INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine has asked Venessa Brown, associate athletic director for diversity, equity, and inclusion to join their Editorial Board. Brown, a longtime member of the SIUE community, said she hopes to shed light on the importance of athletics within the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion space.
Brown has been a part of the SIUE community since 1995 as an assistant professor before becoming a professor in 2006. In March of 2021, she joined the Athletics Department as the associate athletic director for diversity, equity and inclusion. Brown started a new adventure recently. She accepted a position on the editorial board for INSIGHT Into Diversity.
Holly Mendelson, co-publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, said the Editorial Board is excited for Brown to join them.
“Our Editorial Board is there to advise and counsel us. [Brown] will be a great addition to our board, as she has so much knowledge,” Mendelson said.
After being featured in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education as one of the 25 women in higher education who have made an impact back in February 2021 and SIUE being awarded the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award in 2020, Brown has been on INSIGHT’s radar.
“I was contacted by the owners of INSIGHT [Into] Diversity and they said ‘you have really made such a big contribution to the diversity, equity inclusion space, and you really moved SIUE forward. SIUE is one of the leading institutions in the Midwest, for diversity, equity, inclusion, and we would really love for you to be a part of our editorial board’,” Brown said.
Brown credited much of her foundation in the diversity, equity and inclusion space to SIUE. Before becoming the associate athletic director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion she was the associate chancellor for the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, chief diversity officer and ethics officer at SIUE. She said this new position is a blessing to both her and her
work at SIUE.
“This is the icing on the cake of the hard work, the dedication and the passion and the love that I’ve had for SIUE. So to take that love and take the work that we’ve done here, and to take that to a place like Insight, and be able to tell the SIUE story even more, because this is where my foundation is,” Brown said.
Brown said she only recently started working in the Athletic Department but one of her current goals is to shine a light on the importance and impact the sports have on the diversity, equity and inclusion space. She talked about what she hopes to bring to the Insight Editorial Board.
“I think intercollegiate athletics is a diamond... I’m hoping that I’ll be able to shed some light on what it means to really bring athletes to the diversity, equity inclusion [space] on a national and international level. I’m hoping to be a person that will have innovative ideas for Insight to do around athletics,” Brown said.
Lenore Pearlstein, co-publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, said it was important for Brown to be a part of the board, especially as a person who works in an athletics department in higher education.
“The most important thing that she brings, she’s chief diversity owfficer for an athletic department which is something new and very rare in higher education. I want her to take the lead for us to let us know what she is doing so that other schools around the country can use [SIUE] as a role model,” Pearlstein said.
Brown said she is excited to see what the future holds for both her new position at the magazine, but also within the athletic department. She said she is hoping to use her new position at INSIGHT to bring SIUE sports to a national and international platform.
“We have a winning team here. We have a wonderful group here, but I think I could make us much more visible,” Brown said.