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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

students in baxter lecture hall

The Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences aspires to be a diverse community that welcomes, includes, and respects people from all walks of life. We recognize diversity as not just an ideal but a practice, one that requires all members of the division to be purposeful in bringing together people with a variety of identities, experiences, and perspectives. In HSS, diversity means increasing non-white members (Black, Latin(x)/Hispanic, Asian, Indigenous, and immigrant), women, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, first-generation scholars, and people from a variety of socioeconomic positions. In a country with a long history of racial injustice and discrimination, practicing diversity also involves a conscious recognition of the enduring impact of the past and the ways that past inflects our present working environment.

The practice of diversity encompasses how and what we teach. We are committed to pedagogy that engages, motivates, and supports students from all backgrounds and reflects the full range of methods and materials in our fields of study.

Inclusion is more than just an openness to diversity. It requires that we all commit to replacing a passive mode of openness with an active pursuit of difference. Inclusion means creating an environment where members of a diverse community can engage in challenging dialogue with one another and are supported in their efforts to do so. It also means creating and sustaining conditions that allow everyone, including the most marginalized, to do their best work possible.

HSS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Jennifer Jahner (Humanities, co-chair)
Omer Tamuz (Social Sciences, co-chair)
Aldo Lucia (graduate student representative)
Susanne Hall (Humanities)
Brian Jacobson (Humanities)
Dean Mobbs (Social Sciences)
Jeffrey Cockburn (postdoc representative - Social Sciences)
Jonathan Koch (postdoc representative - Humanities)
Charles Kollmer (postdoc representative - Humanities)
Vincent Man (postdoc representative - Social Sciences)

Contact Us

Have a question or comment for the committee? Please reach out to any of our committee members by email. To reach the chairs directly with concerns or questions, email HSS_DEI@caltech.edu.


To report a concern regarding equity, harassment, misconduct, or discrimination with the Title IX office, please use this form.

students sitting in front of dabney hall

HSS Activities

  • The Critical Intersections: Conversations on History, Race, and Science lecture series focused on the history leading up to and beyond eugenics for its inaugural year of 2020-2021. For the current academic year, the theme is "Putting the University in its Place." It invites conversation about the histories, places, and people that make up the modern university. A list of upcoming events is available here, and past events are here.
  • With the winter 2022 term came the introduction of the HSS Classroom Collaborative initiative. The sessions are designed to help HSS instructors share ideas, research, and successful classroom practices in an informal environment. The first iteration centered on grading in the wake of the pandemic with an eye towards changing practices for the future. Upcoming events in this series can be found here, and past events are here.
  • The HSS DEI committee also hosts First Friday BYO Lunch meetings on the first Friday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. in the Dabney Garden. These gatherings present an opportunity to meet with others invested in diversity, equity, and inclusion in the division to talk, plan, and share ideas.
  • The HSS Division Chair's Visitors Program enables HSS graduate students, postdocs, and faculty to invite scholars to Caltech who belong to groups historically excluded from our primary disciplines. The program aims to foster collaboration and new research and mentorship opportunities, both for scholars outside of Caltech and scholars within Caltech. For further information, please email Jennifer Jahner and Omer Tamuz.
  • The Chen Institute Women in Neuroscience aims to support the careers and education of women in neuroscience through invited talks, networking and career development opportunities, recruitment efforts, and advocacy for an improved campus climate.