Diversity,Inclusion and Social Justice Committee

Co-Chairs: Donald Knight, Raimi Quiton, Shari Waldstein

DISJ Members: Elissa Abod, Sandra Barrueco, Molly Franz, Angela Katencamp, Diane Placide, David Schultz



The Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice (DISJ) Committee (formerly the Ethnic and Cultural Diversity Committee) was created in 1990 by the Psychology Department to address issues of diversity, inclusion and social justice, especially as they relate to department graduate students, undergraduate students, faculty and staff in the areas of curriculum, recruitment, and retention. The DISJ Committee is open to participation by faculty, graduate students, and staff. If you’re interested in joining, please email one of the Co-Chairs (dknigh1@umbc.edu; rquiton1@umbc.edu; waldstei@umbc.edu).


Select Prior/Ongoing DISJ Accomplishments Related to Diversity and Inclusivity

  • Development and implementation of monthly one-hour DEI training and/or discussion activity for all departmental faculty
  • Regular assessments of the climate of the department to examine our areas of strength and relative concerns.
  • Annual speaker series for diversity education and annual training opportunities for faculty and graduate students.
  • Large inclusive meeting where departmental community members share perceptions of the climate of our department and collaboratively brainstorm solutions.
  • Inclusion consultation with Baltimore Racial Justice Action (BRJA)
  • Creation of department’s diversity plan
  • Identifying and creating a repository of resources


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Workgroups:

In order to have more focused discussions and action items, DISJ developed smaller working groups to address issues and concerns related to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The workgroups have been a main way in the last several years that we’ve moved forward our shared departmental values of diversity, equity, and inclusivity. Each workgroup develops a plan for what it will work on in the academic year and then meets regularly (e.g., monthly) to do the work. All workgroups are open to faculty, graduate student, and staff participation. Please contact the below Workgroup leader if you’re interested in joining. Our current DEI workgroups are:


DEI Workgroup I: Tool for Concerns about Inclusive Environment

Workgroup Leader: Molly Franz, mfranz@umbc.edu

Purpose: Pilot a tool to promote communication about inclusive environments through which graduate students and faculty can safely share experiences of bias encountered and communicated this to a confidential ad-hoc committee. Our ultimate goal is to help department members gain awareness of non-inclusive behavior and make changes to facilitate a safe and inclusive environment for all our community members.

Progress: The tool is now live and accessible for students. It is located here: https://psychology.umbc.edu/tool-for-concerns-about-inclusive-environment/


DEI Workgroup 2: Social Justice Education for Faculty

Workgroup Leader: Karrie Godwin, kgodwin@umbc.edu

Purpose: Educating and supporting faculty in skill development related to diversity, equity, and inclusivity. Our goal is to continue to help faculty design and deliver inclusive courses.

Progress: The progress we’ve made has centered around three initiatives. First, we developed and added three questions to psychology department course evaluations (i.e., the SEEQ) related to diversity, equity, and inclusivity. Second, for faculty promotion and tenure review materials, we developed examples and descriptions of what addressing diversity and learning differences in one’s teaching looks like and means. Third, we’ve led seminars for psychology department faculty on developing inclusive syllabi.


DEI Workgroup 3: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Offerings

Workgroup Leader: Jabarey Wells, jwells5@umbc.edu

Purpose: The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Offerings workgroup is focused on evaluating, (re)developing, improving, and facilitating student-focused courses, programs, workshops, etc., related to sharing knowledge, values, and practices related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. These focus areas particularly center on the Diversity Topics course and Diversity Orientation, currently aimed at first-year students. Our process for achieving these goals is driven by student needs and desires as explored through formal and informal assessments.

Progress: The workgroup organized and facilitated an orientation for first—and second-year students in the Spring of 2024. Students also presented data and responses from the Diversity orientation evaluation survey and Diversity Topics Report to faculty. During this meeting, the workgroup  also proposed an idea for a speaker series, which could start in the Fall of 2024.


DEI Workgroup 4: Undergraduate Involvement in Diversity Equity and Inclusion

Workgroup Leader: Angela Katenkamp, akaten1@umbc.edu

Purpose: The purpose of this workgroup is to develop and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives for undergraduate students and get them involved in the DEI work of the department.

Progress: This workgroup launched in the Spring of 2024 and is working on developing workgroup goals and initiatives. Preliminary goals include finding ways to promote the department’s DEI related events and activities to undergraduate students and finding opportunities for undergraduates to develop and become involved in DEI-related initiatives.

This workgroup is looking for faculty, graduate, and undergraduate members. If you are interested in joining, please contact Dr. Katenkamp at akaten1@umbc.edu.