Fighting discrimination and advocating for inclusion of all people is something Associate Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity Dr. Dottie Morris has been doing at Keene State College for 19 years.

Morris has recently been named to New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion.

This new council will serve to make sure New Hampshire communities and businesses are promoting diversity.

Governor Sununu established the council in December in order to focus on diversity and inclusion within the state.

The council will be working alongside other state organizations, including the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights and the New Hampshire Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Unit.

Morris was asked by the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) Chancellor Todd Leach if she would be willing to serve as the representative for USNH. Morris will be joined by Cheshire County Sheriff Eli Rivera and other state officials on the council.

Leach said, “I have no doubt that Dottie will prove to be an asset on this important advisory council…Given that our students are an important component of the state’s diversity overall, I think that Dottie will bring an important perspective to the Council.”

Responsibilities of the council will include suggesting policy changes that support diversity and inclusion and creating educational efforts in communities to fight back against discrimination.

The council will meet at least once per month.

In their first year, they will also host public forums across the state of New Hampshire. Morris said she believes the discussions at these forums will depend on the regions the council goes to, since different communities experience different issues.

“In some parts of the state, social economic issues might be highlighted more, while in other parts of the state, it might be race,” said Morris. “I am looking forward to maintaining an open heart and mind when I am listening to the concerns presented from the diverse groups within the state.”

KSC Interim President Melinda Treadwell said of Morris, “Dr. Morris has long been a clear voice in our state for diversity and inclusion. Dottie leads the way and helps to support education, awareness, and commitment to equity and inclusion.”

Treadwell believes that Morris will be successful on this council because, “Dottie has been a clarion voice for our region in recent years when instances of disempowerment, prejudice and bias have occurred. She will bring experience and insight to this statewide initiative and we will all be the better for her talents and wisdom contributing to this work.”

Morris said, “We all benefit when every individual within a community can bring their gifts, talents and ways of being to the table, especially when we are trying to solve problems.”

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu did not respond for a comment.

Rachel Vitello can be contacted at rvitello@kscequinox.com