Barnard’s core mission is to rigorously educate and empower women, providing them with the ability to think, discern, and move effectively in the world—a world that is different from when the College was founded. Now more than ever, the success of our mission depends on the extent to which our community is diverse, inclusive, and equitable. We know that academic excellence is impossible without the unique perspectives, ideas, approaches, and contributions that come from having the broadest diversity of students, faculty, and staff across the College.
Our definition of diversity encompasses structural and social differences that form the basis of inequality in our society, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic class, disability, religion, citizenship status, and country of origin. Moreover, our concern is with how differences in power and possibilities align with social categories and identities, and how these differences distinguish individuals and groups in ways that privilege some and constrain others.
To become the inclusive community we aspire to be, we must treat each other equitably and with respect, creating an environment where no voices are silenced and all of us can thrive. Together, our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity has the potential to disrupt and transform entrenched practices and thinking. And as a result, it will hold Barnard accountable to its goal of graduating students who are engaged world citizens possessed of a discerning intelligence, an understanding of inequality and power, and moral courage.
— Mission Statement adopted by President’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion, February 15, 2017