Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion Committee

History of the Committee

Recognizing the need to formalize and systematize longstanding, ongoing but often individualized and random efforts in promoting diversity and inclusion, concerned faculty in the Department of Anthropology in 2014 created an ad-hoc, informal Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (CDI). The committee formulated a set of 26 goals and plans for their implementation (see below). These were announced in a 2015 article published in the journal American Anthropologist.

In the summer of 2018, the Department of Anthropology formed a partnership with USF’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equal Opportunity (DIEO). In the spring of 2019, the Department of Anthropology was recognized as a campus leader for these efforts and awarded the DIEO’s National Model for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award.

At present, the members of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion are Sarah Taylor (Chair), Kathyrn W. Arthur, Heide Castañeda, Tara Deubel, EJ Ford, Kiran Jayaram, Chapurukha Kusimba, William Lucas (graduate student representative), Dillon Mahoney, and Elizabeth Miller.


1. The creation of outreach programs at the high school level.

2. Workshops that would encourage faculty to recognize issues faced by students of color.

3. Increased availability of student resources such as graduate assistantships and research funding.

4. One-on-one support through mentorship relationships. 

5. Honest feedback from professors at regular intervals.

6. Copublishing opportunities between faculty and graduate students.

7. Using “challenging conversations” that arise organically as the basis for discussions of racism in the academy.

8. Curricular changes that highlight diverse scholarship in anthropology.

9. The use of ethnography as a tool to study the culture of anthropology departments themselves.

10. At the level of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the Society for Applied Anthropology, a rating system or diversity policy score for anthropology departments to raise accountability.

11. Maintaining strong ties with the McKnight Doctoral Fellowships program administered by the Florida Education Fund.

12. Organizing campus visits by students in the McNair Scholars Program.

13. International students are given special consideration for graduate assistantships, which come with tuition waivers.

14. Actively recruit students who are suitable to receive the department’s endowed scholarship for minority students in archaeology, the J. Raymond Williams Memorial Scholarship in Public Archaeology. 

15. Students are regularly notified about the AAA Minority Dissertation Fellowship and other funding sources.

16. Establishing graduate student recruitment channels by producing materials to distribute to colleagues in historically black colleges and universities and Hispanic-serving institutions.

17. Searching for ways to support ongoing efforts to diversify the faculty.

18. Placing graduate students on search committees and other departmental committees, including students from underrepresented groups.

19. Requiring all applicants to the graduate program to indicate how they would bring diversity to the department as part of their statement of purpose essay required for admission.

20. Devoting staff hours to searching for diversity fellowships and asking advisors to inform their graduate students about them.

21. Holding workshops for the faculty on mentoring graduate students.

22. Designing and implementing an ethnographic survey of students and faculty with the goal of understanding their views on diversity within anthropology and soliciting their ideas on how to achieve it.

23. Holding faculty-graduate student workshops on publishing and on grant applications.

24. Providing insight into the values and struggles of underrepresented groups who become faculty by planning workshops and film events, etc.

25. Compiling more comprehensive statistics on the racial, ethnic, and gender makeup of our department, college, and university, to the extent these are available.

26. Set goals for diversity and inclusion.


Amber Pirson, 2020 Greenbaum Leadership Award recipient. Amber is now attending Cornell Law School, where she plans to specialize in international human rights and labor law.