Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) Team
Profile of CIIS Office of Diversity and Inclusion team
The ODI works within a paradigm of shared leadership where partnership and reciprocity are encouraged and cultivated so that each of us may bring our unique voice to the conversation. We aim to embody and model the ideals of diversity and inclusion within our community, and to support our CIIS family through what is often challenging work, while maintaining an open and inviting heart. Please see our bios below to learn more about each one of us, and please do not hesitate to visit us in person.
Rachel D. Bryant serves as the Chief Diversity Officer for California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), San Francisco, where she earned a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Community Mental Health. Rachel is pursuing a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership at Mills College, Oakland. Her passion and research interests situate her life-work and scholarship at the intersection of social justice, education, and psychology. She is working to facilitate closure between knowledge production in institutions and the need for knowledge in communities traditionally excluded. She serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Master’s in Counseling Psychology and Undergraduate Studies Programs at CIIS. Rachel is also a Core Member of the Healing Clinic Collective, which provides loving traditional healing sessions to people from especially traumatized populations in the Bay Area. As a teacher-student, Rachel honors the wisdom and intelligence of everyday people, the human body, and the natural world. She confidently believes that all people have the innate wisdom and intelligence to serve as healers and educators in their communities. When Rachel is not working, you can find her creating multimedia artworks, gardening, or in the kitchen experimenting with soul food from around the world. She lives in East Oakland with her daughter.
As an immigrant from Colombia, I have had a first-hand perspective of what it is like to be a minority in the United States. I have developed a passion for equity, as well as an awareness of the fact that there is always more for me to learn about my privileged identities. I have a deep respect for underrepresented groups; my experience as an ESL student, my professional background working with autistic youth, and my spiritual practice inform a sensitivity toward the struggles lived by racial minorities, those who come from low-income backgrounds, disabled people, and people of LGBTQ identities. Along with understanding and honoring our differences, I am simultaneously called to explore how unity moves through our diverse expressions, and how to gracefully hold the paradox of our shared spiritual essence with the diversity of the struggles that arise in our day-to-day lives. I am honored to be in a position such as this, where I take part in making a difference in people's empowerment through their education. I am a graduate of CIIS' School of Undergraduate Studies, and am currently a graduate student in our Integral Counseling Psychology program. I am passionate about meditation and spiritual development, I enjoy writing and recording music, love reading, and am a visual artist.
I am excited to be a part of the CIIS community as a second-year Drama Therapy student. A Columbus, OH native, I graduated with Bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Theatre from the Ohio State University in 2016. Through a service-learning class titled "Shakespeare and Autism," I encountered the immense power and joy of drama therapy, which led to my discovery of CIIS. My journey from Columbus to San Francisco, from the comfort of my hometown to this exciting and challenging new beginning, has drawn me to the work of diversity and inclusion and caused me to think critically about my experiences and my identity. I have found a passion in combining social activism work with my Christian faith through theatrical writing and performance. I look forward to expanding my understanding of diversity, inclusion, social justice, intersectionality, and allyship through the next year, and I hope I can support others in doing the same.