Project Team

The Project Team is comprised of students, staff, alumni, and faculty from across the university. The team is tasked with the planning, design, and vision for the new institutes. This is a $6.3M project. Members of the project team are committed to examining the needs of past, present, and future stakeholders, with consideration of our budget, square footage, state/federal compliance, and educational objectives for two separate buildings. The students and alumni selected to serve on the Project Team are elected leaders of various organizations, who represent the interests of Black and Hispanic/Latinx organizations broadly. The faculty selected to serve on the Project Team bring experience and scope to help craft the academic opportunities for the spaces. The staff selected to serve on the Project Team are the Executive Director of MCDA, Director of Hispanic-Latino Affairs, and Director of Black Affairs, along with a project manager from UF Planning, Design, and Construction. The Project Team will be chaired by Mr. Eddie Daniels, Assistant Vice President for Business Services Division and former Executive Director of the J. W. Reitz Union. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, having led the renovation of the Reitz Union and is currently president of the Association of Black Faculty and Staff.


Terms of Service to the Project Team

The terms of service are bound to the terms of the position as an elected official or employed faculty/staff. Once a person’s term has finished, the position’s successor will become a member of the Project Team. Involvement on the Project Team is associated with the elected position, not person.


Expectations for Involvement

The Project Team will meet at least 2-3 times per month (on average, once per week or once every 2 weeks). A mutually convenient time will be identified. Due to the nature of the project, we will need full commitment from Project Team members and will not allow for substitutions during meetings. Project Team members are allowed two (2) unexcused absences. If you cannot attend a meeting for any reason, please inform the Project Chair and MCDA Executive Director at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

The Project Team will also be responsible for assisting in the facilitation of regular updates to stakeholders through update meetings, social media postings, sharing information via listservs, and providing accurate information regarding each institute.

We will make every effort to be as transparent as possible. We will also need Project Team members to maintain the integrity of the project and keep business of the team private until it is appropriate to share.


The Project Team Members are:

  • Eddie Daniels – Assistant Vice President for Business Services Division
  • Will Atkins – Executive Director of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs
  • Gabe Lara – Hispanic-Latino Affairs Director
  • Carl Simien – Black Affairs Director
  • Cecilla “CC” Suarez – Assistant Professor for Leadership Development
  • Sharon Austin – Department Chair – African American Studies Program
  • Robert Lemus – Hispanic Student Association President
  • Dwayne Fletcher – Black Student Union President
  • Tianna Dowie-Chin – Black Graduate Student Organization President
  • Dennesia Turner – National Pan-Hellenic Council President
  • Georges Obayi – Queer Trans People of Color (QTPOC) Collective
  • Jacynta Brewton – Association of Black Alumni President
  • Kimberly Lopez – Association of Hispanic Alumni President
  • Cydney McGlothlin – Planning, Design, and Construction

This list is reflective of those who accepted the invitation and have been able to make the time commitment. We have additional elected student representatives we are waiting to receive confirmation from, but wanted to keep the communities updated in a timely manner.

We look forward to providing more opportunities for student and alumni input as we develop plans to rebuild the Institute of Black Culture and Institute of Hispanic-Latino Cultures.