Year-long awareness campaign focused on ‘Strength Through Diversity'

Strength Through Diversity story image showing individuals with different backgrounds

Images from the "Strength Through Diversity" campaign stories published throughout the 2021-22 academic year.

June 30, 2022

By Sophia Huang McKenzie

CSU Monterey Bay completed a year-long equity and inclusion awareness campaign in June with the theme “Strength Through Diversity.” The theme was based on a quote from famed poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou: “In diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” 

The campaign aimed to build on CSUMB’s ongoing commitment to inclusive excellence and to reaffirm diversity and inclusion as fundamental values of the university. Stories, social media posts, and special events throughout the year celebrated CSUMB’s diversity and highlighted the many identity groups represented by the students, faculty, staff, and alumni that make up the CSUMB community.

“A community that recognizes and celebrates its diversity with all of its richness and complexity, is a community that has created a sense of belonging that everyone can feel connected to and valued within. The ‘Strength Through Diversity’ campaign is a celebration of our diversity, but it is also an acknowledgment of how that diversity makes CSUMB a stronger, richer place,” said Brian Corpening, Associate Vice President for Inclusive Excellence and Sustainability. 

The campaign began in October 2021 as students, faculty, and staff returned to campus for the 2021-22 academic year after an 18-month absence because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also followed a string of killings and violence in the United States that sparked local, national, and worldwide anti-racism protests and calls for systemic change. 

The President’s Committee on Equity and Inclusion —  an advisory body to CSUMB President Eduardo M. Ochoa, comprised of representatives from all university divisions — coordinated the campaign. Stories were published every month and promoted on social media in conjunction with, for example, Hispanic Heritage Month in September and October, Black History Month in February, Women’s History Month in March, Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May, and LGBTQ+ Pride Month in June. Special events included the Diversity Celebration Speaker Series in April.

CSUMB’s Founding Vision Statement declares: “The identity of the university will be framed by substantive commitment to multilingual, multicultural, gender-equitable learning.” That vision continues to inform the university’s mission and goals today, as articulated in the University Strategic Plan for 2019-2024.

Inclusive excellence is the second of four strategic priorities in the plan. It’s described as “more than simply achieving numerical diversity in the makeup of our university community. It entails creating an environment in which all can thrive and unlocking the tremendous potential of our students, faculty, staff, and community.”

“I encourage all of us in our Monterey Bay community to not only foster a culture that embraces diversity and inclusion, but to also continually look for ways to leverage that diversity as an asset in improving the education of our students for the changing demands and requirements of global citizenship,” Ochoa said.

For more information about CSUMB’s diversity efforts, visit the Office of Inclusive Excellence and Sustainability online.