Belonging and Equity

Gallaudet University is strong. We are complex and diverse.

Gallaudet strives to be a community where people feel they belong and contribute to the world as their authentic selves. This goal is important to our community as we build the inclusive excellence we want to see in the world.

Diversity is part of what makes us strong.


Black Lives Matter.

Taking action together for racial justice and equality

Following the death of George Floyd, and with the renewed momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement, the Black Student Union and the Student Body Government petitioned Gallaudet leadership for six specific changes to address systemic racism. Gallaudet accepted this petition and is acting on all six requests.

Gallaudet University’s Anti-Racism Commitment

Our work to eradicate racism requires both systems transformation and individual change. We are taking action on both for meaningful and sustainable results. We have announced the following actions and commitments to combat racism and help accelerate our work for racial justice and equality. This is just a beginning; there is much more to be done.

  1. We will continue to support Black Lives Matter and its 13 Guiding Principles.
  2. We will provide and require additional training for the officers at the Department of Public Safety, including training on implicit and explicit bias, nonviolent communication, and American Sign Language and Deaf culture.
  3. We will ensure that student engagement, especially from student organizations of color, be part of the hiring process for the Department of Public Safety. 
  4. We will provide and require additional anti-racism training for staff and faculty.
  5. We will increase the diversity of our student body, staff, faculty and teachers.
  6. We will share on our website by July 2020, and then annually, demographic data about our student body, staff, faculty and teachers. 
  7. We will increase diversity in our leadership.
  8. We will prioritize engagement with and outreach to deaf organizations of color to recruit for positions.
  9. We will continue to include student input in the University hiring process.
  10. We will strengthen our policies and procedures prohibiting racism, including the establishment of a new hate-bias incident reporting response protocol. 
  11. Led by a majority-BIPOC Transforming the Work Experience Committee, we will review and update human resources delivery model, systems, policies and procedures while incorporating an anti-racist framework. 
  12. We will conduct a thorough review of Department of Public Safety policies and practices.
  13. We will conduct a thorough review of all campus structures, names, and signs. 
  14. We will establish specific success measurements for full accountability.

The killings of George Floyd and many other Black men and women at the hands of police officers have magnified the global urgency to dismantle systemic racism. This is especially true for us here at Gallaudet University. For far too long, and for far too many individuals, Black Lives Matter is not the lived experience. We acknowledge the deep pain and suffering that has come from this. We recognize that our past collective actions for progress have fallen short. We know that we must do better.

Together, we must stand up and step up against racism. We must do the work to transform institutional systems so that Gallaudet is a place where all feel safe and valued, and that they belong, so that Black Lives Matter is the lived experience.

We are listening

As we accelerate our commitment to anti-racism, Gallaudet will continue to listen to and engage Black members of our community. We will talk with individuals both inside and outside Gallaudet, and with organizations, including the Black Student Union, the Student Body Government, the Organization for Equity for Deaf Staff of Color, the Faculty of Color Coalition, and National Black Deaf Advocates.

We are grateful for all the students, faculty, advocates and leaders who have come forward to express their very personal stories of pain and suffering, and to share their concerns and suggestions for a better world and a better Gallaudet.

Inclusivity for all

Our community extends well beyond our schools

We strive to build and maintain a culture and climate based on the following principles of community as developed by the Division of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion when engaging with one another and acting on behalf of Gallaudet University.


We honor and affirm the dignity inherent in all of us and in all people, and we strive to maintain a climate of equity and justice demonstrated by respect for one another. We are committed to freedom of expression, critical discourse, and the advancement of knowledge. We strive to overcome historical and divisive biases in our community and society.


We are accountable for our actions. We will act ethically, honestly, and with trust in all our interactions.

Living, Well-being, and Belonging

We welcome, value, and affirm all members of our community, including their various identities, skills, ideas, talents and contributions. We create and nurture environments that support the living, well-being, and belonging of all community members.

Compassionate Collaboration

We genuinely broaden our understanding of others’ experiences and life journeys, and build rapport grounded in mutual trust and respect. We co-create positive environments necessary for our integrated work to flourish and support the mission and vision of Gallaudet University and the Clerc Center.

Social Justice

We have the right to be treated and the responsibility to treat others with fairness, equity and civility; the duty to challenge prejudice and discrimination, and the mandate to uphold the laws, policies and procedures that promote justice in all respects.


We are responsible, individually and collectively, to give of our time, talents, and resources to promote the well-being of one another and the development of our local, regional, and global Deaf communities and broader society.

We are becoming.

See our progress since the early 1800s. And make no mistake–it is not enough.

Equitable Outcomes for Students

An initiative by the Division of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion aimed at bringing together students at Gallaudet in an attempt to understand, encourage, and support the inclusion and educational success of students who belong to underrepresented communities.

Gallaudet’s Biweekly Stand Against Systemic Racism Webinars

We are actively addressing systemic racism with biweekly webinars arranged by the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and the Anti-Racism Commitment Team.
The Anti-Racism Commitment Team consists of representatives from:
  • Faculty of Color Coalition
  • Organization for Equity for Deaf Staff of Color
  • Gallaudet Staff Council
  • Division of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Gallaudet Survey on Inclusion and Personal Experience

This survey was created to gather data from our community members on how you feel about Gallaudet as an institution and its overall diversity and inclusion efforts.

We strive for Gallaudet to be an inclusive learning and social environment where everyone feels like they belong and are valuable. This may not be the reality for some and we want to get it right.

So, fill out this brief survey authentically and let us know how we are doing. Thank you!

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