Olanda Carr completes Certificate of Diversity and Inclusion program

June 12, 2020 by Melaina Smith

Olanda Carr, Senior Ministry Relations Officer serving the East Region at the Presbyterian Foundation, recently completed a Certificate of Diversity and Inclusion through Cornell University.

The Presbyterian Foundation fosters an active career development culture, and encourages all employees to take part in educational programs that will help them grow as an individual and in their career.

Olanda Carr

Olanda spoke on the program benefits saying, “Completing the Diversity and Inclusion Certificate at Cornell was an extremely educational and rewarding experience. The program taught that recognizing differences in each other is only half the battle, as it is incumbent upon organizations to develop cultures that are inclusive and embracing of these differences.”

The Certificate of Diversity and Inclusion is a two-month program that includes four courses: Improving Engagement, Counteracting Unconscious Bias, Diversity and Inclusion at Work, and Fostering an Inclusive Climate. The certificate program hopes, upon completion of those courses, the attendee will have the skills to “help make their own organization a more supportive and engaging place to work by understanding the perceptual, institutional, and psychological processes that impact the ways people interact with each other.”

Olanda, who completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at North Carolina State University and Montreat College (NC) respectively, works with congregations to create a culture of generosity, offers seminars and workshops, develops gifts and fundraising plans for ministries, and provides coaching to finance, stewardship and endowment committees. He also leads the Presbyterian Foundation’s Ministers of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team, which helps advise and educate staff on cultural nuances impacting congregations within our denomination. “The program provided me with many useful tools and resources that are applicable in my work at the Presbyterian Foundation. I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the program.”


Melaina Smith is a Marketing Content Design Specialist for the Presbyterian Foundation. A graduate of Ball State University, Melaina holds a BA in Marketing, and has been with the Presbyterian Foundation for three years. Previously, Smith worked at Santa Claus United Methodist Church as an Administrative Assistant and volunteered with the Historic Santa Claus Campground to design their website. She lives in Memphis, IN with her husband, Taylor, and their two dogs, Max and Bitsie.