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Signature Events and Programs

Peabody Dean’s Diversity Lecture

“Peabody College strives to be a community wherein people of all backgrounds can feel both welcomed and intellectually engaged,” said Camilla P. Benbow, Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development. “We are proud to offer these lectures, performances and workshops as part of our commitment to making Vanderbilt more equitable, diverse and inclusive.” 

The Dean’s Diversity Lecture Series is a forum designed to host frank and open discussions about race, diversity and inclusion.

Dean's Diversity Lecture

2021 Peabody Dean's Diversity Lecture: Dr. Sonja Ardoin

First-Gen Is Not My Only Identity: Recognizing Intersections

Thursday, March 4th
7:15 p.m. CST

Must RSVP for Zoom link.

Sonja  Ardoin, Ph.D. is a learner, educator, facilitator, and author. Proud of her hometown of Vidrine, Louisiana, her working class, Cajun roots, and her first-generation college student to PhD journey, Sonja holds degrees from LSU, Florida State, and NC State. She considers herself a scholar-practitioner of higher education; she served as an administrator for 10 years before shifting to the faculty in 2015. Sonja studies social class identity, college access and success for rural and first-generation college students, student and women’s leadership, and career preparation and pathways in higher education and student affairs. 

Dr. Ardoin's talk is entitled: First-gen is Not My Only Identity: Recognizing Intersections. In the talk, she will bust the myth that being first-gen is a monolithic experience by exploring how identity intersections create unique first-gen perspectives.

View past Dean's Diversity Lectures here.


In response to feedback we received from previous lectures, we offered a new opportunity to further the discussion on Pedagogies of Love and Abolitionist Teachings. In February 2020, students, faculty and staff gathered for an informal conversation over lunch facilitated by Peabody’s Dr. Nicole Joseph and Dr. Luis Leyva. Attendees were invited to share their takeaways, ideas for next steps, and suggestions via index cards. Information from the index cards have been compiled onto a Google Doc that can be found  HerePlease feel free to add your own comments, suggestions, questions and ideas. All feedback is welcome and will be used to inform future Dean’s Diversity Lectures, campus programming and visioning.

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