Our Work

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Our Values

UMass Amherst has a long-standing commitment to social progress and social justice. We value diversity and equity and strive for inclusive excellence in our classrooms, research labs, dorms, and beyond. All campus community members seek to uphold the following values of diversity, equity, and inclusion: 

  • The University of Massachusetts Amherst, as a public land-grant institution, has a responsibility to provide access and opportunities for all people while demonstrating a commitment to inclusion of historically underrepresented groups.

  • The University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to ensuring freedom of expression and dialogue among diverse groups in a community defined by mutual respect.
  • Historical and structural biases based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion exist in our nation and have influenced the history of our institution.
  • Institutions of higher education are entrusted with significant resources and commensurably significant responsibilities. UMass Amherst affirms its responsibility by creating and ensuring a respectful, safe, and inclusive campus for all members of the community.
  • The University of Massachusetts Amherst does not tolerate incidents of discrimination, assault, harassment, threats, intimidation, profiling, or coercion based on membership or perceived membership in a particular racial, religious, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation group nor based on color, national origin, disability, or veteran status. Such acts are antithetical to the values of the campus and damage individuals and the free and open environment of the university. 

The Office of Inclusion and Equity was launched in fall 2017 as a way to guide the institution's efforts related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Learn more about our ongoing work below.

Diversity and Inclusion Mission Statement

The University of Massachusetts Amherst, as a public land-grant institution, has a responsibility to provide access and opportunities for all people, while demonstrating our commitment to inclusion of historically underrepresented groups. We believe that a culturally diverse campus is integral to academic excellence and that our students, faculty, and staff should reflect the diverse world in which we live.

The university recognizes and values the wide range of voices and perspectives in all spheres of the academic enterprise. The University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to policies that promote inclusiveness, social justice, and respect for all, regardless of race, color, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, age, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, political belief or affiliation, marital status, veteran status, immigration status, gender identity and expression, genetic information, or any other characteristic or status protected by state or federal laws.

Initiatives

ADVANCE Program

UMass Amherst was just awarded a 5-year $3 million ADVANCE Institutional Transformation (IT) grant to support our efforts at advancing gender equity. Learn More About ADVANCE.

Building a Community of Dignity and Respect

The Building a Community of Dignity and Respect campaign promotes a community that honors differences, where interactions are thoughtful, and the humanity of everyone is seen.

Campus Climate

The Campus Climate Survey reflects perceptions about inclusiveness of the campus community. Read the overview, explore unit reports, or dive into our Frequently Asked Questions.

Campus Climate Improvement Grants

Campus Climate Improvement Grants encourage faculty, staff, and students to play an active role and bring their creativity to the work of improving our campus climate. We fund projects and activities that promote understanding and learning, as well as invest in relationship-building across difference in the campus community. Learn more.

Dignity and Respect in Action: Community Conversations

These conversations are a continuation of the spring 2018 Campus Climate Conversations, and will explore ideas around dignity and respect, the challenges and fears we face when having difficult or sensitive conversations, what this means for us individually and collectively, and how we can work to create a campus environment that rejects hate and embraces our ideals of respect, dignity, and inclusion. Learn more.

Hate Has No Home at UMass

The Hate Has No Home at UMass initiative seeks to unite the campus in defense of diversity and inclusion.

International Education Week

In partnership with the International Programs Office and the Office of Equity and Inclusion, UMass observes International Education Week (IEW) to celebrate international exchange, the richness of cultures from around the world, education and community. Learn more about International Education Week or watch the video commemmorating IEW.

Learning Communities

If you have ever found yourself wondering if you’ve said the wrong thing or been culturally insensitive, or if you want to connect more effectively and be more inclusive to those around you, then join a Learning Community. We will be reading and discussing “What if I Say the Wrong Thing?” by Vernā Myers. Participants in last year's Learning Community who have already read Myers' book can continue to participate with the 2019-20 book by Brene Brown.  Learn more.

STRIDE Faculty Development Workshops

These workshops are intended for faculty members with an important role in faculty recruitment efforts (e.g., search committee chairs and members, and other key faculty). This two-hour training reviews research driven best practices to recruit for diversity and excellence across every stage in the search process and is designed to help faculty produce diverse candidate pools and run effective searches. Learn More.

University Tribal Liaison and Fostering Native American Community

Through the position of University Tribal Liaison created in 2017, UMass Amherst is expanding its commitment to developing stronger relationships with tribes throughout Massachusetts and the region. The Tribal Liaison leads the University Native American Advisory Council (comprised of Massachusetts tribal representatives), which provides guidance on undertakings, collaborations and partnerships between tribes and UMass Amherst. The Liaison also oversees compliance with and University policies regarding the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, or NAGPRA. An internal Working Group has also been created, focused on the intersections of campus life related to Native American students and studies, including student life (such as recruitment, retention and success), resources for Native undergraduate and graduate students, and Native American and Indigenous Studies.

Contact

301 Whitmore Administration Building
181 Presidents Dr
Amherst, MA 01003

413-545-5703
​diversity@umass.edu