The University of Southern California is a private, research university committed to the highest standards of academic excellence. We are equally committed to becoming a national leader in providing access and opportunity to higher education. On this website we record our progress and tell our stories.


June 2020: The USC community gathered online on June 19 for an intercampus commemoration of Juneteenth, a day of reflection and celebration of Black heritage. The commemoration included student tributes, artistic performances, and more. (USC News)

June 2020: USC President Carol L. Folt releases a momentous letter to the community outlining actions the university will take to confront systemic racism: “This moment is our Call to Action, a call to confront anti-Blackness and systemic racism, and unite as a diverse, equal, and inclusive university. You have asked for actions, not rhetoric, and actions, now. Input from students, staff, faculty leadership, deans, our terrific diversity liaisons, our Culture Commission, alumni leaders, and neighbors has been pouring into my office, providing the basis for our first actions.” (June 11, 2020 letter)

June 2020: A new initiative from the USC Race and Equity Center will bring together leaders from California’s community colleges to address issues related to race and racism. The California Community College Equity Leadership Alliance will use a three-pronged approach to help administrators and faculty leaders learn how to better address the concerns of students and employees of color, who have long cited the persistence of racist policies and attitudes within their institutions. (USC Rossier)

March 2020: The USC Women in Math Group: Charlotte’s Web, named for Charlotte Angas Scott, helps women and non-binary people studying mathematics achieve success by building a broad web of support. (USC Dornsife)

February 2020: USC’s fourth annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Week will offer more than 70 sessions, all intended to foster conversations about inclusion. Issues involving race, disabilities, gender, military veterans, first-generation students and generational differences will be addressed. (USC News)

February 2020: A new mural design was unveiled at the USC Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs — the first to adorn the center’s walls — with the goal of both commemorating Black History Month and encapsulating feelings of empowerment and black excellence at USC. (USC News)

February 2020: At the eighth annual USC Latinx Student Empowerment Conference, more than 100 current students and alumni came together to discuss creating and opening spaces that allow Latinx students at USC to grow their network and exchange knowledge. (USC News)

October 2019: The USC Viterbi School of Engineering achieves gender parity in its entering class. Women now comprise 50% of the entering undergraduate class at USC Viterbi, a school record. At the graduate level, the school has almost 2,000 women in its master’s and doctoral programs, leading the nation. (USC Viterbi)

August 2019: The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) Health Equality Index (HEI) designated Keck Medicine of USC’s hospitals as LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leaders. Both Keck Medical Center — which includes Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital — and USC Verdugo Hills Hospital received the maximum score of 100 points. (HSC News)

September 2018: 26% of students in USC’s incoming Class of 2022 identify as members of an underrepresented minority group, and 17% are first-generation. Students came to USC from 1,800 American high schools and 59 countries. Foshay Learning Center, a neighborhood school in South Los Angeles, continues to provide more students to USC than almost any other high school. (USC News)

July 2018: The incoming full-time MBA Class of 2020 in the USC Marshall School of Business is the first cohort to include as many women as men. “We are proud to achieve this distinction,” said James G. Ellis, dean of USC Marshall. “Our ongoing focus on diversity and inclusion is playing out in real numbers now.” USC Marshall becomes the first top-ranked business school to achieve gender parity in an MBA program. (USC News)

May 2018: The Keck School of Medicine of USC and nationwide partners are launching a landmark $1.5 billion National Institutes of Health-led program that seeks to accelerate the development of precision medicine. One of the project’s priorities is to achieve a demographically, geographically and medically diverse community of participants, especially by including those who are underrepresented in biomedical research. (USC News)

April 2018: The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism received a $3 million gift from an anonymous donor to establish an endowed chair dedicated to advancing innovation, leadership and research into the ways music and popular culture can serve as conduits for cross-cultural exchange. Josh Kun, professor of communication, will be the inaugural holder of the Chair in Cross-Cultural Communication. (USC News)

April 2018: The USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology hosted the exhibit “Quiet Heroes — Over Eighty,” photographs that portray the diversity, beauty, dignity and contributions of older adults across Los Angeles. (USC News)

February 2018: During the African American Heritage Month celebration at Los Angeles City Hall, Mayor Eric Garcetti and council members Curren D. Price Jr. and Marqueece Harris-Dawson recognized a groundbreaking project organized by USC, in which 15 local high school students worked closely with acclaimed muralist Noni Olabisi to capture the African-American experience. (USC News)

January 2018: Dr. Shaun R. Harper spoke with EdSource about the USC Race and Equity Center’s planned 2019 launch of a national survey of student attitudes and experiences about race, gender and other factors in college campus climates, and what a sense of inclusion and belonging at a university means.

December 2017: Billboard highlighted the efforts of USC professor Stacy Smith, founder of the new Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, to establish rigorous data toward determining solutions for music production companies to improve diversity. One specific problem she notes is music’s lack of female producers. “When women act feminine, they are punished for not acting like leaders. When they act like leaders, they are punished for not acting feminine enough,” Smith said. (Billboard)

November 2017: The USC Price School of Public Policy hosted a Diversity in Planning Workshop attended by undergraduates and recent college graduates from across the country. The event was the latest in USC Price’s ongoing effort to increase diversity in Master of Planning degree programs. (USC News)

November 2017: The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism announced that it is broadening the mission of its Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative to include the music world as well as television and movies and is renaming the project the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. The Walt Disney Company, NBC, Universal Music Group, Sony Pictures Entertainment, HBO, and talent agency WME are joining the effort. (Associated Press)

November 2017: Actor and writer Issa Rae spoke at the USC Annenberg-HBO Diverse Voices Forum series about her experiences as a black actor and TV producer and her work portraying race effectively on-screen. (Daily Trojan)

November 2017: Jeremy Goldbach, a professor at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, created a “diversity toolkit” for businesses, educators, and other organizations to use. The toolkit is a social activity consisting of an icebreaker, five collaborate activities, and a closing activity that promotes discourse applicable to a wide variety of environments. (Daily Trojan)

November 2017: The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and VICE Media will launch a new class in Spring 2018 about VICELAND’s Emmy-nominated documentary series WOMAN, with Gloria Steinem, to learn about gender representation in the media. (Daily Trojan)

October 2017: The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and HBO kicked off the Diverse Voices Forums, a year-long series designed to explore the role of diversity in the future of entertainment. (USC Annenberg)

October 2017: Dr. Shaun R. Harper was installed as the Clifford H. & Betty C. Allen Chair in Urban Leadership at the USC Rossier School of Education. He is also a Provost Professor in Rossier and the Marshall School of Business and the founder and executive director of the USC Race and Equity Center. (USC Rossier)

October 2017: PwC brought its diversity training, “Blind Spots: Challenging Assumptions to Build Inclusive Leaders,” to the USC campus as part of its recruiting efforts with the Marshall School of Business and Leventhal School of Accounting. (USC Marshall)

September 2017: USC’s Rossier School of Education launched the Center for Empowered Learning and Development with Technology (CELDT) under the direction of Associate Professor of Education and Psychology Brendesha Tynes. (USC Rossier)

September 2017: The USC Gould School of Law’s Immigration Clinic kicked off free citizenship clinics to help students, staff, faculty and community members complete and file naturalization applications. (USC News)

May 2017: USC News profiled the USC LGBT Health Equity Initiative, designed to bring together scholars, community leaders, and experts in LGBT health to advance research, collaboration, training and outreach to build awareness and promote social change.

March 2017: The George Lucas Family Foundation expanded its support of student diversity with a second $10 million endowment to the USC School of Cinematic Arts. The new gift, announced by School of Cinematic Arts Dean Elizabeth M. Daley, raises the foundation’s student diversity support effort to $20 million. (USC News)

January 2017: USC announced that diversity and inclusion expert Dr. Shaun R. Harper will return to the university in July, joining the USC Rossier School of Education as the Clifford and Betty Allen Professor in Urban Leadership, and will launch the USC Race and Equity Center. (USC News)

September 2016Women of Cinematic Arts, an organization founded at USC in 2005, launched its first annual Feminist Media Festival. (USC News)

June 2016: The Political Science and International Relations (POIR) PhD program hosted the first POIR Predoctoral Summer Institute for First-Generation and Minority Scholars. (USC News)

May 2016: USC released student and faculty diversity numbers. (USC News)

April 2016: Graduate students from the USC Price School of Public Policy and USC School of Social Work joined the third annual Students of Color and Allies Policy Forum, which addressed issues of race and social justice in planning, policy, development, and social work. (USC News)

April 2016: USC Price School of Public Policy Associate Professor Juliet Musso helped organize the spring conference of the Association of Public Policy and Management, which brought researchers and graduate students together to consider how analytics can be more relevant in addressing social justice, diversity, and inclusion. (USC News)

March 2016: USC President C. L. Max Nikias received the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association’s 2016 Diversity Award, awarded to an organization or individual whose proactive efforts increase cultural, ethnic and gender diversity within the Electrical and Computer Engineering student body and among ECE faculty. Nikias’ recognition was based on his efforts to boost diversity across USC’s student population. (USC News)

March 2016: USC announced a university-wide diversity initiative focusing on graduate students to launch with programs and stipend opportunities. In a campus-wide memorandum, USC Vice Provost of Academic and Faculty Affairs Elizabeth Graddy and Vice Provost for Graduate Programs Sally Pratt outlined the Graduate Initiative for Diversity, Inclusion and Access (DIA), a three-pronged approach to not only increase diversity among incoming graduate students, but also boost funding for incoming students who contribute to campus diversity, expand outreach to minority-serving Los Angeles-area colleges, and broaden academic support for students. (USC News)

February 2016: In his annual State of the University Address, President C. L. Max Nikias said that USC will not be satisfied until the Trojan Family is united in a shared commitment to justice and equality and urged the university community to seize the time as an opportunity to stand strong for inclusion. (USC News)

January 20, 2016: The university hosts an open forum on campus climate, titled, “Where We Have Been, Where We Are Going,” was sponsored by the USC Office of the Provost and the USC Dornsife Office for Diversity and Strategic Initiatives. Read the article from The Daily Trojan.

Click here for Chronology items before 2016

Click here for Resolutions from 2015