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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

HSS aspires to be a diverse community that welcomes, includes, and respects people from all walks of life. We recognize diversity as not just an ideal but a practice, one that requires all members of the division to be purposeful in bringing together people with a variety of identities, experiences, and perspectives. In HSS, diversity means increasing non-white members (Black, Latin(x)/Hispanic, Asian, Indigenous, and immigrant), women, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, first-generation scholars, and people from a variety of socioeconomic positions. In a country with a long history of racial injustice and discrimination, practicing diversity also involves a conscious recognition of the enduring impact of the past and the ways that past inflects our present working environment. 

The practice of diversity encompasses how and what we teach. We are committed to pedagogy that engages, motivates, and supports students from all backgrounds and reflects the full range of methods and materials in our fields of study. 

Inclusion is more than just an openness to diversity. It requires that we all commit to replacing a passive mode of openness with an active pursuit of difference. Inclusion means creating an environment where members of a diverse community can engage in challenging dialogue with one another and are supported in their efforts to do so. It also means creating and sustaining conditions that allow everyone, including the most marginalized, to do their best work possible.

HSS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Jennifer Jahner (Humanities, co-chair)
Omer Tamuz (Social Sciences, co-chair)
Sumit Goel (graduate student representative)
Susanne Hall (Humanities)
Brian Jacobson (Humanities)
Dean Mobbs (Social Sciences)
Anne Sullivan (postdoc representative)

Contact Us

Have a question or comment for the committee? Please reach out to any of our committee members by email, or consider requesting a Listening Session. We held Listening Sessions over Zoom for the 2020-21 academic year. We'll announce our plans for 2021-22 soon.


To report a concern regarding equity, harassment, misconduct, or discrimination with the Title IX office, please use this form.

HSS Activities

  • The Critical Intersections: Conversations on History, Race, and Science lecture series focused on the history leading up to and beyond eugenics for its inaugural year of 2020-2021. Assistant Professor of History Maura Dykstra and University Archivist Peter Collopy received the Caltech Center for Diversity and Inclusion's 2021 Dr. Fred Shair Programming Diversity Award for their efforts in organizing this series. A list of past events is available here, and upcoming events are here.
  • The HSS Division Chair's Visitors Program enables HSS graduate students, postdocs, and faculty to invite scholars to Caltech who belong to groups historically excluded from our primary disciplines. The program aims to foster collaboration and new research and mentorship opportunities, both for scholars outside of Caltech and scholars within Caltech. For further information, please email Jennifer Jahner and Omer Tamuz.
  • HSS Reads is a summer book group in which all members of HSS are invited to participate. The first meeting will be in August 2021, when we will read Sara Ahmed's On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (Duke University Press, 2012). Small- and large-group discussions will be moderated by HSS members, with support from CCID. Further details will be forthcoming, and a link to the E-book is available through the Caltech Library (log in with Access credentials).
  • The Chen Institute Women in Neuroscience aims to support the careers and education of women in neuroscience through invited talks, networking and career development opportunities, recruitment efforts, and advocacy for an improved campus climate.

Resources Beyond Caltech