W&L Employee Resource Group (ERG) Program

Washington and Lee University's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion affirms that diverse perspectives and backgrounds enhance our community. The University is committed to the recruitment, enrichment, and retention of faculty and staff who embody many experiences, cultures, points of view, interests, and identities. The Provost's Office and Human Resources have partnered to expand on and pilot Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to foster the development of meaningful connections, and hopefully a robust sense of community, amongst employees. ERGs have been defined in a variety of ways, and are commonly described as voluntary, employee-led groups, with the goal of fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace in line with the mission and values of the institution at which they are employed. While all employees are welcome to participate in all ERGs, ERGs are sometimes also referred to as affinity groups, as they are often shaped by employees who share an affinity or characteristic, such as race, ethnicity, nationality, religious affiliation, sexual orientation and gender identity, or other connections. ERGs are designed to bring employees together in a safe place where conversations can flow freely and everyone can feel comfortable being themselves. They offer interested faculty and staff members the chance to strengthen our University through community building, social activities, professional development, and dialogue.

Beginning with the 2022-23 academic year, Washington and Lee will provide structure, guidance and funding to support events and programing for the initial ERGs. All faculty and staff are invited to participate in the following ERGs:

  • Alumni: Alumni Engagement Sponsored
  • Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander: Lynny Chin, and Akiko Konishi
  • Black, African American, and the African Diaspora: Courtney Penn and Dayo Abah
  • Indigenous and Native American Cohort: Kelly Fujiwara
  • International / Dual Citizen: Hunter Swanson and Mohamed Kamara
  • Latine / Hispanic: Fiorela Prado de Lewis and Heidi Bustos
  • Pride at W&L: Jake Reeves
  • Newcomers: Human Resources Sponsored (Activities are open to benefit eligible employees hired in the last three years)
  • Under-Represented Religious, Cultural and Spiritual Identities: Isra El-Beshir and Sascha Goluboff
  • Veteran: Paul Youngman and Mark Fontenot
  • Women: Kristy Crickenberger, K.T. Vaughan, and Drewry Sackett

These ERGs were identified either through current existence or through expressed interest during employee focus groups and interviews. We welcome hearing about your interest in developing a future ERG; please contact Jodi Williams (jwilliams@wlu.edu) and Leslie Wingard Cunningham (lwcunningham@wlu.edu) to discuss.

What's New?

ERG Events