In embracing the rich tapestry of diversity that defines us, we embark on a shared journey toward intercultural engagement and belonging. Our commitment is not merely to coexist, but to thrive together, weaving a vibrant mosaic where every voice is valued, every perspective respected, and every individual feels a profound sense of belonging. With open hearts and open minds, we will work together to make a difference in the lives of all ACU Dallas faculty, staff and students.

In embracing the rich tapestry of diversity that defines us, we embark on a shared journey toward intercultural engagement and belonging. Our commitment is not merely to coexist, but to thrive together, weaving a vibrant mosaic where every voice is valued, every perspective respected, and every individual feels a profound sense of belonging. With open hearts and open minds, we will work together to make a difference in the lives of all ACU Dallas faculty, staff and students.

Main Content

Our Commitment

ACU Dallas is committed to greater understanding, equity and inclusion among marginalized groups. ACU Dallas aims to:

  • acknowledge and validate the experience of our diverse populations, to listen to their voice and story and to grow in our solidarity for a more just world;
  • increase understanding among our staff, faculty and adjunct faculty by participating in annual book studies;
  • include learning outcomes to foster respect and belonging in our curriculum;
  • require diversity training and implement learning communities for robust conversation — beginning with our campus administration and including our faculty and staff;
  • greater intentionality and purpose in hiring diverse faculty.

“Our aim has been to establish structures, practices, and culture for long-term systemic change in our organization.” – Dr. Stephen Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, ACU Online

Meet our Vice President for Intercultural Engagement and Belonging

Dr. Jennifer ButcherDr. Jennifer T. Butcher is the vice president for intercultural engagement and belonging at Abilene Christian University for the Dallas campus. Among her duties in this role, Jennifer will cultivate a supportive and inclusive work environment for all employees, create and drive forward strategies and practices that ensure commitment to diversity for employees and students, and promote opportunities for ongoing employee growth and professional development. 

Additionally, Jennifer is a professor in the School of Organizational Leadership at ACU Dallas, where she teaches courses in the online Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership Program and serves on dissertation committees. She also participates in various university committees including the ACU Diversity Council, ACU Dallas Diversity Action Council and the Online First Year Experience Project. 

A member of numerous professional organizations, Jennifer is a current member on the Texas Association of School Administrators Higher Education Committee. She was named Advocate of the Year by the Texas Council of Professors of Educational Administration (TCPEA) in 2018. In 2020, TCPEA recognized her as Educator of the Year. And again, she was recognized as 2021 President of TCPEA and as dissertation chair for Darlene Breaux, the 2021 TCPEA Dissertation of the Year recipient.

Jennifer brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in diversity in the educational context. She has presented at various international, national, regional, and state conferences. Her research and writing includes numerous publications on diversity in the educational setting, including Black Female Leaders in Academia: Eliminating the Glass Ceiling with Efficacy, Exuberance and Excellence; Addressing Issues of Systemic Racism During Turbulent Times; and Overcoming Challenges and Creating Opportunity For African American Male Students, which was featured in IGI Global’s July 2020 comprehensive digital brochure on social movements, equality, misinformation and civic engagement.

DEI Journal

About this Journal

Tapestry: Journal of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in Education is dedicated to publishing empirical research, literature reviews, and evaluations of practices and policies that support efforts of PK-12 and postsecondary education. Scholars and practitioners from related disciplines are welcome to submit to this peer-reviewed journal. We acknowledge the support of ACU’s online Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership faculty and the ACU Library. This peer-reviewed journal serves as a forum for researchers and practitioners to sustain a critical engagement with issues in education in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

Aims & Scope

The aim of this journal is to create a community focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging evidenced by curated and original research publications.

IEB Groups

Diversity Action Council

The Diversity Action Council (DAC) sheds light on the areas in which inequality exists within ACU Dallas, brings forth ideas on improvements and develops recommendations that aid ACU in our work to serve the best interests of our diverse employee base.

The DAC, along with the support of the vice president of intercultural engagement and belonging, identifies goals and objectives as it pertains to greater diversity and inclusion on the ACU Dallas campus. This group also ensures that stated goals and objectives are implemented, measured and communicated to Minority Employee Resource Group (MERG) and the ACU Dallas community.

The DAC developed a five-year strategic plan focusing on intercultural engagement and belonging for all students, faculty and staff on the ACU Dallas campus. The plan aligns with the mission, promise and core values of the university. 


The mission of the Diversity Action Council (DAC) is to serve as the engine for systemic and sustained IEB-related change at ACU Dallas. The DAC consists of 10 members representing the various divisions (Enrollment, Operations, Academics, Learning Design Operations, Executive Education and Professional Advancement) as well as the student body of ACU Dallas.

  • Julie Johnson Archer, Director of the ACU Online Writing Center
  • Dr. Jennifer Butcher, Vice President for Intercultural Engagement and Belonging & Professor, School of Educational Leadership
  • Dr. Sandra Cleveland, Associate DNP Professor
  • Hillman Evans IV, Student
  • Adam Garza, Talent Acquisition Manager
  • Dr. Jackie Halstead, MFT Professor
  • Krystal Jackson, Student Success Manager
  • Erica Laborde, Training Manager
  • Lori Anne Shaw, Vice President, Learning Design & Operations
  • Stacie Shelby, Director of Inbound Marketing
  • Dawn Parker, Campus Operations Manager
Diverse Student Alliance

Diverse Student Alliance

The Diverse Student Alliance (DSA) provides a safe space for students of color to share experiences, support one another, make personal connections and have a collective voice to address needs and concerns. The DSA also fosters a space for students to laugh, play and become more comfortable engaging in an online learning environment.

For more information about DSA, send an email to

Minority Employee Resource Group

The Minority Employee Resource Group (MERG) is a safe haven for ACU Dallas employees who identify as a minority or person of color to connect with and support one another as well as bring forward ideas about how to partner with ACU in its ongoing effort to improve intercultural engagement and belonging.

Under its leadership team, the group has spearheaded the Black History Month celebration for the Dallas campus, launched IEB-related programming through MERG Monthly Discussions, developed in-house training initiative MERG UP and formed the MERG IEB Leadership Academy. MERG continues to explore ways to positively impact ACU internally and the broader community externally.

For more about MERG, send an email to

IEB Book Study


The 1619 Project Book Study
Fall 2023

Last Fall, ACU Dallas faculty and staff were invited to read this powerful book and engage in small group book studies. Led by facilitators, participants made their way through this study. Small groups were encouraged to have open and honest discussions with their fellow group members.


Diversity Summit

The Diversity Summit was created to build ACU Dallas’ capacity for advancing its goals and priorities regarding intercultural engagement and belonging. It seeks to accomplish this by supporting the professional development of employees, including executive-level staff. The annual Diversity Summit serves as a means for engaging the ACU Dallas faculty, staff and leadership in mandatory diversity training.

2023 Diversity Summit: June 15, 2023

Presenter: Dr. Jimmy McCarty

Designed around different areas of focus for ACU Dallas faculty, staff and leadership, the 2023 Diversity Summit was held virtually on June 15 with Dr. Jimmy McCarty as guest presenter.

Dr. Jimmy McCarty is director of the Tom Porter Religion and Conflict Transformation Program and assistant clinical professor of Religion and Conflict Transformation for Boston University School of Theology. Dr. McCarty received his Ph.D. from Emory University, and his current research is at the intersections of Christian ethics and racial justice, restorative justice, conflict transformation, peacebuilding, and transformative justice.

2022 Diversity Summit: July 28, 2022

Presenter: Dr. Lorin Carter, Esq., M.S., E.I.

Dr. Lorin CarterThe 2022 Diversity Summit was held virtually on July 28. The presenter for this year’s summit was Dr. Lorin R. Carter, founder and CEO of C-Suite Consulting. Lorin facilitated the three sessions for the ACU Dallas leadership, faculty and staff.

Dr. Lorin R. Carter is passionate about facilitating healthy, vibrant communities and equipping people with tools needed to be independent determinants of their destiny. With almost two decades of education and experience spanning civil engineering, law, higher education, public policy and urban planning, Dr. Carter is the founder & CEO of C-Suite Consulting, where she works to foster equity through community-focused solutions, strategy development, research, and capacity building to make urban spaces equitable places to live, work and play.

Dr. Carter and the C-Suite Consulting Team continue their work in creating new opportunities to discuss current inequities, ways equitable development can positively leverage investment and pathways to a more equitable and just future.

2021 Diversity Summit: July 15, 2021

Presenter: Dr. Jerry Taylor

The first of its kind for the ACU Dallas campus, the 2021 Diversity Summit was held in-person on July 15, 2021, bringing together the ACU Dallas Executive Leadership Team, MERG and DAC members in an all-day training session facilitated by Dr. Jerry Taylor.

Dr. Jerry Taylor is founder of the Carl Spain Center on Race Studies and Spiritual Action and is also an associate professor of Bible, missions and ministry at ACU. Dr. Taylor travels extensively, speaking on college campuses, conferences, and retreats. He is the author of Courageous Compassion. He has begun many initiatives such as the New Wineskins Retreat, the National Freedom in Christ Conference, the Young Scholars Retreat, the Racial Unity Leadership Summit (RULS) and RULS Spiritual Retreat.