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Our History

It is hard to tell the story of Intercultural Life without acknowledging the work of our founding Director for whom our Center is named for, Carolyn Barber-Pierre. In 1987, Carolyn opened the Tulane University Office of Minority Affairs. More than three decades later, Mrs. Barber-Pierre serves as the Assistant Vice President for Intercultural Life in the Division of Student Affairs. Her portfolio includes the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Office for Gender and Sexual Diversity and Religious Life at Tulane. Carolyn was a pioneer who championed inclusive excellence on campus by making sure that historically and currently marginalized students could thrive at Tulane and beyond.

In 1988 Minority Affairs was renamed to the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Throughout that time Carolyn managed to initiate a number of cultural programs and services to support the recruitment and retention of students of color at Tulane University, including the Peer Mentor Program and Diversity Convocation. Many of those programs are still relevant to the student experience today. The Office of Multicultural Affairs advised the African American Congress at Tulane (today known as Tulane Black Student Union) and with Carolyn's guidance the office ushered in an era of Multicultural student leadership in the campus community.

In 2014 the university announced the launch of our Office for Gender and Sexual Diversity under the leadership of Dr. Red Tremmel, who served as it's first Director. Together with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Religious Life, the three offices became known affectionately on campus as THE O. For the next five years The O would come to be the safe space on campus for students of color and LGBTQ+ students at Tulane University. Through the support and advocacy of student activists, alumni, faculty, and families, The O received increased support to ensure the university continued to support diversity, inclusion, and equity on campus.

In 2019 President Mike Fitts announced that The O would become The Carolyn Barber Pierre Center for Intercultural Life named in honor of our founder. Sienna Abdulahad would become the next Director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Petey Peterson would serve as Director for the Office of Gender and Sexual Diversity.

Staff Members Over the Years

Carolyn Barber-Pierre

Assistant Vice President | Associate Dean of Students | Director of Multicultural Affairs | Interim Director of International Students & Scholars

Director of Student Programs | Director of Minority Affairs | Director of Special Services​

Assistant/Associate Directors

JoAnn Davis​

Bonita McClain

Vinson​ James Hulbert​

Luther Buie​

Gerald Spates​

Evette Castillo​

Desiree Anderson​

Melanie Johnson​

Sienna Abdulahad

 

Executive Secretaries​

Anna Henry​

Arnetha Torry​

Vanessa King​

 

Senior Program Coordinator​s

Kevin Lewis​

Jazmine Robinson

Renee Bradley

 

Graduate Assistants​

Marinda Ward​

Octavio Barajas​

Ghiya Ali​

Vanessa Castaneda

Miquel Lopez​

Curtis Davis

Abi Mbaye​