Hearts. Minds. Systems. Accountability. That’s what we get to work on in the Office for Equity and Inclusion. Through individual and community engagement, we reach hearts. Through inclusive education and programming, we nourish minds. Through institutional change and collaborations across the college, we realign systems. Through prevention and response, we hold community members accountable. All of this is in the service of improving and enriching the educational and work experience of everyone at Smith—students, staff, and faculty.
With a firm commitment to promoting racial justice, the Smith community is taking concrete steps to build a more just and inclusive academic and work environment at the college. This requires every department and office to reflect on the past, study data from the present, and develop ways for their unit to move toward a more racially just future.
Our Mission & Commitment
The Office for Equity and Inclusion grounds its work in the college’s mission and sustained commitment to be a diverse, equitable and inclusive campus. We aspire for every member of our community to uphold these principles. To promote a shared understanding across campus, here is our articulation of the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion. These principles were created by OEI in collaboration with campus community members and then ratified by the Cabinet. These are by our community and for our community.
A commitment to DIVERSITY requires us to develop an awareness of who makes up our community and what their experiences and identities are.
A commitment to INCLUSION requires us to make sure all community members are seen, heard, respected, and valued as full human beings and are encouraged to contribute to community life.
A commitment to EQUITY requires us to remove obstacles to full participation and recognition for members of our community, and to pursue corrective justice for those unfairly denied full participation and recognition.
Smith College fosters access to knowledge, discovery and communication through research and education, and the creation and sustenance of a community of scholars, students and staff. We can realize these goals only in an atmosphere of trust and respect. The college aspires to create and maintain an educational, working and living environment that respects differences and is free from harassing behavior.
To foster trust and respect in a diverse community, Smith College encourages community members to behave in ways that affirm respect for each other. Within an academic institution, teaching, research and learning are subject to the protections described in the college’s policy on academic freedom. Actions or words used in the context of the academic curriculum and teaching environments that serve legitimate and reasonable educational purposes will not be evaluated as violating policies that bar certain behaviors, sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination.
In a diverse community, disagreements and conflicts, with varying degrees of seriousness, are inevitable. The college strongly encourages informal resolution of disputes and conflicts. Many issues are best resolved by direct communication between the individuals involved, sometimes with the help of a third party. Community members are expected to engage in good faith attempts to mediate their differences. To that end, all members of the Smith community are encouraged to use the deans, academic department chairs, supervisors and the staff members listed on this site to discuss concerns and seek resolution to differences.
Indigenous Land Statement
Smith College acknowledges and appreciates that the space in which we gather today is built within Nonotuck ancestral homelands. We recognize our present-day neighboring Indigenous nations: the Nipmuc and the Wampanoag to the East, the Mohegan, Pequot, and Narragansett to the South, the Mohican and Mohawk to the West, and the Abenaki to the North. Finally, we acknowledge and celebrate the presence of Indigenous people here among us today.