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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in History

Welcome to the Department of History’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Page!



Raised Hands

Our Commitment to Diversity

The department recognizes that true academic excellence depends in part on the pursuit of innovative research, effective teaching and learning, and engaged outreach.  It also requires recruiting and supporting a diverse population of faculty, staff, and students.  Although diversity means different things to different people, here the term refers to categories including race, color, sex, religion, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation and identities, veteran status, disability, and age.

We start with the assumption that diversity is everyone’s goal and to everyone’s benefit.  Because we believe that diversity enhances both the intellectual community at Ohio State and the quality of our scholarship and teaching, in addition to attention to hiring and admissions, diversity also requires critical engagement with diverse intellectual perspectives in all fields.  The discipline of history explores the full range of the human experience in all its variety, and specific fields will grapple with the issue of diversity in distinct ways.

The study of history necessarily involves the exploration and expression of opinions on any number of topics.  Indeed, the full and free expression of many viewpoints is central to the value of diversity.  We therefore encourage and welcome the full and free expression of all perspectives, subject to a single caveat:  In all exchanges we expect civility and respect for others.  We do not tolerate hateful speech or actions.

Our Commitment to Inclusion

Inclusion is an extension of diversity that recognizes and welcomes uniqueness of beliefs, backgrounds, talents, and capabilities on the part of all members of the Ohio State community, and the value that these contribute to a learning environment in every sense.  The History Department is particularly concerned to address the needs of persons with disabilities, physical or mental, to ensure their inclusion in the complete life of the Ohio State community.

The History Department is committed to creating an inclusive environment, welcoming to all, where success and prestige are based solely on achievement.

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

Established in 1999, this committee oversees the department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.  Per the department’s Pattern of Administration, its specific charge is as follows:

The Diversity & Inclusion Committee consists of faculty, graduate student, and staff representatives.  The committee will oversee diversity-related projects and make recommendations on diversity issues as needed.  It will work with or make suggestions to other committees as appropriate.  The chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee will serve as the department procedures oversight designee, providing guidance on diversity issues.  The committee chair will be available as a point of contact for complaints of discrimination or harassment, as well as a point of contact for requests for reasonable accommodation by persons with disabilities recognized by the University’s Office of Human Resources.

The 2023-2024 committee membership includes:

Stephanie Smith, Chair
Ryan Fontanilla
Hasan Jeffries (ex officio, DRO)
Amanda Respess
Daniel Rivers
Ahmad Sikainga
GSAC Representative

Although the committee is not the entity through which formal complaints concerning discrimination or harassment are initiated, nor the initiation of requests for reasonable accommodation by persons with disabilities, it can provide advice and support.

Read the History Department's Statement of Support for Black Lives Matter.
Read the AHA's Statement on History of Racist Violence in the US
University Procedures Regarding Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, and Diabilities

The university’s policy on sexual harassment, including information concerning how to initiate a complaint of sexual harassment, is here.

The university’s policy on affirmative action, equal opportunity employment, and non-discrimination/harassment, including information concerning how to initiate a complaint of discrimination, is here.

The university’s process for initiating requests for reasonable accommodation of a disability (both physical and mental) is here.

Students with disabilities should contact Student Life Disability Services.

Persons with disabilities should also contact the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator's Office.

Other Campus Resources

The Ohio State University Office of Diversity and Inclusion

ODI offers numerous resources, including lectures, discussion, publications, and sponsorship of conferences concerning diversity and inclusion.

Kirwin Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity

The Kirwin Institute is an interdisciplinary engaged research institute.  Its goal is to connect individuals and communities with opportunities needed for thriving by educating the public, building the capacity of allied social justice organizations, and investing in efforts that support equity and inclusion.

Disability Studies, College of Arts and Sciences

Disability Studies at OSU examines the nature, meaning, and consequences of disability in global culture from an integrated social, political, and cultural model.  It offers an undergraduate minor in Disability Studies.

Disability Studies offers links to a wide variety of organizations focused on such subjects as American Sign Language (ASL), aid for persons with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Student Advocacy Center, Office of Student Life

Students concerned about travel bans based upon the recent Executive Order signed on January 17, 2017, may contact the center for assistance and support.

Perspectives on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

An on-going series of brief videos by members of the Department of History, offering personal perspectives concerning all aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion.  Here is the first in the series:

Prof. Mark Grimsley, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 26, discusses the impact of mental disabilities and the resources available at Ohio State to address them.

In this video, Ohio State History Professor Hasan Kwame Jeffries discusses racial bias and discrimination. 


Other Items of Interest

"The 'Third Resource:' Managing Mental Illness in Academe," by Prof. Mark Grimsley