ODI Updates

Dear Campus Community –  

As this new school year begins, I write full of both hope and pause. I am filled with hope as we return from a beautiful Pacific Northwest summer to the promise of another invigorating academic year ahead. And I must pause as we continue to reckon with racial injustice, global climate change, and political unrest, among many other challenges. To hold both our hope and pause in tension is to acknowledge the difficulties ahead while relishing our collective commitment to learn, grow, and pursue positive change. What this tension brings to the forefront for me is my belief that this place—Seattle University—is where we will find inspiration, build community, and co-create solutions. 

At the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, we are dedicated to partnering with our staff, students, faculty, and alumni in our pursuit of radical inclusive excellence. Our office has been hard at work over the summer on many initiatives, including those under Goal 4 of Reigniting Our Strategic Directions. Major achievements so far include the adoption of our university-wide Campus Climate Incident Reporting and Response Protocol (“Campus Climate Protocol”) and our university’s first Policy on Supplier Diversity. We will hold a campus-wide forum about the Campus Climate Protocol on October 6, at 12:30 pm (in person at STCN 210). An earlier forum, held on September 29 via zoom, was recorded and will be shared on our website. And our Supplier Diversification Program team will discuss the Policy on Supplier Diversity at a Strategic Conversations on October 26 and November 1. Please click here and here for more information about those programs and click here to learn even more about other Goal 4 initiatives and progress.  

In addition to the work of Reigniting Our Strategic Directions, our office has planned a full slate of programming for collective engagement. Below is a list of the major programs being presented during the academic year. Please also note that Dean Spade, the Wismer Professor for Gender & Diversity, has organized a series of excellent virtual events. We hope you will mark them on your calendars and engage in education, inspiration, and growth with our community.  

  • Robin DiAngelo PhD ‘91, The Road to Racial Equity Summit, Nice Racism, March 9, 2023, Pigott Auditorium 
  • Racial Equity Summit, April 13, 2023 

In addition to the work described above, our office is also growing in capacity. We welcomed our new Senior Executive Coordinator, Paige Powers, in July, continued our partnership with Professor Brooke Coleman, Special Assistant to the Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion, and we are in the process of hiring an Assistant Vice President. In addition to these hires, under the Division of Diversity & Inclusion, we are advancing the search process to hire an Assistant Vice President for the Office of Institutional Equity and a University Ombudsperson, both led by KOYA Partners. This critical growth will help us to meet the needs of our campus community as we collectively pursue inclusive excellence.  

We look forward to the year ahead in partnership with you all. As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, please reach out to our office at inclusion@seattleu.edu. We also invite you to enjoy our most recent annual report, which features even more information about the division, our office, and our shared work. Thanks in advance to you all as we take the journey of this next academic year together.  


Natasha Martin, JD 

Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion 

Honoring Native American and Alaska Native Heritage Month

Published November 1, 2022 at 6:11 PM PDT

Campus Climate Incident Reporting & Response Protocol

Published September 23, 2022 at 12:09 PM PDT

Campus Climate Policy Open Forums

Published September 21, 2022 at 11:09 AM PDT

Join us at one of two open forums to learn more about the Campus Climate Protocol. 

Hispanic and Latin American Heritage Month Reflection by Marissa Robledo

Published September 15, 2022 at 10:09 AM PDT

As we enter Latinx Heritage Month, I think about my family and the power of a name. I am Marissa Robledo (Ma-ree-sah Rro-ble-do) a PROUD Mexican American woman, born and raised in the Imperial Valley. You might be thinking – huh where’s the Imperial Valley? That is a great question, my hometown of El Centro, California is located 2 hours southeast of San Diego, California, 45 minutes from Yuma, Arizona and 15 minutes from the Mexican American Border. 

Honoring Hispanic and Latin American Heritage Month

Published September 15, 2022 at 10:09 AM PDT

Dear Campus Community,

As we mark the beginning of Hispanic and Latin American Heritage Month, Seattle University affirms this diverse and vibrant community. Officially designated National Hispanic Heritage Month, this month celebrates the vast diaspora of cultures, identities, and experiences with ancestral connections to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central, and South America, and the many Indigenous Nations and people that preceded. Notwithstanding geography, we acknowledge that no one word, phrase, or month can encompass the people and experiences that make up this dimension of the American story. To our students, faculty, staff, and administrators, we appreciate all you bring to our university and the larger community. 

Hispanic and Latin American Heritage Month Reflection by Dean Varona

Published September 15, 2022 at 10:09 AM PDT

I think often about my late parents, Eudelio and Edelmira Varona, during National Hispanic and Latin American Heritage Month. They, like so many immigrant parents, bore enormous hardships as new Americans – principally for the benefit of their children. My mother gave birth to me in Cuba in 1967, at a very perilous time in that country. She and my father sought exile in United States so that they could raise me and any future siblings (they had my brother Eddie five years later) in the land of opportunity and freedom. We settled in Newark when I was three years old. The Cuban government allowed us to leave with only the clothes on our backs and almost nothing else. Even though I was only three years old, I remember the palpable fear and trepidation in the family as we adjusted to a strange new environment, mixed with a great sadness of leaving behind a beloved motherland. 

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.