Jimmy McCarty, the director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), is leaving his position at Seattle University to become the new director of the Center for Equity and Inclusion (CEI) at University of Washington (UW) Tacoma. He has been working with Campus Ministry and OMA for four and a half years, participating in projects to promote equality and inclusion on campus.
McCarty found his way into the Seattle U community after moving to Tacoma with his spouse, Desiree. At the time, the position of Minister of Social Affairs had opened up at Seattle U, which perfectly fit his previous experience. He started in the summer of 2014 soon after police killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner. He began working with Tyrone Brown, an assistant director of OMA, who was planning a die-in protest of police brutality.
Jimmy McCarty leaves to return to his home of Tacoma in order to join University of Washington Tacoma’s Center for Equity and Inclusion.
McCarty continued collaborating with OMA, and in the summer of 2017, he became director of OMA after Czarina Ramsay, the previous director, resigned.
His roles included representing the office at various events, making sure students’ needs were met, and leading training sessions on diversity and inclusion. He has led many projects to help students who identify with a minoritized community, the most recent being the new food pantry that will open on Jan. 23, which will supply food to students who struggle with food insecurity. He has also worked with various clubs around campus to organize events, like Queer Thanksgiving and Queer Prom.
In his new position as director of the CEI at UW Tacoma, he will be doing much of the same work. There, he will bring some of the lessons he has learned while working at Seattle U and specifically with OMA. He said that he will keep in mind lessons like the importance of collaborating with students, as well as collaborating institutionally with many departments across campus. He is excited to transition into this new journey in this career but will dearly miss Seattle U.
“I’ve loved my time at Seattle U. I have had some of the best colleagues I’ve ever had here,” McCarty said. “When I speak about meeting our students in all of their humanity, I believe Seattle University has been able to do that for me in really important ways.”
McCarty’s new position better fits the work he originally intended to do, which is to work with faculty around inclusive pedagogies and inclusive classrooms. The CEI at UW Tacoma is currently expanding and experiencing a reboot in response to student activism, so this is an opportunity to transition into that community. Since McCarty currently lives in Tacoma, the commute will be exponentially shorter and allow him to spend more time at home with his family.
Ramsay worked on promoting intersectionality in the structures of the office while she was director of OMA, and McCarty expects that legacy will continue. McCarty cherishes celebration of minoritized communities and hopes that OMA will continue to do so as well.
“Be intentional about not only focusing on difficulties but also recognizing there are a lot of beautiful things that come out of minoritized and marginalized communities and their experiences.” he said.
Throughout McCarty’s time here at Seattle U, he has made a huge impact on the community and people he has worked with.
Zyaire Cheatham is a first-year student who worked with McCarty on OMA’s new food pantry, and she said that he helped her feel more at home on campus.
“One of my first visits to OMA, Jimmy greeted me and made me feel so welcomed,” Cheatham said. “He’s very kind, and in the short time that I’ve known him, I know he actually cares about the students and making sure that they feel comfortable at Seattle University.”
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