Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resources

Penn offers a number of programs and resources to foster inclusion, equity, and intellectual growth for graduate students. This page highlights some of the information and resources that may be of particular interest to graduate and professional students at Penn. 

Land Acknowledgement

The Graduate Student Center and broader Penn campus are located on Lenapehoking, the ancestral and spiritual homeland of the Lenape people.  We recognize the enduring relationship between the Lenape people and the land on which we gather to learn and work. We honor with gratitude those who have stewarded this land throughout the generations and pay respect to their elders past, present, and emerging.

We encourage all who engage with the University of Pennsylvania to learn more about the Lenape, their history, and people, and to take meaningful action to support indigenous scholars and their communities. 

Learn more about the history of the Lenape and West Philadelphia or visit the Lenape Nation website. You can also learn more about how the pandemic is affecting indigenous communities and effective advocacy you can do now.

Student and Campus Community

Penn organizations, centers, and programs that support, advocate, and provide community for many student populations.

Campus Centers

There are a number of campus centers at Penn that provide safe and inclusive space and community for  students.  

The Graduate Student Center is a central hub for programming, resources, support, and advocacy for all graduate & professional students at Penn. The Center offers free coffee and tea, rooms for reservation, and holds hundreds of events each year designed to help students gain the skills, experiences, and community they need for a truly successful graduate experience.
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The African American Resource Center serves to enhance the quality of life for students, staff, and faculty at Penn, with a particular focus on those of African descent.
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The Family Resource Center is a hub for information, resources, activities, and advocacy for students with children. The Family Center's resources web page includes information on local daycare options.
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The Greenfield Intercultural Center promotes intercultural awareness and cultural competency workshops to help prepare Penn students to be thoughtful global citizens and leaders.
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La Casa Latina focuses on building a unified community by working with the Latino Coalition, LaGAPSA, students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
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The LGBT Center offers educational programs and mentoring and works with and supports student organizations--including Lambda Grads and other queer graduate and professional student groups. The center also co-sponsors QPenn (an annual pride week in March) and offers free printing.
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Makuu, the Black Cultural Center, serves as a cultural hub for campus activities, activism, and personal, professional, and academic growth in order to increase resources and connections to the Penn community.
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The Pan-Asian American Community House (PAACH) is a hub of academic, personal, and professional growth for Penn students interested in Asian American culture and the Asian American Diaspora.
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The Penn Women's Center aims to understand and address the continuing and evolving needs of all women at Penn. 
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The Spiritual & Religious Life Center (SPARC) provides a home on campus for religious and spiritual students and groups. SPARC provides space for regular prayer (including daily Muslim prayer space), scripture study, and meditation sessions for individuals and groups.
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Graduate Student Organizations

Student organizations at Penn provide communities for students of various identities. Here, we list University-wide student councils and organizations that support, advocate, and provide community for graduate students from populations historically underrepresented in higher education and/or the professoriate. A comprehensive list of graduate and professional student groups can be found in our Resource Guide.

Black Graduate and Professional Students Assembly (BGAPSA)
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Black Graduate Women's Association (BGWA)
Website | Facebook | Twitter

GAPSA IDEAL Council
Website | Facebook

Lambda Grads
Website | Facebook

Latin American Graduate & Professional Student Assembly (LAGAPSA)
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Pan Asian American Graduate Student Association (PAAGSA) 
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Penn Graduate Women in Science & Engineering (PGWISE) 
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Rangoli: Indian Association at Penn
Website | Facebook | Twitter

School-Based Student Organizations
Alumni Resources
Penn Programs, Offices, and Initiatives

Penn promotes and encourages collaboration between students, faculty, staff, centers, and organizations on many diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives. 

Campus-wide Programs and Initiatives

Diversity at Penn
Learn more about policies, reports on University initiatives, facts and data, and resources related to diversity and inclusion at Penn. 

Diversity in the Stacks 
The Penn Libraries' Diversity in the Stacks initiative aims to build library collections that represent and reflect the University’s diverse population. These efforts are featured in a series of blog posts highlighting holdings around different themes. 

Inclusive Teaching at Penn
The Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) provides workshops, resources, and one-on-one consultations to support faculty and graduate students in reflecting on and adopting teaching practices inclusive of a diverse student body.

Penn & Slavery Project
In 2017, a group of Penn undergraduates founded the Penn & Slavery Project. Members of the project have investigated Penn’s connections to slavery and scientific racism. They have also researched the significant contributions of African Americans on campus.

Men of Color at Penn
Men of Color at Penn was initially organized in March 2006. The purpose of the monthly meetings is to provide men support in relation to our surviving and thriving at the University of Pennsylvania as staff, faculty, and students. Men of Color at Penn also discuss methods/strategies of dealing with racism, social-emotional indignities. and best practices of addressing abuses of power within the university and community at large.

Women of Color at Penn
Women of Color at Penn (WOCAP), is a community of remarkable volunteers who come together to celebrate and promote causes that impact women. Whether by lecture series, current research, health and finance leadership, the Queen’s Tea, or daylong celebrations and conferences, the WOCAP group has supported womankind for 33 years.
 

Flatten the Hate: Stand with the Penn Community
Stand with Penn to Flatten the Hate and support our community members who face bias, discrimination, violence, and abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit the website for the Task Force on Support to Asian and Asian American Students and Scholars to report hate and bias incidents, engage in community discussion events, and learn how to prevent and respond to anti-Asian behavior.

Funding and Fellowships
  • Campaign for Community 
    The Campaign for Community aims to strengthen our Penn community by finding ways to discuss and understand key issues that may appear to be difficult or intractable. The program provides grants of up to $1500 for projects and activities that help advance the Campaign's key goals: 
    • To promote understanding of and respect for multiple points of view on important topics related to the University community
    • To encourage dialogue and discussion among members of the community about issues with the potential for difference and disagreement
    • To create opportunities for all members of the University’s community to participate in conversations about important topics
       
  • Community Impact Fund
    The Community Impact Fund provides small grants to support graduate student initiatives and activities that address racial, cultural, or gender-based bias. The goal of the fund is to help foster a community of mutual respect and intercultural understanding on campus, particularly among graduate and professional students. Learn more at gsc.upenn.edu/impact-fund.
     
  • Fontaine Society
    The Fontaine Society provides academic support, networking, and a peer-support system for promising underrepresented doctoral students at Penn. The program connects doctoral students with other members of the University across shared interests, goals, and experiences to form a supportive intellectual community at a key point in their academic training. The Society reflects the University’s commitment to recruiting and supporting exceptional doctoral students with the potential to contribute to the diversity of their academic programs and chosen fields.
    Fontaine Fellowships are awarded by nomination only. 
     
  • Penn Predoctoral Fellowships for Excellence Through Diversity
    These awards are designed to provide mentorship and access to Penn’s resources for doctoral students in the humanities or social sciences, enrolled in graduate or professional programs at universities other than Penn, as they complete their dissertations. The Fellowships are intended to support scholars from a wide range of backgrounds, who can contribute to the diversity of Penn and the higher education community.

    These residential Fellowships support graduate students in the final stages of dissertation research or writing at Penn for an academic year, normally September through August. They offer an opportunity for scholars who plan an academic career to take advantage of Penn programs and faculty expertise and afford access to libraries and the resources of the Philadelphia region. Each scholar will be selected and hosted by a department or school and assigned a faculty mentor. Recipients will be in the stage of either advanced dissertation research or writing.
     
  • Penn Postdoctoral Fellowships for Academic Diversity
    The Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowships and CHOP’s Postdoctoral Fellowships are competitive programs intended to increase the diversity of the academic research community at the University of Pennsylvania and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). While the Penn and CHOP programs have a common application form, they are independently funded and have separate review processes.

    Both organizations seek to attract promising researchers and educators from different backgrounds, races, ethnic groups, and other diverse populations whose life experiences, research experiences and employment backgrounds will contribute significantly to their academic missions.

    Fellowships are available for postdoctoral training in all areas of study at either Penn or CHOP. STEM applications are encouraged. Successful candidates will receive mentored scholarly and research training as well as courses and workshops to enhance their research success skills and prepare them for a faculty position in a major university.

 

See additional information about graduate funding and finances

Academic Programs

Many of Penn's schools have dedicated academic programs and centers toward equity and inclusion in their fields.

Annenberg School of Communication

Graduate School of Education

Law School

Perelman School of Medicine

School of Arts & Sciences

School of Nursing

School of Social Policy & Practice

School of Design

Wharton

School-Based Offices and Resources

Each school is working on diversity and inclusion efforts to promote the retention and recruitment of students, faculty, and staff. 

Annenberg School for Communication

Graduate School of Education

School of Arts and Sciences

School of Dental Medicine

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Penn Law School

Perelman School of Medicine

School of Nursing

School of Social Policy & Practice

School of Veterinary Medicine

Stuart Weitzman School of Design

The Wharton School

Policies, Procedures, and Support

Penn has policies and procedures intended to provide a safe, supportive, and inclusive campus. 

Student Policies & Procedures

Penn is committed to supporting students who experience unfair treatment, bias, harassment, or any form of violence, and to addressing these incidents.

Any student at the University who feels that he or she has been discriminated against by an individual or office acting for the University or that the University is not complying with the requirements of Title VI, Title IX, or the Rehabilitation Act, has a right to register a complaint and seek redress of his or her grievance, following our Student Grievance Procedures. Academic, administrative, and employment grievances are also covered.

The University has a number of other applicable policies and procedures including a Policy Against RetaliationAlcohol & Drug Policy, and Sexual Misconduct Policy. For a full list of University policies and regulations, visit www.upenn.edu/about/policies.

The Office of Student Conduct's Mediation & Conflict Resolution Program helps Penn students who are involved in a personal dispute (for example, a relationship, house mate, or group conflict) resolve the conflict by using a variety of conflict resolution tools, including mediation.

 

Reporting

Students wishing to lodge an official complaint of discrimination and/or retaliation can pursue either formal mediation or a formal complaint of discrimination and/or retaliation through the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs. Affirmative Action maintains a Complaint of Discrimination, Harassment and/or Retaliation Form (PDF, opens in new tab).

Individuals also may report having been treated in a biased or discriminatory manner by completing a Bias Incident Reporting Form. This form may be used to report incidents of bias involving Penn students, faculty, or staff. You are not required to provide your name or contact information. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible.

215-P-COMPLY is Penn's confidential reporting and help line. As a member of the Penn community, you are encouraged to raise questions and concerns, particularly if you suspect violations of policies or legal requirements.  To report a student engaged in misconduct, contact the Office of Student Conduct, which is responsible for matters of student discipline.

Graduate Groups are periodically reviewed by the Graduate Council of the Faculties (GCF) in order to identify strengths and weaknesses within each program, and to recommend any changes that may help to improve the Graduate Group. The Graduate Group Review Student Feedback Form is intended to solicit general information and impressions about your graduate school experiences to share with GCF. 

Students wishing to report an issue or complaint related to sexual misconduct -- which includes sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking – can contact the Associate Vice President for Equity and Title IX Officer via phone, email, or by scheduling an appointment. Anonymous reports of violations of the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy can be made through the University’s 215-P-COMPLY line by dialing 215-P-COMPLY (215-726-6759) or by submitting a report via the 215-P-COMPLY web portal. See the Sexual Misconduct Policy, Resource Offices and Complaint Procedures for more information. Penn Violence Prevention provides support and information about options for reporting sexual misconduct.

See additional resources and information related to community conduct and safety. 

Resources and Support

Confidential Resources 

Students seeking confidential resources and support can reach out to any of the offices below. These resources can also help you sort out reporting options and identify additional resources. 

  • African-American Resource Center (AARC) provides advocacy, counseling, information, referrals, workshops, and informational sessions for all members of the Penn community with a particular focus on those of African descent.

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers free and confidential services including initial consultation, individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, structured workshops, and medication reviews. Within CAPS, the Sexual Trauma Treatment Outreach and Prevention (STTOP) Team, a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, is dedicated to providing confidential care, support, and advocacy to students who have experienced sexual trauma.

  • Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Center provides advocacy, education, outreach, and support for and concerning Penn’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities. The staff is trained to support survivors of interpersonal violence, or anyone struggling with related issues in a safe and confidential manner. 

  • Office of the Chaplain offers pastoral support, guidance, and informal advising and counseling to all members of the Penn community in a safe and confidential manner. They are also able to connect students to campus resources and community religious support as needed. 

  • Office of the Ombuds is a confidential, informal, neutral, and independent resource available to Penn students, faculty, and staff, and assists with the exploration of options, identification of resources, resolution of conflicts, and mediation of disputes.

  • Penn Violence Prevention is a collaborative program that aims to engage the Penn community in the prevention of sexual violence, relationship violence, stalking, and sexual harassment on campus through educational programming. 

  • Penn Women’s Center provides education, advocacy, and support groups for survivors of sexual violence. Staff can assist victims/survivors in navigating resources at Penn and in the broader community. They also provide support and guidance to friends and family of students who have experienced sexual violence. PWC supports students of all gender identities and sexual orientations.

  • Special Services Department, Division of Public Safety offers comprehensive victim support for any member of the University community who experiences interpersonal violence. Special Services has advocates on call 24-hours a day who provide counseling, hospital, and court accompaniment and take formal police reports.

  • Student Health Service (SHS) providers can perform examinations, discuss testing and treatment of sexually transmissible infections, provide emergency contraception, and arrange for referrals and follow up. SHS does not perform forensic rape examinations (see PSARC in Off-Campus Resources). Office visits are covered in full by the Clinical Fee and the Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP), and charges for lab tests related to a sexual assault are waived.

 

Additional Resources 

If you are feeling uneasy, unwell, or want to talk to someone

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (215-898-7021, 24/7): Any student can speak to a trained clinician by phone, day or night. Students also can schedule virtual appointments. 
  • Student Health Service (215-746-3535): Comprehensive primary care, including services to help you eat well, sleep well, and reduce stress.  
  • University Chaplain’s Office (215-898-8456): Provides pastoral support, informal advising, and counseling to students in need of care and comfort.  Staff can also refer to specific religious community supports such as: 
  • Penn Hillel (215-898-7391), the center of Penn’s Jewish community. 
  • Penn Newman Center  (215-898-8611), Catholic community support 

If you aren’t sure where to go or you’re concerned about a friend 

If you want to speak directly to a staff member at a cultural resource center

If you are a graduate or professional student with a unique question or concern

  • Graduate Student Center, 215-746-6868: Provides information, programming, resources, and support for graduate and professional students at Penn.  
  • Family Center at Penn,  215-746-2701: Provides a forum for student parents to connect and develop supportive networks, and offers a welcoming and family-friendly environment for Penn students, post-docs, caregivers, and children. 
Training and Workshops

Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs
Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs is charged with ensuring that the University meets its obligations as an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer and educational institution. They offer a series of trainings and workshops throughout the year and you can request a workshop for your organization or group.

I CARE Training
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers I CARE, an interactive gatekeeper training for students, faculty, and staff that builds a caring community with the skills and resources to intervene with student stress, distress, and crisis. To learn more about I CARE or to request a training for your Penn group, see the CAPS website

LGBT Center Workshops
The LGBT Center is dedicated to ensuring that Penn is a welcoming place for people of all identities. This includes providing fun and interactive educational opportunities for folks to expand their knowledge and understanding of those who may identify differently than them. Programs can also be customized for your group or department needs.

Penn Violence Prevention (PVP) Workshops
PVP workshops cover a range of topics related to sexual harassment, relationship violence, and sexual misconduct. Workshops are designed to be interactive and informative and can be tailored to meet the needs of individual groups. 

RP@Penn Programs 
The Restorative Practices at Penn (RP@Penn) Program promotes restorative practices on Penn’s campus to build strong communities and address interpersonal and group conflict. RP@Penn offers Restorative Circles, Conflict Coaching, Mediation, Restorative Conferences, Workshops on Communication and Conflict Resolution skills, and Workshops on Restorative Circles. 

University Reports and Information

Diversity Reports and Data

Penn Diversity Facts and Figures 
The charts and links on this page provide an overview of the University of Pennsylvania by the numbers: enrollment, tuition, employment, faculty size, annual budget and more. Members of the Penn community may also review summaries of the results of recent survey instruments, such as the enrolled student survey.

Penn Diversity Reports 
Periodically, the University reports on its progress on campus-wide initiatives and priorities. The reports on this page provide information and status reports on selected initiatives that are relevant to Penn's aims for achieving excellence through diversity.

 

Historical Information and Resources

Diversity at Penn Timeline 
An interactive timeline about the history of Penn's diversity from 1740 to 1997.

Notable African Americans at Penn
The following list identifies some of Penn’s most notable African Americans along with their life dates, Penn degrees and connections, and major areas of achievement. Links are provided to their biographies or personal papers as they are found on the University Archives website.

Women at Penn: Distinguished Early Graduates, Faculty, and Benefactors of the University

Additional Readings and Resources

 Below is a partial and growing list of resources for those seeking to increase their knowledge, awareness, and understanding of  diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues, with an emphasis on advancing social justice and anti-racism work in academia, at Penn, and in Philadelphia.

This is not intended to be a comprehensive list. However, if you have resources you would like us to add to this list, we welcome them at gradcenter@upenn.edu. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Academia

Resources for creating inclusive and equitable spaces in academia.

Articles and Opinion 

Social Media Campaigns

There are many social media campaigns that highlight and promote the diverse experiences of academics and those who have been historically underrepresented or marginalized within higher education. If you find other hashtags that should be added to this list, email us at gradcenter@upenn.edu. Links go to Twitter. Many of these hashtags are also found on Instagram.

Racial Justice and Anti-Racism

The following highlighted resources are related to combating, coping, confronting, and understanding racism in America.

Penn Resource Lists 
Resource lists compiled by various centers and organizations at Penn.

Resource Lists and Compilations

Readings 

Listen and View

Social Media Campaigns

If you find other hashtags that should be added to this list, email us at gradcenter@upenn.edu. Links go to websites where available and Twitter. Many of these hashtags are also found on Instagram.

Penn Perspectives

Articles, videos, and commentary by members of the Penn Community 

Inclusive Communication & Digital Accessibility

These resources can help you create more inclusive content to reach a broader audience.

Philadelphia Organizations and Resources

Here we highlight resources and organizations in Philadelphia dedicated to social justice.

Readings

Organizations

  • 350.org Philadelphia fights for solutions to the climate crisis that science & justice demand. We promote a rapid transition to a just and sustainable economy, through education, protest, advocacy, organizing, and coalition building.
  • Black Lives Matter Philly, a local chapter of the BLM Global Network, is a Black organization that seeks to disrupt the [multiple/overlapping/layered/countless] acts of violence against Black people and elevates the experiences and leadership of our most marginalized.
  • Juntos is a community-led, Latinx immigrant organization in South Philadelphia fighting for our human rights as workers, parents, youth, and immigrants.
  • Reclaim Philadelphia has been reclaiming and restoring political power back to people since 2016. We directly connect with our neighbors to unify our communities to end structural racism, classism, sexism and oppression in all its forms.
  • Philadelphia Bail Fund is a revolving fund that posts bail for people who are indigent and cannot afford bail. Our goal is to keep families and communities together and vigorously advocate for the end to cash bail in Philadelphia.
  • Sunrise Movement Philadelphia is building a mass movement of young people to stop climate change and create millions of good-paying jobs in the process. We unite to make climate change an urgent priority across America, end the corrupting influence of fossil fuel executives on our politics, and elect leaders who stand up for the health and wellbeing of all people.
Research and Teaching
Graduate Training and Mentoring

Resources for Students

Related Research and  Articles