​The State System and its universities are committed to cultivating diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments that allow all members of the State System community to thrive.​

Success Highlights

Bloomsburg University's Sankofa Conference is an annual program hosted by the Multicultural Center, designed to help students lear​n, understand, and appreciate the rich cultural heritage of people of African descent. It promotes unity and understanding among students and a forum for discussion and learning.

California University is partnering with local organizations on an after-school program to improve student behavior and academic motivation. Monessen Positive Action (MPACT) is a collaboration between the Monessen School District, Cal U, Monessen Communities That Care and the Monessen Public Library. It is funded by a two-year, $153,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency obtained by Dr. Mathilda Spencer, associate professor of criminal justice at Cal U.

As Cheyney University remained focused on maintaining a safe and healthy campus from the very start of the pandemic, the leadership team was also busy creating a unique way to establish a point of excellence at the university. What started as an idea to showcase the university’s success in handling equity and inclusion for students and staff, the Breaking Barriers Series quickly evolved into an innovative program that has placed Cheyney at the forefront of addressing two major pandemics – Covid-19 and the civil unrest.

Jada Smith, a member of the Clarion University women’s basketball team, has been speaking up when she sees injustice since she was a young child. She was in 8th grade when she first took action. Smith initiated her own scholarship, and since then, started a non-profit organization called Scholars with Athletic/Academic/Artistic Goals.

The COVID-19 pandemic and primarily remote learning upset student life in 2020 as never before. But so did national unrest surrounding racial injustice, along with the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. Both disruptions were the focus of the 2020 Inclusion Poster Project, a collaboration between philosophy and graphic design students at East Stroudsburg University, which is now in its third year. The goal of the project is for students from different disciplines to work together, coming up with a message and design that encourage ESU’s commitment to create a welcoming environment for a diverse community.

The virtual “Diversity Dialogues” series at Edinboro University was designed and produced to connect faculty and industry experts in Latinx culture, race relations, current events, Black History Month, self-care and mental health with the student population and community audiences. The showcase is published on Edinboro’s official YouTube channel and livestreamed across the university’s social media channel. These ongoing conversations deliver the in-depth – often difficult – conversations to the public for open discussion and feedback.

Black history is often celebrated by recognizing trailblazers from Martin Luther King Jr. to Maya Angelou, from Sojourner Truth to Serena Williams. Indiana University, too, has its pioneers—its earliest Black students. Most became teachers or were trained to be. One was a champion for children’s mental health. 

Kutztown University is a campus partner with AmeriCorps and Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development (PHENND). Designed as a college completion and success strategy, the Next Steps AmeriCorps Program engages students in part-time AmeriCorps service. The Next Steps AmeriCorps Program is for rising sophomores and juniors who are graduates of high-poverty school districts such as the School District of Philadelphia.

The Lock Haven University Department of Athletics established a Social Justice Task Force. The mission of the Social Justice Task Force is to promote an enriching and supportive climate that allows every student-athlete to succeed. The Task Force seeks to collaborate with various units across the university to provide a comprehensive, community-wide approach to diversity, inclusivity and equity.

Students expressed their ambitions through art as part of Mansfield University's Multicultural Affairs' Paint Your Dreams event for Black History Month. The finished works will be included in North Hall Library's Cultural Artwork Display.

Millersville University has a month worth of events aimed at educating and celebrating Black Heritage Month, also known as Black History Month, which runs through the month of February. Events, contests, educational training and more are held virtually through several of Millersville’s departments.

Shippensburg University President Laurie Carter shared a message to the campus community reinforcing her commitment to inclusive excellence and ensuring that all of the community is welcomed as part of the Ship family. She shared her thoughts as the 17th president, and first woman and first African-American President of the university.  

Slippery Rock University has joined the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education as an institutional member. The NADOHE, an organization with more than 1,100 members representing 750 colleges and universities, serves as the voice for chief diversity officers in higher education. NADOHE's mission is to lead higher education towards inclusive excellence through institutional transformation.

Every Wednesday in the 2019-2020 academic year, three young adults with developmental disabilities served a church supper at the United Methodist Church of West Chester with the aid of West Chester University associate nutrition professor Jeanie Subach and three of her nutrition students. Knowing that these individuals would be affected when the pandemic caused the church to stop the weekly supper, Subach sought a different way to engage them. That effort became Ram Chefs, which now connects seven young adults with developmental disabilities with seven nutrition students for a weekly one-on-one meal prep and cooking lesson via Zoom.​​