students in cap and gown

Promoting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

At the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR), we firmly believe that our institution is enriched by the diversity of our community. As such, diversity and inclusion were included in the core values and operational goals identified during the strategic visioning process in 2019. Since that time, through College-wide engagement, it became clear that often unseen, unspoken, or unintentional structural issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) were an area for growth within all our efforts, and thus should be included as the College’s fifth strategic vision area. Through this new strategic vision area, CAHNR continues to reinforce our commitment to actively fostering inclusion and equity, which is founded on a recognition that systems and structures have historically privileged certain groups and hindered or harmed others.

CAHNR aspires to create an inclusive, equitable, culturally competent, just, and supportive environment where the institutional culture models behavior that enriches the communities we serve. We can do this by supporting and advancing a mission focused on promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in curriculum, outreach programs, research activities, and the institutional policies and practices we embrace. Efforts to address these systems are the joint responsibility of all of us at CAHNR, and we are dedicated to working together to build a welcoming, equitable community where all can thrive.

As a College, we are working to promote diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion to explore how inclusive, just, and anti-racist approaches can be strengthened as core values throughout CAHNR and integrated into all thematic areas by:

  • Fostering inclusive, anti-racist, and culturally sustaining learning environments
  • Creating space and support for historically excluded groups including Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQ+, neurodiverse, and people with disabilities
  • Instituting inclusive and equitable policies and processes, with a particular focus on anti-racist and exclusionary structures and systems
  • Establishing processes and approaches that ensure authentic community engagement

In the news

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice

A long-term partnership between CAHNR and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation has led to the development of Meechooôk Farm and other programs that strengthen the tribal community, their land-base, and self-sufficiency.


Learn More

Our Progress

Smiling African American female student in lab

The strategic vision implementation committees (SVIC) focused on promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice has made strides to formalize their plans and their path forward since becoming the fifth strategic vision area. The group, along with CAHNR’s administration, is coordinating existing DEIJ efforts under the SVIC’s umbrella to ensure intentional, inclusive, and coordinated support for marginalized groups in our College and in the communities we serve.

  • Formation of the Working Group on Structural Racism and its subcommittees focused on dismantling structural racism and fostering environments that advance racial equity, inclusion, and belonging by advocating for antiracist policies, practices, and norms within CAHNR, UConn, and the state of Connecticut
  • Launched a search for a senior faculty position focused on DEIJ
  • Established conversation and planned collaboration between the CAHNR Diversity & Inclusion Committee, the Working Group on Structural Racism, and the UConn Office for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Advised the College on the addition of an Associate Dean for Diversity Equity, and Inclusion to the CAHNR leadership team. This position is to be filled in the 2022-2023 academic year
  • Identified the need for a comprehensive vision and action plan focused on DEIJ for CAHNR

Moving Forward

A student uses a laptop computer in front of the rainbow flag..

Moving forward, this SVIC will engage in an important aspect of the visioning process: seeking additional feedback directly from stakeholders to determine their needs related to DEIJ. We will seek to fill knowledge gaps to best advance this vision area. Once this process is complete, the DEIJ SVIC will seek to:

  • Work with College administration to develop a diversity plan for CAHNR that aligns with UConn’s diversity mission and includes outcomes, strategic themes, institutional objectives, action steps, and measurable indicators of progress
  • Promote best practices in teaching, research, and extension/outreach efforts across the College
  • Work with the other four SVICs to address DEIJ goals in their thematic areas

Support CAHNR's Strategic Vision

CAHNR faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to join one of the strategic vision implementation committees to lend their perspectives and ideas to this College-wide initiative


Contact the Committee

Neha Mishra

Assistant Professor, Pathobiology

Sharon Gray

Associate Extension Educator, Community Nutrition

Zbigniew Grabowski

Associate Extension Educator, Water Quality