Minister Vimary (Vima) Couvertier-Cruz has been appointed director of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) as of July 1. This is a new leadership position for LSTC and part of its strategic commitment to become an authentically diverse and equitable school.
The position is located in the President’s Office and reports directly to the president. Responsibilities include fostering an inclusive and equitable community through intersectional, cross-cultural and intercultural competency development, policy development, and collaborating with internal and external partners. Couvertier-Cruz will serve on the Executive Cabinet and Leadership Council and will support the Board of Directors. She will also serve as the liaison for the Antiracism Transformation Team to leadership of the school.
In his announcement to the community, James Nieman, president, wrote, “(W)e have long wanted a staff role dedicated to ensuring that initiatives toward becoming an authentically diverse and truly equitable school take shape as sustainable, ongoing institutional practices and policies. . . . The position is empowered to provide broad oversight, bring a strong voice, advise clear action, and offer needed critique to produce real change.”
Couvertier-Cruz said, “Responding to God’s call, it is truly an honor to find myself at this new job position at LSTC. I am challenged, excited, and committed to continuing to work together and in collaboration with the rest of LSTC’s community towards becoming a more equitable, authentically diverse, radically welcoming, inclusive, justice-oriented, and antiracist institution ‘for such a time as this.’ We are in this together!”
Nieman also reminded the LSTC community, “The hard work of building diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice at our school cannot be offloaded onto one person’s shoulders . . . We all have a vital and essential responsibility to share the load of bringing such commitments to fruition at this seminary. I call on each of us, therefore, both to congratulate Vima and to ask her what we can do to make a difference.”
About Vimary “Vima” Couvertier-Cruz
Couvertier-Cruz joined LSTC in 2018, serving as admissions recruiter, interim coordinator for international student services and as liaison for the Antiracism Transformation Team. Since 1993 she has worked with organizations around the world as an advocate for human rights and women’s rights. She has worked as an economist, economic development specialist, chaplain, and director, as well as a preacher and motivational speaker. Couvertier-Cruz holds an MDiv degree with a concentration in gender and Hispanic/Latinx studies from McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, and a BA in economics from University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, PR. She currently serves on the board of the Chicago Religious Leadership Network (CRLN) and on the executive board of the International Association of Women Ministers. Couvertier-Cruz is also an artist, is bilingual in English and Spanish, and is proficient in three other languages.
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The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.