Kalamazoo College Selects Jaime Grant as Executive Director for Its Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership

CONTACT: Jim VanSweden, 269.337.7291

June 28, 2010

(KALAMAZOO, Michigan) June 28, 2010 – After a national search, Kalamazoo College has named Jaime M. Grant, Ph.D., as executive director of its Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership (ACSJL). She will begin her duties September 1.

Grant has worked for more than 20 years with a variety of national and international organizations focused on social justice and human rights for women, youth, and the LGBT community, as well as victims of sexual and domestic assault, and the mentally ill.

The Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership (https://reason.kzoo.edu/csjl) is a new initiative by Kalamazoo College, launched in 2009 with a two-year, $2.1 million grant from the Arcus Foundation (www.arcusfoundation.org). Its purpose is to explore, cultivate, and engage in the study and practice of social justice leadership.

“We are very excited to have someone of Jaime Grant’s caliber and range of experience join Kalamazoo College,” said “K” President Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran. “She has a deep passion and demonstrated commitment to social justice, and a substantial record of accomplishment as a leader who can foster collaboration and a sense of shared purpose. In her role as the executive director, Dr. Grant will provide leadership as Kalamazoo College works to become recognized nationally and internationally as the place to look for original thinking about social justice and social justice leadership.”

Since Nov. 2007, Grant has served as director of the Policy Institute at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the nation’s premiere LGBT think tank located in Washington, D.C. Before that, she was Program Director for “Leadership for a Changing World” (LCW) at The Advocacy Institute, also in Washington. LCW is the Ford Foundation’s signature leadership awards program, and recognizes and supports community leaders across America who are effectively tackling tough social issues.

“I’m thrilled to join Kalamazoo College’s Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership,” said Grant. “Kalamazoo’s tradition of combining top-quality, liberal arts academics with experiential learning makes it an ideal place to establish a first-of-its-kind academy-based social justice leadership center.

“The new center will add value to a ‘K’ education, while fueling social change efforts in the U.S. and abroad, and nurturing the next generation of leaders,” she said.

Grant has published in major academic journals and her commentaries have appeared broadly in popular publications and the consumer press. Her recent work at the Task Force has included a national Census advocacy campaign, and a policy paper on issues of aging facing the LGBT aging community. The projects she is currently completing include a visioning document for advocates working on family policy.

Grant has a bachelor’s degree in economics and government from Wesleyan University, a master’s degree in women’s studies from Bucknell University, and a Ph.D. in women’s studies from The Union Institute, where she served as director from 1993 to 2000.

Her duties at Kalamazoo College will include maintaining and augmenting the vision for the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, while overseeing a range of programs, developing international and domestic partnerships, and working with College faculty, staff, and students on innovative projects and practices in social justice leadership.

Current programming to support the ACSJL mission includes project grants for “K” faculty, staff, and students; fellowships for “K” and visiting faculty; and a series of lectures and “convenings” in which visiting social justice leaders interact with members of the “K” campus and greater Kalamazoo community.

Founded in Kalamazoo in 1833, Kalamazoo College (www.kzoo.edu) is a nationally recognized liberal arts college and the creator of the “K-Plan” that emphasizes rigorous scholarship, learning by practice, and both international and intercultural engagement.