The Importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
At the YAA, diversity, equity, and inclusion stands at the very core of what we do, who we represent, and who we are. These are central tenets for both us and for the university.
The YAA mission states that “our character, strength, and values come from our diversity and our commitment to a culture of inclusion and equity” and that we aspire to “enhance and renew the lifelong Yale experience for all alumni, whoever they are and wherever they may be.” That commitment is affirmed in our core values, which features inclusion and is joined by openness, impact, relevance, and collaboration, all terms relevant to the current discussion of justice, equality, and solidarity with our Black alumni.
Below you will find more on our work in this space, as well as tools, university initiatives, and more.
Yale Alumni Academy Honors Black History Month
Throughout February, Yale Alumni Academy will be sharing a new virtual tour dedicated to the story of African American civil rights from Reconstruction through today. The program features four themes: Reconstruction, Rights, Revolution, and Right Now.
In the two years since our first IMPACT conference, the world has undergone a pandemic revealing social inequities, a movement for anti-racism, and challenges to democracy itself.
This year’s IMPACT series, launching virtually on March 15, will garner added attention given the urgency of our times. We want to use this series to offer the Yale family a way forward, utilizing the insights and expertise of Yale alumni and faculty already making an impact in the world on these crucial matters.
Read, Watch, Listen, and Learn: A Curated Collection on Combating Racism and Advancing Equality
While hardly exhaustive, this compendium includes YAA initiatives and highlights Yale alumni and faculty whose expertise and actions further the ideals of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group
In January 2018, upon the completion of the work of the Alumni Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the DEI Working Group was formed to follow up on selected recommendations from the report. The working group, whose term runs through June 2019, is charged with pursuing the following projects, each based on recommendations in the Task Force’s report:
- Organizing events branded as Community Impact Initiatives to bring together alumni and civic leaders to discuss solutions to community challenges.
- Continuing learning events with an expanded focus on additional DEI themes.
- Developing best practices for building diverse leadership pipelines for the YAA, Yale College Classes, regional clubs, interest groups, the Yale Alumni Fund, and Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and professional schools.
- Developing ways to engage young alumni and alumni of color, including building alumni-to-student connections around DEI.
Summary of YAA DEI Activities: 2018-19
February 2019 DEI Working Group Update
September 2018 DEI Working Group Update
May 2018 DEI Working Group Update
Alumni Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Alumni Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) was formed in 2016 at the request of the Yale Alumni Association Board of Governors to do the following:
- Provide leadership on the development of diversity and inclusion strategies in existing alumni programming.
- Leverage all forms of diversity to strengthen the alumni network.
- Make recommendations for potential new programming and initiatives that might be offered to the Yale alumni community.
Standing for What Is Right
We at the YAA stand in solidarity with those calling for change. We stand with the Black community, our alumni who are hurting, and everyone who stands up against racism, hatred, intolerance, and injustice.
DEI Toolkit for Alumni Leaders
The YAA seeks to make all alumni feel welcomed and included in the alumni community, to include Yale alumni of all backgrounds in leadership roles, and to provide a culture of respect and courtesy.
In this toolkit, you'll find more on diversity, equity, and inclusion, how to promote DEI and DEI efforts, committing to a culture that promotes and models the ideals of DEI, outreach to alumni of diverse backgrounds, and more.
Belonging at Yale
Belonging at Yale serves as a central location for student, faculty, and staff resources that deepen a sense of belonging at Yale and strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community. The site offers:
- Information on our relevant policies, programs, and centers, and important reports and statements
- Resources for students, faculty, and staff who need guidance or support, or want to discuss or report discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct
- Ways to engage in efforts to create a more inclusive, equitable, and welcoming community, including student and staff organizations
- An opportunity to propose additional ways to strengthen a sense of belonging at Yale
To learn more, visit the Belonging at Yale website.
Event Spotlight: Ibram X. Kendi Conversation
On December 2, author and historian Ibram X. Kendi joined Belonging at Yale and the YAA for a conversation with Yale Professor Matthew Frye Jacobson to talk about racism, identity, and more.
The Yale Alumni Association is committed, as per the Yale mission, to “the free exchange of ideas in an ethical, interdependent, and diverse community.” That diversity includes all people regardless of ability or disability.
Websites and web applications are integral to the university’s academic and administrative work and the YAA’s mission and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. As such, Yale and the YAA are committed to making information, programs, and activities on its websites and web applications accessible to people with disabilities through the Yale Web Accessibility Policy.
To meet the requirements of the policy, alumni.yale.edu and all university websites should comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (“WCAG”) 2.0 Level AA. To see answers to common questions about accessibility, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page on the university’s Accessibility page. To report an accessibility issue on a Yale website or web application, please use the Accessibility Comments Form.
The YAA’s commitment to accessibility extends to physical spaces as well as digital. If you need an accommodation of any kind for a YAA event, on campus or off, please let us know in advance via your event registration. For questions, please reach out to the relevant YAA staff member or call us at 203-432-2586. More information can be found in the Help Center.