The Division for Diversity Equity and Inclusion

Advancing Southern Towards a Social Justice and Antiracist University


At Southern, we are committed to identifying and addressing systemic barriers to equity, access, and success for all member of our community.  We are also committed to constructive dialogues where we treat one another with dignity, respect, kindness, compassion and civility as we share varying perspectives, with the goal of creating a culture of inclusion and belonging.


The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion led by Vice President, Dr. Diane Ariza, will provide transformative institutional leadership, assistance, engage and hold Southern members to create initiatives with measurable outcomes that will transform and dismantle systemic racism and oppressive hierarchies and build equitable communities that drive and measure progress across Southern.  

Critical to our success is each understanding that a one-way approach will not help us advance this work.  We must also allow space for open and honest conversations to the critique and approach to our work with a deep commitment to a spirit of collective liberation.  As well, inclusive antiracist work to dismantle interlocking systems of oppression requires deep personal work.  Historian Ibram X. Kendi argues power and policy, and not people,  keep racism firmly entrenched in society.

The work is actualized in a variety of ways, including

  • Provide university-wide education on issues relating to bias, equity, racism, oppression, restorative justice, contemplative support, accountability and leadership
  • Advocacy
  • support individuals interested in transformative leadership through contemplative practice.
  • policy development
  • consultation and evaluation to create a more inclusive campus community 
  • be a national and international leader in anti-racism and anti-oppression that addresses societal inequalities that affect access for achievement by and inclusion of marginalized people
  • commit to fostering a community that is safe and affirming for faculty, staff, students and campus visitors.
  • working with the DEI Advisory Council and the community to dismantle racism, oppression and hold senior leaders and each individual accountable.
  • consult with Diversity Search Committees, Social Justice Committees and Task Forces
  • developing advocates through training, presentations and facilitated dialogues
  • collaborate and consult with others on campus to understand campus climate, benchmarking, strategic planning, track changes based on our interventions and develop more effective outreach, accountability
  • Support campus and community partners in addressing diversity-related questions and challenges
  • Provide resources to protect the civil rights of each individual
  • Support diversity leadership through grants
  • Student Activism….(more to come)

Who are we?

  • Institute for Justice and Social Change
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council
  • Office of Diversity and Equity (TBD)
  • Student Activism Committee
  • Dreamers Action Alliance
  • Social Justice Grants Committee
  • Social Justice Award Committee