Kerry Lee Riley Hosts African-American History Month

Stephen Milici

Kerry Lee Riley, Director of Cultural Diversity, a charismatic yet dignified presence is easy to spot; he always wears a hat on campus. Opening the African American History program in Plaza Vaquero Thursday with a spiritual, he brought enthusiasm and energy to the observance of Black American History Month with the involvement of faculty, staff and students.

Riley was born in 1963 in Washington, DC. He has plenty of experience as a student, as well as an instructor, having graduated from New York University in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in humanities, and earning a master’s in divinity in 1990 from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley. Riley is currently working on his dissertation for a doctorate in ethnic studies at UC Berkeley.

In 2003, Riley joined the GCC faculty as an adjunct teaching African-American studies. He became a full-time member of the faculty in 2006. The tragic death, in 1990, of nine members of his family, informed his spiritual path and left him “open and understanding” to multicultural issues. He is willing to discus ethnic, racial and cultural issues especially as they pertain to faculty, staff and students. With support from the equal employment opportunity diversity committee, human resources and governance, cultural diversity is an important aspect of the campus community, and various events are planned to highlight these issues throughout the year.

Riley will be involved with the following upcoming events: co-sponsoring women’s history month and Persian New Year this month, Holocaust Remembrance Week and Armenian Remembrance Week in April and forums on “Immigration and Intercultural Relationships,” The 2008 Election: Presenting the Facts,” and other topics of interest to the GCC community.

“I’m looking forward to the next three years as Cultural Diversity Director,” says Riley. “I will make a difference.” With a full schedule of programs and events, Riley is ready to make cultural issues both fun and informative.