UMD director of Bias Incident Support Services to leave position Friday
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, located in Marie Mount Hall. (Gabby Baniqued/The Diamondback)
Neijma Celestine-Donnor, director of the University of Maryland’s Bias Incident Support Services, will be leaving her position Friday to start a new role at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, according to an internal email obtained by The Diamondback.
Celestine-Donnor joined the university’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion in April 2018 as a program manager, and she was later promoted to program director, according to the email, which was sent to Celestine-Donnor’s colleagues in the diversity and inclusion office on July 20.
During Celestine-Donnor’s tenure, she created the hate bias response program, which aims to support those affected by hate-bias incidents — anti-Black slurs, for instance, or anti-LGBTQ vandalism. She also led the hate bias response team, which includes members from offices and departments such as the Counseling Center and Department of Resident Life.
“Through her leadership and trauma-informed approach, the program has been a valuable resource that has centered those who have been harmed and has brought awareness to addressing hate and bias on our campus,” the email read.
For about two years, Celestine-Donnor handled the school’s response to reported hate-bias incidents largely by herself, but she hired a program manager for her office in April. The university plans to fill her position, even though it remains in a hiring freeze due to the economic toll wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.
In August, Celestine-Donnor will start a new job as assistant dean for diversity and inclusion for the University of Maryland, Baltimore, according to the internal email. She did not respond to a request for comment Monday evening.
“This is a well-deserved opportunity for Neijma, but we are sad to see her leave the department and campus,” the email read.
This story has been updated.