Battle-Baptiste Named Chancellor’s Leadership Fellow

Whitney Battle-Baptiste
Whitney Battle-Baptiste

Whitney Battle-Baptiste, professor of anthropology and director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Center, has been named a Chancellor’s Leadership Fellow in the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Organized by the Office of Faculty Development, Chancellor’s Leadership Fellowships seek to cultivate future campus leaders by offering a half-time, one-year, temporary appointment to an administrative area on campus. Professor Battle-Baptiste will be working with Nefertiti Walker, interim vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion, to roll out “Black Presence at UMass,” an initiative dedicated to celebrating the collective impact of African American and Black faculty, staff, students, alumni and other community members.

“Dr. Battle-Baptiste brings a wealth of institutional knowledge through her leadership of the W. E. B. Du Bois Center, and related experiences rooted in her research expertise,” says Walker. “We are confident that she will provide the leadership needed to successfully launch the Black Presence initiative, and we are excited for the year ahead.”

Battle-Baptiste is a historical archaeologist, and her research focuses on the historical intersection of race, class, and gender in the shaping of cultural landscapes across the African diaspora. She has led the Du Bois Center since 2015.

“Working in collaboration with colleagues across and beyond campus, I have been able to grow and diversify the ways in which the Du Bois Center works with students, faculty, and community groups, as well as the ways in which we support new scholarship and programming,” says Battle-Baptiste. “I look forward to using this experience and energy to create a lasting narrative of the Black Presence at UMass that will inform our campus community for years to come.”

Battle-Baptiste joins four other Chancellor’s Leadership Fellows this year.