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Building an Inclusive Campus Culture

A community that welcomes everyone.

A Message From the President

American University is committed to ensuring that we are a community where people of all identities and experiences are understood, appreciated, and fully included.

Nearly 125 years ago, our founders endowed us with the core values of equality, diversity, justice, human rights, and public service — values that have shaped our mission and influenced our actions to this day. We are dedicated to retaining these principles as we respond to the needs of a changing world.

We foster a community where diverse perspectives are discussed and debated in an environment that values human dignity and respect, academic freedom, and freedom of expression. When we invite different perspectives and listen to others, we have the opportunity to consider new viewpoints and sharpen our own perspectives. We learn and thrive. I look forward to learning from all of you.

— Sylvia M. Burwell
President, American University

International Students Welcome You


No matter who you are, no matter where you are from, you are welcome here at American University.

Crucial Conversations Series

Interfaith Chapel Service

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I Am Diveristy and Inclusion Series for Faculty and Staff

Creating Inclusive Communities

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Leadership Development Speaker Series

Courses offered to AU Staff through AsucessfulU

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President’s Council on Diversity & Inclusion(PCDI)

We look forward to hearing from you!

(PCDI) advises the president and reviews and makes recommendations regarding diversity and inclusion-related strategic plan goals, as well as AU policy and procedures.

We hope that this page is engaging and informative. It represents many hours of discussion, debate and work, yet it is neither complete nor perfect. If it does not represent you, or if it lacks important information, please let us know at

President's Charge February 29, 2016

To make lasting improvements in both the diversity and inclusiveness of our community, AU is committed to the following actions:

  • Establish a presidential council to oversee these plans, monitor institutional progress, recommend new objectives, and plan necessary resources
  • Introduce a mandatory course on diversity and inclusion for all first year and transfer students
  • Revise and elevate awareness of discrimination policies, channels for complaint, and avenues for support
  • Reallocate five tenure or tenure track positions to recruit diverse candidates to AU's faculty
  • Develop programs to cultivate inclusive classrooms, including an entry program for newly appointed tenure track faculty and dialogue sessions for current faculty

Charting Progress

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Pathways for Change

We are establishing an infrastructure to support, cultivate, and foster greater diversity and inclusion.

Reporting Bias

For complaints against:

Looking forward

To make a lasting impact, we must continue to uphold our core values.

Diversity on campus

AU aligns with the work of the Association of American Colleges & Universities in defining diversity and inclusion.

AU's population 1

Minority Freshmen
32 %
Undergraduates of color
31 %
Full-time faculty of color
18 %
  1. Data from 2016

Diversity is defined as individual differences (e.g., personality, learning styles, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations).

Inclusion is the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity in the curriculum, co-curriculum, and communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect.

Creating Change

I do see change, and I do feel it, because I’ve been part of it.

I think AU and campus groups are facilitating more avenues to talk about race and diversity. In my department, we teach 12 different languages and we live that diversity in a way that is so natural to us. Yet throughout the university, we need to have difficult conversations, and we won’t always have closure. I do see change, and I do feel it, because I’ve been part of it. Having lived in Latin America for 15 years and been exposed to different environments, I can say that this campus has been very welcoming. I do feel at home here.

Kendi Named One of The Root's 100

Professor Ibram Kendi

Professor Ibram X. Kendi has been named one of The Root's 100 Most Influential Young African Americans. View The Root's website

On campus with people walking, trees, and an AU flag.


AU Announces New Tenure-Line Faculty Hires

Introducing teachers and researchers to the AU community.

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Department Spotlight

New Majors and Programs Debut Fall 2017

For fall 2017, AU students can take advantage of a diverse group of new undergrad and graduate majors, minors, and tracks within the College of Arts and Sciences.

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The goal is to make AUx2 be mandatory for all incoming first-year and transfer students in 2018-2019.

On Campus

First-Year Students Dive Deeper in New Class on Race

The new course is part of the American University Experience pilot.

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artistic representation of racial dialogue

On Campus

Staying in the Conversation: Race and Its Intersections

AU professors go back to the classroom for intensive sessions on race and identity.

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Get Involved

Initiatives Across Campus

Across our campus, community members are committed to cultivating a diverse and inclusive culture.

  • School & College Initiatives
  • Center for Diversity & Inclusion
  • Department Initiatives

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Student Activities

There are more than 200 student-led organizations that help students create connections and find support systems on campus.

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Alumni Association

AU offers a diverse range of affinity groups and networks that celebrate identity, industry, leisure, student activities, and student experience.

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