Meet the Diversity and Inclusion Team
Assistant Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
Lacretia Flash has been at Berklee since January 2018. Previously, she served as the senior advisor and chief of staff in the Division of Human Resources, Diversity, and Multicultural Affairs at the University of Vermont (UVM), where she helped establish the President's Commission for Inclusive Excellence and led the campus-wide implementation of the university's framework for inclusive excellence. Prior to that, she was the assistant dean of students in UVM's Division of Student Affairs, where she created and led the division's diversity council and provided leadership for major strategic initiatives.
She earned her doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies at UVM and was awarded the Susan Hasazi ALANA Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement in Doctoral Education. Her dissertation research and other work has influenced scholars, practitioners, and administrators nationwide. In her current role, she provides leadership for strategic diversity and inclusion initiatives. She has a passion for facilitating the education and learning of all members of the Berklee community to deepen their awareness, knowledge, and skills around issues of identity, diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. She wants all members of the Berklee community to bring their full selves to the unique educational experience at Berklee so they can grow, flourish, and thrive.
She has a deep love for the visual and performing arts, creates jewelry from her collection of over 60 pounds of beads, makes paper mixed-media wall pieces, and is an avid gardener and humble ballet student. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Associate Director for Diversity and Inclusion
Prior to joining the Berklee community, Jasmine Parker created, designed, implemented, led, and strategically assessed a groundbreaking diversity, equity, and inclusion professional development series held at Texas Tech University entitled Race, Racism, and Public Spaces. She was the 2019 President's Excellence Award in Diversity and Equity recipient as a result of her leadership and vision. While at Texas Tech, she also served on the honors college faculty as a dissertation coach and on the College of Education faculty.
She earned her Ph.D. in the history of education/education policy from the Department of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, her Master of Arts in social sciences and education policy from the same university, and a Bachelor of Arts in history with a minor in sociology summa cum laude from Prairie View A&M University. She also completed a year of law school as a Decoudreaux Fellow at Indiana University Bloomington's Maurer School of Law.
As associate director for diversity and inclusion, she assists Lacretia Flash, assistant vice president for diversity and inclusion, in implementing the diversity and inclusion strategy across Berklee through the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She also assumes major responsibility for coordinating and providing expertise in the development and implementation of diversity-related professional development for Berklee's faculty, staff, and other affiliates. She's instrumental in strategic institutional engagement through supporting Berklee's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Framework, DEI council, and DEI workgroups, which address the following areas: campus climate; curriculum and pedagogy; equity; an inclusive and accessible campus; recruitment, hiring, promotion, and retention; student access, engagement, and success; and training, dialogue, and practice.
Outside Berklee, she enjoys traveling, reading, frequenting museums, symphonies, libraries, and skydiving.
Assistant Director for Programs, Diversity and Inclusion
For the last seven years, Francie LaTour worked with students of color and other underrepresented groups in STEM through a diversity initiative at the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. Within a small, collaborative team, she helped to lead cohort-based programs designed to foster students' sense of belonging in science and challenge a STEM culture that has historically excluded people of color, women, and people with disabilities.
She studied humanities in college before going on to journalism school and a career as a writer for newspapers and magazines. Currently, she is pursuing a master's degree in intercultural relations at Lesley University, which has helped her to ground herself in serving students from marginalized groups and working collaboratively across differences.
Outside Berklee, she's a single mom watching her 10-, 11-, and 14-year-old children become who they are. Haitian culture is a big part of their lives, and it also anchors her first children's book, which was published in 2018. She's obsessed with syntax, grammar, spelling, and word choice, and she laments the fact that kids don't diagram sentences the old-fashioned way in school. She's a big believer in the philosophy that less is more, with language and most other things in life, although she has a weakness for flea markets and Etsy.
Assistant Director for Student Engagement
Prior to joining Berklee, Simone Francis was a graduate student and the graduate supervisor for diversity education at Indiana University Bloomington. During that time, she served as a fellow with Diversity Abroad and as a research and scholarship co-chair in the Pan-African Network of the American College Personnel Association, a role she continues today. She has also worked at New York University (NYU) and Stanford University, and spent two years developing diversity and community engagement initiatives at the NYU Shanghai campus in China.
She earned her Master of Science in education from the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at Indiana University Bloomington and her Bachelor of Arts in biology from New York University with a minor in poverty studies. Her interests span racial and ethnic justice, visual storytelling, global learning, community engagement, and educational equity.
Her role at Berklee serves both College and Conservatory students. She works closely with affinity groups and facilitates leadership programming, trainings, dialogues, and community engagement spaces for students to celebrate themselves and their communities, utilize exploration as a tool for growth, learn and launch new ideas, and build relationships across difference. You can find her in the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in her office at 8 Fenway, room 105, and through email at email@example.com.
Outside Berklee, she finds joy in traveling, cooking, engaging with her local community, and taking care of her dynamic plant babies. She is strongly rooted in her Jamaican culture and loves sunshine and warmth.
Administrative Coordinator and Outreach Assistant
Amanda Bedford started at Berklee in June 2018 and brings a wide range of experience from the fields of higher education and the arts to this role. She most recently served as a project coordinator for Lesley University's Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative. Prior to her work at Lesley, she held positions at the Boston Children's Chorus, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.
She attended Hartwick College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in music with a concentration in musical theater and a theater arts minor. In her current role, she supports creative programming, equitable policy, and institutional diversity to help the center serve as an educational and positive resource for the Berklee community.
Outside Berklee, she is very involved in community theater, serving on the board of directors of the Footlight Club, America's oldest continuously running community theater, and participating on stage as much as she can. Also an avid reader, she lives in Jamaica Plain with her husband and two cats.