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A passion for diversity

Charity Powell is CU’s new director of diversity and community
Charity Powell is Campbellsville University’s new director of diversity and community.

Charity Powell has always been passionate about serving people, specifically people with diverse backgrounds.

Soon after graduating from Campbellsville University in the early 2000s, she started working at CU. She was recently named CU’s new director of diversity and community.

“I realized I wanted to keep giving back to the university, specifically to students,” she said.

Powell said she wants people to find their community and discover new cultures and worldviews.

“I love getting to know people who are different from me,” Powell said. “I found that I could use that passion to be an advocate for the ever-growing diverse population of students we have at CU. No matter the socioeconomic status, gender, race, ethnicity, ability, religion or sexuality, the diversity office is here to make sure everyone is safe, seen and successful. Every person is worthy of dignity and attention, and the best part is, I get to do that.”

Powell sees her position as the director of diversity and community as an excuse to get to know as many different people as possible. Her goal is to open the door for diverse groups of people at CU to have healthy discussions that can break stigmas and stereotypes.

“The way I see it, if I can help create a space for students, faculty and staff to have discussions about hard things where everyone walks away feeling heard, then I’m doing my job,” she said.

According to Powell, the life of Jesus is what inspired her to do diversity work.

“He invited everyone into His presence,” she said. “I want to be that kind of person… Everyone is welcome. Everyone is part of the story. Everyone is welcome at the table. The closer we get to that at CU, the more we live up to our mission.”

Powell said she’s received tremendous support from CU administration.

“Dr. Hopkins and Dr. Hedgepath have both been huge advocates for diversity initiatives on campus,” she said. “I’ve worked in spaces where I didn’t feel I had the freedom to create or dream, so the status quo just became the norm. It wears on you after a while. Not having support or collaboration will end up pushing great employees to look for jobs elsewhere. I know that with the support I have here, I can cast my vision and use my creativity and student engagement to make CU to be a great place for any student from any background. It’s a great place to be professionally.”

Wanda Washington, director of Bridge to Success & Community Engagement, said it’s always a reward and blessing when she and Powell have a project together.

“Working with Charity is quite rewarding because she is very knowledgeable and hungry to know more,” Washington said.

Kylee Miller, director of the Student Activity Center, said Powell is the ideal person to lead the diversity office at CU.

“If support and care were a person, it would be Charity,” Miller said. “Charity is one of the purest and caring souls I have ever met on this campus. Her ambition and love for her students is so breathtaking. So many diverse students attend this university, and we want everyone to feel welcome. One of the best people to make sure that’s being done is Charity Powell.”

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About the Contributor
Tomias Rushin
Tomias E. Rushin is a sophomore from Lexington, Kentucky. He is majoring in mass communication, with an emphasis in journalism and a minor in vocal performance. This is his second year at Campbellsville University, and his first year reporting for The Campus Times. He enjoys playing the piano, dancing and planning events.
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