UMass Black Advisory Council

The Chancellor and Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion have organized the Black Advisory Council (BAC). This group of UMass Amherst administrators, faculty, staff, and students has been asked to meet monthly to discuss issues related to the education, opportunity, access, well-being, and success of Black people, and particularly African Americans at UMass Amherst.

BAC Announcements

Announcing the Formation of a Black Advisory Council
From Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, October 28, 2021

Black Advisory Council Membership Announced
From Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and Vice Chancellor Nefertiti Walker, November 24, 2021 


The UMass Black Advisory Council regularly convenes to address topics related to the Black community at UMass, provides education and guidance on Black issues, and advises university leaders on matters related to positive campus climate for Black students, faculty, and staff. Comprised of a team of campus administrators, faculty, staff, and students, the Council represents a broad network of over twenty-one different programs, departments, and resources. BAC objectives include, but are not limited to:  

  • Providing expertise, counsel, and recommendations to support positive, equitable, and inclusive experiences for Black students, staff, and faculty

  • Developing within the UMass community fuller awareness and understanding of Black and African American issues and history, within and of our campus community

  • Identifying opportunities for increased education and awareness for the campus community 

  • Encouraging and supporting campus initiatives and strategic planning that seek to imbed specific focus for Black people and matters

  • Monitoring campus performance and guiding goal setting for the ongoing recruitment, retention, and success of Black students, staff, and faculty 


  • Whitney Battle-Baptiste (Co-Chair), Professor, and Director for the W.E.B. Du Bois Center
  • Farshid Hajir, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and DEI
  • E. Cheryl Ponder,  Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor, Advocacy Inclusion, and Support Programs
  • Sidonio Ferreira, Special Assistant to Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life
  • Amanda Knight, Senior Associate Director for Student-Athlete Experience
  • Mzamo Mangaliso & Nate Whitmal, Chairs for Faculty Senate’s Status of Diversity Council
  • Kalpen Trivedi, Vice Provost for Global Affairs and Director of the International Programs Office
  • Yolanda Covington-Ward, Professor and Chair, W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies
  • Emmanuel Adero, Deputy Officer for the Office of Equity and Inclusion
  • Jayda Coren, Student Government Association
  • Andrew Gordon, Graduate Student of Color Association
  • Lilliauna Hopkins, Graduate Student Senate
  • Representative TBD, Black Student Union