Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


Respect, integrity and a commitment to inclusiveness are clearly stated in the core values of PennWest Clarion and Edinboro. Both institutions have done historical work with diversity that lays a foundation for advancing this critical mission. Building on past success and continuing the positive momentum will enable us to enhance the experience of students and staff to build an inclusive community where all feel welcome and represented.

PennWest Clarion Non-Discrimination Policy

PennWest Edinboro Non-Discrimination Statement

Celebrating Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month (BHM) Clarion and Edinboro, as well as other State System universities, have teamed up to recognize the culture, rich traditions and achievements of African Americans throughout history. Spoken word poetry, art therapy sessions and dialogues featuring local and national experts are highlights of the collaborative, robust BHM programming. Following is additional information regarding DEI efforts at PennWest Clarion and Edinboro.


Office of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs was established in 2020 to promote an academically enriching and supportive climate that allows all members of its community to thrive and succeed. Prior to its formation, separate offices served each area.


Inquiry Seminar Course: Who me? Biased?

The course investigates how bias plays out in our society. The students explore ways to be more tolerant of differences in race, ethnicity and gender. A final class project focuses on antiracism.

Revitalized Black Studies Minor

Revamped as part of Clarion’s 400 Years of Resilience celebration, the minor fosters a dialogue about the importance of Black studies in academia and how it enriches students’ lives and builds a community of diversity and acceptance.

Building Bridges Program

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., two of the nine historically African American Greek letter organizations that make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council, are reactivating their Clarion chapters during spring 2021.

Student life

Divine 9 Fraternities and Sororities

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., two of the nine historically African American Greek letter organizations that make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council, are reactivating their Clarion chapters during spring 2021.


Inclusive Community Assessment Team

This team responds to reports of bias incidents and hate speech and addresses issues from an educational standpoint to cultivate inclusion, civility and mutual respect.

Presidential Diversity Advisory Council

The council advocates for diversity and equity within the campus and the surrounding community, and it provides programming, training and resources to university faculty, staff, alumni and community stakeholders.

Presidential Commissions

Clarion’s Presidential Commissions work to create a campus community that is fair, respectful, inclusive and equitable. The commissions include: Status of Women, LGBT+ Concerns, Sexual Harassment, Disabilities, Racial Equity, Veterans and Military Affairs, and Sustainability.


First to Fly

First to Fly engages first-generation students with faculty and staff who have had similar educational journeys, which fosters a sense of community with first-generation college students and enhances their academic and personal success.

Frederick Douglass Institute

The Frederick Douglass Institute seeks to create and nurture academic communities that will support the growth, development and success of all students, staff and faculty at Clarion. It is a member of the Frederick Douglass Collaborative Partnership, which exists across 14 campuses in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, supporting the education and development of more than 110,000 students. 


Equity Week

Equity Week is an annual celebration of the university’s continuing efforts toward a diverse, inclusive and equitable campus environment. The week features presentations on equity-related topics and concludes with the Equity Awards Dinner, jointly sponsored by Student Senate and the Office of Social Equity.

Martin Luther King Jr. Series

The Martin Luther King Jr. Committee coordinates sponsored and co-sponsored programs that enhance awareness of Dr. King's beliefs and actions. The overarching goal is to foster a just, multicultural and understanding community. Events include programs and the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Breakfast.


For the past 18 years, PennWest Clarion has presented an annual Juneteenth Celebration, featuring music and guest speakers. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1965, a year-and-a-half after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, when slaves in Texas learned they were free.


Title IX

Preferred First Name Policy

Allows students and employees to indicate their preferred first names to the university community even if they have not changed their legal names.

Campus Recreation Transgender Inclusion Policy

Ensures inclusive recreational programming for all students, faculty and staff regardless of gender identity.


All Gender Restroom Map

Provides a personal space for anyone seeking more privacy while on campus.


Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Terrence Mitchell, Ph.D., Edinboro's inaugural Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, joined the staff in January 2019. A Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan was developed and shared with the campus community in August 2019, setting the framework for a multi-year effort focused on increasing the recruitment and retention of students and employees from underrepresented groups. Edinboro has a long-standing reputation for supporting students with physical disabilities and is widely known for its accessible campus, so we have a history of serving this underrepresented population. While we have made strides in recent years to further strengthen diversity and inclusivity on campus, we recognize that there is more work to be done.


Edinboro’s newly established National Association of Black Journalists is leading the way for students of color from similar majors to join together and support each other. In process: The National Association of Black Accountants, the PASSHE system Health Professions Diversity Organization and The Latino Business League.

Student Life

Greek Life

In response to student requests, meetings were held with local chapters of the National Pan-Hellenic Council and with state representatives of historically Latino Greeks. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. have expressed interest in reestablishing chapters at Edinboro this spring.

New Student Orientation

Prior to each fall semester, PennWest Edinboro welcomes incoming first-year and transfer students to on-campus and virtual events for New Student Orientation. During two featured segments, individuals from the Center for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Academic Success Center and the Title IX Office present their resources and missions for the incoming class.


Frederick Douglass Institute

The Frederick Douglass Institute at PennWest Edinboro is an interdisciplinary, campus-wide body that serves as a resource for information and advocacy centered on issues related to equity and diversity. It is a member of the Frederick Douglass Collaborative Partnership, which supports nearly 100,000 students across the State System’s 14 campuses. The institute seeks to create and nurture “academic communities” that will foster the growth, development and success of all Edinboro students, faculty and staff. 

Presidential Commissions

A cornerstone of our commitment to diversity is the active engagement of students, faculty, and staff on Presidential commissions and the University Diversity Council. The Diversity Commission initiates campus-wide programs that advance diversity and cross-cultural awareness. The LGBTQIA+ Commission facilitates a University environment where all sexual orientations and gender expressions are recognized equally and inclusively. The President's Commission on the Status of Women advances a University goal for women to be recognized equally and inclusively in a supportive environment.


Cultural Celebrations

PennWest Edinboro’s Latinx Heritage Month and Black History Month programming provide educational, interactive moments for students, faculty, and staff to learn and enjoy common experiences as marginalized communities.

Diversity Dialogues

Launched in fall 2020, this series of virtual workshops addresses a variety of important diversity-related topics and issues with participation from Edinboro faculty and staff, alumni, community leaders and representatives from other regional universities. The forums allow a space for community members to discuss civil unrest, political turmoil and self-care.

Martin Luther King Jr./Dr. Joseph Laythe Award

Since 1997, more than 50 community leaders have been honored with the PennWest Edinboro Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award to celebrate King’s legacy and to honor northwestern Pennsylvania citizens who embody King’s spirit, philosophy and teachings. Now in its fifth year, the Dr. Joseph Laythe Award was created in honor of Laythe, a well-loved Edinboro history professor who died in March 2016. The Laythe Award celebrates a student champion who stands up for equality both on campus and in the community.

National Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leaders

Community members participated in programs featuring national DEI leader Dr. Michael Benitez, Jr. and joined Slippery Rock University to learn from national thought leaders Dr. Damon A. Williams and Dr. Carl Moore Jr., an expert in the practices necessary to support faculty establishment of culturally responsive pedagogy. State DEI leader Dr. Veronica Watson, coordinator of the Frederick Douglass Institute Collaboration, served as the keynote speaker at the 2019 Aspiring Faculty Workshop sponsored by the Edinboro Office of Social Equity and the Frederick Douglass Institute.

2019 PennWest Edinboro African American Alumni Reunion

African American alumni held their bi-annual reunion, with participation by notable alumni representing the PSAC West Championship 2006 football team. The event was supported by alumni members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council Greek letter organizations and hosted the anniversary celebration of the founding of the Pi Rho chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc


Edinboro has created new policies and procedures to increase the safety and welcoming atmosphere of the campus, while also supporting, with financial and human resources, historical local, state and federal protections for persons from marginalized backgrounds.

Inclusive Campus Assessment Team

Student Disability Accommodations

Title IX Reporting Requirements

Sexual Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination Policy

Preferred First Name Policy

State System Social Equity Policy



Support and Services

Financial Scholarships

PennWest Edinboro offers 32 diversity-related scholarships for students, including the Association of Faculty and Staff of Color Scholarship, the Martin Luther King Jr., Scholarship and the Santelli Diversity Endowment. Each scholarship has its own selection criteria, and award amounts and availability can vary from year to year.

Office for Accessibility Services

For more than 45 years, Edinboro has been committed to providing educational, experiential and social opportunities for students with disabilities. Our campus boasts facilities that are accessible to all community members and guests; the Americans with Disabilities Act sets a minimum threshold for designing buildings, but we strive to expand universal design of the physical environment in all of our renovation and construction projects. In addition to national recognition for these efforts, Edinboro launched the Boro Autism Support Initiative for Success (BASIS) in 2015, which helps students with autism make a smooth transition to college life.


At Clarion and Edinboro, we’re striving to create transformative environments where all students and employees are able to reach their fullest potential. Those concerted, strategic efforts focus on eliminating student success related opportunity gaps and achieving a personnel complement composition that mirrors the student applicant population. In collaboration with Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, we’re committed to growing and sustaining a diverse and inclusive learning, living and working environment that enriches us all.

The Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Frank G. Pogue Student Center
405 Scotland Road
Edinboro, PA 16444
Phone: 814-732-2912