Equity + Community Leadership

Dr. Amy Howard
Senior Administrative Officer (SAO) of Equity and Community

As part of the distributed leadership model, President Crutcher created a Senior Administrative Officer of Equity and Community to steward our cross-institutional diversity, equity, and thriving goals and to deepen the connection between equity, inclusion, community engagement and outreach toward a more thriving campus and Richmond region. 

As the first SAO at UR, Dr. Amy Howard brings experience connecting and catalyzing stakeholder groups to collaborate for culture change as the former AVP of Community Initiatives and the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement. Over the past four years, Dr. Howard has served as the co-chair of the Thriving and Inclusive Community strategic plan working group; participated in the Council for Independent Colleges’ Diversity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts Institute as part of a UR team; and served on the Interim Coordinating Council, Presidential Commission on University History and Identity, and as the Interim SAO. 
In her capacity as SAO, Dr. Howard provides institutional (s)trategy for equity and community engagement, serves as a consistent (a)dvocate for equity, inclusion, community engagement, and (o)rganizes efforts across the institution and in the community to further UR's mission, values and DEI and civic goals. As SAO, Howard convenes and consults with the ICC, led by a faculty and staff co-chairs, serves as a member of the President’s Cabinet, and collaborates with the Executive Director of the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, Dr. Sylvia Gale, and Director of Institutional Equity and Inclusion, Dr. Glyn Hughes, on aligning and supporting institutional commitments in diversity, equity, inclusion, and community engagement and outreach. Dr. Howard reports jointly to EVP and Provost Jeff Legro and EVP and COO Dave Hale, who have been charged by the President will overseeing the implementation of our goals.

Dr. Glyn Hughes
Director Institutional Equity and Inclusion and ICC Co-Chair

Glyn is an applied sociologist, community organizer, and university administrator whose work is informed by a justice-centered approach to institutional and social change. As Director of Institutional Equity and Inclusion at UR, Glyn is a core member of the University’s distributed leadership network for DEI, leading and facilitating cross-unit, cross-constituent efforts to advance institutional and cultural change in support of UR’s DEI goals. Glyn co-chairs the ICC and Bias Resource Team, and fosters campus-wide alignment of DEI philosophy and practice by convening, educating, and collaborating with various campus stakeholders.

Previously, Glyn served for fourteen years as the founding director of UR's innovative DEI initiative, Common Ground. Among Common Ground's accomplishments were the creation of nationally recognized and award-winning offices of LGBTQ Campus Life and First-Generation Support Programs, as well as the Terms of Racial Justice initiative, a precursor to Race and Racism at UR. 

Dr. Sylvia Gale
Executive Director, Bonner Center for Civic Engagement

Dr. Sylvia Gale is the executive director of the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) at the University of Richmond. She joined the CCE in August 2009. She was the founding director of Imagining America’s Publicly Active Graduate Education Initiative (PAGE), and since 2009 has co-chaired IA’s initiative on “Assessing the Practices of Public Scholarship,” which explores and advances assessment practices aligned with the values that drive community-engaged work. She is committed to co-creating opportunities for transformative liberal arts learning far beyond traditional institutional boundaries, and has published on innovative assessment, engaged graduate education, and the power of institutional intermediaries to effect change. Before coming to UR, Sylvia worked to extend liberal arts learning to diverse communities through the Humanities Institute at UT-Austin.

Dr. Patricia Herrera
Associate Professor of Theatre & Dance and ICC Co-Chair

Dr. Herrera is committed to creating a more just world by using the visual and performing arts as powerful instruments for documenting history, building community, and igniting social change. Her teaching, research, and community-based projects explore/ the social inequities experienced by underrepresented communities, specifically as it relates to Latinx and African American diasporic communities as well as LGBTQ+ people of color.

She is the author of Nuyorican Feminist Performances: From the Café to Hip Hop Theater (University of Michigan Press, May 2020), which critically examines the work of female performance artists inspired by the Nuyorican Poets Cafe between 1973-2010. Her writings also appear in Theatre Topics, Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, African American Review, Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of MALCS, Public: A Journal of Imagining America, Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy, and Café Onda: The Journal of the Latinx Theatre Commons.

Since 2011 Dr. Herrera has engaged with the greater Richmond community on a public humanities project entitled “Civil Rights and Education in Richmond, Virginia: A Documentary Theater Project,” which has led to the creation of a digital archive—The Fight for Knowledge, as well as three community exhibitions at The Valentine Museum—Made in Church Hill (2015), Nuestras Historias: Latinos in Richmond (2017) and Voices from Richmond’s Hidden Epidemic (2019-2020) and a series of seven docudramas about gentrification, educational disparities, HIV/AIDS, segregation and Latinos in Richmond.

In 2000 she co-founded and co-directed Rubí Theater Company, an intergenerational ensemble that produced original plays and conducted performance workshops in New York City. She has appeared with the group as a lyricist and rapper on Dan Zanes’s Nueva York (2008), Catch That Train (2006 Grammy Award Winning CD for Best Children’s Musical Album), House Party (2003), and Night Time (2002). As dramaturg, she has assisted with the development of the dance piece “We Must Say Her Name,” choreography by Alicia Díaz as part of In/Motion (February 28-March 3 2019) as well as original plays such as How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (2019), Threshold (2014), My Life is a Telenovela (2004) and Through My Eyes (1999). Her plays A Woman Who Outshone the Sun (2003), Embrace Me with Your Shawl (1997), and the musical Remnants (2014) co-written with José Joaquín Garcia, deal with growing up in New York City, environmental justice, and urban youth experiences. Her work has appeared at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange, International Fringe Festival, Rubicon Theatre Company, University of Richmond, and Culver Center of the Arts.