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Institutes + Centers

Center for Diversity and Inclusion



The Office of Diversity and Inclusion advances the institutional mission of graduating socially responsible practitioners by delivering quality programs, trainings, services and resources that support the success of all community members on Adler University’s three campuses. We also critically review existing policies to assess for equity and inclusion and develop new policies to create a more inclusive environment.

Our work is guided by adapted principles of Inclusive Excellence – access and success, institutional climate and intergroup relations, education and scholarship, institutional infrastructure and community engagement. In collaboration with administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners, we strive to integrate the Inclusive Excellence framework into the fabric of the University.

Areas of Focus

Area of Focus

Consultation and Advising

Confidential consultations and advisement are available for faculty, staff, students and other University affiliates. Our services cover a wide range of topics, including enhancing diversity recruitment efforts, managing difficult/sensitive conversations with colleagues and students and building and inclusive classroom practices. We also facilitate dialogues between individuals and small groups and support departments with developing diversity and inclusion plans for their respective areas.

Research and Data Analyses

In collaboration with the Offices of People and Culture and Institutional Research, we review data on Adler’s underrepresented populations and analyze data related to student and employee retention, student success, etc. to develop appropriate action plans. Additionally, we research best practices on a range of topics and provide individuals and departments recommendations based on the current literature. Bi-annually, we launch a diversity climate survey for faculty, staff, students, and administrators to ensure we are making progress towards our goals.

Workshops and Training

We coordinate the selection of local/national experts to speak on a range of topics, such as implicit bias and managing difficult conversations in the classroom. We also provide internal training sessions, such as Safe Space (focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer populations), Inclusive Language and Generational Diversity. Upon request, we design customized presentations to meet unique departmental needs.


We deliver programs that bring an increased awareness of equity, diversity and inclusion and/or events that represent underserved communities, often in collaboration with our Campus Diversity Committees. Our programming promotes a learning community that values varied ideas and experiences that reinforce pluralism, one of Adler’s institutional values.


We offer a range of resources to support Adler community members. Examples include a flowchart that identifies where to report incidents (e.g., biased incidents, discrimination, sexual assault, etc.) and diversity recruitment and hiring materials. Our office also maintains, a website that lists LGBTQIA+ resources for faculty, students, staff and the greater Chicagoland area.



Join us for the many Black History Month events happening virtually across our campuses.

Previously sponsored events can also be viewed below.


Part I: What’s Missing? The Impact Of Covid-19 On Chicago’s Black Communities  

  • Dr. Nataka Moore, Adler Full Professor in PsyD Program
  • Dr. Crystal Glover, Assistant Professor and Leader of Outreach, Recruitment and Engagement with Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center

Moderated by Dr. Monica Boyd-Layne, the first part of this series will explore health disparities and social determinants of health. We will discuss issues related to how COVID-19 has impacted Chicago’s Black communities, how to acknowledge community pain, and ways to engage in advocacy during this pandemic.

Part II: What’s Missing?  The Impact Of Covid-19 On Chicago’s Black Communities

  • Dr. Janna Henning, Adler PsyD Faculty and Fellow in Thanatology, Coordinator of Traumatic Stress Psychology Concentration
  • Dr. Cadmona Hall, Adler Associate Professor MFT Program, Fellow in Thanatology

Moderated by Dr. Lauren Melamed, the second part of this series will focus on actionable steps for practitioners. We will discuss ways we can support those working and/or living in communities that continue to experience grief and trauma.

Make a Gift

Make a Gift

Support our mission to graduate socially responsible practitioners by delivering quality programs, trainings, services and resources that facilitate the success of all community members on Adler University’s three campuses.
Diversity Scholars Program

Adler University is excited to invite promising undergraduate students from underrepresented/underserved populations to apply for our FREE annual Diversity Scholars Program. This program reflects our commitment to increasing the diverse representation of graduate students, particularly in the field of psychology. This virtual weekend experience is scheduled for November 13-14, 2021 via Zoom.

More specifically, this program is designed to:

  • Preview graduate-level courses in psychology
  • Share information regarding success strategies for completing graduate programs
  • Offer practical tips regarding selecting and applying to graduate programs
  • Expose participants to prominent faculty and administrators from diverse backgrounds
  • Establish authentic and lasting relationships through ongoing mentorship
  • Explore the intersections of psychology and social justice

Program Funding

Students who attend the Diversity Scholars Program that decide to apply to Adler University, will receive an application fee waiver. Additionally, those that are accepted into one of Adler University’s academic programs will also receive a Diversity Scholars Scholarship that provides a 50% tuition waiver! Please note, participants must attend and participate for the entire time of the program to qualify for any scholarship opportunities.

Eligibility Requirements

Students must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Identify as a member of an underrepresented population (i.e., student of color, low income, first generation students, LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, etc.)
  • Current classification as a junior or senior in college (minimum of 45 completed credits)
  • Genuine interest in the field of psychology
  • Strong commitment to social justice

Application Process

Please submit the following application materials:

  • A completed application form, signed and dated
  • An updated copy of your resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Recommendation – Please provide one letter of recommendation from an individual who can speak about your academic potential.
  • Essay – Please submit a statement (500 words maximum) describing your future career goals and commitment to working with underrepresented populations.
  • A copy of your Official Transcripts.

Students must submit all application materials by Friday, September 10, 2021 to [email protected]. Please feel free to email us with any further questions about the program.

Inclusive Pedagogy


As part of our Commitment to Diversity and effort to further Socially Responsible Practice, Adler University has adopted an inclusive approach to pedagogy, as outlined here. While open to all, it is intended for those who teach, mentor, and guide students in their journey to becoming socially responsible practitioners.

An inclusive, socially just educator is one who sees student diversity as an asset to learning. They design and deliver educational experiences that foster talent in all students – especially those who are historically and continuously marginalized in higher education; they actively work to dismantle oppressive structures and systems; and they facilitate the development of students’ social justice knowledge, abilities, and attitudes.

We believe this approach to teaching strengthens all of our students, and fits perfectly into the University’s mission of graduating socially responsible practitioners, engaging communities, and furthering social justice.

If you are an instructor, mentor, or faculty member and are interested in learning more about Inclusive Pedagogy, please click here. Additionally, you can contact Dr. Cheryl R. Richardson, Director for Inclusive Teaching Excellence, for further information.

Framework for Teaching

Framework for Teaching

What is inclusive, socially just framework for teaching?

Teaching inclusively means embracing student diversity as an asset to student learning and designing and teaching courses in ways that foster talent in all students.

Adler University’s mandate to nurture socially responsible practitioners means that fostering talent in all students adds an orientation towards social justice. Inclusive, socially just teaching therefore builds on our understanding of inclusive teaching because it requires a recognition of socially oppressive barriers and a commitment to dismantling them.

An inclusive, socially just educator thus understands how learning works and the fundamentals of their discipline, embraces diversity, designs courses that address the needs of students who are historically and continuously marginalized in higher education, actively challenges the processes and structures of oppression that have shaped our institutions of learning, and prepares students to challenge these systems in the world.

Educators aim to correct historical and contemporary inequality in educational practices by destabilizing power, bias, and privilege in the classroom. They intentionally create structures that integrate marginalized experiences and knowledge and interrogate inequality with students. Both educator and students act as equal agents of social change.

Why is this kind of teaching important?

Inclusive, socially just teaching responds to moral, civil, and learning imperatives.

It is morally justified to work to eradicate educational structures and processes that reified hierarchies of human value. Higher education normalizes white, cis-male, heterosexist, middle and upper class, ableist ways of being in its approaches to student engagement, assessment of learning, and evaluation of knowledge claims. Inclusive teaching with a social justice lens works against this tendency.

Our civil society and classrooms are composed of various groups of people who once had no voice in our democracy or status in our schools. Current students are more racially, ethnically, and gender diverse and have more diagnosed disabilities than ever before, and they deserve adequate engagement and excellent opportunities to learn. Inclusive teaching embraces this diversity and uses it to help student thrive.

Intentional inclusion improves learning by improving students’ sense of belonging as well as increasing innovative thinking and cognitive complexity.

What does inclusive, socially just teaching at Adler University look like?

Our educators cultivate a respectful classroom climate that engages student diversity, challenges problems, and dismantles known barriers to student learning. Our faculty regularly:

  • Practice self-awareness, humility, and ongoing reflection;
  • Carefully apply inclusive teaching tenets;
  • Actively seek opportunities for increased accessibility;
  • Create intentional interactions that are informed by the requirements of social justice pedagogy;
  • Effectively assess student learning and the classroom environment

Explore More

Adler University Announces New Center for Diversity and Inclusion

Adler University is expanding its Office for Diversity and Inclusion with additional staffing and resources to form the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. The Center will lead efforts to create an equitable, diverse, and inclusive community that supports the success of students, faculty, and staff across campuses.

Learn More

Vancouver Campus Welcomes First Elder-in-Residence

In February, the Adler University Vancouver Campus, with support from the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, began an Elder-in-Residence program as part of an initiative to build connections and increase education and awareness of the experiences of First Nations communities.

Learn More

Black Author Series Elevates Black Voices and Promotes Discussions on Equity and Inclusion

The Adler University Center for Diversity and Inclusion recently launched the Chicago Campus Black Author Series to elevate Black voices and bring community members together across lines of difference to discuss diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.

Learn More