Equity and Inclusion

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Equity and Inclusion Council
Humphrey School of Public Affairs

301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

The mission of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs is to inspire, educate, and support innovative leaders to advance the common good in a diverse and changing world. We seek to achieve our mission by:

  • Creating an inclusive, welcoming, and supportive school environment
  • Ensuring that the people and scholarship at the School reflect our community and the world
  • Building an institution committed to inter-cultural growth and learning

Humphrey School faculty, staff, students, and alumni share a commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity that are the legacy of our namesake, Hubert H. Humphrey. In 1948, Minneapolis  Mayor Humphrey burst on the national political scene with an impassioned speech at the Democratic National Convention in which he called for inclusion of civil rights in the party platform.

In 1961, then Senator Humphrey reminded us that “It is one thing to enact legislation that outlaws flagrant examples of racial discrimination—segregated hotels, buses, and parks. It is another thing to eliminate the more subtle and sophisticated techniques that effectively limit true freedom of choice in jobs, education, and housing.”

True to his vision, the Humphrey School is committed to creating an inclusive and equitable scholarly community and to confronting the "subtle and sophisticated" systems that limit true freedom and constrain true diversity of people and thought.

The Humphrey School is committed to:

  • Sharing responsibility for building, maintaining, and improving an inclusive school climate to increase appreciation of and respect for diverse backgrounds, as well as multiple and intersectional identities;
  • Establishing organizational structures that support inclusive decision-making across the School;
  • Recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty, staff and student body;
  • Fostering a respectful and equitable learning environment for all Humphrey students, staff, and faculty members.

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Definition of Terms: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

These three terms are used frequently in this strategy and implementation plan and so we offer working definitions here.

Diversity: Within the Humphrey School, our concept of creating a diverse community broadly encompasses people with identities that have been historically marginalized in our society and underrepresented in higher education and the realm of public affairs, particularly:

  • American Indians and other indigenous populations 
  • People of color, including underrepresented groups and new immigrant populations
  • People with both apparent and non-apparent disabilities
  • People who identify as women, and people of various gender and sexual identities and expressions
  • First-generation students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds

We also recognize issues of access and climate for individuals who might encounter barriers based on their religious expression, age, national origin, ethnicity, caste, or veteran status. Furthermore, we recognize the importance of working with people who claim more than one of the above identities.

Equity: Seeking to establish systems and practices that are fair and just, based on a recognition of individual differences and sociopolitical contexts that disproportionately impact some people more than others.

Inclusion: Creating, inviting, and welcoming individuals into an environment where all people have an opportunity to learn and contribute. Within the Humphrey School, we always seek to include multiple and potentially divergent perspectives into a common community of inquiry and learning.

Equity and Inclusion Strategy & Implementation Plan

The Humphrey School community has developed an Equity and Inclusion Strategy and Implementation Plan (updated in May 2023) to affirm the school's commitment to diversity. The plan is used as a framework for concrete action to achieve the School's goals by encouraging the Equity and Inclusion Council, faculty, staff, and students to assess the feasibility of various strategies; to implement strategies as appropriate; and to review periodically and report on progress in implementation through use of goals, objectives and strategies.

Equity and Inclusion Council

The Equity and Inclusion Council is responsible for generating discussion and initiatives that value and actively promote equity, inclusion and diversity by helping achieve the goals established in the Equity and Inclusion Strategy and Implementation Plan.

Committee Membership

  • Faculty co-chair, appointed by the dean
  • Staff co-chair, appointed by the dean
  • Three faculty members, appointed by the dean for three-year terms
  • Four students, elected presidents of HISA, HAHAW, HSOCA and EIC officer of PASA
  • Three staff members, appointed by the dean for three-year terms
  • Two alumni, appointed by the dean
  • Dean, ex officio
  • Associate dean, ex officio
  • HR director, ex officio
  • Director of admissions, ex officio
  • Council administrative support staff, appointed by the dean

End-of-Year Showcase

The 2023 EIC End-of-Year Showcase highlighted equity and inclusion-related projects across the School community. Faculty, staff, and students presented research projects, community collaborations, learnings from workshops, and the like. View the EIC Showcase presentations.

Student Groups

Humphrey Students of Color Association is open to all students who wish to further the diversity goals of the Humphrey School and advance the collective interests of students of color.

Gender, Sex, and Policy Event Committee fosters conversations about the intersection of gender, sex, sexuality and policy through biweekly meetings and monthly school-wide events. 

Humphrey International Students Association is driven to enhance engagement and interaction between the domestic and international students at the Humphrey School, by organizing and providing spaces for gathering and mutual learning that result in overall well being for the Humphrey community.

Equity and Inclusion Council Events

Humphrey School Orientation 
Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood Event 
August 28, 2023 

  • 12:45pm – 1:30pm Introduction to the Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood by Treasure Tinsley, Doctoral Student in History at UMN 
  • 1:45pm – 2:45pm Choose one of the following activities.

Neighborhood Organization Walking Tour led by Merrie Benasutti, Coordinator of Community Partnerships, Office for Public Engagements, University of Minnesota. This tour will introduce you to the People’s Center, the Brian Coyle Center, the African Development Center, and other organizations that serve the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.  Many UMN students have volunteered at these organizations so this tour will help you learn more about the missions of these organizations and how to get involved.

Engage in a conversation with Fartun Weli, the founder and CEO of Isuroon, a nonprofit with a mission to help Somali women build self-sufficiency and maintain healthy lives.  Ms. Weli is internationally known for challenging stereotypes of Muslim women.  She tells stories of Muslim women to make them visible and to educate others.  Ms. Weli explains that Muslim women do not need to be rescued and advocates for an asset-based approach to listening and learning.

Watch a Performance by the Somali Museum Dance Troupe made up of high school and college students from the Twin Cities metro who are passionate about sharing their Somali culture. The students study and perform traditional dances from different regions across Somalia, including Jaandheer, Dhaanto, and Gobilay (dances for festive occasions), Hare Made (a warrior dance), and Walasako (a folk dance), among others.