St. Olaf College | News

A new center for creating systemic change

The vision for the new Glenn and Myretta Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion is simple: to create a space where students are empowered, engaged, and nurtured for success.

Established last fall with the support of a $1 million gift from St. Olaf College Regent Glenn Taylor ’73 and his wife, Myretta, the center aims to foster an inclusive environment across the intersections of race and identity that students bring to campus.

The college provided matching funds to support the center and hired a new director, Dr. María C. Pabón Gautier, whose teaching and scholarship have focused in areas of ethnic identity, microaggressions, anti-bias education, social justice, and issues of diversity and equity. The Taylor Center’s staff also includes Assistant Director for Wellness, Gender and Sexuality Jon Mergens; Assistant Director for International Student Engagement Megan Carmes; and Program Coordinator Norma Charlton.

The Taylor Center’s core values — inclusive, respectful, engaged, and collaborative — are a powerful testament to the way it is bringing renewed energy and resources to bear on the college’s ongoing efforts to create a more inclusive campus.

Taylor Center Director María Pabón GautierMy hope, my vision for the Taylor Center is that we continue to create more intentional spaces where students can be their authentic selves.

The campus community celebrated the Taylor Center during an open house on Friday, May 3 that featured a welcome from Pabón, performances from students and faculty, and global appetizers. Visitors also toured the Taylor Center and checked out the new mural designed and painted by students.

The home page photo: Members of the Taylor Center Advisory Committee are photographed with the new mural. They include (top row, from left) Tashonna Douglas ’21, Taylor Center Program Coordinator Norma Charlton, Melissa Cervantes-Moreno ’21, DeA Brown ’21, Camila Avila-Martinez ’21, Kgomotso Magagula ’21, (bottom row, from left) Ricardo Johnson III ’19, Tamira Fuentes ’19, and Taylor Center Director María Pabón Gautier.