Center for Diversity and Inclusion


Committed to maintaining a diverse community in an atmosphere of mutual respect

Franklin College provides students with an opportunity to live and study among other races, cultures, sexual orientations, economic backgrounds and various life experiences. Students receive support from several administrative and academic departments, including the Center for Diversity and Inclusion to encourage their growth and success in a diverse environment.


  • Fiyah Kirby

    The CDI has shaped my life for the better. I am able to practice professionalism and leadership with strong guidance. My understanding of the importance of multiculturalism has also greatly improved. - Fiyah Kirby '21


Vision and Mission

Our Vision Statement

The vision of the Center is to be a catalyst, dedicated to engaging all cultural communities at Franklin College around the value of diversity. We aim to create an inclusive educational environment where understanding, dialogue and the free exchange of ideas are celebrated. These efforts will contribute to the development of critically conscious global citizens at Franklin College and beyond.

Our Mission Statement

The mission of the Center is to support students, faculty/staff and the community by promoting the value of diversity, broadening multicultural awareness, advancing cultural competence and encouraging cross-cultural collaborative relationships through education and advocacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are we?

  • The Center for Diversity and Inclusion is located on the 2nd floor of the Napolitan Student Center.

What do we do?

  • Provide diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) education, training, development and leadership opportunities for the advancement of the Franklin College campus community and Johnson County.
  • Advance Franklin College campus community’s awareness, understanding, appreciation and respect for diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.
  • Serve as a physical and emotional safe and brave space for all Franklin College students, faculty and staff to gather, engage in programming, reflection and communion with one another.
  • Encourage community values, emphasize a welcoming and inclusive environment for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, physical or mental ability.
  • Support the recruitment and retention of students from historically excluded and marginalized communities, contributing to their sense of belonging on campus.
  • Collaborate with campus partners, allies, departments, and community leaders and to realize the College’s value of inclusivity and community.

Download the Diversity and Inclusion on Campus Handout (PDF)

The Yolanda Askew ’90 DEI Award

The Yolanda Askew ’90 DEI Award is provided to financially vulnerable diverse students, funded through the generosity of Franklin College alumni. The award is granted to diverse students experiencing financial need and who are seeking an educational or co-curricular experience to enhance their Franklin College education. The Alumni Council task force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion established this award in 2021, through a strong effort to support underrepresented students on campus and help foster an inclusive environment. In 2023, after Yolanda’s passing, the alumni council members voted to rename the award in honor of her. Recipients of the award must demonstrate need for funds that will help provide for a robust Franklin College student experience.

For more information about this award please contact Marlisha Marcellin, the Director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.  To make a financial gift to support this award, click here.  To designate your gift for this award, click on the dropdown box and select “other.”  Then type in “The Yolanda Askew ’90 DEI Award.”

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Meet Our Team