Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

"The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences."  Ruth Benedict

The Department of Anthropology is a community that includes and values the voices of all people. Our shared understanding of diversity is that it refers to human qualities that are different from our own and those of groups to which we belong, and are manifested in other individuals and groups. Our department recognizes the broad nature of diversity and seeks to be representative of as many dimensions of diversity as is possible, including but not limited to: race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, abilities, class, nationality, and other factors.

The Department of Anthropology at UMD is committed to being a place that values differences, provides equal opportunity, fosters mutual respect, challenges stereotyped preconceptions, and condemns all forms of discrimination and prejudice. We are committed to increasing the representation of those populations that have been historically marginalized and excluded from participation in U.S. higher education and anthropology, specifically. We understand that drawing upon diverse perspectives and experiences is central to creating a welcoming and rich academic, intellectual, and cultural environment for everyone.

Efforts to create and maintain a diverse and inclusive department incorporate the following goals:

  • Cultivating a culture of acceptance and inclusion in which diversity is valued and visible
  • Engaging in open dialogue on diversity issues
  • Incorporating diversity in curriculum, teaching, and other practices
  • Enhancing awareness of diversity issues through ongoing research and applied work
  • Recruiting, supporting and retaining faculty, students, and staff that represent the diversity of our community and discipline
  • Being socially responsible by training diverse students to secure employment both inside and outside of academia
  • Developing and strengthening collaborative relationships with a diverse range of on and off campus partners

We as anthropologists are uniquely positioned and committed to enacting positive change by working with marginalized groups to further their individual and community goals, facilitating understanding, and striving towards social justice.