School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is thrilled to announce the appointment of Sekile M. Nzinga as vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In this critical role, Nzinga will advance the school’s commitment to anti-racism and inclusivity, coordinating efforts alongside leadership and those working to foster an anti-racist environment throughout the school. Reporting to the president, the vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion serves as a member of the executive leadership team.
“I am thrilled to accept this role, leading the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in its commitment to advance equity in the arts and education,” said Nzinga. “I look forward to collaborating with the incredible, passionate community to foster a more anti-racist environment that champions inclusivity and equality throughout the institution.”
Nzinga brings a wealth of experience as an intersectional feminist executive leader, having worked across academic, governmental, and not-for-profit sectors. Her most recent position was serving as Illinois’ inaugural chief equity officer, where she played a pivotal role in establishing the Office of Equity within the Office of Governor.
Prior to her distinguished public service, Nzinga served as director of the Women’s Center and interim associate provost for diversity and inclusion/chief diversity officer at Northwestern University. Currently, she holds a tenured professorship in social work and serves as the founding director of Nazareth University’s Women and Gender Studies Bachelor of Arts program.
Nzinga’s extensive interdisciplinary scholarship focuses on Black feminist theory and praxis, reproductive justice, and feminist critiques of higher education in the neoliberal era. She is recognized as an inaugural board member for the Journal for Women and Gender Centers in Higher Education, a former member-at-large for the National Women’s Studies Association’s governing council, and a former co-chair of the Gender Justice and Digital Life Global Working Group at the Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs. In 2021, she served as the author-in-residence for HigherEdJobs.
Beyond academia, Nzinga is deeply engaged in community initiatives, serving as the board chair for the Chicago Abortion Fund and participating in the Statewide Women’s Justice Taskforce. She also collaborates with various equity-oriented, community-based organizations and cultural institutions throughout Chicago.
“I am elated to welcome Sekile Nzinga as SAIC’s new vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said President Elissa Tenny. “With her impressive intersectional background in feminist and anti-racist studies and initiatives, Nzinga will be a pivotal leader in advancing the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s commitment to inclusivity.”