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Equity, Inclusion and Diversity

Equity, diversity and inclusion. These are more than just three words expressing commitment.

They are integral to our experiences and actions within the College of Humanities and Sciences. Commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion promotes experiences and fuels behaviors that support a welcoming and affirming environment for students, staff and faculty. Whether diversity is based on perspectives, life experiences, cultural backgrounds, social identities and other unique expressions, it makes for a better place to work, to teach and learn, to conduct research and to engage with our local community.

Equity is also expressed in our commitment to and mutually respectful engagement with our local community that has historically faced social inequities in education, health, employment and housing.

We are especially committed to increasing equity for underrepresented minority groups and other protected identities that have historically experienced inequity and lack of representation in higher education.

  • Appointment of the inaugural associate dean of diversity and community engagement
  • Development of faculty and staff EID professional development guidelines
  • Appointment of CHS Equity and Diversity Strategic Goals Ad Hoc Committee:
    • Charlene Crawley, IDEC representative and Chemistry
    • R. Lee Franco, Kinesiology and Health Sciences
    • Lucy Hudson, Psychology
    • Bernard Moitt, History
    • Anita Nadal, World Studies
    • Fernando Tenjo, Biology
    • Levi Walters, Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies
  • Increase in number of diversity and inclusion syllabi statements
  • Increase in number of equity, inclusion and diversity committees in CHS departments
  • IDEC's establishment of the CHS Diversity and Inclusion Awards to honor individuals or groups of VCU administrators, faculty, staff or students who exemplify the importance and commitment to inclusion, diversity and equity
  • IDEC's dialogue series that covered such topics as demystifying disabilities, being black at VCU, stress and women’s leadership
  • Increased outreach to local community organizations and schools
  • New course offering: Race and Racism in America (CSIJ 200) taught by Mignonne Guy, Ph.D., and Amy Rector, Ph.D.
  • New web pages on CHS's three main web properties focused on equity, inclusion and diversity
  • Speaker events focused on race and racism
  • Integration of EID focus within research and teaching initiatives (e.g., Student Success Plan) in College
  • Complete equity, inclusion and diversity strategic goals
  • Include equity, inclusion and diversity statements on all course syllabi
  • Develop guidelines that account for equitable rewards for service
  • Increase faculty participation in inclusive pedagogy, including decolonization of curriculum
  • Implement inclusive hiring practices to increase the number of underrepresented minority staff and faculty
  • Provide increased opportunities for involvement and engagement of CHS staff and faculty to help strengthen social equity in the community
  • Incorporate assessments of faculty (e.g., annual review, promotion and tenure) to account for inclusion and diversity in teaching, service and research
  • Increase student input in equity, inclusion and diversity and community-engaged activities within the College

By the Numbers

College of Humanities and Sciences

Full-Time Students

  • 16% Asian
  • 22% Black/African American
  • 12% Hispanic/Latinx
  • 2% International
  • 8% Two or more races
  • 1% Unknown
  • 38% White



  • 46% Female
  • 54% Male


  • 8% Asian
  • 9% Black/African American
  • 6% Hispanic/Latinx
  • 5% International
  • 1% Two or more races
  • 1% Unknown
  • 70% White


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The College of Humanities and Sciences Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee (IDEC) highlights, coordinates, promotes and institutes efforts across all CHS units that foster respect, greater understanding, engagement and inclusion of all its members. 

Visit the IDEC web page for more information.

Meet Dr. Belgrave

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Faye Belgrave, Ph.D., is the associate dean for equity and community partnerships for the College of Humanities and Sciences.

Learn more about her role in the College.

Key Concepts

We invite you to join us in showing your commitment by practicing these values.

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Units with Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committees

Contacts: Adam Ewing, Ph.D., and Grace Gipson, Ph.D.

Contacts: Derek Posser, Ph.D., and Wenheng Zhang, Ph.D.

Contact: Charlene Crawley, Ph.D.

Contact: Jo Murphy

GSWS Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

The entire department is invested in equity, inclusion and diversity as part of its central mission. Several individuals serve as contacts:

Contact: Marilyn Bishop, Ph.D.

Contact: Alexandra Reckendorf, Ph.D.

Contact: Meredith Katz, Ph.D.

Contact: Aspen Brinton, Ph.D.


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Check out Dr. Belgrave's curated list of resources from academic and popular media to help CHS faculty and staff incorporate equity, inclusion and diversity into their professions and workplaces.

Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Highlights

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New book aims to help Black girls navigate predominantly white spaces, microaggressions
The book, “Finding Her Voice: How Black Girls in White Spaces Can Speak Up and Live Their Truth,” is co-authored by VCU professor Faye Belgrave.
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VCU assistant professor working to reform the Richmond Police Department
Eli Coston, Ph.D., has been involved with helping the LGBTQ+ community as well as advocating for civilian oversight of the Richmond PD.
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‘A painful chapter in our nation’s history’: New class to shed light on Indigenous boarding schools
The course will examine the traumatic histories at the schools in the United States and Canada, where thousands of Native children lost connections with their cultures, languages and families.
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Pride: In their own words
As June comes to a close, VCU faculty, students and staff describe what pride means to them.
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New scholarship will support students and honor a longtime LGBTQIA+ champion
The Dorothy Fillmore Scholarship will help VCU students actively engaged with the LGBTQIA+ community who face housing instability, food insecurity, tuition issues or other financial hurdles.
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B. Ethan Coston awarded REAL Challenge grant
Their proposal to the Relevant, Experiential and Applied Learning (REAL) Challenge grant was accepted and is seeking applicants for the inaugural cohort, academic year 2021-22.
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Virginia Commonwealth University participates in the 2021 STEM for All Video Showcase: COVID, Equity & Social Justice
Erica R. Miller, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics, presented “Training Graduate Students in Inclusive and Equitable Teaching."
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VCU professor to explore ‘emotional code switching’ among African American youth
Psychology professor Fantasy Lozada received an NSF CAREER award to study emotion regulatory flexibility among African American youth, which helps them to protect against racism.
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‘It takes a village to succeed’: Student earns national scholarship to finish her Ph.D.
Josly Pierre-Louis’ parents immigrated to America from Haiti. Their daughter, a VCU grad, is the rising tide for all boats when it comes to her success in chemistry and health research.
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At annual PACME awards, recognition for those ‘who are willing to go deep’
Five from across VCU are honored for their work to promote civility, build community, advocate for equity and nurture a welcoming and inclusive environment.
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Two from CHS to receive university-level inclusive excellence awards
VCU will host this year’s PACME celebration virtually on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. The celebration is open to the public.
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Podcast by VCU students on graffiti-covered Confederate monuments named a finalist in NPR national contest
A podcast by VCU students, “When Time Slows Down,” is one of 10 finalists in the NPR Student Podcast Challenge: College Edition. Winners will be featured in segments on “Morning Edition” or “All Things Considered.”
V.C.U. student Kevin Armas Rodas talks to Marisela, a Central American mother who left Mexico with her 10-day-old baby, about her experiences and difficulties at home and crossing the U. S. border. [View Image]
Helping the Hispanic community in the midst of the pandemic
Students in the VCU service-learning course Hispanic Immigrants in the U.S. are continuing to make a difference.
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Class of 2021: Raven Witherspoon is pursuing a career in physics to help improve the world
The VCU Honors College student hopes to help reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world and “transfer those materials into peaceful uses like civil nuclear energy.”
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VCU, COVID-19 and race and health inequities
An interview with VCU psychologist Faye Belgrave, Ph.D.
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Class of 2021: Isaiah King’s love of medicine leads to a new passion for research
King’s experiences with the student organization Black Men in Medicine gave him the support and freedom to pursue his own path. Up next: A fellowship program at the National Institutes of Health.
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VCU P.R.I.M.E. empowers underrepresented students interested in health care careers
The student- and staff-initiated group identifies traditional barriers and develops strategies to help peers overcome them.
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Historian to discuss how women of color transformed the suffrage movement
Cathleen D. Cahill will speak at a VCU virtual event March 12.
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National thought leader in field of health equity to speak at VCU
The event is presented by the College of Humanities and Sciences at VCU and is co-sponsored by the Black Education Association and the College of Humanities and Sciences Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee.
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Women are changing the advertising industry, and it’s leading to better, more authentic ads
As another Super Bowl comes and goes, a VCU Robertson School panel says improving gender diversity in advertising is leading to better storytelling and more opportunities for underrepresented voices.
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Staff Profile: Levi Walter, administrative coordinator, Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies
Levi successfully made the jump from student to staff member when they joined GSWS as an administrative coordinator.
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Connection and inclusion in the (virtual) classroom
Music, coffee hours and a variety of learning activities are a few of Ching-Yu Huang’s strategies for success in the digital space.
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Class of 2020: Transfer student Michaela Friend aims to defend the rights of others
An aspiring human rights lawyer, Friend achieved much in her short time at VCU and wants to help those who have been historically marginalized.
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Promoting diversity in the field of chemistry
In 2019, 67 women graduated from VCU with bachelor’s degrees in chemistry, fifth-most in the nation.
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Teaching about social justice can lead to tense moments. A new book helps educators navigate them.
The book, co-edited by a VCU professor, aims to help teachers better handle challenging topics. “We are going to make mistakes” in being effective allies, Kim Case said. “But we must take the leap.”
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‘Death and Rebirth’: VCU history professor’s new book reveals the history of Richmond’s cemeteries
“Cemeteries participate in the rawest political drives… . They teach us about power and resistance as much as about spiritual beliefs.”
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Camaraderie, encouragement at core of student-led Black Men in Medicine
The VCU student organization aims to give support to underrepresented undergraduates as they pursue medical school and careers in the field.
Mallory Perryman and Aaron Gilchrist during a virtual forum [View Image]
Amid the pandemic, journalism grad Aaron Gilchrist continues to deliver the news
At a virtual forum, the VCU alumnus shares his thoughts on adapting during COVID-19, the summer protests, and his personal journey in journalism.
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New podcast, ‘Transcripts,’ shares stories and struggles of transgender activists across the U.S.
The podcast from the Tretter Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota is co-hosted by VCU professor Myrl Beam and Minneapolis City Council member Andrea Jenkins.
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Researchers receive $3.1M grant to investigate the sustainment of mental health programs in schools
A grant from the National Institute of Mental Health will enable VCU researchers to study whether evidence-based mental health programs in schools continue after research support is removed.
Equity and inclusion: our core values

Our diversity makes us stronger as a living and learning community, and we strive to create a College that provides meaningful opportunities for all people and that celebrates diverse experiences, backgrounds and perspectives.

College of Humanities and Sciences
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