Dr. John Hudson

With 33 years leading and teaching in higher education, Dr. John Hudson is passionate about creating safe, welcoming, inclusive, and affirming higher education spaces for all, and especially for those who have experienced discrimination and marginalization. Dr. Hudson is the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Everett Community College.

Prior to his appointment as Vice President at Everett Community College, Dr. Hudson was the founding director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Houston-Downtown. Dr. Hudson developed the Center as the leading unit at UHD–a Hispanic Serving Institution, Minority Serving Institution, and one of the most diverse campuses in the nation–in promoting a welcoming, inclusive, and equitable campus climate for all members of the campus community. Under his leadership for nearly a decade, the Center served students and campus community members in confronting and navigating real world events while promoting the values of civil dialogue and social justice. He also led UHD to three consecutive Higher Education Excellence in Diversity awards in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Before becoming Director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Hudson was a faculty member in the Department of English at UHD following the completion of his Ph.D. in English with a Concentration in Writing Studies in 2007 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His academic research and publications have focused on LGBTQ and minority representation in textbooks, anti-LGBTQ bias in textbook production, anti-LGBTQ bias in the classroom and on campus, and anti-homophobic pedagogy.

Before returning to the U.S. to complete his Ph.D., Dr. Hudson spent six years teaching English language, composition, and American literature at Korea University-Seochang Campus in South Korea from 1993 to 1999. He completed a B.A. in American Studies (1990) and an M.A. in English (1993) at the University of North Dakota after graduating from North Central Michigan College in his hometown of Petoskey, Michigan in 1988. Dr. Hudson has also been involved in powerlifting for 37 years, both as a world-class lifter and as a highly successful collegiate coach.

WA-SEN 2023 Summit Opening Speaker

A Call to Inclusion and Belonging: Standing Shoulder to Shoulder with Students on Our Campuses in Troubling Times

In recent decades, American colleges and universities have intensified efforts to create welcoming campus environments for marginalized students. Often poorly understood and Othered in the best of times, certain groups have been all too frequently vilified and even at risk of physical attack during flashpoints of crises in national and world events. All students face a gauntlet of stressors that conspire to create a needlessly challenging campus climate that they must negotiate, and it is incumbent upon us to recognize that this is particularly the case for those pushed furthest to the margins.

The emotional weight of current events often positions students at a dangerous flashpoint of crisis interrupting the prospect of academic persistence and mental wellness.

As members of campus communities, all of us–administrators, faculty, staff, and students–are called to boldly “walk the talk” of the stated values of our institutions, and to practice radical inclusion, a mindset that empowers us to move beyond merely supporting, to a position of standing shoulder to shoulder with the most marginalized in our communities.