Delaware State Names Equity Expert to Lead Global Institute
Posted By: Pati Nash on June 02, 2022
Dover, DE: Delaware State University has named an expert in the diversification of colleges and universities to lead its Global Institute on Equity, Inclusion and Civil Rights.
Mr. Sonel Shropshire, a 1993 Del State alumnus who holds a law degree from the University of Florida, has more than 25 years researching, managing and writing diversification and equity programs.
Upon his graduation from law school, he began working for universities, first serving as the Director of Graduate Minority Recruitment and Retention at the University of Florida.
Over the next decade, he held assistant dean positions at UCLA, Loyola Marymount University, and Texas Wesleyan University, serving at each in leadership roles for diversity recruitment and retention policies, among other responsibilities.
In 2006, he founded The Academic Network, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in diversity, inclusion, and equity. He has created Diversity Strategic Plans for nearly 70 percent of all colleges and universities nationwide and counseled more than 250 college and university presidents on diversity, inclusion and equity policies.
“Delaware State University is thrilled to welcome back Sonel Shropshire, who has a deep understanding of diversity, inclusion and equity policies and procedures,” said Dr. Saundra DeLauder, Provost and Chief Academic Officer. “Under his leadership, the Global Institute is sure to reach its mission and goals.”
The Global Institute was founded with a mission to not only raise awareness about issues surrounding equity, but to bring together people and organizations that can transform communities around the world.
With four centers that define the Institute’s priorities, the Global Institute will develop and share proven pathways for transformation, closing gaps and creating a more inclusive economy.
One of Mr. Shropshire’s main roles at the Global Institute will be forging partnerships with institutions that can bring projects, opportunities and fair programs to communities, including Dover, Delaware, the Dominican Republic and Africa, to name a few.
“We can’t do this alone,” said Mr. Shropshire.
“We need persons who are interested in assisting and we need partnerships that will allow us not only to realize the goal of the institute but also enhance their own organization. We all know there is an economic gap between cultures. We know there is a health disparity between groups of people. We all know there is an access issue. So, what we are trying to do with the Global Institute is find pathways that will help us close the gaps, so everyone can be on an equal playing field.”
Mr. Shropshire is familiar with finding partners willing to close equity gaps, having raised more than $400,000 through the Shropshire Group, Inc. - which he launched in 2005 with a $15,000 donation from his father Lionel K. Shropshire. In its five years of existence, the nonprofit organization sent close to 70 students from underrepresented groups to law school. He secured the funding through partnerships with the Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC), Walmart, 34 law schools and others.
The Global Institute has already had success as well. In November 2021, the University announced a $1 million investment from Barclays Bank into the Global Institute.
The exclusive partnership with Barclays will also provide access to a guest lecture series with the bank’s senior leadership and establish programming focused on economic empowerment. Funding for the initiative will be distributed as a part of the bank’s Community Reinvestment Act program.
With four active centers that will tackle worldwide issues such as economic and health disparities, Shropshire said there are many plans in the works, including a fall conference on diversity in higher education on the Delaware State campus and educational programs set for the Dominican Republic.
The former history major, who remains fascinated with Colonial-era America, said he is excited to reunite with Delaware friends and show his wife and three children his alma mater.
“I am excited and grateful to join the team at Delaware State University and further its impact on local, regional and global issues,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do, and I’m looking forward to it.”
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