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 

Save the Date Racial Equity Summit

Published April 2, 2021 at 4:04 PM PDT

I hope that you are experiencing a productive and restorative start to the spring quarter. I’m pleased to announce the Racial Equity Summit – a LIFT SU initiative – an opportunity to gather as a learning community to deepen understanding and build collaborative capacity towards becoming a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive university. 

Women's History Month

Published March 5, 2021 at 4:03 PM PST

This week began with Women’s International History Day, which recognizes the contributions of women worldwide and raises awareness of the continued challenges to their full empowerment. We salute the women of our university community for their leadership, achievements, and unyielding commitment to our educational mission. We honor the uncommon impact of women at Seattle University, including our students, staff, faculty, administrators, and alumnae. We are a stronger institution because of their leadership.

Black History Month

Published February 5, 2021 at 4:02 PM PST

As we begin this month of February honoring Black history, we are mindful of the paradox of beginning this designated celebration amid the deep polarity and tumult of our times, and wounds that only time and intention can begin to heal. This is precisely why we must honor the vast contributions of Black people, as well as face our irreconciled past. 

The Way Forward

Published November 6, 2020 at 11:11 AM PST

I write to express my deep gratitude for each of you. Thank you for your courage to stay the course during these uncommon times, and the care you have shown to our students and to one another. I acknowledge the hardships we are living under, and I believe that our hope lies in our interdependence. 

LIFT SU and Commitment to Live and Lead for Racial Equity and Antiracism

Published October 14, 2020 at 4:10 PM PDT

As we recommit ourselves to educating the whole person at the start of the academic year in this watershed moment, I extend my deepest gratitude for your efforts and courage. As a follow-up to the President’s Welcome and Provost Convocation, I write to share my hope and determination that as Seattle University we will move forward with greater intentionality and collaboration to make racial equity and anti-racist education more than a stated value of our Jesuit Catholic character, but transformative and sustainable institutional practice.

Honor and Recognition of Indigenous Peoples' Day

Published October 12, 2020 at 10:10 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 we reside on occupied Coast Salish lands and Seattle University is on the 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. 

Summer Reading List 2020

Published June 30, 2020 at 5:06 PM PDT

As we remain at a physical distance in the midst of this unprecedented time, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the engagement this year in our collective work around inclusive excellence. Thank you to all who have shown your care of and patience with me during this time like none other I have known. Deep appreciation for the many ways that you have shown up to co-create spaces to grow together and pivoted with grace. 

Juneteenth and Social Progress

Published June 19, 2020 at 12:06 PM PDT

619.   January 1, 1863.   June 19, 1865.  

During this profound moment in our history as a nation and a university, it is important that we take note of the significance of these dates. Each represents important markers in our country’s racist history as it relates to the enslavement and systematic oppression of Black people. And, the enduring and material effects of slavery’s legacy that continue to plague our society are deeply ingrained. For weeks we have been reminded, yet again, just how much so.  Read More

Uncommon Care in Uncommon Times

Published March 20, 2020 at 5:03 PM PDT

Given this uncertain time and the circumstances that we are working hard to address, I write to extend my hand and heart to you virtually as we engage in uncommon care in uncommon times. We are all focused on delivering the most effective, high-quality, online learning environments for our students and supporting them, and one another, as we try our best to acclimate to this rapidly evolving global health pandemic.

Belonging: What Can We Learn about Inclusion from Historically Black Colleges and Universities?

Published February 24, 2020 at 5:02 PM PST

As we close Black History Month and enter Women’s History Month, thank you for the numerous efforts across campus to advance understanding. I invite your continued engagement to learn and grow together, and to reflect on the contributions of so many whose resilience in the pursuit of justice remains a beckon of hope.