Diversity & Inclusion

The Department of Sociology embraces a notion of intellectual community enriched and enhanced by diversity by people of all backgrounds, including but not limited to (in alphabetical order): affiliates of indigenous nations; body diversity and people of any age; caste; citizenship; class; first generation college experience; gender, gender identity, and sexuality; race, ethnicity and national origin; religion; people with a wide range of human neurologies and different abilities; people with various political perspectives and affiliations; and, undocumented residents. We are especially committed to increasing the representation of those populations that have been historically excluded from participation in U.S. higher education.

We are committed to attracting, recruiting and retaining a diverse population of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and staff. We work to identify and promote practices and structures that support diversity’s development in our department’s work. We especially encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to join our intellectual community.

The inclusion of underrepresented groups in the Department is important; (1) to address and understand systematic inequalities facing American and global institutions and societies, (2) to facilitate a new generation of ideas and leaders within the discipline, and (3) to cultivate civil discourse among diverse parties. We are committed to provide the support necessary for the success of all members of the department.

Because dialogue around equity, diversity, and inclusion is evolving, there is need for common vocabulary to avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations. The definitions below are not comprehensive but provide a basic understanding of each concept. These definitions broadly inform departmental decisions related to our goal of increasing equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Equity. Successfully creating structures and systems that disrupt existing and potential barriers that may disproportionately impact historically marginalized groups to ensure that all members of a community can thrive.  

Diversity.  A community composed of individuals with wide-ranging backgrounds with regard to their identity, including but not limited to gender, race, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, nationality, socioeconomic status and/or religion.

Inclusion. When community members, representing a full spectrum of identities, have a shared sense of belonging and feel welcomed, involved, empowered and valued.

Belonging. A newer concept added to the equity, diversity, and inclusion dialogue. It signals full membership into a community that has both psychological and behavioral meaning. It happens when an individual feels secure, recognized, affirmed, and accepted equally such that full participation is possible. 


Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University (DIAP) Phase II.  

Sablan, Jaye and Bill Mahoney. 2022. “Cultivating a Sense of Belonging for Graduate Students.” Inside Higher Ed. 

Adedoyin, Oyin. 2021. “How Can Colleges Advance Pledges of Racial Equity? A New Report Suggests Strategies.” The Chronicle of Higher Education.  

Rios, Diego de los  2022. “Why Sociologists Should Consider DEI as a Career.” American Sociological Association Footnotes. 

For general questions about equity, diversity, and inclusion at Brown University, please contact the Office of Institutional Equity & Diversity, [email protected].