Dr. Allyson Livingstone has joined the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as the director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Education, Training, and Development, according to a Jan. 30 BrandeisNOW article.

Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Mark Brimhall-Vargas will be working closely with Livingstone to “to move toward equitable outcomes for all in our community” according to the article. 

Livingstone hails from Brookline, Massachusetts and has a master’s degree in social work from New York University and a doctorate from Simmons College School of Social Work. Prior to that, she studied religion as an undergraduate at Haverford College.

In an email interview with the Justice, Livingstone spoke about the numerous meetings she has been having “with faculty, staff, and students to gather narrative data about their experiences with and beliefs about diversity, equity, and inclusion at Brandeis.” 

Through these meetings she surmised that the University “is a space where relationships are thoughtfully created and maintained” and one whose community “emerged from and reflects a strong belief in justice.” It also boasts individuals who “want to learn from and with one another truly excel,” Livingstone explained. Through her work in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, she will be “focusing on building on these deeply held and rich community norms.”

Her goal is to get to know the community better in the near future through conducting more such interviews, Livingstone stated in her email. She anticipates that by asking “a lot of questions, [listening] closely, and [collaborating] with individuals, programs, and departments” she will “develop multisystemic equity programming that is in tune with this particular community.”

Looking back on her time at Simmons College and Salem State University, Livingstone expects her “experiences as an administrator, as a member of faculty, and as an equity consultant” will inform her “current charge at Brandeis.” In her previous roles she has garnered experience by “developing and leading curricular and co-curricular programs, facilitating intergroup dialogues, advising students, reviewing and modifying institutional policies, and creating and executing curricula all with the goal of defining, assessing, and carrying out diversity, equity, and inclusion processes and practices.”

As she settles into the Brandeis community, Livingstone said she is looking forward to working with students to develop diversity and equity programs and initiatives on campus. 

“I feel honored to be at Brandeis and to be part [of] such a high-achieving and caring community. I would like to invite all community members to reach out to me. I would love to meet and discuss possible collaboration,” she wrote. 

— Mihir  Khanna