ODI Updates

Title IX 50th Anniversary

Published June 23, 2022 at 12:06 PM PDT

Dear Campus Community,

June marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark civil rights law that banned sex discrimination in education. Though the effects of Title IX have been far-reaching, one of the more visible areas of impact has been in the realm of sports. USA Today reports, Girls' participation in high school sports rose from 7% to 43% since the passage of Title IX in 1972. Still, opportunities for girls and women in sports at both the high school and collegiate levels remain highly unequal. Female coaches, for example, are underrepresented in female sports, and issues of pay inequities between female and male coaches persist.  

President Peñalver reflects on Juneteenth

Published June 17, 2022 at 11:06 AM PDT

Dear Campus Community,

On Juneteenth, we remember the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans in 1865.  Ending 250 years of slavery in North America was a crucial first step in the unfinished journey towards freedom and equality for Black Americans, one that continues to the present day.  We celebrate the important milestone represented by Juneteenth as a reminder of how far we have come even as we acknowledge the continued impact of a century of Jim Crow, ongoing discrimination, and embedded structures of racism.  Read more

Honoring LGBTQ+ Pride Month

Published June 1, 2022 at 8:06 AM PDT

Dear Campus Community:

Creating an inclusive community means sharing our stories from a variety of perspectives. To mark the beginning of Pride Month, we have asked our 2021-23 Wismer Professor for Gender & Diversity Studies, Dean Spade, to offer his reflections on what this month means to him. The Office of Diversity & Inclusion invites our community to celebrate our differences along with all that brings us together. As always, we offer deep gratitude to Professor Spade for sharing his perspective and trust that you will receive his words with openness.

Dean Spade, 2021-23 Wismer Professor for Gender & Diversity Studies:

Annual Pride celebrations mark the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion: In June 1969, at a bar called the Stonewall Inn in New York City, queer and trans people fought back against the ongoing violence they faced at the hands of the police. Since that time, queer and trans people have gathered to commemorate that resistance and celebrate our vision for sexual and gender liberation. At Pride events, we rejoice in our survival, we combat stigma and isolation, we mourn our dead, and we foment ongoing resistance. Read more.

Remembering George Floyd after 2 years

Published May 25, 2022 at 12:05 PM PDT

We extend an invitation in honor of the memory of George Floyd whose murder two years ago today catapulted a national awakening to the legacy of racial injustice. In the spirit of truth and reconciliation, we invite you to --Remember... Resist... Recommit. Read more.

Upcoming Listening Session for Omsbudperson Position

Published May 13, 2022 at 11:05 AM PDT

On behalf of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of the Provost, we invite you to participate in listening sessions with our search consultants from Koya Partners. Our search consultants look forward to hearing your thoughts about this important search. 

Honoring Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Published May 3, 2022 at 10:05 AM PDT

Dear Campus Community,

As we mark the beginning of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, designated in this year’s White House proclamation as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Seattle University affirms the rich tapestry of cultures, ethnicities, and experiences of this diverse and vibrant community – representing a broad diaspora of Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi Americans.

 

 

South Asian American Identities: A Reflection

Published May 3, 2022 at 7:05 AM PDT

I am an immigrant from India who arrived in the United States as a graduate student in 1986. Initially, I identified as an international student/scholar and only years later saw myself as a South Asian American. This was in part due to the nature of my visa status which left me in an in-between space—a sojourner rather than a citizen. For many people who trace their origins to South Asia and who have lived in the United States for many years and may even be citizens, the identification with Asian American/South Asian American is complex and often awkward. 

AAPI Month Reflection

Published May 3, 2022 at 7:05 AM PDT

As I reflect on the meaning of an Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I find myself thinking of my own history as an Asian in America and how often I have felt invisible and ignored. Far too often the struggles of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) communities are ignored in American history books and when race is discussed it is often painted with only two colors. AAPI Heritage Month celebrates over forty countries and more recently has been known as APIDA (Asian Pacific Islander Desi American) Heritage Month to help represent this diverse grouping.

Special Assistant Professor Brooke Coleman

Published March 25, 2022 at 1:03 PM PDT

I am pleased to share that Professor Brooke Coleman will serve as Special Assistant to the Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion, agreeing to lend her leadership to advancing these aims. In this role, Professor Coleman will co-lead the work of promoting inclusive excellence under the Reigniting Our Strategic Directions effort, working closely with me and the ODI Provost Fellows. Read more.

Honoring International Women's Day

Published March 8, 2022 at 5:03 PM PST

Dear Seattle University Community,

In recognition of International Women’s Day, we honor the numerous expressions of women’s leadership on our campus and acknowledge the ongoing challenges to full empowerment for women and girls worldwide. We salute the undeniable legacy of women in history whose contributions have laid the foundation for a more just and equitable society. And we celebrate the uncommon impact of women at Seattle University, including our students, staff, faculty, administrators, and alumnae. We are a stronger institution because of your leadership. Read more

Honoring Black History in 2022

Published February 2, 2022 at 4:02 PM PST

Greetings Campus Community,

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion wishes Seattle University a Happy New Year as we continue to usher in 2022 and the year of the Water Tiger, a sign of courage, strength, and generosity. Read more

Happy Holidays from ODI

Published December 17, 2021 at 1:12 PM PST

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion wishes you a season filled with love, light, and the promise of a new beginning in 2022. Read more.

Honoring Native American Alaska Native Heritage Month

Published November 2, 2021 at 2:11 PM PDT

We begin November with an opportunity to pay tribute to the rich ancestry, diverse culture, and sacred traditions of Indigenous People during Native American and Alaska Native Heritage Month. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion invites your reflection on the vast contributions of Native people, as well as the numerous systemic challenges that continue to impede the vitality of Indigenous communities in our region and around the country. Read More.

Indigenous Peoples' Day

Published October 11, 2021 at 9:10 AM PDT

Today, Seattle University marks the significance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a day to honor and celebrate Indigenous peoples and to acknowledge the toil of colonization as reflected by the land we occupy as a university. We recognize that Seattle University is located on the ancestral homelands of the Duwamish people. We pay respect to Coast Salish Elders past and present and extend that respect to their descendants and to all Indigenous people. Read More

Reimagining Faculty Omsbudperson

Published October 8, 2021 at 9:10 AM PDT

Dear Colleagues,  

I hope that you are safe and well, and buoyed by the promise of the new beginning that is upon us – re-entry into our academic community with our students and one another, the inauguration of our new President, and discovery of innovative ways to approach our Jesuit educational mission. I believe that we are in the midst of an exciting new beginning at SU, one that will require us all to do our part to cultivate the kind of inclusively excellent academic community that offers thriving for all.

Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month

Published September 22, 2021 at 5:09 PM PDT

We begin this academic year during a historic week for the university as we celebrate the inauguration of our new President, Eduardo Peñalver, and more fully re-engage as a campus after a consequential 18 months. Read More

Transition in the Office of Institutional Equity

Published August 3, 2021 at 11:08 AM PDT

I am writing to share with you an upcoming transition in the Office of Institutional Equity, as Andrea Katahira has decided to leave Seattle University to pursue other opportunities...

As we prepare for a full search and recruitment process, I am pleased to announce that Dr. Jill Moffitt will join Seattle University as Interim Assistant Vice President for Institutional Equity, Title IX Coordinator, and ADA/504 Coordinator, effective August 16, 2021.

Announcement of the Patricia Wismer Professorship for Gender and Diversity Studies 2021-2023

Published July 2, 2021 at 11:07 AM PDT

I am pleased to announce that Fr. Steven Sundborg, S.J. appointed Dean Spade as the 2021-2023 recipient of the Patricia Wismer Professorship for Gender and Diversity Studies. Professor Spade’s research resides at the intersection of Gender Studies, Law, Critical Race Studies, and Disability Studies, and includes numerous articles, book chapters, editorial projects, as well as two books – Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law, a foundational text for Trans Studies, and Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During this Crisis (and the Next) (October 2020), which has already sold over 15,000 copies and is soon to be published in Spanish, German, Italian, Thai, and Czech.

Honoring Juneteenth, Freedom Day

Published June 11, 2021 at 4:06 PM PDT

June 19, 1865 – “Juneteenth” - marks the day that enslaved African Americans in Texas were informed by Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas that the Civil War was over and that they were free people. This announcement was shared nearly 2 ½ years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued. The following year, the first celebration of freedom took place in Texas organized by those formerly enslaved. I shared more about this history in my note to campus a year ago. Read More

Celebrating PRIDE

Published June 3, 2021 at 4:06 PM PDT

As Pride Month begins, the university celebrates and stands in solidarity with all LGBTQ+ people and especially those students, faculty, staff and alumni who are part of our Seattle U family. We would not be whole without you and are deeply grateful for your contributions to our campus community and educational mission. Read More.

Remembering George Floyd

Published May 24, 2021 at 4:05 PM PDT

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. To acknowledge his life and pray for continued healing, peace and progress toward justice, we will gather for a Vigil of Remembrance and Reconciliation. Read More

Thank You for Your Support

Published May 20, 2021 at 4:05 PM PDT

Thank you for your support of the University’s first Racial Equity Summit – Activating for Change: Affirmation, Allyship for Solidarity, and Action. I appreciate those who were able to join in community and co-create space for reflection, analysis, and renewal as we position to further the aims of LIFT SU and our inclusive excellence work more broadly – all efforts anchored in and animated by our Jesuit mission and values. Read More

Register for Racial Equity Summit

Published May 7, 2021 at 4:05 PM PDT

Come join the SU community for the University’s first Racial Equity Summit and co-create a space for learning and growing together. In the spirit of our Jesuit values, the summit will include a combination of analysis, reflection, engagement with art and music, and other special additions and new rituals. Read More

AAPI Heritage Month

Published May 5, 2021 at 11:05 AM PDT

As we mark Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Seattle University acknowledges with deep gratitude the AAPI community’s rich contributions to our nation and campus community. Seattle University is the institution it is today in large part because of the continuing commitment and dedication of so many in the AAPI community.

Racial Equity Summit Invitation

Published May 3, 2021 at 4:05 PM PDT

All are invited to the Racial Equity Summit, a LIFT SU initiative. We will gather as a learning community to reflect on and deepen understanding of systemic racism and this consequential year, and to catalyze around commitments to racial equity and antiracist education. The summit offers a platform to affirm voices and experiences, renew solidarity, and build collaborative capacity towards becoming a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive university. Read More

Save the Date Racial Equity Summit

Published April 2, 2021 at 4:04 PM PDT

I hope that you are experiencing a productive and restorative start to the spring quarter. I’m pleased to announce the Racial Equity Summit – a LIFT SU initiative – an opportunity to gather as a learning community to deepen understanding and build collaborative capacity towards becoming a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive university. Read More

Women's History Month

Published March 5, 2021 at 4:03 PM PST

This week began with Women’s International History Day, which recognizes the contributions of women worldwide and raises awareness of the continued challenges to their full empowerment. We salute the women of our university community for their leadership, achievements, and unyielding commitment to our educational mission. We honor the uncommon impact of women at Seattle University, including our students, staff, faculty, administrators, and alumnae. We are a stronger institution because of their leadership.

Black History Month

Published February 5, 2021 at 4:02 PM PST

As we begin this month of February honoring Black history, we are mindful of the paradox of beginning this designated celebration amid the deep polarity and tumult of our times, and wounds that only time and intention can begin to heal. This is precisely why we must honor the vast contributions of Black people, as well as face our irreconciled past. 

The Way Forward

Published November 6, 2020 at 11:11 AM PST

I write to express my deep gratitude for each of you. Thank you for your courage to stay the course during these uncommon times, and the care you have shown to our students and to one another. I acknowledge the hardships we are living under, and I believe that our hope lies in our interdependence. Read More

LIFT SU and Commitment to Live and Lead for Racial Equity and Antiracism

Published October 14, 2020 at 4:10 PM PDT

As we recommit ourselves to educating the whole person at the start of the academic year in this watershed moment, I extend my deepest gratitude for your efforts and courage. As a follow-up to the President’s Welcome and Provost Convocation, I write to share my hope and determination that as Seattle University we will move forward with greater intentionality and collaboration to make racial equity and anti-racist education more than a stated value of our Jesuit Catholic character, but transformative and sustainable institutional practice. Read More

Honor and Recognition of Indigenous Peoples' Day

Published October 12, 2020 at 10:10 AM PDT

Today, Seattle University marks the significance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a day to honor and celebrate Indigenous peoples and to acknowledge the toil of colonization as reflected by the land we occupy as a university. We recognize that we reside on occupied Coast Salish lands and Seattle University is on the homelands of the Duwamish people. We pay respect to Coast Salish Elders past and present and extend that respect to their descendants and to all Indigenous people. Read More.

Summer Reading List 2020

Published June 30, 2020 at 5:06 PM PDT

As we remain at a physical distance in the midst of this unprecedented time, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the engagement this year in our collective work around inclusive excellence. Thank you to all who have shown your care of and patience with me during this time like none other I have known. Deep appreciation for the many ways that you have shown up to co-create spaces to grow together and pivoted with grace. Read More

Juneteenth and Social Progress

Published June 19, 2020 at 12:06 PM PDT

619.   January 1, 1863.   June 19, 1865.  

During this profound moment in our history as a nation and a university, it is important that we take note of the significance of these dates. Each represents important markers in our country’s racist history as it relates to the enslavement and systematic oppression of Black people. And, the enduring and material effects of slavery’s legacy that continue to plague our society are deeply ingrained. For weeks we have been reminded, yet again, just how much so.  Read More

Uncommon Care in Uncommon Times

Published March 20, 2020 at 5:03 PM PDT

Given this uncertain time and the circumstances that we are working hard to address, I write to extend my hand and heart to you virtually as we engage in uncommon care in uncommon times. We are all focused on delivering the most effective, high-quality, online learning environments for our students and supporting them, and one another, as we try our best to acclimate to this rapidly evolving global health pandemic. Read More.

Belonging: What Can We Learn about Inclusion from Historically Black Colleges and Universities?

Published February 24, 2020 at 5:02 PM PST

As we close Black History Month and enter Women’s History Month, thank you for the numerous efforts across campus to advance understanding. I invite your continued engagement to learn and grow together, and to reflect on the contributions of so many whose resilience in the pursuit of justice remains a beckon of hope. Read More

So You Want to Talk About Race? Invitation

Published January 27, 2020 at 5:01 PM PST

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion invites faculty and staff to join in the first Educating for Justice session of 2020. Building on our visit last quarter with Ijeoma Oluo, author of this year’s common text, this session will focus on what it means to engage in racial justice work as allies on the journey to growth. Read More

Wishing You Peace, Joy & Furious Love!

Published December 11, 2019 at 11:12 AM PST

As we move to wrap up the business of fall quarter, I write to wish you peace this holiday season and to express my deep gratitude for your engagement and partnership in our collective work to make SU inclusively excellent for all. Read More