Center for Inclusion and Diversity

The Center for Inclusion and Diversity (CID) at the University of San Diego serves the campus by coordinating, advocating, and assessing diversity and inclusion efforts across the institution.

As a community of inquiry, the CID cultivates questions of difference and mutuality across curricular and co-curricular contexts. The University of San Diego holds deep commitment to developing and sustaining a diverse campus community in the broadest sense, including differences in gender, race, ethnicity, generational history, culture, socioeconomic class, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship status, political perspectives, geographic origin, and physical ability.

September 2018

Message from Esteban del Rio, Associate Provost and Chief Diversity Officer

Dear Friends on Campus and in the Community, 

I would like to welcome you to the new semester by acknowledging that the land on which our community gathers is the traditional and unceded territory of the Kumeyaay Nation. I want to pay respect to the citizens of the Kumeyaay Nation, both past and present, and their continuing relationship with their ancestral lands.

You may have heard a land acknowledgement like this in your classes or meetings as the semester began. Thanks to the leadership of Perse Lewis, Tribal Liaison and Professor of Practice, as well as student organizing, our community increasingly begins things with this fundamental starting-point for weaving inclusion and social justice in all that we do.

The Center for Inclusion and Diversity continues to advocate for deeper commitments to diversity and inclusion across campus this semester, with coordinating partnerships with the Center for Educational Excellence, College of Arts & Sciences, Human Resources, Center for Catholic Thought and Culture, Mulvaney Center, and Changemaker HUB. We are excited to support Ethnic Studies’ Labovitz-Perez Lecture in October and engage with Envision 2024 by supporting work to make USD more accessible to low-income students and growing the diversity of our faculty.

For STUDENTS, we will send a delegation to the activist-oriented bi-annual meeting, Facing Race in Detroit. We also invite students who seek to organize around equity, diversity, and inclusion on campus to use the CID as a way to operationalize your ideas.

For FACULTY, we invite you to be a part of a reading group this year, with two meetings per semester, around the book On Being Included by cultural studies scholar Sarah Amhed. We are ordering copies – please let us know if you are interested in being part of our conversations and would like a copy.

For STAFF, we continue to convene the JEDI Professionals (staff whose positions center on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) for professional development and reflection, and offer consultation for how teams can advance equity, diversity, and inclusion in your work.

For the COMMUNITY, we partner with the Mulvaney Center to provide resources and opportunities for deeper relationships based on mutuality and democratic partnerships.

For ALL – the CID is a resources for anyone who experiences or sees things happening that do not reflect our mission of “building a diverse and inclusive community.” Please come to our office (Maher Hall 253) and we will get to work on it.

Best regards,

Esteban del Río, Ph.D.


April 2018

Message from Esteban del Rio, Associate Provost, regarding a Time of Discernment

We in the CID have begun to convene a consideration of past action and hopes and challenges for the future under the theme “A Time of Discernment.” These sessions have invited participants to reflect on their experiences and contribute to our collective discernment regarding our shared future.

The Envision 2024 Professional Learning Community, organized in partnership with the CEE, Mulvaney Center, and the Changemaker HUB, has seen participants engaged with community partners in Seattle, New Orleans, and Tijuana this semester. In New Orleans, we met with our friends at Grow Dat, Tulane University, an  the Community Book Center (CBC) We invited Bishop Cheri into the CBC space to discuss black Catholicism with the community, including USD faculty and staff. We also met with the Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ) community.

 As we described earlier this semester, the Center for Inclusion and Diversity is undertaking a series of conversations that reflect on our actions and our future themed “A Time of Discernment.” The first gathering featured Dr. del Río offering extended comments reflecting on his work over the previous five academic years, and joining with others to begin to discern some of the bigger steps we must take as a campus community. You can view the address here:


February 2018

Message from Esteban Del Rio, Associate Provost, regarding CID Update Spring 2018

 As a university and as a community, we find ourselves in 2018 at a pivotal moment regarding diversity, inclusion, and social justice.

 Colleagues working across our campus, prophetic student voices, and lessons from community partnerships have contributed to a growth of diversity on our campus. Currently, 38% of our students identify as people of color, up from 32% in 2012. Among tenure-line and tenured faculty, 25% identify as people of color. This number was 18% in 2012. Continuing to increase the numbers of people from underrepresented and underserved backgrounds on our campus is necessary for academic quality and expresses our mission confidently.

This results in many ways from faculty and staff working hard, in some cases squeezing water from stones, around our recruitment efforts. From the Faculty Toolkit to enrollment management efforts, we have a good understanding of what works, and what is needed to move the needle further. At the CID, we will continue to push for innovation, and invite from our community contributions, catalyzing ideas, and action to these ends.

 The work now becomes more difficult. How do we reflect, discern, and recommit to diversity, inclusion, and social justice in all of our functions across the organization? How do we instill these values and practices in professional and academic habits and assumptions to truly transform the university in the direction of our mission? Envision 2024 asks us to as well, as we have won high prioritization of DISJ in our institutional planning. Everything is set up for progress and big strides in this work, but we need to start from a new place.

 At the CID, we will convene students, faculty, and staff this semester to build community around this moment, with announcements to follow.

Much of our work in the CID is advocacy, with support of key partners who develop programs. As an update for this academic year, the CID focuses on the following work:

1. Professional Learning Community (PLC): Our 2017/2018 PLC was convened in September in partnership with the Mulvaney Center, Changemaker HUB, College of Arts & Sciences, and Center for Education Excellence. This diverse group develops leadership capacity and recommendations around our strategic planning process. We find it vital to build community around the pathways and goals that Envision 2024 sets forth. Last semester, this group met monthly and participated in a local engagement experience in Barrio Logan. This semester, the group will participate in an off-site experience with community partners in Tijuana, Seattle, and New Orleans.  

2. Accompanying Immigrants & Refugees: The CID continues to support the work of Maria Silva and Greg Preito in their leadership supporting our DACA students and discerning how we best accompany our students, colleagues, and community partners at a time of national foment targeting non-citizens. Greg Prieto and I attended a pre-conference on Immigration at the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities annual meeting, and he and I interviewed Archbishop Cardinal Tobin on “accompaniment” for ACCU’s Leaders in Higher Education Program. 

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3. Faculty Recruitment & Development: We continue to refine faculty recruitment efforts, looking forward to results from this year’s hires that advances faculty diversity and quality. We have undertaken discernment around tenure and promotion practices to include commitments to diversity and inclusion, as well as strengthening the Diversity Postdoctoral Program to create change for both Postdoctoral faculty as well as hosting departments.

4. Office of Tribal Liaison: The CID continues to support the work of the Office of Tribal Liaison, which this year has included the opening of the Kumeyaay Garden and creating community for Native students.

Many other items are before us. But for now, we would like to continue to invite you to join with us in solidarity to cultivate change on our campus in the direction of our mission and vision.

Best regards,

Dr. del Río


16 August 2017

Message from President Harris to the campus community regarding the recent events at Charlottesville

Over the past week I, like so many people in our country, have been deeply disturbed, dismayed and saddened by the horrific events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia. As a university community committed to respecting the dignity and humanity of all people, we are compelled to soundly and unequivocally denounce the hatred and racism that provoked the violence... Continue reading

9 March 2017

Message from Esteban Del Rio, Associate Provost, regarding President Trump's travel ban

“The Gospel of the marginalized is where our credibility is at stake, is discovered and is revealed!” – Pope Francis, 2015

On Monday, President Trump signed an Executive order banning people traveling from six Muslim-majority nations for 90 days and banning all refugees from entering the United States for 120 days...Continue reading


 Read archived messages from the associate provost.

National Immigration Dialogue: Impact on Higher Education National Immigration Dialogue Website Visit the new one-stop website for statements, resources and latest news related to the national immigration dialogue. If you would like guidance navigating these resources, contact the CID to speak to someone.

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