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 

Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month

Published September 22, 2021 at 5:09 PM PDT

We begin this academic year during a historic week for the university as we celebrate the inauguration of our new President, Eduardo Peñalver, and more fully re-engage as a campus after a consequential 18 months. Read More

Transition in the Office of Institutional Equity

Published August 3, 2021 at 11:08 AM PDT

I am writing to share with you an upcoming transition in the Office of Institutional Equity, as Andrea Katahira has decided to leave Seattle University to pursue other opportunities...

As we prepare for a full search and recruitment process, I am pleased to announce that Dr. Jill Moffitt will join Seattle University as Interim Assistant Vice President for Institutional Equity, Title IX Coordinator, and ADA/504 Coordinator, effective August 16, 2021.

Announcement of the Patricia Wismer Professorship for Gender and Diversity Studies 2021-2023

Published July 2, 2021 at 11:07 AM PDT

I am pleased to announce that Fr. Steven Sundborg, S.J. appointed Dean Spade as the 2021-2023 recipient of the Patricia Wismer Professorship for Gender and Diversity Studies. Professor Spade’s research resides at the intersection of Gender Studies, Law, Critical Race Studies, and Disability Studies, and includes numerous articles, book chapters, editorial projects, as well as two books – Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law, a foundational text for Trans Studies, and Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During this Crisis (and the Next) (October 2020), which has already sold over 15,000 copies and is soon to be published in Spanish, German, Italian, Thai, and Czech.

Honoring Juneteenth, Freedom Day

Published June 11, 2021 at 4:06 PM PDT

June 19, 1865 – “Juneteenth” - marks the day that enslaved African Americans in Texas were informed by Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas that the Civil War was over and that they were free people. This announcement was shared nearly 2 ½ years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued. The following year, the first celebration of freedom took place in Texas organized by those formerly enslaved. I shared more about this history in my note to campus a year ago. 

Celebrating PRIDE

Published June 3, 2021 at 4:06 PM PDT

As Pride Month begins, the university celebrates and stands in solidarity with all LGBTQ+ people and especially those students, faculty, staff and alumni who are part of our Seattle U family. We would not be whole without you and are deeply grateful for your contributions to our campus community and educational mission.

Remembering George Floyd

Published May 24, 2021 at 4:05 PM PDT

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. To acknowledge his life and pray for continued healing, peace and progress toward justice, we will gather for a Vigil of Remembrance and Reconciliation. 

Thank You for Your Support

Published May 20, 2021 at 4:05 PM PDT

Thank you for your support of the University’s first Racial Equity Summit – Activating for Change: Affirmation, Allyship for Solidarity, and Action. I appreciate those who were able to join in community and co-create space for reflection, analysis, and renewal as we position to further the aims of LIFT SU and our inclusive excellence work more broadly – all efforts anchored in and animated by our Jesuit mission and values. 

Register for Racial Equity Summit

Published May 7, 2021 at 4:05 PM PDT

Come join the SU community for the University’s first Racial Equity Summit and co-create a space for learning and growing together. In the spirit of our Jesuit values, the summit will include a combination of analysis, reflection, engagement with art and music, and other special additions and new rituals. 

AAPI Heritage Month

Published May 5, 2021 at 11:05 AM PDT

As we mark Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Seattle University acknowledges with deep gratitude the AAPI community’s rich contributions to our nation and campus community. Seattle University is the institution it is today in large part because of the continuing commitment and dedication of so many in the AAPI community.

Racial Equity Summit Invitation

Published May 3, 2021 at 4:05 PM PDT

All are invited to the Racial Equity Summit, a LIFT SU initiative. We will gather as a learning community to reflect on and deepen understanding of systemic racism and this consequential year, and to catalyze around commitments to racial equity and antiracist education. The summit offers a platform to affirm voices and experiences, renew solidarity, and build collaborative capacity towards becoming a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive university.