• Sonora Jha, PhD, Associate Dean for Academic Community & Professor, Communications, 206.296.5347
  • Karen Bystrom, Director of Marketing & Communications, Arts & Sciences, 206.296.2814

Social Justice, Inclusion and Intersectionality

Bringing the mission to the moment

In his 2017 Arts and Sciences Convocation remarks, Dean David Powers identified how we live the social justice part of our mission and identity today as a priority for the College, as well as Seattle University. He said, “I believe that now is a time to stand more firmly within our mission rather than shy away from it in the face of cultural and political headwinds.”

He continued, “Racism, religious discrimination, sexism, heterosexism and income disparity, these intersectional issues are at the heart of social injustice today. Addressing these issues is central to our mission, and I think we need to avoid the current cultural trap of seeing these issues, and particularly racism only as ‘out there’ and not as ‘in here’.”

As a College, we will be exploring matters of social justice, inclusion, and intersectionality together. This page will be a place where we can share resources and events with one another and highlight some of the ongoing work that faculty and staff have been doing in our College. Everyone is encouraged to submit links to articles and other information and events, both on and off campus, that can help us all learn more.

A multi-ethnic group of Seattle University students


This section is available to share resources and information that will help us all further our work regarding social justice, inclusion and intersectionality. Please send proposed content to Dr. Sonora Jha and Karen Bystrom.

 An Ignatian Witness to Truth: SU’s Mission and Racial Justice
  • November 13, 2017

A group of 55 SU faculty and staff participated in this event, co-sponsored by the Center for Jesuit Education and the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion. They shared a robust and productive discussion, which centered around the article and presentation given by Bryan Massingale, Professor at Fordham, who invites us to see the very heart of Jesuit Education as the work of changing consciousness about racial injustice.  Watch or read Massingale’s talk. The article can also be found in the print edition of “Conversations in Jesuit Higher Education” magazine.

Bryan Massingale presented his talk at the Commitment to Justice Conference held at Seattle University in August 2017.  The other conference keynote addresses from Eboo Patel, Founder of the Interfaith Youth Corps, and Simone Campbell, of NETWORK are also available online.

The Cost of Balancing Academia and Racism
  • Jan. 21, 2016, The Atlantic, by Adrienne Green

Researchers say that discrimination at colleges and universities may have negative impacts on black students’ mental health. Read the article.

An African American woman graduating from Seattle University in 2015


This is a space for sharing events that provide additional educational opportunities, both on campus and in the community. All regular on campus events posted on the master calendar will be automatically included. If you would like to submit additional events, send the following to Karen Bystrom.

  • Name of event
  • Date, time
  • Link to more information

Links to the events sponsored by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and Office of Multicultural Affairs are provided as additional content on this page.

Imagining the World: Photography Competition Exhibition

Now on view

Kinsey Gallery, ADAL

Our 11th annual exhibition of award-winner photos by study-abroad students, international students and faculty. You can also view the photos online here.

Social Work Department presentation on Intersectionality and Pedagogy

May 22, 12:30-2 p.m.

STCN 210

The Social Work Department will present their work on updating their courses, syllabi and pedagogy to include marginalized voices. Sponsored by Leadership Committee on Intersectionality and Justice.

How Professionals of Color Navigate the Workplace

May 22, 6-8 p.m.Image of the promotional event flyer

Chardin 142

Open to students, faculty and staff of all backgrounds and communities! Come learn and network from awesome professionals.

American workplaces continue to grapple with diversity, equity, and inclusion. What are the unique experiences of professionals of color at work today? What are some challenges and opportunities people face when they are the only, or one of very few, in an organization? Learn from this distinguished panel of professionals on what it takes to succeed in your career. Walk away with actionable advice for professionals of all backgrounds – and also what organizations can do to be more inclusive and equitable. Sponsored by the Department of Communication. Download and share the flyer

RSVP here.

Africa Day

Dr. Tiffany Willoughby-HerardMay 23, 12:30 p.m.

Casey Commons

From the Slave Lodge to the Total Shut Down: Kholeka Putuma’s Collective Amnesia and Yvette Christianse’s Unconfessed (2006) and Roots of Gender Based Violence in South Africa. Featuring Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, PhD, Associate Professor, African American Studies School of Humanities, University of California – Irvine. In her singular study, Rape: A South African Nightmare (2016) Pumla Gqola, points to a decades long history of struggle and resistance against gender based violence in South Africa. Dr. Willoughby-Herard will discuss this in the context of the Total Shut Down of 2018 and through a movement analysis of organizing and political agenda setting. Sponsored by Global African Studies.

Events - Office of Diversity & Inclusion