Equity, Inclusion & Social Justice

Mills values equity, inclusion, and social justice as core values of the College and offers dedicated resources to demonstrate our commitment. We strive to provide information and support to students, faculty, staff, and alumnae on issues related to the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender/gender identity, religion and spirituality, class and economic status, age, sexual orientation, disability, immigrant status, and national origin. 

Our Philosophy

Mills College embraces diversity and social justice as key components of academic, cocurricular, and residential life. The College encourages every member of our community to embrace this vision and to work to attract, support, and retain students, faculty, and staff who reflect the diversity and social justice values of Mills.

Diversity refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from race, ethnicity, gender/gender identity, religious and spiritual beliefs, class, age, color, sexual orientation, disability, immigrant status, and national origin. Social justice refers to a commitment to challenging social, cultural, and economic inequalities imposed on individuals arising from any differential distribution of power, resources, and privilege at Mills and in the larger society.

Since its founding, Mills College has remained committed to empowering women to overcome the social barriers that have excluded them from educational and career opportunities. In the 20th century, Mills recognized the importance of extending this access to women from diverse backgrounds, including self-identified women, resumer students, parenting students, and first-generation college students. In addition, Mills graduate and professional programs are designed to provide an environment that values women's leadership and promotes gender equality. Because the College aims to educate all students to acquire the knowledge and skills to effect thoughtful changes in a global, multicultural society, we seek to create opportunities for engagement in activities that promote equity and justice.

Mills honors freedom of expression and respectful discourse as fundamental educational cornerstones. We recognize that students learn best in an environment that is safe for disagreement, recognizes and addresses diverse learning styles, and values holistic growth and wellness.

Mills recognizes that diversity and social justice are inextricably linked to academic excellence and innovation. Critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, creativity, and collaboration are all enhanced when a diverse faculty and student body interact and learn from one another. By offering a traditional liberal arts curriculum while engaging new pedagogies and diverse perspectives, Mills provides a transformative educational experience that prepares students for excellence and effective leadership in their careers, professions, and in graduate education.

Community Principles

Mills College supports open inquiry and freedom of speech that allows for constructive discourse and debate on complex and divisive issues; however, this does not give permission to individuals or groups to engage in blatant or subversive acts of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, class, age, disability, sexual orientation, religious, or political beliefs.

Insensitive actions that demonstrate religious intolerance, hatred, bigotry, or oppression serve to undermine and diminish all people. Such actions are inconsistent with the values we hold at Mills for diversity in its totality.

The dean of student life, the provost, and the director of employee services, work with our institutional Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Committee to address the full range of diversity issues that affect the campus climate both inside and outside of the classroom. As we work together to build a strong community, it is important to share concerns with us.

Our goals are clear, we are:

  • strengthening our institutional policies to protect individuals and groups more effectively who find themselves placed in dangerous, discriminatory, or harassing environments;
  • encouraging additional and continual education among students, faculty, and staff to counteract hate or discriminatory behavior;
  • enforcing consistent disciplinary action and/or sanctions that apply to students, faculty, and staff who violate the codes of conduct currently articulated in the faculty, student, and employee handbooks;
  • regularly and systematically assessing and evaluating the development of a culture of acceptance and civil discourse amongst the different constituencies of the College.

We hereby reaffirm our commitment to being an inclusive educational community where all individuals are treated fairly and with respect. It is our hope that each of us will engage in thoughtful acts of civility and social justice, and that we learn to understand and respect the richness and the diversity that is Mills.