Delia Fernandez-Jones

314 Old Horticulture Building
506 East Circle Dr
East Lansing, MI 48824

FacultyDeans Administration

Associate Dean for Equity, Justice, and Faculty Affairs


Delia Fernández-Jones is the Associate Dean for Equity, Justice, and Faculty Affairs in the College of Arts & Letters, Associate Professor of History, and Core Faculty member of Chicano/Latino Studies. Engaging a transformative justice framework, her position on the Dean’s Senior Leadership team centers on creating and sustaining equitable relationships and policies within the college. Dr. Fernández-Jones works to help the college deepen its investment in the Culture of Care initiative and make accessible the Charting Pathways to Intellectual Leadership (CPIL) model. 

Before this position, Dr. Fernandez-Jones had a long record of accomplishment of demystifying academia for first generation college students and faculty, and students and faculty of color. Since 2021, she has been the Womxn of Color Initiative director at Michigan State University. Her work and that of collaborators seek to make a space for WOCI faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and community members on Michigan State campus. Specifically, she has worked to reshape the fabric of the university into a place where womxn of color have access to holistic and culturally validating support and resources that will allow them to thrive. Since 2016, she has also served on numerous leadership committees within Chicano/Latino Studies to help develop and sustain the program at MSU. This includes her role as the undergraduate coordinator for the program where she developed relationships and policies to further undergraduate education and student success. 

As a historian and scholar of Latinx Studies, she has drawn on her lived experiences as a Latina in Michigan and extensive primary source research, to document and theorize Latinx placemaking in the Midwest. She is the author of the award-winning book, Making the MexiRican City: Mexican and Puerto Rican Migration, Activism, and Placemaking in Grand Rapids, Michigan (University of Illinois Press, 2023). Her book details how disparate Latinx communities came together to respond to social, racial, and economic challenges and simultaneously transformed Grand Rapids and the Midwest from the 1920s to the 1970s. She is also the author of two award-winning articles on Latinxs in Michigan. 

She is involved in several public history initiatives with the goal of helping resolve the erasure of Latinxs in Michigan and the Midwest. In 2018, she was appointed by the governor of Michigan to the Michigan Historical Commission, which advises the director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and approves Michigan Historical Markers. She has since been reappointed for another four-year term. She and collaborators in the Kutsche Office for Local History, Grandville Avenue Arts and Humanities, and the Latino Community Coalition (Grand Rapids, Michigan) have created “Telling Our Stories,” a public humanities initiative which seeks to reshape the narrative of Michigan and belonging, while centering the importance of humanities and communities. 

University News

MSU’s Womxn of Color Initiatives Announces Critically Acclaimed Performer as 2024 Artist-in-Residence
Published February 19, 2024 in College of Arts & Letters
A picture of a woman smiling. She has long black hair and is wearing a blue and white shirt.
The Michigan State University Womxn of Color Initiatives (WOCI) named Paige Hernandez as its 2024 Artist-in-Residence. The sixth artist to participate in this program, Hernandez is a…Read now »
Delia Fernández-Jones Named Associate Dean for Equity, Justice, and Faculty Affairs
Published January 10, 2024 in College of Arts & Letters
A woman with curly hair and a gray background.
Delia Fernández-Jones has been appointed Associate Dean for Equity, Justice, and Faculty Affairs for the College of Arts & Letters, effective on Jan. 1, 2024. This is a new position in the…Read now »
Author Selected as Womxn of Color Initiative Visiting Artist
Published October 11, 2019 in College of Arts & Letters
Woman with glasses in a red shirt smiling at the camera
The Womxn of Color Initiative (WOCI) is bringing Elaine Castillo, author of America is Not the Heart, to campus next week as its Fall 2019 Visiting Artist, and is inviting the public to…Read now »
Forgotten Culture Focus of WOCI Artist-In-Residence
Published October 3, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
woman standing in front of painting of woman with blue hair and blue bird flying out of her hand
Using her art to shine a spotlight on Indigenous voices, traditions, and ecology, Nanibah Chacón is bringing her message and talent to Michigan State University as the Fall…Read now »
Womxn of Color Initiative to Address Strategies for Surviving Racism
Published February 6, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
headshot of woman in grey sweater w/ hair in a bun and gold hoop earrings
The Womxn of Color Initiative (WOCI), an effort to organize events for women of color and their allies at Michigan State University and in the greater Lansing community, is bringing MSU…Read now »