John Eklof joined Cascadia College this week as its Executive Director of Equity & Inclusion. This role was newly created to help expand the college’s understanding and practices related to diversity, equity and inclusion. It is a cabinet-level position.
John served as a Racial Equity Specialist in the Bellevue School District where he worked with administrators, teachers, and staff at all 29 schools to implement racial equity initiatives. While there he focused on building partnerships to help close the achievement gap for underrepresented students through systems-level change. He also collaborated with faculty to develop culturally responsible curricula. Prior to his work at the school district, John was the Cultural Center Coordinator at South Seattle College.
John’s strengths include conflict resolution, student mentorship, and motivational speaking. He earned his BA degree in American Ethnic Studies and MA degree in Multicultural Education at the University of Washington.
“The addition of this executive position marks an important point in the life of Cascadia College as the institution strives to meet the challenges of its mission in the 21st century, which will require all of us to think critically about our work and how we will make it more equitable, accessible, and inclusive,” says Eric Murray, Ph.D., President of Cascadia College. “We are excited that John is bringing his talent and passions to the college’s leadership team.”
Cascadia enrolls 42% students of color -- a 7% increase over the last five years. The populations of students with disabilities and who are U.S. veterans have also seen significant increases.