Sherry Durham, Interim Co-Director
Sherry is a native of West Louisville and a graduate of Central High School. She received a B.S. in Organizational Communication and an M.S. in Human Development and Leadership with a concentration in College Student Personnel from Murray State University and is currently pursuing her PhD in College Student Personnel at the University of Louisville.
Sherry has over six years of higher education experience. Prior to beginning her career in higher education, Sherry worked in Sales and Marketing for three and a half years at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in St. Louis, MO . She started her career at UofL in 2015 as an Academic Counselor for Health and Sport Sciences in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) and transitioned in 2017 as the Multicultural Teacher Recruitment Program (MTRP) Coordinator. After serving in the CEHD for six years, Sherry is now the Assistant Director of the Muhammad Ali Institute in the Cultural and Equity Center. Sherry is passionate about working with college students and working in higher education.
Fun fact: Sherry loves binge watching shows, playing video games, and all things Beyonce!
Marian R. Vasser, PhD candidate, Assistant Vice President for Inclusive Excellence and Belonging, Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice Co-Director
Marian serves in the capacity of Assistant Vice President for Inclusive Excellence and Belonging at the University of Louisville, where she leads university DEIB educational opportunities. Her leadership purview includes high level oversight of the Cultural and Equity Center. Hired in 1993, Marian’s diverse tenure working in Human Resources, Physical Plant, Controller’s Office, Student Affairs – Career Center, Athletics – Football, Brown Cancer Center, A&S Dean’s Office, Provost Office, and the President’s Office contributes to her well-rounded knowledge, advocacy, and strong relationships across the university and greater community. She has served on many UofL committees including, but not limited to, ATHENA; CODRE; COSW; Faculty Affairs – Leadership, Equity and Diversity; Inclusion and Equity Council; Staff Senate; Sustainability Council Planning & Administration Committee; and university-wide Strategic Planning.
With approximately eighteen years of experience as a Culture, Equity, and Belonging Practitioner, Marian is committed to fostering environments that truly align with our Cardinal Principles, with a specific focus on equity and belonging. In addition to conducting numerous campus-wide workshops and facilitated dialogues annually, she has also presented at numerous local and national conferences. Marian created a social justice youth summer camp and the Interns for R.E.A.L. (Resistance, Education, Advocacy and Leadership) Change, which aim to cultivate social justice leadership skills in youth K-12 and college students respectively.
As a Louisville native, Marian remains active in the community and has served on several boards including Evolve 502, numerous JCPS district-wide committees and more. In addition to conducing workshops through JCPS and school districts across the region, she has also consulted and provided educational opportunities for over 30 diverse external partners (e.g. collegiate, corporate, faith-based, government, K-12, etc.) to build more inclusive and equitable learning and work environments.
Marian obtained a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a masters in Higher Education Administration while working multiple jobs and single-parenting. Marian is currently a doctoral candidate conducting research on the impact of the COVID era on white activism in Louisville Kentucky, with a specific focus on the Breonna Taylor movement.
Marian is the proud mom of three handsome, intelligent, and talented Kings. A fun fact about Marian is that she has a peculiar fondness for serving on jury duty.