Yvette Huet 

2016: COUC released its second Plan for Campus Diversity, Access, and Inclusion 

2016: Bias Assessment Response Team (BART) was formed 

2017: Provost Lorden established the Council on University Community Working Group (CUCWG), a 29-member group led by Dr. Chance Lewis 

2017: Peace Haven developed as an interfaith space for prayer and private reflection 

2018: Multicultural Resource Center became the Office of Identity, Equity, and Engagement 

2019: Lavender Lounge developed as a physical space for LGBTQ+ students 

2020: Dr. Sharon Gaber becomes the University’s first female chancellor 

2020: The Charlotte Racial Justice Consortium, composed of a partnership between Central Piedmont Community College, Johnson C. Smith University, Johnson & Wales University - Charlotte Campus, Queens University of Charlotte, and the University of North Carolina, Charlotte was selected by the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) as a Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Campus Center.

2020: Chancellor Gaber appoints UNC Charlotte Professor Cheryl Waites Spellman to serve as interim special assistant to the chancellor for diversity and inclusion

2020: Office of Diversity and Inclusion launched in October of 2020

2021: Brandon L. Wolfe joins UNC Charlotte as the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer