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Jackson, Inaugural Chief Diversity Officer for Hendrix, to Direct Little Rock Nonprofit

Jackson Dionne - 20160629 - 09175524 200x300px.jpgCONWAY, Ark. (April 12, 2019) – Dr. Dionne Bennett Jackson ’96, a Hendrix College faculty member since 2010 and the College’s first Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, has accepted a position as executive director for AR Kids Read. Her work there begins in May.

Jackson joined the Hendrix College faculty as Assistant Professor of Education and, in 2016, was named the College’s inaugural Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer. In this role, she has led the College’s progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

“Dr. Jackson has been an advisor, colleague, and friend to students, faculty, and staff, and she has led significant outreach to students in the Delta, as well as numerous other diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus and in the community,” said Hendrix College President William M. Tsutsui. “I can think of no greater example of Dionne’s legacy at Hendrix than her tireless work on behalf of our Aspire Scholars, the first cohort of whom will graduate next month.”

In addition to providing support for Aspire Scholars—students who are part of the Aspire Scholarship program that covers the full cost of attendance for Federal Pell Grant-eligible students from partner secondary schools—the Office for Diversity and Inclusion shepherds a number of other campus initiatives. The Diversity Ambassadors program for students, Hendrix FOCUS (Faculty Of Color Uniting for Success), 1stGEN@HDX (support for students who are in the first generation of their families to attend college, which recently received over $260,000 in funding from The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations), and First Tuesday Talks (a monthly program addressing the question, “What is my identity, and how does it enrich my community?”) have all either been founded by or enhanced by the office since Jackson led its launch three years ago. Additionally, the office implemented regular climate surveying of faculty, students, and staff and faculty and employee diversity training.

Jackson plans to remain connected with her alma mater through multiple initiatives, including Bridging Alumni of Color, or BAC@HDX, another program founded by the Office for Diversity and Inclusion.

President Tsutsui will appoint an interim Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer in the coming weeks, as the College prepares for a national search in the fall for Jackson’s successor.

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit

About AR Kids Read

AR Kids Read’s mission is to improve the future of Arkansas children and families by advancing literacy education so that children can read proficiently by the end of third grade. AR Kids Read recruits and provides training and ongoing support for more than 400 volunteers who tutor students in 49 schools in Pulaski County. Each tutor also gives their students books provided by AR Kids Read to help the students start their own home libraries. To learn more, visit