Equity & Community Leadership

Dr. Amy Howard
Senior Administrative Officer (SAO) for Equity & Community
(804) 484-1602

As the Senior Administrative Officer for Equity & Community, Dr. Howard leads strategies to integrate, develop, and advance the alignment of the University of Richmond's diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging goals and community engagement efforts for greater impact. Howard oversees the Equity & Community unit which includes the nationally recognized Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, external community relations, and the new Institutional Equity and Inclusion Office. As a member of the President’s Cabinet, Howard works alongside senior leaders, the academic deans, the Institutional Coordinating Council for Thriving, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (ICC), and many others to collectively advance UR’s short- and long-range actions on the intersecting goals of representation, belonging, and capability

As the first SAO at UR, Dr. 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. A self-described educator-administrator who centers community engagement and equity, Howard teaches community-based learning courses focused on the history of Richmond, Virginia and is the author of More than Shelter: Activism and Community in San Francisco Public Housing 1934-2000 (University of Minnesota, 2014) and Engaging Place, Engaging Practices: Urban History and Campus-Community Collaboration, co-edited with Robin Bachin (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, winter 2021), as well as articles on civic engagement and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in higher education. 

Dr. Glyn Hughes
Director of Institutional Equity & Inclusion and ICC Co-Chair
(804) 484-1656

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 & 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
(804) 484-1603

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 served on the National Advisory Board of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life from 2005-11, was the founding director of Imagining America’s Publicly Active Graduate Education Initiative (PAGE), and a founding co-chair of Imagining America's initiative on “Assessing the Practices of Public Scholarship,” which explores and advances assessment practices aligned with the values that drive community-engaged work.  In addition to this field-building work, Sylvia has contributed to state and local efforts to catalyze and deepen civic engagement. From 2013-2018, she served as Editor of the VA Engage Journal, an initiative launched in 2011 at the University of Virginia to provide a student forum for publishing community-engaged reflection and scholarship. She was also a founding member of the leadership team of RVA Engage, a collaboration of nonprofit, corporate, and educational sector community engagement professionals who aim “to cultivate a resilient, equitable and connected Richmond region where individuals and institutions work together intentionally to address community needs by leveraging human and economic resources.”

Since 2013, she has co-led a class and project which connects small groups of University of Richmond students and young people currently incarcerated in peer storytelling and life writing projects (some examples of co-created products emerging from that project can be found here). Before coming to the University of Richmond, Sylvia worked to extend liberal arts learning to diverse communities through the Humanities Institute at the University of Texas at Austin, where she received a PhD in English (concentration in Rhetoric and Composition) in 2008 and where she was the founding director of the Free Minds Project (now known as Free Minds Austin), which offers Austin-area adults who have faced barriers to education and who live on limited incomes with a chance to explore their intellectual potential via a free year-long college course in the humanities. Sylvia 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.


Dr. Patricia Herrera
Associate Professor of Theatre & Dance and ICC Co-Chair
(804) 287-6352

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.