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Social Justice and Identity


Mission Statement

Social Justice and Identity (SJAI) within the Dean of Students office conducts events, activities, and training that both celebrate diversity and serve to educate Vanderbilt students on pertinent issues of social justice, identity, and advocacy.   SJAI supports students of varying backgrounds and identities through wide-ranging programming which serves to foster a sense of belonging, to commemorate important cultural values, and to facilitate understanding between people of differing backgrounds and orientations.   Additionally, Dean of Students staff members in SJAI serve a number of student organizations as advisors, meeting with student leaders on a regular basis, attending their organizations’ events, and serving as mentors.

Contact Information

  • Leader
    Frank Dobson, Associate Dean of Students
  • Office
    310 Sarratt
  • Phone Number


The Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center

The BCC is a home away from home. It offers cultural and educational programming, student support, and community outreach and service. The center promotes respect, understanding, and greater appreciation for cultural and racial diversity.

Frank Dobson, Interim Director

University Chaplain and Religious Life

Religious Life seeks to function in an educational capacity, not only for those students and groups who are traditionally religious, but by way of raising ethical questions and issues of value and character among the student body as a whole. Because we seek to educate the “whole person,” we view ethical and spiritual formation as integral to the University’s overall educational mission and religious life as an important dimension of the co-curriculum made possible by the Dean of Students office.

Mark Forester, University Chaplain & Director of Religious Life
401 24th Avenue South

Inclusion Initiatives and Cultural Competence

IICC promotes an environment of cultural competence, inclusivity, and awareness, through the programming initiatives and training for students, faculty, and staff which promote social justice, an ability to initiate and participate in constructive conversations surrounding difference. IICC provides structured support to students and student organizations.

Frank Dobson, Interim Director
337 Sarratt

International Student and Scholar Services

International Student & Scholar Services fosters the education and development of non-immigrant students and scholars to enable them to achieve their academic and professional goals and objectives. ISSS provides advice, counseling, and advocacy regarding immigration, cross-cultural, and personal matters. ISSS also supports an environment conducive to international education and intercultural awareness through educational, social, and cross-cultural programs.

Ali Soltanshahi, Director
103 Student Life Center

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, & Intersex (LGBTQI) Life

Chris Purcell, Director; The K.C. Potter Center
Euclid (312) West Side Row

Transition Programs

Transition Programs seek to help connect students to various campus resources, provide social and academic support, and to help ensure that students making the transition to college (such as first-generation and transfer students) are able to successfully transition to become thriving members of the Vanderbilt student community.

Christiana M. Russell, Director

The Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center

The Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center is an affirming space for all members of the Vanderbilt community; it acknowledges and actively resists sexism, racism, homophobia, and all forms of oppression while advocating for positive social change.

Rory Dicker, Director
Franklin (316) West Side Row