Roger Williams University appoints Akunvabey as new chief diversity officer

BRISTOL – Roger Williams University announced April 12 that Stephanie Akunvabey has been appointed as the university’s new vice president for equity and inclusion, and chief diversity officer.

Akunvabey, who will begin her new role with RWU July 6, will lead strategies at the university for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion across the university’s campuses in the town and in Providence. RWU also said she will partner with stakeholders to implement the university’s equity action plan.

“Roger Williams has made a concerted effort to create a more inclusive campus that welcomes and supports a diverse population of faculty, staff and students,” Akunvabey said in a statement. “As I learned more about the RWU Equity Plan and long-standing efforts in equity work, I was incredibly inspired. I’m honored to join the RWU family as we work to build an anti-racist campus that truly values diversity. There’s a lot of work ahead, but there’s already an extraordinary foundation and a community of people who are ready to get things done.”

RWU President Ioannis Miaoulis said in a statement that Akunvabey will help foster an environment at the university where all students and employees can thrive and feel “a sense of belonging.”

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James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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