First coordinator of multicultural affairs starts at Loyola


Young poses for a portrait in front of a pride flag. She was hired as the first coordinator of multicultural affairs at Loyola.

Daniel Schwalm, Senior Staff Writer

Brittany Young’s career is driven by her passion for connecting with students and helping them along their academic journeys.
“That student connection is why I’m really invested in higher education and it’s a huge part of why I’m here at Loyola,” she said.
Young started her new job as Loyola’s first coordinator of multicultural affairs in late January. She said she is excited for the job and happy to be a member of the Loyola community, but she also didn’t always know that this was what she wanted to do.
For a long time in fact, Young said she thought she was going to become a professor.
Young grew up in Louisiana and got her bachelor’s degree at Louisiana State University, but her scholarly ambitions eventually led her to move across the country. She got a master’s degree in English from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Communication and Rhetoric in Digital Media from North Carolina State University.
And despite moving from her home state, Young said a lot of great things about her life happened in North Carolina.
“I met my husband out there. We had our daughter out there. But eventually, the pandemic hit and I just knew I had to come back home to Louisiana,” she said. “I was like, ‘I’m not raising a kid by myself across the country when my mom can’t fly to see me.’”
She also said that the isolation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic helped her to realize that what she really enjoyed about working in higher education was interacting with students on a personal level. That realization led her to take on a new job as an advisor at Louisiana State University of Alexandria.
“I realized that it wasn’t really advising that was calling my heart,” she said. “I was always doing stuff outside of my full-time job (at Louisiana State University of Alexandria)—doing programming, working directly with the Black Student Union, all sorts of diversity and inclusion stuff.”
The experience she gained there led her to Loyola, where she is leading the newly created One Loyola Multicultural Resource Center.
Young said that her short-term goals as coordinator of multicultural affairs this semester include putting finishing touches on the multicultural center’s physical space in the Danna Center, recruiting students to serve as ambassadors for the center, and facilitating more equity and inclusion-related programming.
In the long term, she said that she hopes to promote equity and inclusion in every corner of the campus community.
“My biggest goal working in higher education is to use the knowledge that I’ve attained over the years to give students the tools to be the next leaders,” she said.
She said that she is looking to the Loyola Women’s Resource Center as an example for how to build the multicultural center.
Young said that in her mind, embracing multiculturalism and diversity isn’t just about buzzwords and appearances, but about the everyday experiences of members of the campus community.
“It’s not just putting a picture on a website or different faces on a brochure,” she said.
She also said that she hopes to help expand people’s understanding of the factors that multiculturalism encompasses.
“I base my understanding of multicultural around intersectionality,” Young said, “Race, class, sex, gender, sexuality, ethnicity—all of these things are inextricable, so you can’t look at one piece without looking at another.”
Vice President for Equity and Inclusion Kedrick Perry said that he is excited to see buy-in from across the Loyola administration for the creation of Young’s position and her hiring.
“What I saw in Brittany was someone who could identify with students, who had concern for students, and who was able to meet them where they are,” Perry said, “It’s been an amazing time so far and we look forward to more amazing things from her.”
Perry also noted that Young is only the second full-time Office of Equity and Inclusion employee and said that her joining the team will allow for many opportunities for programming and equity and inclusion-related initiatives.
Vice President for Mission and Identity Justin Daffron, who will take over as interim university president after Tania Tetlow’s departure, said, “The continued investment in staff and programs is critical to build a culture of inclusive excellence as envisioned by our diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic plan. We are fortunate that we are welcoming Brittany to the Loyola community to support our students.”
Her position may be new, but Young already has a vision for what her role should be. She said that she wants to focus on action, not just words.
“It’s so important to be intentional about equity and inclusion,” she said. “Holding people accountable for doing the work. That’s what I’m really trying to establish.”