Taj Smith joins Xavier

Smith named director of Multicultural, Gender, and Women’s Center at Xavier

By: Maddie Day ~Copy Editor~

Taj Smith was recently named director of Xavier’s Multicultural, Gender, and Women’s Center. He joins the Xavier community after working for a similar center at a liberal arts school in New England.

Smith is a co-founder of Phallicies, a nonprofit organization that encourages men to think critically about their manhood through the use of theater and performance art.

Smith has worked with graduate students, undergraduate students and faculty at a number of notable universities, including Cornell University, Amherst College and Rutgers University.
He has extensive experience in teaching courses, diversity and inclusion training, intergroup dialogues and weekend workshops.

As director of the Multicultural, Gender, and Women’s Center, Smith will focus on developing the Center as an educational and social resource for the Xavier community.

According to Smith, the Center is a place where all students can go to learn about themselves from a diverse perspective.

“College is a time where young people construct a sense of who they are, so we want to help in that process,” Smith said.

The Center offers programs for historically underrepresented students, including women, LGBTQ, multi-racial students and students of color.

“Though serving these student sub-populations (is) important, we will also have programming to invite men, white students, heterosexual and economically fortunate students to help us make Xavier a destination for academic and inclusive excellence,” Smith said.

He hopes that the Center will be a place where students, staff and faculty come together to better understand issues of diversity and inclusion.

“Everyone has an identity, everyone brings diversity to Xavier and therefore everyone should be included in this important yet sometimes uncomfortable conversation,” Smith said.
The Multicultural, Gender, and Women’s Center will host an open forum for students, staff and faculty to learn more about the Center and its mission.

The event will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 11. For more information on the Multicultural, Gender, and Women’s Center, visit http://www.xavier.edu/gender-diversity.