Inclusion Initiatives and Cultural Competence

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Student Spotlights

Miranda Shum is from Palo Alto, California and graduated from Henry M. Gunn High School. Throughout high school, she developed her passion for music, participating in honor bands, touring internationally with her youth orchestra, and winning music competitions. Miranda is currently a sophomore at Vanderbilt University majoring in piano performance while taking pre-med courses. Although born in the U.S., Miranda is extremely proud of her Chinese heritage. She is fluent in Mandarin and makes frequent trips back to the motherland. She is grateful to be on board of VUCA this year and vows to plan new engaging activities and events to make Chinese culture more accessible and further spread it to the larger community. An Advisor to VUCA had this to say about Miranda: “As a GBM Planner on VUCA, Miranda is always at the top of her game. Kind, professional, and forward-thinking, she consistently works to bring the best events to Chinese undergraduate students and the wider Vanderbilt community.”

Thank you Miranda for being the awesome person you are and everything you do to make Vanderbilt a more inclusive space!


“I am an international student from San Salvador, El Salvador majoring in Communication Studies. I joined the Vanderbilt Association of Hispanic Students my first year with the hopes that it would connect me to the home I left behind, but in the course of my college career VAHS has become a home of its own; one of the reasons that leaving El Salvador did not hurt as much. VAHS means so much to me because it has given me the opportunity to be a leader, to create a community, and to impact campus in a meaningful way. It is a space where voices that were not audible before can begin the speak up. I want to make sure that we continue to grow as an organization, but more importantly, as a community that stands together in the face of challenges and celebrates all of the wonderful diversity that makes us who we are. ” An Advisor to VAHS had this to say about Rebeca: “From first-year rep to president of VAHS, Rebeca brings grace and compassion to everything she does. Because of her emphasis on shared leadership, VAHS has become a true family and serves as a powerful force for advocacy and change at Vanderbilt. She is an inspiration to so many young women wanting to make a difference in their communities and grow into the best version of themselves.”

We at IICC want to recognize the amazing person you are and everything you are doing to make Vanderbilt a more inclusive space!

  • African Student Union (ASU)

    President: Jason Antwi

    Advisor: Greg Fontus, Julian Humphrey-Davis

    Description:  We are a group of students interested in promoting cultural and general awareness of Africa and its history. Despite our diverse backgrounds, we all share an interest in Africa and its people. This group will help Vandy newcomers, current students, and community members to explore the variety of cultures present across the continent, and engage in discussion about current events from an African perspective.

    Annual Event: Harambee The African Student Union’s annual cultural showcase is back this year on February 10th, 2018. We are here to bring you exciting dances, amazing guest performances, exquisite food, and an overall experience highlighting several African countries. Please join us for an amazing treat! Be prepared to laugh, learn, and celebrate with us!



  • Hidden Dores

    President: Azeem Hernandez

    Advisor: Greg Fontus

    Description: Spurring from a desire to highlight the experiences of students of color on Vanderbilt’s campus, the Hidden Dores Movement began in the spring of 2014 as a photo campaign to display instances of marginalization on campus. Now the organization has grown to encompass several committees that work to induce structural change in our university and stimulate conversations about the identities and marginalization of students of color at Vanderbilt.


  • Multicultural Leadership Council (MLC)

    President: Jacob Pierce

    Advisor: Greg Fontus

    Description: Growing from a desire to increase cooperation and communication among the existing multicultural student organizations and to establish a dedicated body to advocate for and to address issues facing the student community, LDIA, Vanderbilt Student Government, and other cultural organizations collaborated to initiate the formation of the Multicultural Leadership Council (MLC). The council is comprised of over 25 student organizations. It serves as a steering committee for the student organizations under its umbrella by implementing programs and addressing needs of the cultural minority students, as well as educating the Vanderbilt community on issues of diversity and cultural awareness.

    Annual Event: InVUsion, the MLC’s cornerstone event, is a great opportunity to experience the vibrancy of Vanderbilt’s diversity. It’s an incredible day filled with singing, dancing, awesome food, and incredible people.


  • South Asian Cultural Exchange (SACE)

    President: Aster Samuel

    Advisors: ReChard Peel, Kathryn Farkas

    Description: SACE is an organization made up of over 200 Vanderbilt undergraduates dedicated to representing, celebrating, and sharing South Asian culture at Vanderbilt and in the greater Nashville area.

    Annual Events: Diwali-An exhibition of South Asian culture, Diwali is the festival of lights, a symbolic triumph of light and knowledge over ignorance and darkness. At Vanderbilt University, the Diwali program is a well established performance attracting around 1500 people from the Vanderbilt community and the greater Nashville area to watch as the members of Masala-SACE (South Asian Cultural Exchange) perform various cultural acts ranging from dances to musical performances to drama.

    Nachde Nashville-Nachde Nashville is an intercollegiate Bhangra competition hosted by SACE at Vanderbilt University. Bhangra is a traditional Indian dance form that originated from Punjab.  Our primary purpose is to promote and celebrate Indian culture throughout the Vanderbilt and Greater Nashville community. Furthermore, we aspire to expand beyond the scope of dance and create more cultural awareness.


  • Vanderbilt Undergraduate Chinese Association (VUCA)

    President: Jean Zhang

    Advisors: Kristen Lemaster, Kathryn Farkas

    Description: Founded in 2007, the mission of VUCA is to promote Chinese culture and facilitate Chinese language learning across Vanderbilt undergraduate and graduate populations. VUCA welcomes everyone who is curious about, interested in, or in love with Chinese language or culture. Our organization is truly cultural, recreational, and educational. We host events with a mission to welcome students to the Chinese culture and engage them through meaningful, fun activities. Our events are a great opportunity for participants to not only enjoy the culture, but also each other’s company. Needless to say, participants at our meetings and Chinese Corners learn something new about the country, the language, or the culture each time before they leave.