Diversity and Inclusion
Dereca Blackmon, Associate Dean and Director
Dereca is an educator, facilitator and spiritual activist with over 25 years experience supporting communities in radical healing and strategic development. She has worked with a wide variety of corporate, government, nonprofit and community-based groups to facilitate “uncommon conversations” on issues of race, gender, class and social justice.
Dereca is also a Stanford alumni with a distinguished history of leadership and service in local and national organizing efforts on subjects as diverse as ethnic studies and police accountability, including serving as a lead architect in the movement for justice in the murder of Oscar Grant, III in Oakland, California. She is co-instructor for Psych 103 Intergroup Communication, an experiential course that examines and explores group identity. Additionally, Dereca is co-founder of Aya Unlimited, LLC, a social-justice consulting firm that specializes in research on the intersection of race, gender and class.
Email Dereca Blackmon.
Joseph Brown, Associate Director
Here at Stanford I work as an associate director for the Diversity & First-Gen Office and as Graduate Diversity Recruitment Officer for the School of Humanities and Sciences.
My training in social psychology has shaped my approach to diversity & inclusion in that it impressed upon me a conviction that the most seemingly intractable societal problems can be solved, and that seemingly small actions can have extraordinary impacts. It is with this hopeful perspective that I approach each day. My role is to collaborate with my partners across the campus, staff, faculty, and students, to 1) create spaces that nurture in all students a sense that they belong, that they are valued and respected—it is that sense of belonging that leads students to invest their whole selves in the educational enterprise, to exert high effort, to question their assumptions, and to take the risks that are necessary in any challenging endeavor, and to 2) model for students that investment of the whole self by bringing everything that I am, the emotional and spiritual as well as the intellectual and professional, to the work.
Heather Browning, Program Director
Email Heather Browning.
Stanford FLI Office
Jennifer "Mindy" Rolen, Assistant Dean & Associate Director
Jennifer is a proud FLI college graduate. She grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from San Jose State University with a bachelor's and a master's in sociology. She is an advocate of humanity and supports the idea of creating a harmonious society through relationships and education.
She came to Stanford from the Educational Partnership Center at the University of California Santa Cruz, where she worked as a director of various programs. Her expertise is in facilitation, conflict management, program management and fund development. Jennifer supports all students in their endeavors in higher education and is committed to being a resource and advocate.
Email Jennifer Rolen.
Adriena Brown, Assistant Director of First-Generation and Low Income Programs
Adriena is a first-generation college graduate from Detroit, Michigan. She received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and M.Ed. in Student Affairs from University of California, Los Angeles. She has worked in a variety of roles within both secondary and higher education, and is committed to uplifting and inspiring FLI students to pursue their purpose. Throughout her career, Adriena has worked to promote college access and equity and ensures all students feel supported, encouraged, and connected to the campus community. Prior to coming to Stanford, Adriena worked with foster youth in the Peralta Colleges and as a counselor with the Educational Opportunity Program at California State University, East Bay.
Email Adriena Brown.