Q&A: Carlecia Wright, Lone Star College System’s first chief diversity officer

Carlecia Wright was appointed as Lone Star College System’s chief diversity officer in late February and has been focusing her office’s work on expanding the college system’s diversity efforts.

Prior to joining Lone Star College, Wright served as the mayoral-appointed chief diversity officer and director of the Office of Business Opportunity under Houston Mayors Annise Parker and Sylvester Turner.

Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

What is the role of Chief Diversity Officer at Lone Star College?

I am responsible for establishing a systemwide strategy for Lone Star College that supports creating cultural awareness of a variety of diversity elements, such as race, religion, abilities, gender issues and historical context to cultures. .... [We] also support learning through professional development training ... [and] are also responsible for supporting recruitment of faculty and staff; that is one of our key functions. We want to continue to drive diversity of our workforce.


The other part [of my team] is looking at our policies and practices to make sure they are in line with our cultural values and our commitment to diversity. That could be looking at polices that were established two decades ago and making sure they do not create barriers for our workforce.

What are your feelings on being the first chief diversity officer at LSC?

It is exciting. LSC is the largest higher education institution in the Greater Houston area, and I love to build things. There are so many folks that are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and expanding their understanding and competencies.

What demographics are shifting at LSC?

We continue to serve a very diverse student population, but there is a profile. The typical student [at LSC] is a Hispanic female under the age of 24, and that is different than 10 years ago, which was a white woman under the age of 24. It is important to note the demographic shift because we want to make sure we are culturally being relevant and we are serving all of our students. If our students are changing, we need to change as an organization.

Since you started, are there any programs or changes you would like to highlight?

When I came here, there was an advanced equity series, and so what we have done is built on the content and brought in more content. We have brought in 10 new workshops and experiences. We have been able to feature [speakers]. ... Nov. 30 we have somebody speaking about Native American culture for National Native American month, and we had a keynote speaker from the LGBTQIA community with the mayor’s advisory council.

We have also been building out our team; we launched our website; and we will have a total team of 11 individuals by Jan. 1. They will be on each campus and support that culture. ... Part of the accomplishment for me is to elevate the work that has already been done. ... I have done a timeline of initiatives that have happened around diversity that started before I came here.

Do you have any plans going into 2022?

I think the major thing is going from a team of two to 11, and we are going to have campus diversity managers on each campus. ... We are also going to be launching some amazing summits that target young men of color in the spring. And we will also be having a diversity conference that will open up for the community to participate in interactive unconscious bias training and other learning opportunities. ... For the summits, we will be working with the [area] school districts to target juniors and seniors, and we will bring in some exciting headliner speakers to engage and support our recruitment efforts.
By Andrew Christman
Andrew joined Community Impact Newspaper in early 2019 after moving from Indiana. He is a 2015 graduate from Indiana State University, where he received degrees in English and journalism. He has written for a number of small town publications throughout his career as a reporter.