JEDI (formerly knows as The Diversity Committee), a separate entity from the President’s DEI Council, has been funding a full array of diversity initiatives for over 20 years, including support for poet Richard Blanco, a Pride Film Festival, a Wabanaki Reach workshop, and the SGA snack closet, among many other things. Please reach out to Ann Kennedy or Rebecca White if you want to learn more about the committee or get involved in its initiatives.

Purpose and Objectives

The UMA Diversity Committee acts to democratically advance justice, equity, diversity and inclusion within and through the University of Maine at Augusta from the ground up. This includes:

  • Advocating for equitable and inclusive learning and working environments for the diverse needs and experiences of students, staff, and faculty.
  • Developing, celebrating, and supporting initiatives to advance Strategy #5 (Foster Inclusion) of the UMA Strategic Plan and advocating for institutional resources to further realize this strategy.
  • Promoting intersectional justice and challenging systems of oppression including but not limited to ableism, carceral injustice, economic inequality, homophobia, patriarchy, settler colonialism, sexism, systemic racism, transphobia, white supremacy, and xenophobia.
  • Working toward a university in which our visions and strategic principles are reflected in operational practices.


Membership will be open to the entire UMA community, with an emphasis on ensuring a horizontalist space for faculty and staff to advance work related to UMA Strategy #5. JEDI will be guided by a steering committee of approximately 6 faculty and staff, inclusive of two co-chairs, all of whom will be endorsed by the larger group at an annual election meeting.

Co-chair duties include:

  • Scheduling meetings – approximately three per semester, or as needed
  • Drafting agendas
  • Disseminating funds

Steering committee duties include:

  • Taking notes and keeping archives
  • Implementing initiatives
  • Ensuring that committee work is represented and shared at the Presidential DEI Council and other relevant bodies.
  • Confirming that work relates to established principles

2023-2024 Steering Committee (voted on Nov 2023)

  • Ann Kennedy, co-chair
  • Rebecca White, co-chair
  • Tricia Spearin
  • James Cook
  • Val Rubinsky
  • Lauren Stark
  • Ellen Taylor
  • Michelle Lisi