DEI Community Letter: Juneteenth, Pride Month and more

Group photo from the DEI Retreat

A group photo from the third Annual DEI Retreat that took place at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry on May 17, 2024.

Dear Pacificans,

As we conclude another remarkable year at University of the Pacific, I want to take a moment to reflect on our journey and the significant strides we've made in fostering diversity, equity and inclusion across our university. Several noteworthy accomplishments include:

Affinity and Unity Celebrations

I am proud to share the successes of Pacific's affinity celebrations. These annual ceremonies provide a unique opportunity to recognize and celebrate the achievements of our diverse student body in an environment that acknowledges their specific cultural backgrounds and experiences. Affinity celebrations are a testament to our commitment to creating an inclusive community where every student can thrive and be honored for their contributions.

I want to recognize and express my gratitude for the staff in the Center for Identity and Inclusion at the Stockton Campus, the staff at the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at the Sacramento Campus, and the Mosaic team at the San Francisco Campus whose dedication and student-centered support made these events possible.

Third Annual DEI Leadership Retreat 

Held at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, 50 students, faculty and staff were treated to engaging presentations about DEI initiatives, regent priorities, Title IX and HSI updates for the three campuses, followed by a private tour of the Museum of the African Diaspora.

  • One hundred percent of attendees who completed our evaluation survey indicated they would attend the retreat in the future.
  • The Conservatory of Music and Center for Equity in Oral Health Care provided case studies on how to holistically integrate DEI.
  • Student researchers presented poster sessions on relevant DEI issues and findings.

The success of this retreat was made possible with tremendous support from our Dugoni colleagues—specifically Melissa Yamanaka and Dr. Elisa Chavez—as well as the retreat planning team.

Juneteenth and Pride

Juneteenth, the national commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, serves as a powerful reminder of our commitment to justice and equality, and it inspires us to continue our work toward a more inclusive future.

McGeorge School of Law and the School of Health Sciences are leading our Juneteenth efforts by infusing valuable resources and educational opportunities within our local Oak Park and Sacramento community:

  • The SHS Nursing program will provide diagnostic screenings for blood pressure, glucose, mental health wellness and other services.
  • McGeorge School of Law will offer a traffic ticket and infractions dismissal clinic.

These mini-clinics are the community-engaged leadership efforts of Valerie James at McGeorge and Randall Ogans of Pacific Technology. I couldn’t be more proud of our leaders and students at the Sacramento Campus for bringing Pacific into the community on Juneteenth. Without Juneteenth and the social justice movements this event represents and inspired, there would be no DEI or belonging work as we know it today.

I also want to acknowledge the importance of Pride Month, a time dedicated to honoring the LGBTQ+ community and recognizing their contributions, history, and the ongoing fight for equality. Pride Month serves as a reminder of the importance of standing in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ community members and ensuring that our university remains a place where everyone can live and work authentically and without fear.

The university will have contingents in the upcoming Sacramento Pride Marchon June 9 and the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 30. Registration is still open and I hope you will consider joining us in these important events. 

Looking ahead

None of these achievements would be possible without the dedication and hard work of our entire university community. My office is looking forward to the many new opportunities to learn, discover, and grow in our DEI education, engagement and leadership.

Some goals we hope to accomplish in the year ahead include:

  • Launch a national DEI course
  • Offer intercultural competence training for student leaders, faculty and staff through the Intercultural Development Inventory
  • Streamline the process for reporting bias, discrimination, harassment, and Title IX
  • Establish a faculty mentoring program with special attention to new faculty of color
  • Increase the diversity of vendors across gender, race, veterans and small businesses
  • Expand anti-bias education workshops for search committees

I want to express my deepest gratitude to each of you for your unwavering commitment to our shared values and commitment to become the best student centric comprehensive university in the nation.


Mary J. Lomax-Ghirarduzzi
Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Professor of Communication