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  • Writer's pictureThe Dayton Weekly News

The Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center Names Marc DeWitt its New Leader





Marc DeWitt has been named the Assistant Director of Wright State University’s (WSU) Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center.


“DeWitt brings to the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center a passion for fostering a

community of care for students, building a sense of belonging, and creating innovative ways to mentor and create access and pathways to higher education for students from

underrepresented backgrounds,” said Dr. Matthew Chaney, Vice President for Inclusive

Excellence, in a recent WSU announcement.


Previously, DeWitt served as Sinclair Community College’s inaugural coordinator of the African American Male Initiative, where he played a pivotal role in helping men of color stay in college and graduate. In addition, he served as associate provost/director of academic affairs and assistant professor at Wilberforce University.


Reporting to the Office for Inclusive Excellence in his new role, DeWitt will support the

University's ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts by developing programs, events, and

services that facilitate the personal, social, academic, and cultural well-being of students of the African Diaspora, faculty, and staff. His responsibilities will also include overseeing efforts to support the University and members of the surrounding community in developing structures and strategies to promote and highlight African American history and culture.


“It is important that students have a place like Bolinga where they can ask difficult questions

and not get rebuffed but answers and engagement on what can be difficult subject matter.

 It’s a place for majority culture to seek answers as well.  Curiosity, bias, goodwill or friendship

could all lead you here. My job is to help guide those inquiries,” said DeWitt.  “It is equally

important to have some representation.  Representation still definitely matters. People of color

see the least amount of positive and like representation.  In the classroom, in the media, in

professional leadership roles.  It is 2024 and we are still experiencing so many firsts.”


The cultural impetus for the Boling Black Cultural Recourses Center founding can be traced back to the very first days of Wright State’s existence following the advocacy of a small group of Black students who came together and worked tirelessly to ensure their voices heard and

concerns addressed. These actions by Wright State's Black students led to the creation of the Bolinga Center in 1971. Over the years, the Bolinga Center helped Black students develop peer tutoring and mentoring programs, such as Peer Supportive Services Program (PSSP), which has provided tutoring and counseling for minority students to support them in their college transition. Bolinga also aided in the creation of several student groups, including the Black Student Union, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Wright State’s chapter of the NAACP, and the Society of Black Engineers and Scientists. Though its role in the university’s mission has expanded over the decades—it is a role perhaps more critical today than ever.


“Founded by the etherial Dr. Yvonne Seon, it is just an honor to follow in such footsteps.  I am a Central State grad and I know that Dr. Arthur Thomas was a one-time Director of Bolinga as

well, before becoming president of Central.  So I am honored to even attempt to fill such large

shoes. It excites me to bring some of the pride back to such a historic role/venue,” said DeWitt.


“The history and notoriety of its previous leadership serves to inspire me… my efforts. I hope to present the beacon that students of color over the years at Wright State had become

accustomed to prior to the pandemic. Now is a reset of sorts, a fresh start of sorts. More than

anything I welcome the opportunity.”

 

DeWitt is a native of Dayton and a graduate of Dayton Public Schools (Meadowdale). He

attended Sinclair Community College, matriculated, and graduated from Central State

University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in American history. He continued his

education at Wright State University and the American College of Education, earning a master’s degree in higher education focusing on community college leadership.

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