ODEI Purpose

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leads the visioning and implementation of Humboldt State University’s (HSU) quest for inclusive excellence in alignment with the institution’s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan, Future Forward. Through compassionate listening and intentional cross-campus and community collaboration, we strive to transform relationships and policies to shape the HSU of the future.  
We will achieve purpose by implementing our six-pillar framework of inclusive excellence: (1) A safe and welcoming community; (2) Equitable opportunities and outcomes; (3) Strategic partnerships; (4) the development of Intercultural humility; (5) Organizational resources; and 6) Collaborative leadership  and shared accountability.
The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity
As part of HSU's continued commitment to support the wellbeing and success of BIPOC students and faculty, we are pleased to announce that HSU has joined the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) as an Institutional Member.  The NCFDD is a nationally-recognized independent organization that provides online career development and mentoring resources for faculty (both tenure-line and non tenure-line), post-docs, and graduate students.

Humboldt State University Becomes an Institutional Member of the National Center for Faculty

Development & Diversity (NCFDD)! 

As a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and as a Minority-Serving Institution (MSI), Humboldt State University is committed to becoming an institution where Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) students thrive. To realize this vision and the strategic goals that anchor this commitment, HSU works hard to support the success, advancement, and retention of all faculty and staff. 


Full Announcement


Celebrating Human Rights Day:  December 10th
By Dr. Brandilynn Villarreal, Psychology Professor
“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home -- so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. [...] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world." - Eleanor Roosevelt.
Many of us work to improve the human condition and strive for the political, civil, economic, social, and cultural rights for marginalized groups daily. This year’s Human Rights Day, celebrated internationally every December 10th, highlights the critical role equality and non-discrimination play in securing human rights. This year’s theme “Equality” recognizes the pervasive discrimination felt by the most marginalized groups around the world: women and girls, indigenous peoples, people of African descent, LGBTQIA+ people, migrants, people with disabilities, and many more. Human Rights Day is simultaneously an opportunity to celebrate advancements in human rights and a call for advocacy and education in working together to solve global problems. There are many ways to celebrate Human Rights Day (visit this website for some ideas)! You can start by taking the Human Rights Pledge:
“As Peacebuilders, we have a duty to act when Human Rights are violated. Take this pledge to promote and protect Human Rights for all people.
  • I will respect your rights regardless of who you are. I will uphold your rights even when I disagree  with you.
  • When anyone’s human rights are denied, everyone’s rights are undermined, so I will STAND UP.
  • I will raise my voice. I will take action. I will use my rights to stand up for your rights.”
Winter Holidays
By Dr. Kayla Begay
Happy Holidays everyone. As a Diversity Equity Fellow, I was tasked with learning about and sharing with you a little something about different cultural and/or religious winter celebrations. The following is my understanding, and I welcome any corrections or additions. Ts’ehdiya - thank you.
Winter Solstice
Winter Solstice is the day that the sun travels its shortest path across the sky, resulting in our shortest day and longest night in the northern hemisphere. Many North American Indigenous peoples recognize this day and night with ceremony, prayer, and/or storytelling as part of larger ceremonial cycles and acknowledgements of patterns in the natural world. While some tribes have always held ceremonies during this time, others recognize this day in smaller ways, or may be reviving traditions once banned or forcibly taken from us. In the last few years, I have marked this day by making acorns or other traditional foods for my family on this day, or have been blessed to have been invited to attend Tolowa Needash. Some of my California Indian friends from other tribes take this time, as well as the equinoxes, to be reverent, fast, tend to important sacred sites, and make prayers for the land or their community. Some require isolation from phone or email, so I know not to call or text them, or am careful with what news or words I might bring them. This year, Winter Solstice is Tuesday, December 21, 2021.
By Dr. Kayla Begay, Linguistics
Hanukkah / Chanukah, means “dedication” and as a holiday is also known as the Festival of Lights. In the 2nd century BCE, Judaism was outlawed in Jerusalem by the Seleucids who forced Jews to accept Greek religious and cultural beliefs. Judah and the Maccabees led a rebellion however, reclaiming Jerusalem for their people. When rededicating the Holy Temple and seeking to light the Menorah (an eight-candle candelabra), they found that only one container of oil was left unspoiled by the Seleucids. Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple, and the fact that though the oil only ought to have lasted for one night, it miraculously lasted for eight. Today Hanukkah is celebrated for eight nights with the lighting of candles in the menorah, one additional each night until there are eight, and with songs, prayer, dreidel (an eight-sided spinning top) games, gifts, and fried foods. It is celebrated according to the Hebrew calendar to be the 25th day of Kislev, which can be November to December in the Gregorian calendar. Hanukkah in 2021 is from November 28 - December 6.
Kwanzaa is an African-American and Pan African cultural celebration held from December 26 to January 1, and was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga. Kwanzaa is in part inspired by the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning "first fruits," and African first fruits and southern solstice traditions that take place December to January. Kwanzaa celebrates family, community, and culture. Families and communities organize activities around Nguzo Saba or The Seven Principles: Umoja Unity, Kujichagulia Self-Determination, Ujima Collective Work and Responsibility, Ujamaa Cooperative Economics, Nia Purpose, Kuumba Creativity, and Imani Faith. Activities include feasts, music, dance, poetry, and storytelling, culminating in a bigger celebration on the 6th day. Folks often celebrate today alongside Christmas and New Years. Having met Dr. Karenga through work with the AB 1460 CSU Ethnic Studies Requirement in the past year, I wish I had known this before!
Christmas is a Christian religious holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, Palestine, according to prophecy. With no room at the city’s inn, Christ was born in a manger. Christmas’s name is a combination of Christ and mass, and in the 4th century, the church fixed the date to correspond with the Roman calendar's winter solstice date. While some branches celebrate the date to this or a Julian calendar, the Gregorian calendar recognizes December 25. Christmas is often today also celebrated as a secular holiday at the center of many civic winter breaks. Christmas as many know it also incorporates many Germanic peoples’ pagan winter solstice traditions, such as bringing in evergreen tree boughs into the home to help ward off bad things in the wintertime. An evergreen tree or boughs also were to remind everyone that the plants will grow again in the spring. In the 16th century, it is believed Christian Martin Luther was the first person to add candles to a tree, inspired by a walk home at night seeing the stars twinkle between evergreen trees.
Festival of Lights: Diwali 
By Dr. Meenal Rana and Sophia Bernardino 
What is Diwali? 
Diwali, also known as Deepawali (a Sanskrit word for the rows of lamps), symbolizes the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance . The festival is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains in India and around the world with their own meanings and historical foundations. Diwali commemorates the end of harvest season for farmers and auspicious beginnings for businessmen. 
Five Days of Diwali
The celebrations last for five days, with the main Diwali event on day three, which is the darkest night of the Lunisolar calendar month--Kartik. 
Day One, “Dhanteras”: Prayers are offered to Goddess Laxmi for prosperity and wealth (material, spiritual, and knowledge). The day is considered auspicious to purchase something new.
Day Two, “Narak Chaudas'': People clean their houses and businesses; they decorate them with lamps and rangolis--a colorful pattern made with flowers or sand on the floor. This is a time for reflection and inner cleansing of negative thoughts. Prayers and food are included in the day.
Day Three, Diwali: People decorate their homes, businesses, and temples by lighting candles and lamps. The day signifies the return of Lord Rama after a 14-year long exile to his Kingdom. Families and communities pray together and share sweets and food.
Day Four, Govardhan Puja: This is an auspicious day for farmers. People worship Lord Krishna. 
Day Five, Bhai Dooj: The day signifies the love of brother and sister and responsibility toward each other. 
Contemporary Contexts of Diwali
Regardless of different belief systems and historical foundations, in contemporary contexts, Diwali means spending time with family and friends, sharing food and gifts, taking time to clean spaces, reflecting, spreading light and joy, beginning something new, and showing the spirit of giving. Over the years the use of firecrackers on Diwali has declined with increased environmental responsibility to combat air and noise pollution. People have also been cognizant to not use food grains to make Rangolis to avoid wastage.
Diwali Celebrations at Humboldt State University: Reflections from Meenal Rana
Little did I know in 2013, the year I joined HSU, that we would be celebrating Diwali each year, in spite of fewer people of Indian origin in Humboldt. With a dedicated group of students (from ADPIC, SJEIC, GCC, CDA, and AS), staff, faculty, and community members, we have been celebrating the festival annually in fall. Students, who engage in organizing the celebrations, are not there just for fun; they join us with curiosity, openness to learn new traditions and cultural practices, intention to create learning opportunities, and with utmost respect for diversity. The event started with the goals to 1) bridge campus and community connections; 2) create an opportunity to challenge stereotypes and discourage cultural appropriation; 3) foster a sense of community for our students, staff, and faculty; 4) encourage appreciation for diversity while connecting on common grounds; and 5) enjoy various traditions of Diwali. The event was regularly attended by 250 to 300 students/faculty/staff/local businesses/community members each year.
In 2020, we pivoted the celebrations to a virtual space. The Zoom Diwali celebrations have been popular during the pandemic, expanding them to the global community. For the last two years, the event has been attended by participants from different parts of the U.S., India, Singapore, and Canada along with the HSU community. The online environment has allowed cultural sharing by people across the globe. During last year’s event, an 8-yr old accompanying his mother from Humboldt was astonished to see the daylight in India when it was night time here; it sparked great discussion in the breakout room.
This year’s event (Nov 12th, 2021), facilitated by Andrew Cha (ADPIC President), started with an opening peace prayer from our guest, Hemant Malik from the greater Seattle area, “May everyone be happy; May everyone be free from all diseases; May everyone see auspiciousness in everything; May none ever feel sorrow; Aum, Peace, Peace, Peace.” 
Another guest, Paarth Chothani from the Bay area, shared the significance and description of Diwali. Monica Kapoor, the Broadway artist, facilitated Bollywood dance from her home studio in New Jersey. Reena Dabas from Singapore, Brandon Mark (an HSU alum), and Marylyn Paik-Nicely (Retired HSU staff) shared their personal experiences of Diwali celebrations. Mandeep Kaur, an employee at the Public Affairs, American Embassy in India, shared the ways pandemic has affected families in India, “This year many people welcomed Diwali with heavy hearts due to personal losses and overall stress of the pandemic”. The celebrations ended with raffle draws for HSU students. The students received a $20 gift coupon to Tandoori Bites, the Indian restaurant in Eureka. 
In closing, I would like to share the ancestral wisdom that I picked up as a child during the annual Diwali visits to my father’s village in Northern India. On Diwali, with a few grains in hands, we would say one of the following prayers: 1) When there was an abundance of harvest and the family was healthy, the prayer would be “May Diwali come with the same spirit next year” and 2) During the rough times, we would say “May next year’s Diwali come with a better spirit than this year”. With these prayers, I learned the virtues of gratitude and hope
Supporting LGBTQIA+ People during the Holidays
By Dr. Ben Graham
Winter break can bring celebration and relief, but also anxiety and/or sadness for LGBTQ+ folks. Some students and others go home to a range of acceptance from family, while others, for a host of reasons, do not go home at all. The Trevor Project’s Trevor Space is an online community space that supports LGBTQIA+ young people to connect. The Trevor Project has good resources that might be helpful to LGBTQIA+ folks who are navigating the winter break, and includes a 24/7 chat and phone line.










  Zoom registration

This year's event will take place via zoom on Thursday, January 27 from 3:00 to 4:30pm. Stan is the coauthor of Wherever There's a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Suffragists, Immigrants, Strikers, and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in California and Fred Korematsu Speaks Up. He is the co-editor of two books, Highway 99: A Literary Journey Through California’s Great Central Valley (1996) and Asian American Literature: An Annotated Bibliography (1988). His essays have appeared in the San Francisco ChronicleLos Angeles Daily Journal, and academic journals and anthologies. He co-curated the traveling exhibits Art of Survival: Enduring the Turmoil of Tule Lake and Wherever There’s a Fight: A History of Civil Liberties in California. He is a co-chair of Okaeri, a group of LGBTQ+ identified Japanese Americans, and he is also a co-curator of Seen and Unseen: Queering JA History Before 1945 online exhibit about LGBTQ+ Japanese American history.
Facilitated by Christina Hsu Accomando, Ph.D., Department of English, and Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies (CRGS) and Michihiro C. Sugata, Ph.D, Department of Sociology and Criminology & Justice Studies at Humboldt State University with partnership from Asian Desi Pacific Islanders Collective (ADPIC), Student Life, HSU Library, and Humboldt Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity.



The Progress Pride Scholarship has just officially launched.  Up for grabs are two $10k college scholarships -- the Foundation's largest scholarship awards ever -- for those who identify as BIPOC and LGBTQ and who have a demonstrated record of positive service to the BIPOC and LGBTQ communities.  Undergrad and graduate students may apply.
An essay is all that's required up front, due January 15, 2022.  Open to all U.S. university students.  Awardee(s) will be selected in early 2022 and will then need to furnish a résumé/CV.

Principles of Community for Inclusive Excellence

Accountability for Results
We are accountable for our own results. Accountability means more than just doing our job. It includes an obligation to make ourselves and our policies and practices better, to pursue inclusive excellence, and to engage in ways that further HSU’s purpose and vision. Being accountable means that we are self-reflective and answerable for our actions and the actions of our teams.
We welcome, value, and affirm all members of our community, including their various abilities, contributions, ideas, intersectional identities, skills, and talents. We create and nurture environments that support the living, well-being and belonging of all community members, with particular focus on minoritized groups.
Compassionate Collaboration
We genuinely broaden our understanding of others’ experiences and life journeys, and build rapport grounded in mutual trust and respect. We co-create positive environments necessary for our integrated work to flourish and support the purpose and vision of HSU. We listen and prioritize the voices of minoritized community members to drive the change for how to best meet the identified historical and contemporary needs of the groups and build resilient communities.
Care and Confidentiality
We believe in care of the individual and the community that is everyone’s responsibility. We strive to earn and maintain each other’s trust in our personal and professional lives. We listen with compassion, support individual and collective growth, see all of us as a work in progress, and keep confidential information entrusted with us whenever necessary.
Cultural Humility
We strive to grow in our cultural humility and adopt the four principles first brought forth by Drs. Melanie Tervalon and Jann Murray Garcia. First to critically self-reflect and be lifelong learners; second to recognize and mitigate inherent power imbalances; third, create mutually beneficial non-paternalistic relationships with community members, highlighting the expertise that resides in the community, and away from the university; and fourth to have institutional accountability and alignment.
We act ethically, honestly, and with trust in all our interactions. We believe that conflict is an opportunity for growth and aim to conduct HSU’s business without causing harm. When harm is caused, we see repair as an occasion to deepen our understanding of each other and grow stronger individually, as an institution, and as a community. We are accountable for our actions.
Ongoing Learning
We engage in the continuous improvement of personal and professional skills. Continuous learning and improvement supports the development of our full potential as individuals, teams, and as a University community. We are eager to learn – and to share our knowledge and experience with one another. We foster a culture of continuous learning and quality improvement which will have a direct and positive impact on our ultimate success.
We honor and affirm the dignity inherent in all of us and in all people, and we strive to maintain a climate of equity and justice demonstrated by respect for one another. We are committed to freedom of expression, critical discourse, and the advancement of knowledge. We strive to overcome historical and divisive biases in our community and society.