Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness

  • About

    In order to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree, students are expected to fulfill the educational objectives of Pitzer College. These include intercultural understanding (global and local), social justice theory, and social responsibility praxis.

    To foster these educational objectives, we integrate the concepts of “equity” and “inclusiveness” into our work in academic affairs. We frame our diversity work with an assets-based, intersectional, and social ecological approach.  This means collaborating with all facets of the college; it means cultivating the conditions for all to thrive while at the same time mediating social determinants of educational outcomes; and it means accountability and action while practicing mindfulness, compassion, and interconnectedness.

    As part of our efforts at Pitzer and across the Consortium, we support inclusive practices in the recruitment, hiring, and retention of a diverse and talented faculty; we collaborate with many campus and consortial partners on events, programs, workshops, and trainings; and we work on policy and practices as they relate to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in academic affairs.

  • Programs

    Programs at Pitzer College

    Pilot Bias Education Support Team (BEST): 

    The pilot Bias Education Support Team (BEST) is available for Pitzer community members in response to bias incidents, inequities, and collective trauma. The main component of BEST during this initial phase is “Seen and Heard” sessions rooted in indigenous, contemplative, and transformative justice practices. (e.g. Thich Nhat Hanh, GenerationFive) The “Seen and Heard” sessions provide an alternative practice of dialogue outside of grievance procedures, digital formats such as email listservs, formal meetings, and governance structures. (American Council on Education 2018)

    Disrupting the normalization of silencing that occurs in various forms, the “Seen and Heard” sessions build a culture of practice for listening and speaking in the context of inequities and historical trauma. Facilitated by trained Pitzer community members, “Seen and Heard” participants respond to an agreed upon prompt in a shared timed exercise. (Weissglass 1990)

    Anyone from the Pitzer community may request a “Seen and Heard” session. They are open to all Pitzer students, staff, community partners, and faculty, although we reserve the right to refuse service. The “Seen and Heard” sessions are NOT a substitute for medical treatment including mental health services.  Currently, the “Seen and Heard” sessions are separate from formal investigations and grievance procedures. The information shared during the “Seen and Heard” session is confidential in principle; however, the sharing falls under mandated reporting in relation to Title IX (sexual harassment and misconduct).

    For people who wish to learn more about the “Seen and Heard” sessions or to request one, please contact the pilot BEST through the PZ Diversity Committee and/or Carlos Alvarez at [email protected] or the Office of the Dean of Faculty on the first floor of Scott Hall (Scott Hall 114).

    As a response to bias incidents, inequities, and collective trauma, “Seen and Heard” sessions are intended to destabilize false binaries that reproduce inequities and undermine critical inquiry. Examples of dualisms include exalting the mind over the body or framing someone as solely good while seeing another as solely bad. Another example includes casting someone as deserving compassion while another is undeserving. When we pendulum swing between two extremes in decontextualized ways, the potential cost to our collective humanity and to rigorous inquiry is high. (Stuart Hall; Trinh Minh-ha; Nanci Luna Jimenez Institute for Social Transformation, Williams 2011)

    The “Seen and Heard” sessions queer our approach to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness. It does so by inviting us to experience and nourish multiplicity as way to disrupt unequal power structures.  Multiple things may exist at the same time. A person may experience several intersecting marginalizations at the same time such as mediating ableism, transphobia, classism, and whiteness simultaneously.  A person may be privileged and marginalized at the same time.  A person may support equity and also have room to learn more about creating equity.  A person may be the target of harm and cause harm at the same time.  A person in a non-target position supports a targeted population by speaking up in one situation and then letting others speak first in another situation. A person may critique another person and offer that person authentic compassion at the same time.  A person may feel anger and hope at the same time. (June Jordan; Thich Nhat Hanh)

    The pilot BEST program recognizes that intersectional oppressions are intended to isolate, dehumanize, and silence. Through listening and speaking as a collective, the “Seen and Heard” sessions attempt to recenter our collective human dignity in the context of inequities. (W.K. Kellogg Foundation)

    (Yep, v.1 6/19)

    Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship

    Faculty Peer Mentoring:

    * Tenure-track faculty select peer mentors for the academic year and receive a small amount of funding to support effective mentoring relationships.

    * Tenure-track and tenured faculty are paired with incoming tenure-track faculty and receive a small amount of funding to support effective mentoring relationships.

    * Weekly junior faculty lunches in the dining hall.

    * Weekly womyn of color faculty lunches.

    Social Responsibility Praxis Events


    5C Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship

    5C Department Chair/ Faculty Leadership Gatherings

    7C Diversity and Inclusion Award Application 

    7C Diversity Teaching and Mentorship Faculty Awards:

    Wednesday, April 10, 2019, from 4:00-6:00 in The Margaret Fowler Garden at Scripps College  (Humanities Auditorium as Rain Plan)

    Speaker: Dr. Nana Osei-Kofi is Director of the Difference, Power, & Discrimination Program (Office of Academic Affairs) and Associate Professor of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Oregon State University.

    7C Faculty Leadership Program 2018-2019 Pilot Program:  PZ Fellows: Harmony O’Rourke, Brinda Sarathy, Emily Wiley.

    7C New Faculty Orientation:  May 21- 22, 2019

    7C Professional Development Networks (PDN) Program 2019-2020