Time to Act: Virtual Equity Summit

Virtual Meeting

Event Details

President Stephen Percy and Vice President Ame Lambert cordially invite the PSU community to join us for a virtual equity summit to discuss the future of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Portland State.

Friday, October 30, 2020
9am - 4:30pm | Online (via Zoom)

There is a 500 attendee limit for this event

A moment of reckoning? A pivotal moment? A radical reawakening?

For those who are in it — those on the receiving end of injustice and inequity, you can call it what you want, it doesn’t matter that much — our recent national and local conversations are merely just an extension, or more accurately, an explosion of continuous micro and macro harms done to individuals, groups, and communities.

For exhausted individuals and communities of color (or BIPOC communities), while there is faith in the passion and persistence of the next generation leaders, it is hard not wonder if this will be like prior seasons of ‘awakening.’ Intense focus, grand promises, visible allies, a few quick, peripheral actions with grand flare…and then nothing…a fading back to status quo.
How will we, the Portland State University community, ensure that this time is not like last time? What will it take for us to respond in ways that last longer than the news cycle. How do we move closer to our aspirations and live our mission even more intentionally?

You want action and not just words. You want meaningful change and transformational efforts. So do we.

What will equity and Justice at PSU take?

It will take you. It will take us. It will take all of us. It will take a vision big and bold enough to command the energy and focus it needs to become reality, a vision that will be worth the effort, the time, and the discomfort and the  pain. It will take grit, it will take hope, it will take vulnerability, the courage to take risks and a willingness to try, and to fail.

It will take rethinking some things and restructuring some things. It will take critically examining the signals we send through our modeling, messaging and expectation setting;  what we reward, incentivize and hold each other accountable for. It will take capacity building and developing new paradigms and partnerships.

This is our PSU. Let’s make sure it is the PSU it needs to be.

We know you have shared a lot. And we know some of you feel that you have not been heard. We are asking for another opportunity to partner, and we are also asking for something different. Let us co-create together, not just passively listen and have you wait for a response.

Join us on October 30th to create this vision. Join us to ensure that we deepen our commitment. And back it up with meaningful and impactful action.

This time can be different, if we make it so. It is our time to act.

The Summit

On October 30th, from 9am to 4:30pm, the campus community will engage in a collective visioning and planning summit. Using the Appreciative Inquiry methodology, we will lean into the core parts of PSU, a racially just and equitable future, and start developing a learning and action agenda to make our vision a reality.
The day will be filled with interactive discussions and activities, so please plan to be present for the whole day as activities build on each other and your voice will be critical throughout.
To commit to the full day of co-creation, please complete the Summit Registration Form.

We understand the many challenges and responsibilities we have to juggle during this unprecedented time, and we know not everyone can commit to a full day. For those who are unable to commit to the full day, but would still like to view the live-streamed main sessions of the summit, please indicate as such when completing the registration form. Access to the livestream will also be available to full-time registrants who are in excess of the 500 attendee limit.

Register soon! There is a 500 attendee limit for this event.

Task Forces

The work of the summit is being shepherded by five task forces, organized according to a five dimension framework adapted from the two most popular DEI frameworks in higher education: the Inclusive Excellence framework and Smith’s Framework for Fostering Diversity and Inclusion1.

Building on the Foundation and Work of Many Champions

Many of you have worked for many years to advance equity and justice at PSU. We honor your efforts and thank you for your work that we know can be invisible and thankless. We are cataloging a list of recommendations and actions items across plans and reports.

Please watch this space for supplementary documents and resources to be added in the time leading up to the Equity Summit.


We seek to have data-informed strategies and look for the stories that are discovered when we disaggregate and intersect data in a variety of ways.

For questions and more information, please email diversity@pdx.edu.



  1. Smith, D. G., Diversity's Promise for Higher Education: Making it Work (2nd ed.).
    Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.