Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

Land Acknowledgement

We would like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which we gather is the territory of the Eastern Pequot, Golden Hill Paugussett, Lenape, Mashantucket Pequot, Mohegan, Nipmuc and Schaghticoke Peoples who have stewarded this land throughout the generations. We thank them for their strength and resilience in protecting this land, and aspire to uphold our responsibilities according to their example.

About Us

The Department of Sociology affirms the university community’s core values and nondiscrimination policy. Our efforts to uphold these values and this policy include the explicit rejection of bigotry, discrimination, hateful rhetoric, hateful action, and intimidation in all forms, whether directed towards people’s race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, disability, caste, citizenship, political views, socio-economic status, veteran status, or immigration status.

We support respectful discourse, including respectful dissent; freedom of expression; and the development of mutual understanding and empathy. We are committed to working together daily with all members of our community—students, faculty, staff, postdoctoral researchers, administrators, and campus guests—to create an environment in which everyone feels safe in the pursuit of these objectives.

Goals & Objectives

The main goal is to improve department climate for our students, faculty and staff by identifying the extent to which they experience harms from microaggressions that are based in structural racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, religious discrimination, ableism, xenophobia and other expressions of hate or discrimination. The related goals include:

  1. responding to and addressing reports of microaggressions
  2. creating actions to prevent future harms and
  3. create strategies designed to prevent future harms.


    During the academic year 2020/21 faculty and graduate students in the Department of Sociology decided to form and institutionalize a permanent committee on anti-racism in recognition of ongoing problems with racism on campus and within our department. The Department had already taken steps to address the local issues including an assessment by the graduate students and a presentation in the Spring in 2020 on diversity of inclusion by Frank Truitt who is now serving as Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Connecticut.

    The aims of the Committee are to build and expand on these initiatives with the following goals: to serve as an internal evaluator of critical diversity and inclusion within the department; to identify, distribute and promote anti-racist and social justice scholarship and best practices; to collaborate within Sociology and across other CLAS departments in building partnerships to promote inclusive workplace climates; and to identify and recommend policies and practices to the department that will advance an inclusive and equitable work environment and support all faculty in their personal academic growth and the collective growth of the department, of CLAS and of the student body as a whole.

    Committee Members

    Actions Taken to Date

    In order to fulfill our overarching goal of creating a socially just environment for our students and faculty, the actions we have taken have been wide-ranging and shifting over time as we learn more about the experiences and needs of all members of our Department. Here is the list of actions taken the past three academic years. To date the Antiracism Committee has

    1. created a long-term action plan;
    2. developed an ethical statement to guide faculty and graduate students in their teaching and to enhance the inclusion and equity of all collegial interactions;
    3. identified resources for increasing student and faculty awareness about racism and anti-racism and microaggressions including teaching strategies, videos, and curriculum;
    4. responded to reports on micro-aggressions that came to the committee’s attention, investigated the complaints, and reported to the Department Head about the incidents for further follow-up;
    5. led a workshop on how racism operates within the classroom and how to improve faculty responses for faculty at the Annual Retreat in 2020;
    6. hosted a presentation by Frank Tuitt, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at UConn in the Spring 2024;
    7. conducted a brief Study of Undergraduate Student Experiences of Microaggressions on Campus administered to all students enrolled in Spring 2024; and
    8. identified and mapped the institutional sites where anti-racist initiatives are housed and the relevant offices where grievances can be filed.

    Future Plans

    1. create and institutionalize a system of reporting and recording of instances that violate the ethical standards within the department, while at same time promoting various University wide and in-departmental trainings to limit the occurrences of such incidents;
    2. further identify and implement ways to mitigate incidents of racism and other experiences of discrimination and harm in the department and in our classrooms;
    3. continue to stay abreast of, draw on and participate in any anti-racist initiatives in other departments in CLAS;
    4. formalize relations across relevant departments to discuss the ongoing effectiveness of different initiatives and to support each other in these efforts; and
    5. establish relationships with these offices and staff in an effort to streamline initiatives from the local to the wider UConn administrative structure.