HDFS Task Force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Chair: Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth (f)

Assigned Members: Kristine Marceau (f), Rob Duncan (f), German Posada (f)

Volunteers: Maxwell Golden (u), Paola Gonzalez (u), Yemimah King (g), Elizabeth Coppola (g), Rena Sterrett (s), Sherry Coffing (s), Deanna Holderfield (s), Tanya Paes (p) Sarah Eason (f), Elliot Friedman (f), AJ Schwichtenberg (f).

(a = Administration, f=Faculty, s=Staff, p=postdoc, g=Graduate student, u=Undergraduate student)


  1. We welcome the contributions of every interested member of the HDFS community in our collective efforts to promote DEI.

  2. We aim to embed policies and practices promoting diversity, equity and inclusion into the ‘DNA’ of the department.

  3. We aim to achieve meaningful and measurable impact through specific strategies, targets and metrics.

  4. We acknowledge multiple forms of diversity, including but not limited to race & ethnicity, class, gender, culture, neurodiversity, and sexual orientation. We acknowledge the unique strengths and perspectives of each identity and the intersectionality between multiple identities.


  • Task Force members completed a preliminary scan of a) DEI statements from other organizations; b) our departmental self-study; c) resources for assessing DEI; d) common DEI metrics; e) resources regarding equity; f) resources regarding diversity and inclusion; g) models for neurodiversity; h) model supports for graduate students.

  • Members of the HDFS community – undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, and faculty – participated in listening sessions to discuss our departmental values and strategies related to DEI. All members of the HDFS community were invited to participate and were able to submit anonymous input via a Qualtrics survey if preferred or if unable to attend listening sessions.”


  • The task force has obtained support from the department head for changes to the departmental colloquium course that will ensure and enshrine attention to diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education, underrepresented groups, and structural inequalities. A petition to the graduate committee is being prepared.

  • Changes are being made to the departmental website to add information about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts, and to faculty websites to be more transparent about involvement in DEI training and programs.

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