Welcome! The Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a collaborative leader and initiator of transformative change at CIIS, working closely with students, staff, and faculty to advance diversity and student success, create an inclusive academic environment, and incorporate the principles of diversity and inclusive excellence across the institution. 

The Division offers and supports a variety of CIIS experiences, including the Bridge Program for incoming first-year students, the Black Psychology Project to cultivate African-centered praxis and leadership, diversity trainings and workshops, extracurricular events and conversations, film screenings, and teach-ins. 

Through these events and resources, the division strives to work with the CIIS community to engage the entire institution in meaningful dialogues and actions that lead to introspection and change, affecting not only the academic environment and student experience at CIIS, but the community beyond. The Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion also hopes to challenge students to enhance their writing, research, and overall education during their time at CIIS, while supporting faculty and staff in creating diverse, inclusive, and equitable classrooms and curricula. 

The Division's open door policy welcomes all students, staff, and faculty to drop in to chat about ways to get involved, learn more about diversity resources, or simply say hello!

Strategic Priorities

DDEI’s strategic roadmap expresses CIIS’ institutional commitment to create a more sustainable, flourishing, and antiracist institution that accurately reflects our mission and values. The priorities outlined below are the product of close collaboration with the Offices of the President and the Provost, Human Resources, Institutional Effectiveness, Strategic Communications and Relations, and the heroic contributions of our faculty, staff, students, and board of trustees. These priorities are part of a working document and are subject to change.

  • Operationalize Racial and Social Justice and Equity
  • Increase Student, Staff, and Faculty Diversity Recruitment, Retention, and Professional Development
  • Expand Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQ+, Neurodiverse, Disabled, Ecological, and Liberatory Perspectives
  • Create a Culture of Belonging
  • Measure the Effectiveness and Impact of the CIIS Strategic Roadmap

Black Psychology Project

The Black Psychology Project at CIIS is an African-centered workshop series and leadership development program that focuses on African ancestry students (with inclusion of the broader CIIS community). The project raises awareness of and support for Black Psychology as a field of study and for its application and practice in one’s life work both personally and professionally. A unique aspect of the project is the use of an African-centered leadership development and knowledge transfer praxis called Jegnaship. Jegnaship is a relational African-centered intentionally guided development process for intergenerational knowing and knowledge transfer which engages in a mutual co-learning approach as detailed by founder Dr. Adeeba Deterville in her 2020 work Sankofa Praxis. The Jegnaship process will facilitate the sustainability of the project each academic year as new cohorts and project alumni are engaged as participants.

  • All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend the Black Psychology Project's monthly workshop series. Students of African ancestry who are enrolled in psychology programs at CIIS as well as members of the Black Student Union are encouraged to apply to the Jegnaship Cohort. The Jegnaship Cohort is open to 10 students per semester.

    Jegnaship Cohort applications will open in Fall 2024.

    • To enhance the integral education learning experiences of African ancestry students and the CIIS community by increasing knowledge and awareness of Black Psychology as a field of study and its application and practice.
    • To establish a Peer-Jegnaship Cohort of 10 students of African ancestry enrolled in psychology programs (as well as other fields of discipline) or members of the Black Student Union. This Peer-Jegnaship Cohort will improve student retention and aid in the long-term stability of the Black Psychology Project.  
    • To establish an Alumni Jegnaship Cohort of African ancestry alumni from psychology (as well as other disciplines of study) or past members of the Black Student Union (and previous Black student groups). The Alumni Jegnaship Cohort will aid in the long-term stability of the Black Psychology Project by providing early career development support and improving new student recruitment.
    • To offer a series of workshops in Black Psychology over an academic year to explore Black Psychology and other African-Centered wellness practices, both from a professional context as well as an informal, community-based context.  This will strengthen the social and educational foundations and provide support for the idea of Black individuals entering mental health careers.
    • To continue to move CIIS towards being an anti-racism institution by expanding the epistemological frame to one that takes an emic approach to psycho-spiritual wellness via African-rooted theories which advance African views, values, and symbolism as restorative praxis. 

Emerging Black Clinicians

The Emerging Black Clinicians Fellowship is a cohort-based hybrid program over the course of the academic year. This fellowship’s mission is to support the wholeness of one’s lived, Black experience while developing the tools to bring this unique, integrated wisdom into the clinical space. The program culminates with an end-of-year community presentation centered around Black Psychology and wellness. 

During their fellowship year, recipients will have access to the following programming and services: 

  • A small learning cohort held by a seasoned mental health professional and educator 
  • An ongoing speaker series featuring clinicians who are studied in the field of Black Psychology 
  • Mentorship 
  • Wellness offerings such as group therapy, healing circles, and expressive arts experiences 
  • Group workshops and individual coaching on academic and career-related topics 
  • A $1,500 stipend

Emerging Black Clinicians Fellowship Project Manager Deanna Jimenez is a professor in the Somatic Psychology master's program at CIIS. Her work designing and managing the fellowship has created a rich and supportive learning community. Fellows also benefit from ongoing support from Deanna and the cohort, and in turn share all they have learned through the fellowship experience with the CIIS community. Current students can learn about our past presenters and programming by visiting our sharepoint page, and all can watch fellows' presentations on our YouTube channel.

Applications are open. Please email ebcfellowship@ciis.edu with any questions.

Beyond Land Acknowledgement Task Force

In the Fall of 2021, the Beyond Land Acknowledgement Task Force was formed through the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Staff Advisory Committee. In March 2022, the Task Force began in earnest with an introductory presentation and Inner Work session. The Beyond Land Acknowledgement Task Force will exist from March 2022–May 2023, during which time it will conduct research, create space for Indigenous programming and voices, engage decolonizing perspectives, and create a refreshed CIIS Land Acknowledgement. This work will continue as part of the Center for Black and Indigenous Praxis beginning in Fall 2023.


Sustainability at CIIS is an essential part of the Division of Diversity, Equity as it works to uphold and expand liberatory and ecological perspectives. The following sustainability objectives were created to advance our commitment to a more ecologically just CIIS:

  • Document the history of sustainability at CIIS
  • Attain green building certification
  • Increase sustainability programming and community engagement

In the fall of 2022, a sustainability coalition began the process of working towards a green building certification. Additional initiatives and resources are greatly enhanced by collaborations with Public Programs, the Beyond Land Acknowledgment Task Force, and Student Affairs, as well as CIIS’ Green Team.