With The Brown Model: Pathways to Inclusion & Belonging national tour, Dr. Sylvia Carey-Butler — Brown’s vice president of institutional equity and diversity — is traveling to alumni clubs around the country to present the University’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

Brown’s progressive and purposeful approach to diversity and inclusion has made it a model in higher education. But, the University’s work in this sphere doesn’t stop at the boundaries of our campus. Our alumni, parents, and friends play an integral role in Brown’s mission to create an inclusive, diverse, and vibrant academic community.

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If you have questions or would like to RSVP for an upcoming event, contact noor_kouki@brown.edu.

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About The Brown Model

The Brown Model: Pathways to Inclusion & Belonging tour seeks to acquaint our community with the pathbreaking programs and initiatives happening at Brown today. While the University has garnered national recognition for its endeavors, these accomplishments are the results of years of work that came before.

In 1964, during the Civil Rights era, the University formalized the Brown University-Tougaloo College Partnership (BTP) to enrich both campuses through student, faculty, and administrative exchanges. The partnership emphasized financial assistance for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), bringing national attention to the issue.

In 1986, the University established the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA), one of the nation’s earliest academic centers dedicated to research, scholarship, and academic exchanges on issues of race and ethnicity. 

In 2003, President Ruth Simmons appointed a steering committee on Slavery and Justice to explore Brown’s historical relationship to slavery and the transatlantic slave trade and its legacies of inequity and injustice. The committee culminated with its 2006 report, detailing the role of Brown’s founders and benefactors in the slave trade and the benefits the University derived from these activities. Brown released a second edition in 2021 that offered insights into this report’s persistent and evolving impact, both on and beyond Brown’s campus.

One primary recommendation from the original report was to create the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (CSSJ), which was formally established in 2012.

In 2013, President Christina H. Paxson introduced her strategic plan, Building on Distinction. One of its central themes was “building peaceful, just, and prosperous societies,” with a goal of leveraging Brown’s strength in using a multidisciplinary approach to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Born from that idea was the Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University, commonly referred to as the DIAP. Released in 2016, the DIAP serves as the University’s comprehensive strategic plan to create and sustain a diverse and inclusive community.

Bringing this plan to fruition is the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED), led by Dr. Sylvia Carey-Butler. Together, they are helping Brown to foster an environment of academic excellence, expand Brown’s curriculum to include diversity and inclusion-related topics, create a respectful community that counteracts injustices, collect and share data to measure progress, and recruit students, faculty, and staff from historically underrepresented groups.

About Dr. Sylvia Carey-Butler

Dr. Sylvia R. Carey-Butler
Dr. Sylvia R. Carey-Butler

Dr. Sylvia R. Carey-Butler joined Brown in July 2021 as vice president for institutional equity and diversity, overseeing the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED). 

She comes to Brown with a robust background in academia, previously serving as vice president and chief diversity officer for Kennesaw State University, assistant chancellor for academic support of inclusive excellence at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, assistant provost and dean of honors at Dillard University, and associate dean of studies at Lafayette College. She also served as interim executive director of the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Institute for Capacity Building and the inaugural director of UNCF’s Enrollment Management Program

At Brown University, Carey-Butler is charged with leading phase II of the Pathways to Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) coupled with oversight of the Brown Tougaloo Program, the Leadership Alliance, the Affirmative Action Plan, along with other key diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

Supporting Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives

Want to support Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) initiatives at Brown? There are many ways your gift can make a difference.

Office of Institutional Equity & Diversity Giving Opportunities

For information about supporting these giving opportunities, contact alyssia_coates@brown.edu.

  • Building a Bridge Back to Brown: An Oral History Project - Conducting interviews and collecting artifacts to be exhibited at the next Black Alumni Reunion in 2023.
  • Brown University HBCU Collaborative - Fortifying the capacity-building, information-sharing, and experiential initiative to solidify Brown as a bridge builder to historically Black colleges and universities.
  • Presidential Postdoctoral Program - Increasing the pipeline of diverse faculty in STEM disciplines, both at Brown and in the wider academy.

Other Giving Opportunities

Founded in 2012, the CSSJ has built a global reputation for bringing together scholars, artists, and creative practitioners to examine the contemporary impact of the history of racial slavery.
The Health Equity Scholars program is creating a network of diverse and transformational leaders who will use their training to bring equity and justice to public health.


For information about specific giving opportunities, contact:

Alyssia Coates, Ph.D.
Director of Development for Academic Initiatives
+1 (401) 863-1221
alyssia_coates@brown.edu