Georgianna Meléndez: Inspiring A Generation of D&I Defenders

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By Karla Amador

Boston, MA — Georgianna Meléndez is the Vice Chancellor and Title IX Coordinator at the University of Massachusetts Boston Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In her dual role, she is responsible for overseeing the university’s D&I strategy to sustain a safe, diverse, and inclusive environment for faculty, staff, students, and visitors alike.

“The university is a microcosm of our world; over 140 countries are represented in our institution. In other words, we’re all a piece of the puzzle. At UMass Boston our students and faculty learn about and embrace each other’s cultural diversity,” she said.

For Meléndez, instilling the importance of inclusivity on campus begins with first-year students.

“It’s part of my mission to inspire students from all backgrounds to share their presence and voice. In addition, I work closely with students and employees to address issues and to foster an engaging, diverse, and inclusive college and work experience,” she explained.

In her role, Meléndez is driven by a commitment to social justice. To that end, she is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at the UMass Boston College of Management Business Administration program with a focus on Organizations and Social Change.

Upon completion, Meléndez will be that more equipped to further UMass Boston’s mission to be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive institution for today’s and tomorrow’s thought-leaders.

Unsurprisingly, a leader such as Meléndez champions diversity outside of the university campus as well. Meléndez serves as a mentor as part of the Marian Heard Scholarship Program of the United Way of Mass Bay.

“I allocate my energy to areas where I can affect change for those who have been historically marginalized or oppressed,” she said.

For her commitment to diversity, inclusion, and professional development within her community, Meléndez was recently recognized by El Planeta’s Powermeter as one of Boston’s 100 most influential people in the Latino community of Massachusetts.

“As a woman of color, I strongly believe we are mentors and influencers who have an impact on our younger generations. I am inspired [by that impact] to pursue [my doctorate], hold leadership positions, and [to surpass] the threshold for change in 2018.”