Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at GMercyU
Statement on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)
Gwynedd Mercy University’s core values of integrity in word and deed, respect for the dignity of all people, service to society, and social justice in a diverse world, place inclusive excellence at the center of our daily work and relationships as a Catholic, Mercy university. Inclusive excellence recognizes that to advance our mission successfully, we must value, engage, and include the rich diversity of all the members of our community.
In seeking to live this commitment faithfully, we must first acknowledge how we are continuously influenced by the collective history of systemic inequity in society at large, despite our commitment to inclusivity. We must learn from our failures and build upon our successes to work toward a more inclusive institution that is rooted in Mercy.
To achieve this, our community must meaningfully internalize this work of transformation; it will require all to engage in collaborative implementation that strategically integrates inclusion and radical mercy into the curriculum, co-curriculum, administrative structures, practices, decision-making, and culture.
April 25th and 26th, 2023
Join us virtually for GMercyU's third annual Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Education Conference: Creating Learning Environments that Engage Diverse Voices.
See details and register here!
Tatiana Diaz, MA
Meet GMercyU's Assistant Vice President for Diversity Equity & Inclusion. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-646-7300 x21073.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategic Plan
Our roadmap for creating a more equitable, inclusive campus culture
Mercy in Action
Read how we put our commitment to service and our Core Values into practice throughout the year.
University DEI Initiatives
A component of the Office for Student Engagement, CORE Programs aims to educate the GMercyU community in topics relating to our Core Values and our focus on the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy.
Providing space for students to come together, spread awareness to the community at large, and help propel our University forward:
- American Association of University Women
- Asian Students Association
- Disability Pride Club
- Black Student Union
- Pride Alliance (LGBTQ+)
See a recent example of a GMercyU student organization in action:
GMercyU Raises Progressive Pride Flag on Campus for LGBTQ+ Awareness Week
Weaving Equity into Leadership
This powerful student program aims to assist you in developing a greater understanding of your personal identity, better understand your role as a leader in a diverse Mercy community, and to help you learn how to utilize your own skills, knowledge, and resources to support the development of your peers. Using the Speak Out e-course called "Race, Power, and Privilege," we hope you will learn to:
- Unpack prejudice, discrimination, and oppression
- Cover key definitions essential to anti-racism education
- Offer activities to assess and evaluate one's own identity and responsibility
- Outline steps to practice solidarity
Student leaders of student organizations, RAs, SGA, OAs, SAAC, and selected student athletes are invited to participate. *This program is a collaboration between the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and the Office for Student Engagement.
Looking for an all-gender bathroom?
Find one at these locations around campus, marked with an "all-gender restroom" sign.
- Fatima Hall
- St. Bernard Hall: 2nd floor
- Visitation House: 1st floor, 2nd floor
- Tabor House: 1st floor, 2nd floor
- Keiss Library: 1st floor (two near entrance), 2nd floor
- St. Brigid Hall: 1st floor
- Siena Hall: 1st floor (3)
- Alexandria Hall: 1st floor
- Admissions House: 1st floor, 2nd floor
- Assumption Hall: 1st floor (one by the Lincoln Library, one near the kitchen), 2nd floor
See locations of some of our all-gender restrooms here. (PDF)
The all-gender bathrooms help ensure that all students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors have places on campus where they feel safe using the restroom. They also affirm the rights of all students to use a restroom according to their gender identity.
On this page, read our GMercyU Land Acknowledgement and see our events for the 2022-2023 academic year.
Integrated Studies at GMercyU is a student-centered, inclusive post-secondary program for individuals aged 18-26 with intellectual disabilities. This program is designed to provide excellent opportunities in education, career development, and social participation within an inclusive academic setting.
In Fall 2022, Integrated Studies student-athlete Sebastian DeSimone '26 was featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer for helping to ensure that students with intellectual disabilities nationwide can compete in Division III athletics.
In the Mercy tradition, The Mercy Center team seeks to be an open and affirming presence for all, promoting the search for spiritual growth with an emphasis on service to society.
Through various student, staff, and faculty projects, GMercyU supports the Mercy Focus on Haiti, a group of Sisters of Mercy, friends, and colleagues walking with the Gros Morne, Haiti community.
You can learn more about GMercyU's connection with Mercy Focus on Haiti here.
Anti-Racism in Action Website
CORE Programs and the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion created this site to help facilitate learning and provide a non-comprehensive list of resources on understanding racial/cultural trauma. It includes toolkits and trainings; Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) resources; coping strategies; outside therapists; and ally resources.
In response to the alarming number of anti-Asian hate crimes since the start of the pandemic, CORE Programs created this toolkit to share the steps you can take towards advancing change and awareness.
A compilation of LGBTQ+ resources from GMercyU, our Keiss Library, local and national resources
Anti-Racism in Higher Education
Resources from Keiss Library on teaching and learning about anti-racism today
Justice with Mercy Compilation
As the justice system has addressed recent and news-worthy key cases, this non-exhaustive resource list allows us to discern how Justice, Non-Violence, Antiracism, and Mercy are connected.
On our Bias Activity Response Protocol page, find the University's definition of bias activity, harassment, and discrimination, learn how to file a bias report to the University, and learn the role of the Bias Activity Review Group and protocol used to respond to reports.
GMercyU has introduced a policy for those who wish to be known by something other than their legal name.
See the Chosen Name Policy (PDF).
You can complete the Addition of Chosen Name Form, then please email it to email@example.com to be processed.
View the Chosen Name Policy FAQs (PDF).
A Community Resource Group (CRG) consists of staff and faculty who work together to promote the university’s mission and values, and raises awareness and understanding of issues affecting traditionally underrepresented groups and their allies.
Policy: The University recognizes a group that successfully completes the Community Resource Group recognition process as a CRG. See entire policy here.
Scope: This policy applies to all active employees. CRG status is not available to commercial, political, or social groups.
Implementation: The responsibility for reviewing, approving, and implementing the CRG Policy rests with the AVP of Diversity Equity and Inclusion in consultation with the AVP of Human Resources.
Spectrum Steering Committee (CRG)
The mission of this CRG is to encourage and support LGBTQ+ and allied employees and to utilize their resources and tools to foster community among LGBTQ+ and allied faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the University. For more information or to contact the group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The purposes of the association shall be:
- To encourage and support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and allied employees of the University; and
- To mentor the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and allied students and alumni of the University; and
- To foster community among the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, queer/questioning, and allied students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the University; and
- To create and implement educational and social lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and allied university programs and events; and
- To support and encourage Gwynedd Mercy University’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; and
- To represent the interests of Gwynedd Mercy University’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and of these students, faculty, staff, and alumni in creating a diverse, affirming, and leading University
Faculty and Staff of Color Community Resource Group
The mission of the Faculty and Staff of Color Community Resource Group at Gwynedd Mercy University is to foster connections and develop an attentive community through the discussion of current relevant issues, both at the University and in the larger community, that will support and advocate for the DEI and anti-racism efforts at GMercyU.
For more information or to contact the group, please email email@example.com.
In keeping with our mission and core values, Gwynedd Mercy University is committed to welcoming a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff. The University does not discriminate against any applicant for admission or employment based on race, color, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, gender identity, citizenship status, or any other legally protected class status.
See our Non-Discrimination Policy, which applies to all University faculty, administrators, staff, and students.
Office of DEI Initiatives
Led by Tatiana Diaz, AVP of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, the committee developed and tracks the concrete steps and metrics of progress for improving diversity, equity, and inclusion at GMercyU.
- Serves as an organizational mechanism to cultivate and sustain synergy and collaboration of initiatives and programming related to diversity, equity, and inclusion across the University
- Monitors and reports on the University’s progress in the execution of initiatives and work plans
- Makes recommendations for effective internal and external communication of University initiatives in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Works to identify and advance systemic structures, practices, policies, and traditions that will advance diversity, equity, and inclusion, while also removing barriers of the same kind
- Patricia Brown O’Hara, Assistant Professor, Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing and Health Professions
- Kim Cooney, Director, First-Year Experience
- Rouseline Emmanuel-Frenel, Representative of Staff and Faculty of Color CRG
- Carol Evans, Assistant Professor, Director of Voices of Gwynedd
- Meredith Hoch-Oescher, Dean of Student Success
- Aimee Huffstetler, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment
- Alexandra Jabara Johnston, Associate Director for Leadership Programs
- Maria Jordan, faculty, Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing and Health Professions
- Kelly Kiefer, Director of Accessibility Services
- David McAllister, University Archivist (Staff Council Chair)
- Michelle Murray, Director of Housing and Residence Life
- Demadelye Navarro '24, Student Representative
- Deb O’Reilly, Digital Content Specialist
- Daniel Parker, Representative for Spectrum CRG
- Lorraine Phillips, Assistant Professor, School of Arts and Sciences
- Atasha Quarles, Associate Director of Financial Aid
- Gianna Quinn, Director of Alumni Relations
- Peggy Rosario, Assistant Professor, School of Business and Education
- Matthew Smalarz, Director of Assessment & Accreditation
- Dianna Sofo, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
- Mary Sortino, Dean of the School of Business and Education
- Jeffrey Wallace, Director of Spirituality & Justice
GMercyU recognizes that as a community we need to grow together to better understand Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Therefore, we provide varied opportunities for the development of faculty and staff.
Core DEI Modules
Sessions are offered each semester and all staff and faculty are encouraged to complete them. They are conducted by GMercyU DEI trainers (current faculty and staff who are trained as facilitators to lead these sessions). Upcoming dates and times are shared via email to the community every semester; they can also be found in the DEI Faculty and Staff Resources course in Canvas.
Current modules include:
- Was It Something I Said?: This workshop gives participants tactical tools to use for the hard conversations necessary for equitable and sustainable change. We provide opportunities for private moments of truthful reflection, and then we give participants a step-by-step roadmap of, and opportunity to practice, what to do and say when you have offended someone, and when someone has offended you. (90- minute session)
- Exploring Conscious & Unconscious Bias: This workshop engages community in discussions regarding our behaviors that might be problematic for others, as well as becoming more aware of biased behavior in general. (120-minute session)
- LGBTQ+ 101: This workshop allows participants to better understand current terminology and definitions of the LGBTQ+ community. It will also discuss the needs of current students and discuss current college efforts and policies. (120-minute session)
"How I Do DEI" Workshops for Faculty
A collaboration between GMercyU faculty, Teaching & Learning staff, and the Office of Diversity Equity & Inclusion, these workshops are an opportunity to grow as a community and enhance the student experience. During each session, presenters share a strategy they currently use in their classroom to integrate DEI into their practice. The session are hybrid, recorded, and then added to DEI Faculty and Staff Resources Course in Canvas. Upcoming dates can be found in the DEI Faculty and Staff Resources Course in Canvas.
DEI Faculty and Staff Resources Course in Canvas
(accessed via GMercyU portal)
This collection of resources and pedagogy is a faculty- and staff-led project designed to assist our colleagues and ourselves in learning more about inclusive teaching, mentoring, and being. We've created this site to meet the needs of folks who are at various stages of their DEI work. This course will continue to grow with our community and will house ongoing opportunities for self-development. All faculty and staff should have access to this site if you have trouble accessing it please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a Mercy community, we stand committed to our undocumented and DACA students. We support you and are committed to your success. Your initial point of contact for related questions is Tatiana Diaz, AVP of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, 215-646-7300 x21073.
The point of contact will:
- Serve as point person for student concerns
- Connect students with campus resources
Looking for the latest updates on legislation and national resources? Consult the following sites:
- Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition DACA Resources
- National Immigration Law Center
- United We Dream
DACA and Undocumented Working Group
This group works to identify strategies to support undocumented and DACA students at GMercyU. Members include:
- Joseph Alaimo, Director Of Financial Aid, Financial Aid
- Shanon Algeo, Head Women's Lacrosse Coach/Sports Information Assistant
- Tatiana Diaz, AVP of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
- Atasha Quarles, Associate Director of Financial Aid
- Jesse Ruhl, International Student Liaison, International Student Services
- Betsy Stone Plummer, Director of Service and Catherine's Cupboard