Frequently Asked Questions

Contact for more information.

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) refers to practices and policies intended to support people who come from varying backgrounds and give them the resources they need to thrive in the LMU community.

    Our DEI staff uses theory-driven, evidence-based practices to put LMU's diversity and inclusion values into action. Our programs and initiatives promote inclusive excellence throughout the entire campus communityfaculty, staff, and students.

  • Visit the Meet the Team page for more information on our staff.

    Emelyn A. dela Peña, Ed.D.
    Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
    Contact for: Cabinet Associates, Search Process Workshop Information, 
    Collaboration opportunities, OMBUDS services
    (310) 338-7744 |

    Valeska Gutierrez
    DEI Program and Operations Specialist
    Contact for: General Information on DEI programs and upcoming events
    (310) 338-7744 |

    Joseph Bernardo, Ph.D.
    Director, DEI Capacity Building
    Contact for: Implicit Bias initiative, LAWS, CCC, IHIP
    (310) 338-1698 |

    Steven Neal
    Director, Academic Community of Excellence
    Contact for: Information on the Academic Community of Excellence
    (310) 338-5283 |

  • DEI serves faculty and staff in three major ways:

    (1) Implementation of various leadership development programs throughout each academic year: 

    • Leading Institutional Units & Programs | Inclusive Excellence (LIUP): a year-long leadership development program aimed at expanding the capacity of mid-level faculty and staff to lead effective units and programs while keeping in mind the goals of diversity and inclusiveness.
    • Cabinet Associates Program (CAP): a program dedicated to developing and sustaining a high quality of leadership that is central to Loyola Marymount University’s mission and goals. 
    • Leadership Development Alumni Forum: Participation in the annual Leadership Development Forum provides opportunities for faculty and staff who completed Leading Institutional Units and Programs or the Senior Vice President Fellows program to continue to build knowledge and acquire essential higher education leadership competencies.

    (2) Implicit Bias workshops for faculty and staff. 

    (3) Capacity Building initiatives that aim to increase knowledge, awareness, and understanding of various socio-cultural issues: 

    • D & I Quick Tips: A series of small brochures that provide helpful information and tools to increase diversity and inclusion in classrooms, programs, social events, and offices
    • Cultural Consciousness Conversations: A cohort of faculty, staff, and administrators from different sectors across campus get together once a month to share stories, learn about different perspectives, and build lasting relationships 



  • The Academic Community of Excellence (ACE) prepares underrepresented students (as defined by the U.S. Department of Education) and other students of color to pursue graduate and professional school. The goal of the program is to increase the representation of students of color in advanced degree programs and diversify our nation’s professional sectors.

    As a strategic initiative of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, ACE seeks to increase access, equity, and success for underrepresented students in preparing them for graduate school. 
  • LMU defines implicit bias as "attitudes, both favorable and unfavorable, that are activated without awareness or intentional control and that are different from and sometimes in contrast to explicit, self-reported beliefs."

    It refers to those attitudes, prejudices, and judgments that we unconsciously hold about people or groups. By definition, we are either unaware of these feelings or we are unable to pinpoint where they come from. While everyone has implicit biases, the nature of these prejudices aren’t universal. They’re ingrained in our subconscious through our individual experiences, upbringings, and backgrounds. For example, we often have biases related to racial groups, including our own. While many unconscious biases are related to ethnicity, it's possible to have biases based on sexual orientation, education, or gender. 

    Learn about DEI's Implicit Bias Initiative.

  • DEI offers three types of grants: 

    • Upper Division Course Transformation Grants, available to continuing tenured and tenure-track faculty who want to integrate substantive scholarship on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion into upper division courses in the major. (x)
    • Inclusive Excellence Higher Education Research Grants, designed to support higher education research that produces new institutional-specific knowledge that helps LMU achieve its mission and support the university’s inclusive excellence goals. (x) 
    • Inclusive Excellence Project Grants, designed to promote the development of new and sustainable recruitment, retention, and campus climate projects that help LMU achieve its mission and support the university’s inclusive excellence goals. (x)
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion provides information and resources to help guide LMU faculty, staff, and administrator search processes, including the 2020-21 Faculty Recruitment Boilerplate and customized workshops.  LMU search process workshops will be customized to fit the needs of your unit.  The two workshop topics include: 

    (1) Recruiting and Hiring for Mission and Inclusive Excellence
         Preparing for the search: Developing an inclusive position announcement and other matters


    Preparation of Inclusive position announcement with new boilerplate language;

    Understanding of Dean’s expectations for search process in college/school;

    Alignment of position description with visa requirements for international faculty, if appropriate;

    Understanding of online PeopleAdmin system used to implement and track search process.

    (2) Recruiting and Hiring for Mission and Inclusive Excellence
          Mitigating Implicit Bias in the Search Process


    Department-wide understanding of the search process and ways that implicit bias can impact candidate reviews at every stage, including candidate campus visits.

    Understanding of specific strategies to mitigate bias, along with handout of sample tools that may be adapted for a department’s needs.

    Understanding of Dean’s expectations for search, campus visit, and nature of departmental vote and written materials to be provided.


    Find more Recruitment & Hiring resources and request a workshop here.


  • DEI has many resources available on various topics related to cultural issues and best practices for inclusivity: 

    There is also a collection of resources on Implicit Bias and strategies to mitigate bias: 

  • There are seven staff and faculty affinity/networking groups at LMU, housed under Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The Affinity and Networking Groups promote networking and mentoring among faculty and staff through the establishment of positive social and professional links across the University.

    1. Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere (AWARE-LMU)
      The Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere, Loyola Marymount (AWARE-LMU) is a white anti-racist affinity group that supports white faculty and staff in deepening our learning about the impact of systemic racism on individuals, institutions, and society.
    2. Asian American Pacific Islander Faculty-Staff Association (AAPIFSA)
      The mission of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Faculty Staff Association is to serve the needs of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community at Loyola Marymount University.
    3. Black Faculty & Staff Alliance
      Throughout the academic year and during the summer, the LMU Black Faculty & Staff Alliance (BFSA) will provide members of the Community with opportunities for social engagement, acknowledge and celebrate Black faculty and staff contributions, share information about upcoming programs and resources, and address and/or respond to critical issues facing the Black Community.
    4. Committee on the Status of Women (CSW)
      The Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) is a University Standing Committee charged with addressing issues of special concern to women students, staff, and faculty on the LMU campus and advising the president on these issues.
    5. Latinx Faculty Association
      Founded in the early 1990s, the LMU Latinx Faculty Association is an open group, bringing together Latinx-identifying faculty members and allied colleagues from across the campus for collaboration, professional support, and advocacy pertaining to such things as university curriculum, senior leadership, faculty diversity, worker issues, regional/(inter)national movements, and students (including undocumented, transfer, 1st generation, graduate, undergraduate, etc).
    6. Latinx Staff Association
      The Latino Staff Association is aligned with Loyola Marymount University's mission and is committed to fostering a community where diversity can thrive, be empowered, and celebrated; enhancing professional opportunities, increasing awareness, and active participation; and providing a supportive network and resource for Chicano / Latino employees
    7. LGBTQ Faculty-Staff Network
      The mission of the LGBTQ Faculty Staff network is to enhance the campus climate of LMU by promoting service, providing education, and fostering community among the LGBTQIA+ and straight ally faculty and staff.

    More details and contact information available in our Faculty & Staff Affinity and Networking Groups brochure.