Fall 2020 Guidance
In response to COVID-19, university courses and operations remain predominantly online for fall.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives

Relearn. Reimagine. Rebuild. 

At Lesley University, we're striving to build and maintain an inclusive environment. We aspire to create a true sense of belonging for all and a community where members can engage as their full selves. 

Our Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is at the forefront of this ongoing and important work. We pursue strategic diversity initiatives to advance our mission.

Initiatives such as creating and implementing a process for responding to incidents of bias (known as the Bias Education & Reponse Team, or BERT) help individuals develop their capacity to understand and engage across differences. And collecting and sharing data that will inform positive change, among many others. Specifically, our work encompasses these 5 areas of Inclusive Excellence

  • Infrastructure
  • Access & Equity
  • Campus Climate & Inclusion
  • Curriculum & Learning
  • Diversity in Research & Scholarship

Stay informed and get involved.

As a member of the Lesley community, you can stay informed of the work we're doing and find ways to participate right here.

Diversity Committee Leadership

These two groups are working to advance our mission around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

"We are committed to the pursuit of strategic diversity initiatives that will position diversity, equity, and inclusion as fundamental to institutional excellence at Lesley University. In doing so, we are striving for a campus culture and community that fosters a true sense of belonging for all, provides an opportunity for everyone to participate equally and fully in the Lesley experience, and helps to develop each individual’s capacity to confidently and competently engage within and across difference."
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Mission

Campus Engagement

Our office engages students and employees around diversity, equity, and inclusion in the following ways. 

  • New Student Diversity Symposium

    In this symposium, new Lesley students:

    • Examine the Lesley Inclusive Excellence Vision Statement
    • Create a deeper awareness of personal Identity and how that influences their experience in the Lesley community
    • Recognize the need for awareness and appreciation of difference in creating a welcoming environment for others
  • Campus Climate Forum

    The President’s Committee for Inclusive Excellence (PCIE) conducts Campus Climate surveys throughout the year. Members of the Lesley community can attend Campus Climate presentations to learn about survey results and to engage with administrators on areas of growth.

  • Restorative Justice Welcome Community Circle

    This open community forum provides a space for students and employees to engage in dialogue about how to sustain a sense of community when we experience incidents of bias, hate, or adversity.

  • Identity Immersion Student Leadership Training

    In this session offered once per semester, student leaders further develop their understanding of differences, including how to navigate and work across difference.


We share the following reports with the Lesley community about the work we are doing.

Workshop Request

Our office offers several 3-hour workshops to Lesley students and employees, as well as to individuals at other institutions. Contact the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office at least 3 weeks in advance if you'd like to request the following workshops: 

  • Understanding Historical Legacies of Oppression
  • Exploring Self-Awareness & Our Socialization
  • Exploring Dominant & Marginalized Identities
  • Interpreting Our Environment
  • Understanding Across Difference
  • Introduction to Restorative Justice & Implementing

Request a Workshop 

Policy & Bias Response Systems

Maritsa Barros headshot

Associate Diversity Officer and Director of the Urban Scholars Initiative: Maritsa Barros

Maritsa Barros shares some of her inspirations, advice, and further thoughts about her passion working within DEI. As the Associate Diversity Officer and Director of the Urban Scholars Initiative, she shares her dedication to her work personally, and professionally. 

  • The best piece of advice I have ever received was “watch the company you keep”.  I carry this advice with me as I recognize that I am the average of the 5 closest people to me.  Therefore, I work to always be surrounded by people who are driven by their purpose and passions.
  • The most inspiring part of my job is to see the success of my students.  I am inspired everyday by their innovation, guts, and resiliency.
  • When I am not supporting students, my favorite thing to do is spend time playing/learning with my daughter.
  • I am inspired to work within DEI because I was the student I am serving today. I have made it my career-mission to improve the college experience for students of color on predominately White institutions.
  • My favorite type of shows to watch on Netflix are documentaries.  I am especially grateful for the release of “Hi, White Privilege, it’s me Chelsea Handler” as it has brought the conversations, we have on college campuses to the mainstream population.
  • I am passionate about creating/building an abundant lifestyle.  I am passionate about breaking the financial generational curse that exists in my family.  I am passionate about awaking others like me to work towards the same goal.   
  • My favorite place in the world is my home country of Cabo Verde.  I am humbled every time I visit, and I feel like I have arrived home even though I was US born.  
  • The last book I read/am reading is Diversity's Promise for Higher Education: Making It Work by Daryl G. Smith
Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion