Johns Hopkins Alumni Gather for DEI Summit

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A group of Vivien Thomas Scholars — made up of HBCU and MSI students — were among the attendees of the Johns Hopkins Alumni Identity and Equity Summit. (Photo courtesy of Johns Hopkins University)

Alumni can make powerful contributions to the culture of their alma mater. In recognition of this, Johns Hopkins University (JHU) recently hosted the inaugural Alumni Identity and Equity Summit, which brought together alumni, university leaders, and students to discuss and advance the institution’s DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) values.

The two-day event facilitated collaboration between attendees and provided a space for them to network and to discuss the challenges and opportunities they have experienced related to DEI. Remarks were given by senior JHU leadership, including Katrina Caldwell, chief diversity officer and vice provost for diversity and inclusion; Harris Tildon, vice president of government, community, and economic partnerships; and Tiffany Wright, deputy general counsel for the university.

A key point of conversation was “Realizing Our Promise: The Second JHU Roadmap on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” which outlines the university’s goals to improve belonging and representation within the campus community. The summit also touched on broader DEI topics, such as the U.S. Supreme Court’s ban on race-conscious admissions and strategies to make workplaces more inclusive.

Among the attendees were a cohort from JHU’s Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative, which is open to approximately 100 underrepresented students.— particularly those from historically Black colleges and universities and Minority-Serving Institutions — pursuing a STEM PhD. Scholars receive full tuition support for up to six years, along with a stipend, health insurance, and numerous professional development opportunities.

“Attending the JHU Alumni Identity & Equity Summit was not merely about reconnecting, it was about reigniting our collective promise to inclusive excellence,” Guillermo Ortiz, class of 2014, said in a press release. “Together we bridged experiences, shared insights, and worked toward a future where every voice resonates, every story matters, and every Blue Jay finds their place in our vibrant community. Let’s embrace these moments, for in our unity lies the power to shape a brighter tomorrow for Johns Hopkins University and beyond.”