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.  

Sincerely, 

Natasha Martin, JD 

Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion 

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 Community 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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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.