New EIB director Dennis Draughn joins the BSM community


Brook Wenande

BSM welcomes new director of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, Mr. Dennis Draughn.

More than ever before, new faces are filling the lively, BSM halls––and not just those of students. From Stillwater, to Osseo, and now here at BSM, Dennis Draughn joins the Red Knight community as the new Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging director.

With extensive experience throughout the state of Minnesota, working in different positions ranging from the Dean of Students, to a racial equity advocate within the Minnesota FIRE program (Facing Inequities in Race and Education), Draughn is looking forward to the possibilities ahead at BSM. “I’m excited to build in a newly created position, and have the opportunity to be part of a community that is so close knit,” Draughn said.

Despite the Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging position being brand new at BSM this year, Draughn’s responsibilities are clear-cut. “My role is to make sure everyone gets what they need to be successful here at BSM from every aspect. My job is really focused on every department and looking at the issues and challenges that each department faces, whether it’s finance, admissions, classroom curriculums and pedagogical practices, or within affinity groups,” Draughn said.

When you multiply the equitable part and the inclusion part, you get the belonging. To make sure the belonging is as strong as possible, you need the E and the I,

— Dennis Draughn

Equity, inclusion, and belonging (EIB), together, are an inseparable trio, and with the absence of any part, the end goal becomes unattainable. “When you multiply the equitable part and the inclusion part, you get the belonging. To make sure the belonging is as strong as possible, you need the E and the I,” Draughn said.

After a challenging and unpredictable few years within the Red Knight community, Draughn has some transformative goals in the works––starting with getting to know as many Red Knights as possible. “The first thing I need to do is build as much social capital as possible, talk to students and staff, get to know them, hear what the issues are, and see how we can build upon that. After the last couple years being really hard on everyone, we now have the opportunity to hit reset, ask ourselves what would a utopian education look like, especially here at BSM, and how can we build a culture of belonging collectively,” Draughn said.

For the first time in a long time, the entire Red Knight community is back together on campus, creating the foundation for a strong sense of community. Draughn is passionate about building upon this foundation by implementing opportunities where the entire community can come together. “We want to incorporate fun stuff to get people feeling like they really belong at our school because I think everyone should have the opportunity to really, truly feel like a Red Knight,” Draughn said.

For students looking for Draughn outside of the school day, chances are he’s at a nearby softball field. “I coach girls softball, I coach club softball, I’m also the Chaska varsity softball coach…you have to find time for self care, something that’s completely different from what you do…i just release that way…some people lift weights, go for a run, take cooking classes….I coach girls softball,” Draughn said.

Draughn’s passions extend beyond education and softball––being an EIB director hasn’t always been his dream. “I do magic tricks. When I was a kid I wanted to be a magician,” Draughn said.