Clarksville, TN – LaNeeça Williams joined the Govs Family in July 2019 as the Austin Peay State University (APSU) chief diversity officer/Title IX coordinator. Upon her arrival, she quickly developed and has sustained a campus environment that fosters and celebrates diversity and inclusion.
As the chief diversity officer, she has served as a member of the Office of the President, leading and coordinating efforts in all aspects of diversity, inclusion, educational and employment equity, affirmative action, cultural/global understanding or empathy building, and civil and human rights.
Williams has guided campus practices to promote a more diverse and inclusive campus culture in alignment with the values, mission, vision, and goals of the University. She has led and/or participated in several initiatives such as The PEAYple’s Voice: Dialogue on Diversity, Re-Thinking Diversity Faculty-Led Discussions, the Alumni and Student Mentoring Program, Anti-Bias Education Training, and numerous workshops and media campaigns for diversity.
She has also collaborated with Human Resources staff to ensure search and screen committees and hiring managers receive the appropriate training in diversity and inclusion hiring practices, and she collaborated with university administrators to launch the inclusion program, “A Place at Our Table.”
The program’s goal is to provide a safe space to discuss the nation’s racial and social challenges, as well as conscious and unconscious biases that affect how people may perceive the world, interact with others, and envision the future.
Williams has made it clear that diversity is no longer contained to physical attributes, like race, gender, religion or who loves who. It should also encompass differences in work styles, generational differences, and personalities. During her time at APSU she has focused on working with campus members to embrace workplace diversity as something that is essential, because it helps to increase the talent pool and brings new ideas, perspectives, and skills to the University.
“Greater awareness, greater diversity, and striving towards cultural empathy means greater vibrancy at Austin Peay State University,” Williams said. “I am grateful for my time here thus far and the opportunity to work with so many talented individuals. I am excited about the future of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives as APSU and the continuous assurance of respect in the workplace for all. I look forward to many more discussions with campus members through The PEAYple’s Voice: Dialogue on Diversity or at A Place at Our Table. Regardless of the venue, it is important that GOVS continue to be open-minded, supportive, and empathetic to the students, colleagues, and constituents. Although we celebrate ‘Leading Through Black Excellence,’ it would be difficult to lead without followers who believe in you. And, for that, I thank my GOVS family!”
We salute you LaNeeca for the service, dedication, and transparency that is needed to complete DEI initiatives.
– APSU African American Employee Council
Leading Through Black Excellence is a new Black History Month series, presented by the Austin Peay State University African American Employee Council. Throughout February, we will highlight examples of “Leading Through Black Excellence,” both on and off our campus. Individuals and organizations were nominated, and we are pleased to share their incredible stories through this new venture. For more information, please visit our website. www.apsu.edu/aaec.