Kijua Sanders-McMurtry

Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer

Originally from Pasadena, California, Sanders-McMurtry was inspired to become a full-time diversity educator after the deaths of Matthew Shepard and Sakia Gunn. Both individuals were targeted and killed because of their gender and sexual identities.

A nationally recognized advocate for diversity and inclusion, Sanders-McMurtry has been quoted in publications including the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education and Insight into Diversity magazine. Her research has been published in the Journal of Higher Education and she has presented nationally at a wide range of conferences and institutions.

She has held numerous leadership positions, including serving as the co-chair for trans inclusion with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, and was named a Diamond Honoree with the American College Personnel Association. She previously worked at Georgia State University and ORC Macro, a public-health research firm.

Sanders-McMurtry holds a doctorate in educational policy studies, a graduate certificate in women’s studies, as well as master’s and bachelor’s degrees in sociology from Georgia State University. A high school dropout, she credits her non-traditional academic journey to her mentors at Pasadena City College, where she completed an associate’s degree in social sciences.

Recent Campus News

Kijua Sanders-McMurtry (lower right) and Angelis Liriano ’22 (upper right) spoke with Connecting Point about the action plan to ensure the College would be “persistent and uncompromising” in addressing all forms of implicit and explicit racism.

MHC’s anti-racism action plan discussed

Mount Holyoke College’s Kijua Sanders-McMurtry and Angelis Liriano ’22 were on Connecting Point to discuss the College’s anti-racism action plan.  

As part of Mount Holyoke College’s ongoing voter education and mobilization effort, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion hosted political commentator Melissa Harris-Perry and Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to talk about voting

Voting and voter suppression

Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and writer Melissa Harris-Perry talked voting and voter suppression as a part of Mount Holyoke’s voting series.

Nikole Hannah-Jones is an investigative journalist, a Pulitzer Prize winner and the creator of The 1619 Project.

Nikole Hannah-Jones on “The 1619 Project”

Mount Holyoke College kicks off its Common Read of the year in conversation with Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of The 1619 Project.  

"This tool will be helping trans and nonbinary students, but it is also holding space for other instances where this can be helpful to our broader community."

Names are a matter of equity and inclusion

Mount Holyoke rolls out a chosen-name policy to enable community members to self-select their names.

This is a close-up headshot of Kijua Sanders-McMurtry smiling.

Working to fight and heal racism

The Mount Holyoke College community came together for a virtual event to talk about ways to fight racism in everyday life.

Recent Mentions in the Media