Appalachian Advocates

Appalachian Advocates


The Appalachian Advocates initiative is a program created to equip, expand and make visible the network of support available to members of underrepresented groups within our App State Community, and the greater Boone community. Membership is open to all faculty and staff to advocate for and support underrepresented students. Appalachian Advocates began as an initiative of the Walker College of Business in 2020 and expanded to a campus-wide initiative in 2022.

Vision Statement

Appalachian Advocates aspire to provide a welcoming and empowering home for every student, faculty and staff member. Advocates value diverse perspectives, acknowledge societal injustices toward marginalized groups, recognize and overcome our own biases and use our talents and skills to create a more inclusive and just society. Overall, we bring together allies of diverse groups here on campus in a visible way to serve, support, advocate, and learn from each other.

“Appalachian Advocates is a cohort of faculty and staff that has made a commitment to listen, learn, support, and advocate for members of our community from underrepresented identities.”

Jamie Parson, Chief Diversity Officer

Become a Member

Current members are listed online and will be able to show their membership through use of the Appalachian Advocates Emblem. Members will also receive a letter from Jamie Parson, Chief Diversity Officer at Appalachian State University, as well as special invitations to Diversity and Inclusion events on campus. Most importantly, members will play an essential role in fostering a welcoming environment for all students, faculty and staff.

Join the Appalachian Advocates

Renew Appalachian Advocates membership

Membership Criteria

To become a member, please fill out the Appalachian Advocates Agreement Form where each member will:

  • Agree to the Appalachian Advocates Vision Statement.
  • Commit to the following actions:
    • Educate myself on issues related to diversity and inclusion.
    • Be willing to serve as a mentor, informally or formally, to students from underrepresented groups.
    • Intentionally include diverse voices and perspectives in my course design (faculty).
    • Help students from underrepresented groups to navigate the university system and identify opportunities and support.
    • Advocate for the needs of students, faculty & staff from underrepresented groups.
  • Be accountable. To remain an active member, Appalachian Advocates must annually complete, and self-report, via the Appalachian Advocates Membership Renewal Form, the following actions:
    • Attend at least one diversity & inclusion training per academic year (training and event recordings).
    • Complete at least two of the following per academic year (can be two activities in the same category):
      • Diversity & Inclusion Event Attendance
      • Diversity & Inclusion Centered Community Service (Student mentorship & guidance is included here)
      • Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship Support
      • Additional Diversity & Inclusion Training
      • Diversity & Inclusion Centered Research
      • Diversity & Inclusion Course Redesign
      • WCOB Shared Reading Program Participation

As an Appalachian Advocate:

I commit to fostering a culture that values diversity and intentionally includes people and perspectives from diverse cultures, worldviews, backgrounds, traditions, and ways of life.

I know that diversity takes many forms, including, but not limited to, diversity of Age, (Dis)ability, Cultural Background, Educational Background, Gender Expression, Gender Identity, Geographical Region, National Origin, Neurodiversity, Race and Ethnicity, Religion, Sexual Orientation/Sexuality, Socioeconomic Status/Social Class and Veteran Status.

I believe organizations that value people from a multitude of backgrounds have a competitive advantage in the global industry and that business can empower change on a grand scale when guided by just, inclusive and equitable principles.

I aspire to provide a welcoming and empowering home for every student, faculty, and staff member, where all

  1. value diverse perspectives
  2. acknowledge societal injustices toward marginalized groups
  3. recognize and overcome our own biases
  4. use our talents and skills to create a more inclusive and just society

Diversity & Inclusion Events

The following links are good places to start in searching for opportunities for diversity and inclusion-focused training, service and events on campus.

Appalachian Advocates Roundup of Diversity & Inclusion Events

Information for students

Our Appalachian Advocates are here to help students from underrepresented groups. Learn what they can do for you and where you can find one.

Learn more



Appalachian Advocates Logo designed by Alana Maser, a Graphic Design and Commercial Photography major.