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Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion names Office of Equal Opportunity Director

Sonia Jurado will become the inaugural Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) on March 18, 2019, according to an email sent out to the Brandeis community by Mark Brimhall-Vargas, the Chief Diversity Officer for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

As the director, Jurado will also be “the Title IX and ADA/504 Coordinator for Brandeis and ensure that the university is compliant with Title VI, Title VII, Title IX, ADA, Rehabilitation Act Section 504 and other state and federal laws relating to bias, discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence and stalking,” according to the email.

The Office of Equal Opportunity will be found in Swig Hall.

Jurado has worked various different Title IX and ADA/504 Coordinator positions at previous universities, including Wellesley College, Mount Ida College and Tufts University. According to the email, Jurado conducted a multitude of investigations and not only revised but also developed policies and conducted different trainings for faculty, staff and students at the above schools regarding issues of discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct.

Similar to her position at other universities, Jurado will conduct different investigations about all “allegations of discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct brought forward by faculty, staff, and students and will be responsible for reviewing and developing University policy regarding these issues,” stated the email. She will also lead different trainings for all faculty, staff and students in regards to discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct.

Brimhall-Vargas told The Brandeis Hoot in an email, “I am delighted that Sonia has agreed to assume the Director position in OEO…She emerged as having all the requisite skills to lead OEO and provide the entire Brandeis community a safe place to bring complaints of bias, harassment and discrimination,” he said.

“She also has extensive training experience that will enhance our community’s understanding of their rights and responsibilities as we create a more inclusive campus environment. We’re very lucky to have her join our campus.”

Jurado told The Hoot in an email that she is excited to be part of this important step at Brandeis. “The fact that Brandeis is opening an Office of Equal Opportunity is an important and significant step that the University is taking towards its commitment to create an equitable and inclusive environment within its community. The opportunity to be part of this noteworthy development for the institution was something I really wanted to be a part of,” she said.

Jurado said it would take time for her to get to know the campus and what is and is not. She said t would also take her time to figure out how best to work within the community, what initiatives have been implemented and what still needs to be implemented.

“With that perspective, I anticipate that I will be looking at everything with fresh eyes to see what next steps make sense to help make the Office of Equal Opportunity effective in addressing all issues of discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct within our community,” Jurado said in her email.

Before coming to higher education, Jurado was a practicing employment attorney working as a Corporate Employment Counsel for Liberty Mutual in Boston as well as private practice at a law firm in Chicago, I.L. She finished her undergraduate degree at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed her law degree at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

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