Lacretia Johnson Flash Named Senior Vice President for DEI, Community, Campus Culture, and Climate
Berklee has appointed Dr. Lacretia Johnson Flash as the senior vice president for DEI, community, campus culture, and climate. In this inaugural senior leadership role, Flash will oversee diversity, equity, and inclusion and forge innovative strategies to build and strengthen the Berklee community. Prior to this new role, she served as the college’s vice president of diversity and inclusion.
In an announcement to the Berklee community, Berklee President Erica Muhl wrote, “There is no one who could fulfill this mandate with more insight and grace than Lacretia. She has shown time and again her ability to find the storied ‘middle path’ toward the essential learning and unlearning that will always be part of our journey as a community, and I am very pleased she has agreed to serve as the inaugural SVP overseeing this broader charge that is key among our core responsibilities as an institution of higher learning.” In this cabinet-level position, which reports to President Muhl, Flash will integrate the DEI functions across the institution and bring together Berklee’s students, faculty, staff, and leaders to cultivate a shared experience of learning, engagement, commitment, and practice to DEI.
In a career spanning more than two decades in higher education, Flash has led strategic institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in her numerous roles as an educator and administrator. She has contributed to national conversations on diversity and multicultural change in higher education organizations through her research and scholarship on multicultural organizational development and cultural competency. Her work was also recognized nationally for its innovative and sustained approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion learning through a multiyear professional development series. As a visual artist, Flash brings a passion for creative practice, sensitivity to the developmental journey of each person, and a disciplined approach to the complex problems that impact communities.
Flash joined Berklee in 2018 as assistant vice president of diversity and inclusion. During her tenure, she convened Berklee’s first Campus Climate Summit, which brought together Berklee’s students, faculty, staff, and campus leaders to discuss the greatest challenges facing the Berklee community and generate proposals to address these challenges. She provided critical leadership in forging powerful partnerships and coalitions across the institution to create and implement Berklee’s Plan to Address Systemic Racism, expand DEI-focused professional development and signature diversity and inclusion programming, such as Berklee’s Legacy Award and concert. In recent years, Flash sponsored the institution’s first comprehensive campus climate study and the implementation of an action plan based on its results, as well as other cross-organizational efforts that resulted in Berklee’s first Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from Insight into Diversity this fall.
“I am deeply honored to be able to serve the Berklee community in this new way. As a diverse community centered around an ethic of creative exploration and work, there is a very deep well to draw on to positively impact our campus and world in innovative and authentic ways. I look forward to bringing people together and leading these efforts. I also believe that my new role will enable diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging to be front and center in spaces where major issues are being explored and decisions are being made, making DEI an integral part of our work at Berklee,” Flash shared.
Flash grew up in Maryland and is a longtime resident of Vermont. She holds a Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Vermont and a Master of Arts in education and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland. She is also a visual artist who specializes in watercolor and mixed media work.