The Department of Theatre Student Advisory Board for Diversity & Inclusion supports and promotes the ideals formed by the MSU Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives that states:

At Michigan State University, we believe our differences are assets. We foster a community that respects and values a broad range of backgrounds, viewpoints, and experiences and encourages and creates opportunities so all Spartans can reach their full potential educationally and professionally.


A Welcome Letter from the Student Advisory Board for Diversity & Inclusion

As we venture into a new school year with a new style of learning, it’s essential that we continue to have conversations about the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Alongside those conversations, we, as allies and supporters of people of color, must implement plans of action. We must work diligently to ensure that the diverse communities that we have cultivated within the Department of Theatre (DOT) have a voice and physical representation in all aspects of production and promotion.

It is vital that we practice what we preach when the voices we are preaching for are silenced every day. The goal is to empower and positively impact. When faced with challenges or confrontation regarding diversity, it should be our instinct to listen to those affected and learn from our mistakes regardless of intention. There is no reasonable explanation strong enough to excuse one’s mistakes. The most effective way to move forward is to recognize those mistakes, correct them effectively, and continue to learn. With the constant battles that people of color face daily, it is not our job to teach, but instead to help guide.

To all the diverse scholars within DOT, we want to assure you all that your voices are heard. You are seen. You are wanted. We are working hard to foster an environment where you are well-represented and thoroughly nurtured. We wish you all a successful and healthy school year. Go Green!

If you are interested in joining this board, please email one of the student representatives below for more information.

Board Members

Zaria Aikens

Michale Coffey

Jay Gooden

Jay Gooden is a senior studying BFA Acting. Jay played Jerry in MSU’s production of The Miller Plays and most recently Dionysus in MSU’s production of The Bacchae. Jay has always had a passion for social justice and equity since high school. His student activism has lead him to serve on MSU’s Black Students’ Alliance Executive Board for two years and most recently to serve as one of the Student Directors for MSU’s annual cultural festival, Spartan Remix. Now as a member of the Department of Theatre’s Diversity and Inclusion Student Advisory Board, Jay is committed to ensuring that diversity and equity are at the forefront of everyone’s mindset, students and faculty alike. Like most of his positions of service, Jay hopes to elevate the diverse voice with the department. 

Isa Rodriguez

A young woman with light blonde hair and blue eyes, wearing a black long sleeved shirt smiles before a blue background

Phone 517-897-2124

Chenxi Wu

A young woman in jean shorts and a yellow t-shirt stands before a white brick wall blowing a kiss at the camera

I’m Chenxi Wu and I’m majoring in Theatre. As a Chinese student in the United States, the most important thing for me is to be included. I hope that more and more people, regardless of race or nationality, can join the Diversity and Inclusion Board.

The Department of Theatre Student Advisory Board for Diversity & Inclusion held the event below via Zoom on Friday, April 16, 2021. The event was a roundtable discussion with a panel of professionals talking about their experiences as Black artists in the theatre industry. Featuring: Malik Reed, Evan Hill Phillips, and Marty A. Lamar