New Vice President for Equity and Inclusion wants more awareness about discrimination

Brandyn Woodard brings new leadership, and hopes for community and social improvements for both Anoka Tech and Anoka Ramsey.

This photo of Brandyn Woodard, which the Campus Eye obtained from the Anoka Ramsey Community College website, has been authenticated based on its contents and other Campus Eye reporting.

This photo of Brandyn Woodard, which the Campus Eye obtained from the Anoka Ramsey Community College website, has been authenticated based on its contents and other Campus Eye reporting.

Brandyn Woodard is the new vice president of equity and inclusion at Anoka Technical and Anoka-Ramsey Community College.  

He fulfilled his role at both colleges in a troubling time, yet the modern tumult is not unfamiliar nor unknown.   

“The discrimination, the misogyny, the sexism, the violence against minoritized and marginalized people — that’s not new — what’s new is that we have access to it in a way that we didn’t before,” Woodward stated. 

Woodard is an alumnus of Carnegie Mellon University. He joined the Peace Corps after receiving his bachelor’s degree in Spanish. He then taught and lived in Turkmenistan, in Central Asia, for about three years.  

When back in the United States, Woodard secured a position at a community college in his home city of St. Louis, Missouri. He worked with college students from the Caribbean and Central America. Here, his work in higher education began.  

Since 1998, Woodard has worked in international and multicultural education.  

“I’m working for world peace. I’m not working for this world peace, where we all get along and never have any problems. I’m working for the world peace where we resolve our conflicts without killing each other, literally or figuratively, with our words or with our actions,” Woodard said. 

Peaceful environments, he suggested, become hindered by a form of passiveness that has an ability to effect community decline, Woodard suggested.  

“In order for us to have healthy relationships with ourselves and others and the environment and the world and universe, as we know it, it requires us to know ourselves, know each other, and then develop the skills to have a healthy interaction, fully recognizing that we’re not always going to agree,” Woodard alluded.  

He also pointed out how feelings of elation and triumph are often shared. 

“We have got to tell the truth about some of our stories whether there is joy or pain, or awareness and insight, or ignorance, we’ve got to own that,” Woodard went on to state, “some of us would rather not go into the realm of making a mistake, so we just aren’t going to practice, we’re not going to try, we’ll just stay within our own little comfort bubble.”  

As for his role on each campus he mentioned that he wants to begin by getting a sense of each campus, the culture and his coworkers. 

Woodard intends to continue to gather information, listen to other’s stories, gain sense of what’s needed, where the needs are, and where his skills match, in order to assist moving forward.   

Woodard defined with regard to aiding equity, diversity and inclusion: “Make it personal. Do the work. Every day.”