Meet the man who helps advance diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at MCC.
With nearly three decades of experience spanning a multitude of industries including nonprofit, health care and higher education, Ken James is driven by his passion to initiate cross-cultural dialogue and advance diversity, equity and inclusion.
As chief diversity officer for Muskegon Community College, he combines his knowledge and lived experiences to deliver creative, intentional programs to students, faculty and staff, community members and businesses across the Muskegon Lakeshore.
What is your vision for MCC?
My vision is to bring the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) into the four stakeholder groups on behalf of Muskegon Community College. We want to cast a wide net and make sure we are attracting and retaining a diverse student body – from traditional students to veterans to working adults and students from different socioeconomic backgrounds. We want to make sure that everyone knows that they’re welcome at Muskegon Community College.
Why is diversity and inclusion so important to the success of the college?
We want to make sure that we have a culturally competent campus, so I’ll be bringing the lens of DEI to our faculty and staff as well as the community at large. I view Muskegon Community College as a pillar institution. We want to be leading the community programming and conversations around DEI.
How will fostering an inclusive environment at MCC then help build a more inclusive workforce?
We want to make sure that our culture is one where people feel like they belong, and that requires us to be culturally aware. Secondly, if someone goes through our program, we want to make sure wherever they land after graduating – they’re prepared to interact in a global workforce. I will also be implementing DEI training for area businesses that MCC impacts. We want to help them attract and retain diverse talent as well. I want to have a steady pipeline there.