Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion:  An Action Plan for Brown University, promises to ensure a learning environment in which students from all backgrounds can thrive in their chosen fields of study.  In addition, it commits the University to providing scholarly resources to support education and leading-edge research on issues of diversity, social justice, power and privilege around the globe, both in the present and throughout history. The Task Force on Diversity in the Curriculum is charged with considering how both commitments can be met in the arena of undergraduate education.

In 2002, a university committee examined how the Brown undergraduate curriculum could be altered so that students would have the “means not only to understand the complex dynamics of social inequity, exclusion, and difference but also to do something with what they learn.” This discussion resulted in the Diverse Perspectives in Liberal Learning (DPLL) designation for courses, as well as various other proposals for "moving diversity-related intellectual questions to the center of the curriculum."   The Task Force will assess whether the DPLL designation has served its intended purpose and take up the following questions:

  • To what extent does the DPLL definition meet Brown’s current goals regarding curricular needs?  How has the DPLL designation functioned to date?  What kinds of courses carry this designation? To what extent do faculty make use of this curricular designation? In what ways have students used the DPLL designation to help with their course selection?
  • Does the University curriculum provide ample opportunities to study issues of diversity, social justice, power and privilege around the globe both in the present and throughout history and across disciplines? 
  • What opportunities are available for encouraging Brown students to engage intellectually with questions of diversity and inclusion during their time at Brown?
  • Are sophomore seminars a productive mechanism for encouraging student engagement with questions of diversity and inclusion?  How can the Engaged Scholars initiative further these objectives?
  • How can departments support diversity learning goals at Brown?  In what ways can the departmental diversity and inclusion plans be used to forward these goals?  The College Curriculum Council?  The Office of the Dean of the College? 
  • How is the university supporting inclusive classroom practices across the curriculum?  Are there ways to improve or expand best practices in this area?


  • Maud Mandel, Dean of the College (Chair)
  • Janet A. Blume,  Associate Professor of Engineering, Senior Associate Dean of Dean of the Faculty
  • Tony Bogues, Asa Messer Professor of Humanities and Critical Theory, Director of the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice
  • Maryori Conde '18
  • Nancy Khalek, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Interim Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America
  • Ryan Lee '17 
  • Besenia Rodriguez, Associate Dean of Curriculum
  • David Weil, James and Merryl Tisch Professor of Economics
  • Kristi Wharton, Professor of Biology