PennWest California is committed to and accountable for cultivating an environment that advances diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We strive to create a community that affirms the identities of every individual and affords them dignity and respect, regardless of difference.
The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is committed to infusing diversity and social justice principles throughout every facet of our University. We strive for an environment that fosters cultural humility, where individuals practice ongoing self-reflection and can express their authentic selves while recognizing others' cultural identities.
- We value cultural awareness of ourselves and others.
- We insist on respect and dignity for all; we recognize that our differences make us stronger.
- We recognize that diversity and inclusion are actionable tenets that foster academic and personal growth.
- We have a shared responsibility to foster an inclusive University environment and to appreciate and accept diverse ideas, opinions and cultural backgrounds.
- We believe in the freedom of speech, and encourage the civil and respectful expression of ideas and opinions.
- We acknowledge the challenges of systemic change; we will make a concerted effort to have diverse representation at the table on all decisions that impact the University community.
REPORT INCIDENTS OF BIAS
PennWest California defines bias as any act (verbal, written, physical or psychological) that threatens or harms a person or group because of their race, religion, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, military service or veteran status.
Reporting incidents of bias helps our University create a safer and more supportive environment for all.
Who can make a report?
Students, faculty, staff, family members and alumni may use this form to report bias incidents. If you are the target of bias, or witness to an incident of bias directed at any member of the University community, you should report the incident immediately. Your report will be handled through the appropriate University channels.
Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is charged with infusing diversity and social justice principles throughout every facet of our University, educating our campus community about DEI issues and addressing reports of bias.
Sheleta Camarda-Webb leads the office as PennWest California’s interim chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer and serves on the President’s Cabinet.
A member of PennWest California’s Student Affairs division since 1991, she holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s in secondary education/social science, both from PennWest California, and is pursuing a second master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. She has extensive experience leading workshops and discussions about race and cultural identity, LGBTQA+ issues, power and privilege, and other DEI topics.
Chief DEI Officer: Sheleta Camarda-Webb
Office: South Hall, Rooms 108/112
To foster a common understanding, the DEI Office provides these definitions of key terms:
- Cultural Humility: A conscious, lifelong process of self-reflection and self-critique that allows us to learn about others’ cultures, beginning with an examination of our own beliefs and cultural identities.
- Diversity: The coming together of unique individuals who identify by dimensions that include (but are not limited to) their race, ethnicity, religion, spirituality, gender identity/expression, age, sexual orientation, ability/disability, socioeconomic class, veteran status and national origin.
- Equity: Promoting justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes and distribution of resources by institutions or systems.
- Inclusion: Building a culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of all people.
- Intersectionality: The complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism and classism) combine, overlap or intersect, especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups.
- Office of Diversity, Equity and inclusion: The University office charged with leading DEI efforts across campus, with the goal of making PennWest California a more welcoming place for us all.
- Social Justice: An analysis of how power, privilege and oppression impact how we experience our social identities.
PennWest California is committed to and accountable for cultivating an environment for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We strive to create a community that affirms the identities of every individual and affords them dignity and respect, regardless of difference.
Diversity: People coming together who identify by, and not limited to, their race, ethnicity, religion, spirituality, gender identity/expression, age, sexual orientation, ability / disability, socioeconomic class, veteran status, and national orientation.
Equity: Promoting justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems.
Inclusion: Building a culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of all people.
CO-CHAIR: Interim Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer
- Sheleta Camarda- Webb
CO-CHAIR: Director of Human Resources
- Eric Guiser
- Becky Barnhart
Fredrick Douglass Institute
- Michelle Torregano
PennWest California Men United Advisor
- Eric Tarpley
School of Graduate Studies & Research
- Nikki Popielarcheck
Department of Health & Human Professions
- Sheri Boyle
Department of Computer Science, Info Systems & Engineering Tech
- Thomas Mueller
Department of Criminal Justice and Psychology
- Justin Hackett
President’s Commission on the Status of Women
- Kim Woznack
- Catherine Hayashi
Alumni from the 40 under 40 Class
- Shawn McCoy
These are among PennWest California’s policies that pertain specifically to diversity, equity and inclusion:
Amorous Relationships Policy: Promoting a productive educational environment and a professional workplace based on trust, mutual respect and integrity.
Campus EEEO Policy: Including policy statements and compliance procedures on equal education and employment opportunity (EEEO) and social equity.
Gender-Based/Sexual Misconduct (Title IX) Policy: Addressing prohibited conduct that can affect people of all genders, gender identities and sexual orientations.
Inclusive Assessment Team: The Inclusive Community Assessment Team serves the University community and works to provide effective, educational responses to conduct that disrupts the University community, including incidents involving hate speech.
Protection of Minors on Campus Policy: Promoting the safety and security of children who participate in programs sponsored by PennWest California or held on University-owned property by non-University organizations.
- African Student Association (ASA): Promotes socio-cultural diversity by stimulating awareness and fostering a greater understanding of the vast history and various cultures within the 54 sovereign countries on the African continent. ASA collaborates with other multicultural organizations to educate the campus community and promote inclusion.
- Black Student Union (BSU): Organizes activities of interest to African American students at PennWest California. BSU also supports events with cultural and educational benefits to the campus community, including Black History Month presentations
- PennWest California Men United: Promotes dialogue, organizes events and support men of color on campus.
- PennWest California Women United: Promotes dialogue, organizes events and supports women of color on campus.
- End Violence Center (End-V): Focuses on prevention and awareness activities surrounding power-base and personal violence, including sexual assault, dating and domestic violence and stalking.
- Hispanic Student Association (HAS): Offers support, cultural activities and a sense of community to all students interested in Spanish and Latin American cultures.
- International Club: Promotes an exchange of cultural perspectives among international and American students at PennWest California. The club and other services for international students are based in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions in Dixon Hall.
- National Panhellenic Council: Governs four sororities at PennWest California – Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi and Phi Beta Sigma – and is part of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.
- Rainbow Alliance: Unites LGBTQ+ and allied students to build community and organize around issues that impact them on campus and in the greater community.
- Women’s Center: Focuses on social justices issues such as the gender wage gap; sponsors and promotes events including the Women’s Consortium Summer Leadership Institute, I am That Girl, the Vagina Monologues and “scale bashing.”
- Women in Sports and Events (WISE): Promotes women in the sports industry and provides opportunities for them to connect, network and support one another.
- Young and Gifted Gospel Choir: Performs traditional spirituals and African-American gospel music.
- PennWest California Allies: A network of campus community members working to provide a supportive environment for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, queer/questioning, asexual/ally (LGBTQA+) community.
- Frederick Douglass Institute: A program committed to creating inclusive campus communities.
- Lambda Bridges LGBTQA+ Program Office: An office providing diverse, thought-provoking and educational programs, activities, resources and services on LGBT-related issues; sponsor of PennWest California's annual Lavender Graduation ceremony.
- Presidential Advisors on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- President’s Commission for the Status of Women