At Lesley University, we strive to foster a true sense of belonging in our community. And we do this by pursuing strategic priorities that position equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice as foundational to our institutional excellence.
In collaboration with our stakeholders in the community, we create opportunities for everyone to participate in the Lesley experience in a way that develops each individual’s capacity to engage—confidently and competently—with others within and across differences.
Here are some of the ways that the University—through the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Justice, which is at the forefront of this ongoing and important work—invites students and employees to immerse themselves in learning and engagement opportunities related to equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice.
The Multicultural Affairs and Social Inclusion (MASI) Office works to make Lesley University an inclusive campus. One way we accomplish this goal is by supporting student (and employee) affinity spaces and providing all registered affinity groups with organizational guidance, logistical support, and modest funding. Our affinity groups are formed around a shared identity or common interest to build community among students and to foster a more inclusive campus environment.
Benefits of Affinity Groups
- Affinity groups provide space for those of similar identities and experiences to support and validate each other
- Affinity groups can collectively address aspirations or concerns to make their members’ campus experience more meaningful
- Affinity groups promote friendships and community
Current Affinity Groups
- Asian American & Pacific Islander Affinity Group (students & employees)
- Black Affinity Group
- Disability at Lesley (students & employees)
- Men of Scholarship for Achievement, Inclusion, & Community
- Queens United Embracing Empowerment Now
- Trans Affinity Group
Wellness Workshops, run by our Multicultural Affairs & Social Inclusion (MASI) Office, focus on strategies for well-being, stress management, and self-care. We provide particular wellness support to BIPOC students and employees who may be experiencing complications and fatigue related to racial trauma.
Finals Week Self-Care Breaks
As students prepare for final exams, our Multicultural Affairs & Social Inclusion (MASI) Office invites students to take a break and have free coffee, hot chocolate, tea, and snacks during the reading day. We also provide healthy study tips for optimal performance during final exams.
Brave Spaces are places for students to disagree with civility and always towards consensus rather than discordance.
Following every lecture offered in the Sankofa lecture series, these are spaces where students own their perspectives without being judges, challenge each other’s notions without attacking, and allow people to see other ways of thinking and being in the world safely and without judgment.
Sankofa Lecture Series
The Sankofa Lecture Series creates a forum for thought-provoking diversity and inclusion-themed presentations on hot topics. Guest scholars, authors, and researchers within academia and in society lead the presentations.
Sankofa means we embrace our past to achieve a rewarding future. And so the Sankofa Lecture Series creates a platform for people to share and discuss diverse perspectives and ideas in open and vibrant community dialogues on critical issues related to race, gender, sexuality, and intersectionality.
Past lectures have included:
- Janine de Novais, a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, whose work sits at the intersection of race, culture, democracy, and education
- Sandy Ho, a disability activist, speaking on "Creating Access As Social Justice: Reflections, Conversation, and a Call for Action"
- Trent Masiki, a visiting assistant professor from the Department of African Studies at Dickinson College, speaking on "The Freemasonry of the Race: African American Influences in Evelio Grillo’s Memoir, Black Cuban, Black American"
Peer Mentoring Program
The MASI Peer Mentoring Program assists first-generation college students of color in acclimating and excelling at Lesley University, both inside and outside the classroom.
We use a one-to-one mentoring model where we match an incoming first-year or transfer student with a peer mentor, who is a current Lesley student, to help new students navigate their first year.
Workshops & Learning Materials
Our EDIJ Learning and Development Office provides training, consultation, and workshop development to Lesley students, faculty, and staff.
On this EDIJ Learning and Development SharePoint site, members of the Lesley community can also access PowerPoint presentations that we use in our training, video modules, curriculum, or additional resources.
Lesley University Diversity Council
The Diversity Council is a volunteer group on campus that has a history of being the longest-standing University initiative around diversity and inclusion.