Equity and Diversity


The doubled origins of anthropology as both a “child of imperialism” and colonialism, to quote Kathleen Gough, and a critical resource with which to combat them persists today, and bequeaths a task of constant self-criticism and renewal. The Department of Anthropology is committed to this task. More broadly, it is committed to the values of diversity and equity, and seeks to enable a supportive environment for learning and teaching in which all members of our community feel welcome, supported and encouraged to pursue their intellectual interests to the highest level.

On this page, you will find information on programs, initiatives, resources and opportunities related to the fundamental goal of encouraging diversity, supporting equity and enhancing the experience and trajectories of underrepresented students, including those who have faced obstacles in obtaining post-baccalaureate education for reasons of socioeconomic background, family history and structural forces of exclusion.

Some of these programs, initiatives and opportunities are related to questions of student representation, some to pedagogy, some to research support and some to university policy—and some appear on other pages of this website as well. The purpose of this page is to make these resources available in a single location, and to provide a context in which to discern a departmental ethos.


New Three-Year Program to Support Diversity and Equity

We are especially pleased to announce the department’s receipt of a major three-year grant to enable enhanced support for graduate student study and research, as well a postdoctoral position and broad resources to enable robust discussion and ongoing work aimed at improved diversity and equity. Please visit our page outlining the many programs that will be developed under this new initiative here. Additional information on smaller grants in support of diversity may be found below.

For information on the newly created Hurston-Deloria Fellowships for Doctoral Study in Anthropology, please click here.

University Offices and Policies

The University has a number of offices and initiative devoted to diversity and equity that may be accessed through the portal of the Office of the Provost here.

In addition, the Office of University Life acts as a curatorial locus for policies and initiatives relevant to the values and policies that aim to foster diversity and inclusion. These range from information on Columbia's Anti-Racism initiatives, DACA, reports from the Working Group on Inclusive Public Safety, and various programs concerned with gender and sexuality, discrimination and disabilities services.

The Graduate School's Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusion is another source for programs and information. 

Specific University policies and guidelines are listed below:



For information on rights and protections, and on the offices and services that are available to help individuals secure and defend their rights to a non-discriminatory learning and working environment, please see the page devoted to 'Rights and Protections.'


Resources for Teaching Against Discrimination

There are several resources for teaching in the service of equity and inclusion. The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has developed a repository of teaching resources, courses and guides on inclusive teaching practices and teaching with technology. To visit the CTL webpage, click here. Additional information on anti-racist pedagogy and other materials generated by our own department's teaching fellows may be found on the 'Graduate Teaching Resources' page of this website.


Columbia TA Guide: Essential Resources, Rules, and Guidance.

This guide covers requirements and best practices on a variety of topics including academic integrity, student mental health, challenges, discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, reporting obligations and other issues.  To learn more about the TA Guide, visit the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action webpage by clicking here.



Racial Justice Mini-Grant Program

Annually, the Office of University Life invites students to apply for the Racial Justice Mini-Grant Program and share innovative ideas to address racism, particularly anti-Black racism. To learn more about the Racial Justice Mini-Grant Program, please reach out to the Office of University Life at universitylife@columbia.edu.


Diversity Project Grants Program

The GSAS's Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusion's Diversity Project Grants program provides funding (maximum award of $1,000) for students (or faculty and administrators working together with and on behalf of students) to support events, projects, or programming that augments efforts in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences to promote academic diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Individual students as well as student groups are eligible to apply for funding; students must be actively enrolled in a graduate degree program in the Arts and Sciences, and groups must be organizations recognized by the Arts and Sciences Graduate Council (ASGC). Student groups must designate at least one individual as the primary contact and project lead on the application.

To learn more about the Diversity Project Grants program, click here


Diversity Initiative Grant

The Diversity Initiative Grant is intended to provide support for events that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion for the GSAS community. Types of events supported by the Diversity Initiative Grant funding include, but are not limited to: speaking engagements, discussion groups, social events, cultural events, and outreach initiatives. Diversity groups that are backed by students from underrepresented minorities will be prioritized.

To learn more about the Diversity Initiative Grant program, click here.

For additional grants and funding opportunities, see also the list of fellowships and grants on the 'Research, Writing and Job Resources' page.