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Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement

Multicultural Student Initiatives

Each year the office hosts several programs that promote diversity and inclusion. We seek to provide opportunities to promote cultural competency & multicultural awareness through intentional programming, activities, and events.

Black & African Heritage Month 

This is an annual celebration of achievements by Black & African Americans and a time for recognizing the significant role of African Americans in U.S. and Southern Miss history. During the celebration, students are awarded scholarships through essay contests, student lectures and speeches. The Office of IME sponsors the university’s Black & African Heritage Month programming during the month of February, the office collaborates with student organizations and campus partners to develop a month of cultural programming.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year from September 15th thru October 15th, we want to take the time out to celebrate the rich history, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central & South America. The Office of IME puts on collaborative event programming to recognize the accomplishments of the American Latinx community. 

Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

The month of May is for commemorating, celebrating, and paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental to its development. During this time, the office of IME showcases the achievements of the AAPI community and their impact through intentional programming.

LGBT Heritage Month

Since its inception in 2013, October has been a month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related to the civil rights movement. Through the PRISM LGBTQIA+ Resource office, the office of IME will highlight and celebrate the history and achievements of LGBT people.  

The Kennard Scholars Program 

The Assistant to the Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Eddie A. Holloway, established the Kennard Scholars Program in 2014 in honor of Mr. Clyde Kennard, the first African American to attempt to enroll at The University of Southern Mississippi. In recognition of this history-making attempt, the Kennard Scholars Program helps eligible students become and remain successful scholars and future graduates at the University. 

Kente Graduation Ceremony 

The University of Southern Mississippi Kente Celebration is an event which recognizes, acknowledges, appreciate, and celebrates the educational achievements of our students within the African Diaspora. We aim to celebrate academic excellence of our graduates, while affirming their identities and cultures. 

Our purpose is to share and celebrate their heritage, individual accomplishments, and accomplishments of the entire graduating class as they transition into the professional world. Students receive a hand-woven Kente stole from Ghana, Africa. The Kente stole cloth dates to 12th century Africa, Ghana, and the Ashanti people. The cloth, traditionally worn by Kings, Queens, and influential figures in Ghana’s society during ceremonial occasions. The Kente Ceremony is open to ALL graduating Black and African American seniors and graduate students graduating in the Fall/Spring semester. Our goal is to empower our students to be their authentic selves and encourage them to pursue their dreams as they receive recognition walking across the stage. 

The Fall 2021, Kente Celebration for Graduates will be held on Saturday, December 4, 2021 at 10:30AM. For more information on how to register for this event, please click here.

S.W.A.G 101 

Succeeding While Achieving Greatness (SWAG) is a college preparation program that is designed to facilitate a smooth transition into university life while allowing students to develop the academic skills and personal responsibility necessary to ensure success at the university level. This program caters to first year historically underserved students and transfer students succeed while at Southern Miss. The program format is designed to cover topics not discussed during traditional orientation. We cover topics but not limited to civility, dress code, budgeting refunds, etc.

Celebration of Scholastic Excellence (COSE) 

This program is done in partnership with the Afro-American Student Organization.  This program recognizes the accomplishments of our African American students and student leaders. We pay tribute to historical trailblazers who have paved the way for historically underserved students past and present. 


Black Faculty, Staff, and Student Mixer 

This is a social event held in partnership with the Black Faculty Staff Alliance. This event connects historically underrepresented students' network, build connections, and fellowship with faculty and staff at USM. This serves as an opportunity for students, Black administrators, and faculty to focus on issues that Black students and employees face at USM. This event is traditionally, held during September, at the height of the semester.

Men’s Summit  

This day long, conference is done in partnership with the Men of Excellence. This event targets men of all backgrounds to come together for a common cause, Brotherhood. This interactive summit includes interactive programming in a manner that is relatable to students and supports the retention efforts of the university.