Mission Statement for the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, Community, and Equity
In order to create a diverse and inclusive community, we utilize the principles of critical dialogue, reciprocity, and solidarity to facilitate learning that cultivates cultural engagement, enriches mindfulness, fosters a sense of belonging, and challenges systems of privilege and oppression.
Dear Prospective Student,
Welcome to Gonzaga University! That’s right. I said it. Even though you may still be weighing your options, I am welcoming you to GU in the hopes that you decide to come here. My name is Joan Iva Fawcett, and I’m the Assistant Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, Community, and Equity. DICE is a campus department that includes two Centers: the Unity Multicultural Education Center – also known as UMEC – and the Lincoln LGBTQ+ Resource Center. Our offices originally started out as a safe space and support system for historically underrepresented and traditionally marginalized students. We also outreach and educate all students in their identity development, cultural fluency, and connection to social justice.
DICE is organized around three pillars: (1) mentoring, (2) programming, and (3) intercultural development. Many students first hear about us through BRIDGE, a NASPA (National Association of Student Personnel Administrations) award-winning program, that starts with a Social Justice and Leadership Institute for incoming students who identify as first generation, low income, LGBTQ+, or as a student of color. A week before New Student Orientation, BRIDGE participants are assigned a peer mentor to help them navigate their first year in college. DICE also offers weekly programs, typically on Tuesday evenings, where we feature social justice speakers, spoken word artists, films, art and activism workshops. Our third pillar around intercultural development invites students to go even deeper. Through Safe Space and intergroup dialogue, diverse students learn how to more effectively communicate across difference and controversial issues – a skill set that seems to be needed now more than ever in our increasingly polarized society.
We obviously couldn’t do all this work without our many student leaders who work with DICE as BRIDGE Mentors, as Social Justice Peer Educators in the residence halls, and as office staff. Many students and cultural clubs also just like to hang out in our Centers to study, meet, & build community. We invite everyone to check us out. Just remember: One department. Two Centers. Three pillars. Rest assured that students do not need to identify a certain way to get involved with DICE. They just need to care about making this world more just and equitable for everyone.
We hope you decide to make Gonzaga your home away from home for the next four years. Once you’re here, please stop by our Open House on the first Friday of fall classes or swing by Soup for the Soul every first Friday of the month. We are located on the second floor of Hemmingson right across from The Bulldog. In fact, why wait? If you have questions and curiosities now, feel free to reach out. We hope to hear from you and see you soon!
JOAN IVA C. FAWCETT Assistant Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, Community, & Equity (DICE)