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ODIME Welcomes New Elder for the Collegiate Religious Center

November 16, 2022

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Elder Mayase Sikazwe

The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education (ODIME) is pleased to announce and welcome Elder Mayase Sikazwe to the team.

Elder Mayase Sikazwe is an active part of the WPI community and has been providing exceptional service as the Student Employment Coordinator within the Division of Talent & Inclusion. Elder Sikazwe hopes to extend her service to students by also serving as an additional Religious Advisor for the Collegiate Religious Center (CRC) at 19 Schussler Road alongside our other Religious Advisors and Campus Chaplains.

African American “elders” may serve both the urban community in which they live as well as their African roots (Carter, 1976; Some, 1994). Consonant with their belief system is the importance of the individual and the community. Both the soul of a person and the soul of a neighborhood must be grasped; personal spirituality is also a group spirituality that cannot transcend its context (Asante, 1980; Karenga, 1993). “Elders” are often drawn from interdependence, and a sense of relationship with others, both Divine and human. This belief makes the realms between personal and professional interactions, and the sacred and secular worlds, permeable (Baer, 1993; Ellison, 1993; Gilbert, Harvey, & Belgrave, 2009; Lincoln & Mamiya, 1990; Mattis & Jagers, 2001).

“I am delighted to partner with Elder Mayase Sikazwe as we serve the WPI community together. As a current WPI employee Elder Sikazwe has already been a frequent collaborator with both the Collegiate Religious Center and ODIME. This new partnership will allow Elder Sikazwe access to serve all of our students in a more direct way as well as be an additional means of support for students across the Black diaspora." –Kalvin Cummings, Assistant Director for Religion and Spiritual Life

In addition to her professional interactions, Elder Sikazwe hopes to provide support and promote spiritual well-being as a Religious Advisor for students at WPI.

Elder Sikazwe is eager to meet with students and is holding student hours during B-Term. To schedule time to connect with Elder Mayase Sikazwe please email: msikazwe@wpi.edu

Please join us in sending a warm welcome to Elder Sikazwe as she blesses our WPI community!

To learn more about religious diversity explore Gordon Library's Faith and Spirituality LibGuide.

The Collegiate Religious Center (CRC) provides a space to WPI students, faculty, staff, and community members for the purpose of religious exploration, devotions, worship, prayer, education, administration, and fellowship. Our team of Campus Chaplains serve as spiritual advisors for students, and can offer support and guidance irrespective of students' primary religious traditions. As spiritual advisors to the WPI community, Campus Chaplains counteract the inequality of varied expression(s) of religion, spirituality, and any form of meaning-making practice and support student meaning-making expression to tend with systems of oppression as well as any other stressors. This center includes several reservable spaces to suit both spiritual and non-spiritual needs, including a Multifaith Meeting Space, Islamic Prayer Room, and Multifaith Worship Space.

The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education (ODIME) promotes and oversees all student facing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) learning experiences, programs, services, trainings, and initiatives for WPI.