Acting on Equity and Racial Justice

Strategic Priority

Acting on Equity and Racial Justice


It is time for Portland State to accelerate its effort to combat racism and advance social justice across our campus with dogged determination and long-term commitment. We will build on the work of many to engage all of PSU in this effort, applying an antiracist lens to every signal we send, every model we create, and every policy we enact. We will measure our progress and hold each other to account. We will double down on our efforts to expand diversity—among our administrators, faculty, staff, and students—and ensure success for all. 

When we get it right: PSU will have designed and implemented measurable steps to eradicate persistent and structural racism, ushering in success for all students, more equitable working conditions, and an environment where people feel safe, belong, and prosper.

Equity Task Force Recommendations

More than 500 members of the Portland State University community created a vision for a just and equitable campus at the Time to Act Fall 2020 Equity Summit. Five cross-campus task forces then recommended continuing actions to make that vision a reality.

Prioritized recommendations will qualify for funding through the Racial Equity Fund — $1.5 million over three years — for investments to advance student retention and success, nurture an empowering climate for BIPOC employees, and support the development and deployment of an anti-racist lens. 

We encourage you to review each task force's recommendations and share your thoughts via their respective feedback forms. Thank you for helping PSU create meaningful change for racial justice.

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Leadership and Infrastructure: This group recommends addressing uneven distribution of labor, developing equity-based budget models and practices, and creating an equity analytics team to manage and report equity-related data. These broad organizational strategies will create a structure that supports our equity goals.

Intro Video ›     View Recommendations ›     Give Feedback ›

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Campus Climate and Intergroup Relations: This task force was asked to find ways to create a welcoming campus that supports all students and fosters positive interactions across cultures. They recommend: adopting a formal plan to guide the university toward its goals; creating a shared language around that work; and tracking progress with a new equity dashboard.

Intro Video ›     View Recommendations ›     Give Feedback ›

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Employee Access, Success and Equity: To recruit and retain a diverse workforce, this work group proposes using trauma-informed care practices, targeting talent development to prioritize marginalized employees, and creating more opportunities to hire and promote BIPOC individuals. These recommendations will help ensure equitable experiences and outcomes for employees.

Intro Video ›     View Recommendations ›     Give Feedback ›

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Education, Scholarship and Service: Recommendations to eliminate racism from the curriculum include: creating an accountability structure to infuse instruction with equity and cultural responsibility, bringing cultural sustainability and equity into the promotion and tenure process, and encouraging culturally responsive creative work across campus.

Intro Video ›     View Recommendations ›     Give Feedback ›

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Student Access, Success and Equity: The task force recommends developing an equity framework for student communications to remove any microaggressions or links to racial trauma. They also propose creating a committee of first-generation students to train staff in student services and a committee to ensure scholarships and student accounts are equitable.

Intro Video ›     View Recommendations ›     Give Feedback ›

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Time 2 Act: Winter Symposium

Building on months of conversation and planning, the 2021 Winter Symposium brought together the campus community to discuss the history and future of DEI work at PSU and initiatives of five task forces to envision a more equitable and racially-just campus.


Join an Affinity Group

Make connections and get support in PSU’s Affinity Groups and Employee Resource Groups. These inclusive, safe and empowering groups provide opportunities for faculty and staff with underrepresented and marginalized identities to build communities and support one another professionally.

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Foundational Resources

The work of the Equity Task Forces will draw from, and advance, the great work that has been done by different bodies on campus including the Diversity Action Council, affinity groups, and ad hoc task forces that are focused on the needs of various BIPOC communities.

Ideas in Action

Portland State is building on years of work by students, faculty and staff to make our campus just and equitable. It’s important to celebrate our progress as we acknowledge how much farther we still have to go to reach our goals. We are engaging with our community, creating innovative programs, and taking bold action to make meaningful change. We invite you to share your Ideas in Action to be featured here.