For Tchet Dereic Dorman, his new role as Director of Diversity & Social Justice at Millersville University means that he will be working to bring the University together.
“My main mission is to serve as a resource to University departments and organizations to create an inclusive and welcoming environment on campus,” says Dorman, who joined Millersville University at his new office in Washington House on Aug. 15
Dorman will be supporting the President’s Commissions on the Status of Women, Cultural Diversity & Inclusion and Gender & Sexual Diversity, working to plan and implement the training, programs, events and activities related to achieving diversity, equity, accessibility and social justice on campus.
“We want all students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors to feel included and welcome at Millersville,” says Dorman, adding that he hopes to open eyes and create more meaningful dialogues across the community through training, programs, events and activities that are evaluated for their effectiveness.
It’s not always easy to make changes and create awareness in the way that women, persons of color, persons of various religions and cultures and those who are gay, lesbian or transgender are perceived and treated. Many prejudices come from family background, lack of knowledge and unfounded fears. Working to overcome those prejudices and creating a welcoming environment can be challenging.
Dorman is up to that challenge. The 51-year-old Darby Township, Pa. native is the owner and founder of Pyramid Consulting Services, which provides diversity evaluation, assessment, training and consultation services to educational institutions and corporations in the Mid-Atlantic region. He received his master’s degree in African American Studies from Temple University, where he is currently a doctoral candidate.
He has served as Director of Multicultural Affairs at both Albright College in Reading and Lebanon Valley College in Annville. He has served as Director of the Center of Social Justice and Multicultural Education at the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership at Temple University.
As an educator, Dorman has taught courses at Temple University, including “Emotions, Diversity and Democratic Leadership,” “African American History,” “African Literature” and “Introduction to African American Studies.” At Philadelphia University, he taught courses in “Gender Studies,” “Class, Gender and Race in the Global Village” and “Social Conflict.” At Lebanon Valley College, he created the course “Multiculturalism and the American Identity.”
“Education is the key to awareness,” says Dorman, emphasizing that the simple Native American philosophy of walking in another person’s moccasins— or shoes— can go a long way toward developing acceptance toward others.
Dorman’s first name of Tchet is not his given name. His parents named him Dereic, which he now uses as his middle name. Tchet, which is pronounced to sound like “Ched” with a silent T, is actually a name that reflects a desire for one who promotes harmonious communication that comes from ancient African/Egyptian culture. Dorman adopted the name to reflect his commitment to the culture of his ancestors.
“Of course, I end up spending a lot of time teaching people how to pronounce Tchet like Ched,” he says with a warm smile.
Dorman believes that the key to creating awareness about diversity is opening dialogue between all parties. He has made more than 200 presentations at conferences, educational institutions and various organizations on topics such as embracing diversity, real men are feminists, common threads for diverse minds and strategies for responding to campus hate and bias. Since 2007, he has been leading diverse groups of faculty and administrators in intergroup dialogue facilitation and training, starting with the founding of Temple University’s Intergroup Dialogue Program.
“You have to share your experiences and most of all, you have to listen, before change can begin,” says Dorman.
He currently resides in Wilmington, Del., and will be relocating to Lancaster.