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Office of Equity and Inclusion

Message from Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Mercedes Ramírez Fernández

Portrait of Mercedes Ramírez Fernández | Diversity University of Rochester

“One thing that attracted me to the University of Rochester is the deep sense of pride that is shared between everyone who works, studies and lives here. It’s pride that comes from being part of one of the world’s top research institutions with the noble mission to learn, discover, heal, and create. Our pride and our mission are the threads that connect us as a community.

Of course, our University is also part of the greater Rochester community. Our hospitals and campuses are embedded pieces of this city and its surrounding areas. From the Eastman School of Music’s downtown location to River Campus and the many locations of our Medical Center, we are part of Rochester and Rochester is part of us.”

Subscribe to our Encompass Newsletter to get the latest messages from Mercedes Ramírez Fernández, along with other updates from our office. You can also see previous issues in our Encompass Newsletter archive.

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Our commitment to creating an inclusive community

The Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) is dedicated to cultivating an equitable, respectful, and welcoming culture at the University of Rochester. We strive to weave diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the University’s mission to learn, discover, heal, and create.

We celebrate our connections to the Rochester community and affirm that in a pluralistic culture, the definition of community includes individuals who represent every race, creed, color, ability, sexual identity, and gender.

Read more: University Statement on Diversity and Inclusion | University Statement of Educational Philosophy | University’s Vision and Values 

Our work focuses on five institutional EDI priorities


Hearing our Community of Voices

Resources in the Aftermath of the Hate Crime in Buffalo

Explore resources

Upcoming Programming and Events

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

The Institutional Office of Equity and Inclusion is honored to acknowledge and celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month along with the institutional community. The United States government recognizes the history, culture, and achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders during the month of May. This month, Dr. Esther Choo, Associate Professor in the Center for Policy and Research in Emergency Medicine, Oregon Health Science University, and Founding Member of TIME’S UP Healthcare, will share a presentation, “Building Organizational Cultures of Excellence” on Tuesday, May 17 at 6pm EST via zoom. This program is free and open to the public.

Register Here

Celebrating Juneteenth: Affirming Truth, History, and Light

As an institution, we are excited to recognize and celebrate Juneteenth on Monday, June 20. Juneteenth—also known as National Freedom Day—is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. In alignment with honoring the traditions and practices of persons of African descent, the institutional-wide Juneteenth celebration, Expressions of Freedom Exhibit, will take place on June 16, 2022, from 10am to 7pm in the Feldman Ballroom. This program is free and open to the public. The Expressions of Freedom Exhibit will showcase creative and artistic responses to the inquiries: What does “Freedom Day/Juneteenth” mean to you? How do you recognize “Expressions of Freedom?” Responses to the inquiries are due by Friday, May 27.

More Information about Juneteenth Activities

News and announcements

More Diversity News…

Insights Podcast



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Programs and Initiatives

Our office oversees a variety of initiatives and teams to ensure safety, equity, and diversity across the University.

Equity and Inclusion: Schools and Centers

Each of the University’s schools and colleges have offices devoted to diversity initiatives at the school level.

Stay connected

Like us on Facebook, subscribe to our Encompass newsletter, visit our YouTube page, and use #urdiversity on Twitter to connect with us!