Farewell, Krishauna

Hines-Gaither has helped make Guilford a more inclusive community


Ezra Weiss

Dr. Krishauna Hines-Gaither discusses the relations and deep history between Haiti and the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018 at the Gilmore Room. // Photo by Ezra Weiss/The Guilfordian

On Oct. 18, 2021 Interim President Jim Hood announced in a school wide email that Interim Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Krishauna Hines-Gaither would leave Guilford College after Dec. 31 to be the inaugural Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Justice at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles. 

Hines-Gaither has had a significant impact on Guilford College in the four-plus years she has worked here. Hines-Gaither’s colleagues spoke warmly of her and her work at the College. 

In a recent interview, Hood described Hines-Gaither’s warm presence and how it has helped with her job. 

“There’s just something about her presence as a person, she’s just a warm and encouraging person at the same time,” Hood said. “She brings insight and challenge about things that we need to have greater insight about and we need to be challenged by. When she does anti-bias training or anti-racism training or just speaks in front of a group, you can see that balance between the warmth of her personality and the challenge to do things better in a more just and equitable way.”

Hines-Gaither’s personality also helped her to build relationships with students, like sophomore Mariam Sheriff, an Intercultural Engagement Center (IEC) ambassador.

“Something I’ll miss is just being able to go into her office and to talk to her,” said Sheriff. “When I first transferred to Guilford, the first person I met was Krishauna, and we bonded over the fact (that) we both spoke Spanish and were both black. She was just so friendly and warm, so walking into the Intercultural Engagement Center and not seeing her is definitely going to be hard and I’m going to miss that.” 

Hood discussed Hines-Gaither’s impact on the Guilford Community.

“The work she has done building relationships with students, particularly with the MLSP (Multicultural Leadership Scholars Program) and the work of directing with the IEC (Intercultural Engagement Center)…is so critical, creating safe spaces for students to engage in conversation about difficult things outside the classroom,” Hood said. “(Her) greatest achievement is helping Guilford manage difficult conversations about race, gender and sexuality, equity and diversity.” 

Hines-Gaither also built impactful relationships with colleagues, including Gwen Erickson, Quaker Archivist and Special Collections Librarian.

“The ability to have her as a colleague here on campus has been really amazing because we bring two different perspectives on a number of joint projects,” said Erickson. “…To have someone to partner and collaborate (with) is always wonderful, but maybe even more so when it’s someone that you know brings such joy and understanding to the work…that’s just something that I’ll miss. (I enjoyed) being able to have that touch point of…a colleague whose skills and instincts I trust and having someone you can pass an idea back and forth with and bring it to fruition.”

“I’m assuming at her new job she’ll bring the same capacity for engaging people in difficult conversations,” Hood said when asked about what Hines-Gaither would contribute to her new position at Mount St. Mary’s University. “I hope one of the things that she brings to the new institution, which is a Catholic institution, is..some of the really great insights that Quakerism has to offer like the practice of silence, although there are some parts of the Catholic tradition that utilize the practice of silence. Also, the idea of shared decision-making…That’s so important to Guilford as… a Quaker-founded institution, and I would hope that some of the advantages of that kind of decision making is something she could engage at Mount Saint Mary’s University.” 

“I will miss my tribe,” Hines-Gaither said when asked what she would miss about her time at Guilford. “There were so many people who had my back here. In the work of diversity, equity and inclusion, there will always be opposition. The voices of those who were for this work were far more powerful than any naysayer. At Guilford College, I encountered the most special group of friends. My last institution, Salem College, dedicated a space on campus to me. At the ceremony, there were more guests in attendance from Guilford College than my own family. That demonstrates the level of love and support that I received from my Guilford family. I will never forget their support.”

As she reflected on her work at Guilford via email, Hines-Gaither said “I am proud first and foremost of the relationships that I have built while at Guilford. My students and colleagues have assisted me in accomplishing the goals of our office to build a more inclusive community at Guilford College.”