The Department of Philosophy is committed to cultivating a diverse, inclusive community of philosophers at the University of Chicago and beyond. We recognize a range of decisive reasons for putting this goal front and center. These include considerations of fairness and justice. And they include the role of diverse perspectives in the ongoing flourishing of philosophy as a distinctive mode of Humanistic inquiry.
To this end, we work hard to promote student participation in our programs across the spectrum of gender, sexual-orientation, and racial and ethnic identities. We promote a climate which can sustain and nurture this participation. We pursue hiring and admissions strategies for achieving diverse applicant pools and unbiased methods of evaluation. And we work continually to maintain a sense of openness and belonging throughout our community.
Our department abides by norms of cooperative and inclusive conduct. Please see here for a statement of these norms.
DICE—the acronym stands for “Diversity, Inclusion, Climate and Equity”—is a standing committee of faculty and graduate students. Its mandate is to further its titular goals—especially within the local philosophical community, but also in the field at large.
A core principle of the committee’s approach is the essential need for open, ongoing communication. Students or other departmental stakeholders with concerns, questions, or ideas should feel encouraged to voice them publicly or privately. To this end, we supplement the Diversity and Climate Liaison’s availability to students and faculty (see below) with a variety of other formats for conversation and reportage, including departmental-wide workshops, informal teas, and office hours hosted by members of the committee.
Diversity and Climate Liaison
The diversity and climate liaison is a member of the faculty who is available at any time for one-on-one meetings with graduate students, undergraduate students, and faculty to discuss issues and concerns pertaining to departmental climate. The liaison also chairs the DICE committee, and works with the Director of Graduate Studies, Director of Undergraduate Studies, and others on climate-related matters.
The current diversity and climate liaison in 2019-20 is Jason Bridges (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Minorities and Philosophy
Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) is a network of graduate-student-led organizations whose shared mission is to remove conditions hindering participation in philosophy for members of marginalized groups. Currently, there are over 140 chapters throughout the world. Students throughout the network exchange ideas on topics related to minorities and philosophy, meet and support peers, learn from the experiences and practices of other philosophy departments, and so on. Our department's MAP chapter has established a mentorship program that pairs undergraduates that self-identify as members of underrepresented groups with graduate students who share philosophical interests. The mentorship program aims to ensure that our department is a welcoming place, conducive to thriving, for members of underrepresented groups. Our chapter was founded recently, in fall 2018, and we anticipate that the scope of our activities will continue to widen in the upcoming years.
Women in Philosophy
Women in Philosophy (WIP) is a student initiative in the department, at the both graduate and undergraduate levels, whose goal is to form a community for, and serve the needs of, graduate and undergraduate students who identify as women. Its purpose is to help the department be a place for women, an underrepresented group in philosophy, to thrive. All of its meetings are designed to be comfortable spaces for members to talk about issues related to diversity, inclusivity, pedagogy, feminism, philosophy, and any of the unique challenges of being a woman in philosophy. Some meetings are specifically designed for serious conversations about climate in the department and how our needs might be met by the department at large. Other events are focused on community-building and socializing.
- UChicago Diversity Initiative: The Diversity Initiative, begun in 2017, offers funding for diversity-related projects. See here for a list of in-house grants, and here for a curated list of external scholarships and grants.
- Resource groups: There are many resource groups at the university that aim to provide welcoming environments for university members of diverse identities. See the list here.
- Center for Identity + Inclusion: The Center for Identity + Inclusion provides support services for LBQT+, multicultural and first-generation students, among others. Visit online or stop by at 5710 S. Woodlawn Ave.
- Policy and procedure information: Information on official university policies and reporting procedures for sexual harassment and misconduct, accessibility, and other matters of equity can be found here.