Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

At Dominican, we are committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, and a culture that is welcoming and supportive of all.

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Diversity Strengthens Our Community

A message from campus leadership

Honoring Juneteenth

Declaration on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Dominican University of California declares its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion through enjoining the campus community to uphold and further a shared vision of “unity in  diversity.”

Our heritage is informed by a commitment to pluralism, defined by our understanding that our community draws strength from our differences. Dominican seeks to nurture attitudes and behaviors that promote global awareness, inclusive sensibilities, and respect for individuals’ diverse experiences and identities, across such categories as race, ethnicity, language, gender, sex, sexuality, age, socioeconomic status, religion, and/or ability. 

Consistent with the above declaration and Dominican values, the University exhorts every member of the community to support and express their active commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion using the guiding principles stated below:

  • All members of the University community are collectively responsible for enabling and institutionalizing diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the University.
  • All members of the University community should consider diversity, equity, and inclusion constructively in all planning, policy, decision-making, procedural, academic, and administrative operations throughout the University.
  • All members of the University community should refuse to accept any behavior or action that is diversity-intolerant, exclusionary, insensitive, and/or discriminatory.
  • All members of the University community should promote a campus environment that continuously works for greater equity through leveling access of opportunity for all of its participants, irrespective of experience and identity, which includes but is not limited to the categories listed above.

Diversity in Action

The Diversity Action Group (DAG) is a standing committee of faculty, staff, administration, and students charged with the mission of advocating for, and creating a diversity sensitive institutional environment at Dominican for all stakeholders.

DAG members are involved in community building efforts on campus, such as facilitating professional development workshops and campus conversations. 

DAG also identifies diversity-related institutional challenges and suggests pathways to meet these challenges. The current five-year Strategic Diversity Plan delineates some of these pathways.

Membership is open to all campus constituents and we strive to be a committee that equitably represents the diversity of the University community, including but not limited to the categories of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, class, age, ability, and religious belief. To join, please email dei@dominican.edu.

Diversity Awards

The Melba Beals Awards for Excellence in Diversity have historically recognized current students, faculty, and staff who have actively engaged with others in advancing diversity and inclusion in our community. We are currently reconfiguring these awards as grants to encourage individuals and groups on campus to continue this important work. 

2018
Emanuel Cifuentes Machado (student)
Noreen Hasan (student) and the SDAC (Student Diversity Action Committee)

2017
Kylie Timmerman (student)
Olivia Catolico, Nursing (faculty)
Casey Halcro, Human Resources (staff)

2016
Jennessica Holliday (student)
LeeAnn Bartolini (faculty)
 

Dr. Beals joined Dominican in 1999 after a successful career as a print and broadcast journalist. 

Shortly after joining Dominican, Dr. Beals founded a communications program that has grown into the Department of Communications and Media Studies. During her 11 years of service, first as director and then as chair, Dr. Beals led the department as it grew in terms of enrollment and academic programming. 

Thanks to her leadership, the Department responded swiftly to the rapidly changing media industry. As the news broadcasting and publishing industries merged with video and web formats, the department broadened to reflect this media convergence. Students gained the opportunity to write across media and learn new technologies such as podcasting, broadcasting, and production of enriched online viewer experiences.

The department also expanded to enable students to pursue their studies along more specialized paths. Today the Department of Communications and Media Studies offers courses in cinema studies, print media, broadcasting, corporate communications, and sports communications.

Dr. Beals introduced several programs that allowed students to gain real-world experiences while studying communications at Dominican. She oversaw development and growth of Radio.Dominican.edu, the university’s student-operated Internet radio station, as well as The Habit, the student-managed newspaper. Dr. Beals helped to establish the Bettie Grinnell Communications Lab in Archbishop Alemany Library, leading fundraising efforts to upgrade the lab and collaborating on the design and layout.

Since 2001, Dr. Beals has been a founding member of the Diversity Action Group, which is credited with collaboratively transforming Dominican into a diversity affirming institution at a time when the University’s student body was becoming increasingly diverse. In 2012, Dr. Beals created the TORCH (Together on the Road to New Chapters) leadership program designed to support students entering Dominican with a structured orientation program followed by ongoing mentoring. 

Just as her work at Dominican is defined by her commitment to our students, Dr. Beals’ life is defined by her commitment to equality for all. She is a true champion of justice and equity. 

Dr. Beals was one of nine African-American high school students in 1957 to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Under protection of the 101st Airborne dispatched by President Eisenhower, she, and eight other African American youths, integrated the previously all-white Central High School as one of the Little Rock Nine, defying mobs and death threats to tear down walls of segregation. A detailed account of this history making incident may be found in her award-winning memoir, Warriors Don’t Cry, which has been translated into five different languages.

Warriors won the 1994 American Library Association Award for Nonfiction Book of the Year, was named a Notable Book of the year by the American Booksellers Association, and received the coveted Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Writing. A play based on her autobiography was produced by The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. The play has been performed in New York City and throughout New England. 

Dr. Beals holds more than 100 awards for heroism and courage. In 1999, the U.S. Congress voted Dr. Beals and her Little Rock Nine companions the Congressional Gold Medal — the nation’s highest honor — for their contribution to the Civil Rights movement. In 2002, Dr. Beals was named to the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame. In 2012, she was honored by the Marin Human Rights Commission.

In 2007, in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the integration of Central High School, the U.S. Postal Service issued a postage stamp to honor the Little Rock Nine. The Post Office's stamp was one of 10 commemorative postage stamps in a series called "To Form a More Perfect Union." That same year, Dr. Beals and the other eight members of the Little Rock Nine attended the unveiling of a life-size statue of all nine on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol. The sculpture depicts the Little Rock Nine walking together, books in hand, as they did in 1957 entering the historic high school. Also in 2007, the United States Mint issued the Little Rock Central High School Desegregation silver dollar. 

Dr. Beals has had successful careers in journalism and public relations, holding posts as an on-camera television reporter for KQED’s noted Newsroom and as an NBC-TV news reporter, and as a radio news talk show host for KGO, ABC radio, San Francisco. Her articles have appeared in People, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday magazine.

Dr. Beals earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from San Francisco State University and a graduate certificate in journalism and media granted by the Ford Foundation and Columbia University. In 2009, she received her doctoral degree in international multicultural studies from the University of San Francisco.

Dr. Melba Beals retired from Dominican as Chair Emeritus of the Department of Communications and Media Studies in January 2014.

The Dominican Community

Diverse, equitable and inclusive. 

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23%

First Generation

Undergraduate students who are the first generation in their family to attend college

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66%

Diversity

Undergraduate students who identify as ethnically diverse.

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11th

In Social Mobility

Ranked as a top school in Stanford research for increasing social mobility.

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Diversity and Inclusion Plan

The Diversity Action Group (DAG) has developed the framework of Dominican’s new Diversity and Inclusion Plan.

Diversity and Inclusion Plan Framework
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Student Services and Resources

Learn more about the different resources, activities, clubs and leadership opportunities that support inclusive student experiences on campus.

Student Services and Resources Getting Involved
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Human Resources

Human Resources helps attract, retain and grow a talented and diverse workforce.

Human Resources
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Global Education

Fostering an appreciation of cultural diversity and global interdependence is a fundamental part of your Dominican education.

Global Education

Diversity Action Committee Co-Chairs

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George Faithful, PhD

Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy
Nnekay FitzClarke headshot

Nnekay FitzClarke, MLIS

Reference and Instructional Librarian Co-Chair Diversity Action Group
Amy Wong headshot

Amy R. Wong, PhD

Assistant Professor of English