Bilal W. Ansari

Photo of Bilal W. Ansari

Assistant Vice President for Campus Engagement and Co-Director of the Davis Center

413-597-3359
57 Spring Street

Bilal Ansari is Assistant Vice President for Campus Engagement at Williams College. As AVP for Campus Engagement in the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity, he works with students, faculty, and staff to build an inclusive and equitable campus.

He leads two of the office’s campus engagement efforts that support campus constituents. The first is TIDE, a grant initiative which supports grassroots efforts to foster inclusion and a sense of belonging for all community members.

The second is called IDEA2, a space for administrative unit leaders to share experiences with their colleagues as they identify opportunities and promising practices in their work.

In addition, Bilal helps lead the integration of restorative practices and dialogue work on campus.

He partners with units and departments across campus. Immediately prior to assuming his current role, he was the Director of the Davis Center.

Ansari served as Williams’ first Muslim chaplain and Assistant Director in the Center for Learning in Action between 2011 and 2014. Before returning to Williams, he served as Dean of Student Services and Director of Student Life at Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California between 2014 and 2017.

Ansari has worked in both federal and state prisons for over 16 years challenging the system of racial, gender, and religious inequalities. As a chaplain in some of the most volatile environments, he counseled and managed interventions through intense institutional crises. Ansari has worked as a community organizer fighting social and environmental injustices in Connecticut. In 2013, he was awarded the Connecticut Center for a New Economy’s Outstanding Leadership Award for 15 years of community activism and organizing that improved the economic and social well-being of working families in urban centers and rural communities. In 2016, based on his efforts, achievements, and writing, which includes a number of critical and reflective social commentary articles, he was named to The MPower 100, a list of American Muslim top social justice leaders.

Ansari is a first-generation college student and earned an Associate of Science in Liberal Arts from Ohlone College, Bachelor of Science in Human Services from Springfield College, Master of Divinity equivalency from Hartford Seminary, and Doctor of Ministry from Pacific School of Religion. Ansari teaches leadership development as a faculty associate and co-director of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program at Hartford Seminary.

Ansari is a legacy staff member; his great-grandfather and great-grandmother worked at Williams for 40 years.

He mentors students, advises student organizations and provides counseling assistance.


 

Education

A.S. Ohlone College, Liberal Arts
B.S. Springfield College, Criminal Justice
M.Div. Hartford Theological Seminary
M.A. Hartford Seminary, IslamicStds&Christian-MuslmRel


  • Chair, Toward Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (TIDE) Grant Program
  • Chair, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Awareness, and Action (IDEAA) Working Group
  • Co-Chair, Committee on Diversity and Community (CDC)
  • Co-Chair, Campus Safety Advisory Group (CSAG)
  • President’s Administrative Group (PAG)
  • Communications Advisory Group (CAG)
  • Davis Center Building Committee
  • Davis Lecture Committee
  • Graduate Art Diversity Equity Access and Inclusion Committee
  • Mt. Greylock School Council

 

Bilal leads the office’s campus engagement efforts that support campus constituents as they work to create and sustain inclusive and productive environments in which the members of our community may thrive.

As a senior student affairs leader, he advises students and student groups on their academic-social pursuits as they move through the academy.

As a bridge builder, helps lead the integration of restorative practices and dialogue work on campus. He oversees the TIDE grant initiative that encourages grassroots efforts to foster a sense of belonging for all community members; and, convenes IDEA2, a space for administrative unit leaders to share experiences with their colleagues as they identify opportunities and promising practices in their work.