Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Who we are

The College of Arts and Letters (CAL) supports disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and cross-cultural approaches to major social, human, and environmental issues in the humanities and social sciences. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion leads to our recognition of and responsibility for being part of a proud transborder, Hispanic-serving institution (HSI) located on the lands of the Kumeyaay Nation.

Why diversity, equity, and inclusion matter

We are committed to honoring our intersecting socio-historical experiences with respect to diverse embodiments, lived experiences, and structural locations that include race, ethnicity, language, culture, social class, national origin, immigration status, religion, colonial status, age, ability, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, body diversity, as well as non-traditional, underrepresented, first-generation, and veteran status. Equity seeks to ensure that members of underrepresented and underresourced groups have similar opportunities and outcomes as other groups. Inclusion efforts challenge racism, sexism, classism, settler colonialism, and other forms of inequity and create spaces where members of all groups are visible, valued, and can freely contribute to the community.

What we do

We promote multifaceted and diverse intellectual approaches to foster an environment in which SDSU’s various local communities (faculty, staff, students, and community members) can connect in globally conscious and critical ways. A commitment to social responsibility and equity supports this work: each College department includes faculty with expertise in issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. By focusing on the contributions of specific minoritized groups and fostering linguistic and cultural difference (a fact exemplified in our rich GE curriculum), our College is at the forefront of scholarly and curricular diversity.

Our vision

We recognize that imbalances of power, perspective, and privilege persist in higher education and in society. We acknowledge and address the diverse experiences of oppression, discrimination, and resistance that many face. Our community supports the equality and dignity of all persons in order to establish and promote an environment in which all can thrive. Our College is stronger when we respect, engage with, promote, and sustain the intellectual and social contributions of members of diverse groups and approach our disciplines through multiple lenses.

Diversity Liaisons

Anne Donadey, Ph.D.
Professor, French and Women's Studies
Email: [email protected]

Roy Whitaker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Study of Religion
Email: [email protected]

Diversity Plan

CAL’s Diversity Council, consisting of 25 members representing all CAL departments as well as lecturers, staff, students, and the Dean’s office, drafted the Diversity Plan which was subsequently sent to all CAL constituents for feedback and approval. CAL’s Diversity Plan challenges racism, sexism, classism, settler colonialism, and other inequities and articulates goals and objectives to enable a community where all members are visible, valued, and can freely contribute.

CAL's plan has three overriding goals:

We are committed to hiring practices consistent with the core values of diversity, equality, and inclusion that CAL and the university promote (https://www.sdsu.edu/strategic-plan). We seek to recruit faculty and staff who are reflective of the diversity found in our student populations and local communities served by our academic institution. 

We believe that hiring historically underrepresented faculty and staff will further the university’s mission in fostering a welcoming campus-wide environment for all. We want to hire and support more, for example, African American, Native American, Latinx, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander faculty and staff of color, people of varying physical abilities, as well as the fluid breadth of trans and gender non-conforming persons, within the constraints of Prop 209.

Objective: Put structures and processes in place that will allow us to continue to diversify faculty and staff, especially with respect to increasing percentages of URM TT faculty.

We are committed to retention practices that foster an environment of inclusion for faculty, staff, and students, and that acknowledge the uneven academic environment for faculty members, staff, and students from underrepresented groups.

We recognize that the presence of diversity is less than ideal if persons do not perceive that their social identities are appreciated and recognized in a discipline. We aim to promote ongoing open dialogue and initiatives across the university community to recognize and challenge implicit and explicit bias. As such, we strive to build a collegial environment that includes, values, and engages faculty, staff, and students.

Objective: Raise the agree and strongly agree scores by 5% for the following groups and categories by 2025:

  • People with Disabilities: Contributions / perspective valued. Supportive / respectful environment. Retaining / career advancement / supporting initiatives
  • URM: Perspective valued. Supportive / respectful environment. Retaining / career advancement /supporting initiatives
  • Women: Contributions valued
  • Sexual minority: Retaining

We foster an education that helps students recognize their place in our global community, become versed in multicultural frameworks and forms of communication, and who are able to cross disciplinary and cultural boundaries in their field of expertise and the workplace.

Through our teaching, research, and scholarship, we strive to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in our student body, as well as supporting diverse student populations. We also aim to support students in their efforts to create lasting, positive impacts within local, regional, and global populations.

Objective: Decrease equity gaps in student outcomes and graduation rates by connecting students to resources through the CAL Student Success Center. Continue to support and develop international education for all CAL students. Support the particular educational needs of international students to ensure retention and promote a positive education experience.

Download the full Diversity Plan.

Statements of Solidarity

SDSU’s College of Arts and Letters stands in solidarity with our Asian, Pacific Islander, and South Asian American communities. In light of recent horrific national violence, we reaffirm our commitment to support and denounce racism against this community.

During the past year, discrimination and violence against the APIDA community have increased. We condemn anti-Asian and gender-based violence, and any form of xenophobia. Among those murdered in Atlanta on March 16 were six women, reminding us all that violence, like identity, is intersectional.

As a liberal arts college that houses the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, along with other ethnic and area studies programs, we are committed to providing culturally relevant curricula to give students the critical thinking skills necessary to help them understand cultural diversity and social justice issues.

One action you can take today is to sign the APIDA Pledge to create a welcoming and safe climate for our APIDA communities and to help us abolish hate.

The SDSU APIDA Resource Center provides support and resources to all members of the SDSU community, especially to APIDA students, faculty, and staff. Please reach out if you would like support by emailing the center at [email protected].

SDSU’s College of Arts and Letters stands in solidarity with our Black communities. We denounce racism in any form and violence against Black people, and we stand firm in our belief that Black lives matter.

As a community of university faculty and staff, it is our duty to actively support and advocate for solutions to systemic racism across our nation, the world, and our campus.

We are proud to house the departments of Africana Studies, Chicana and Chicano Studies, American Indian Studies, and the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies which, together with other departments and programs, help provide students with culturally relevant curricula, critical thinking skills, and accurate knowledge to critique white supremacy and promote social justice.

We commit to these ongoing actions:

  • Equitable practices to include: hiring, retaining, and improving climate and success of Black and other underrepresented faculty, staff, and students
  • Amplifying the voices of Black people through courses and co-curricular events
  • Continuing to participate and encourage participation in anti-bias training
  • Resourcing and supporting the work of our ethnic studies departments
  • Resourcing and supporting faculty, staff, and programs that are making a positive difference for Black and other underrepresented people, on and off campus
  • Identifying and addressing equity gaps
  • Developing and implementing specific actions in support of these commitments through our diversity planning process and other initiatives