Statement of Purpose

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) fosters efforts to define, cultivate and support an inclusive educational community and workplace environment aligned with St. Mary’s mission and its Catholic and Marianist identity. The Office is committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion through community building and partnering to serve the common good. The work of the Office is guided by the St. Mary’s mission, Characteristics of Marianist Universities and Catholic Social Teaching focused on the shared tenets of understanding, appreciation and respect for human dignity and cultural differences.

DEI Initiatives

  • Pride Month Resources

    Every June, the United States celebrates Pride Month, marking the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, when police raided a gay bar in New York City and its patrons stood up against discrimination, abuse, and mistreatment.

    • All This Could Be Different by Sarah Thankam Mathews
    • Am I Blue? Coming Out from the Silence by Marion Dane Bauer
    • A Proper Young Lady by Lianne Simon
    • Building a Bridge by James Martin, SJ
    • Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman
    • Don’t Call Us Deadby Danez Smith
    • Edinburgh by Alexander Chee
    • Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
    • Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
    • Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
    • Homosexuality, the Bible, and the Church by Preston Sprinkle, editor
    • If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
    • Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
    • Listening to Sexual Minorities by Yarhouse, Dean, Stratton, and Lastoria
    • Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality by Debbie Cenziper and Jim Obergefell
    • One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
    • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
    • Orlando by Virginia Woolf
    • Queer: A Graphic History by Dr. Meg-John Barker and Julia Scheele
    • Real Queer America: LGBTQ Stories from Red States by Samantha Allen
    • Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
    • Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
    • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
    • Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde
    • Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
    • Stand by Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation by Jim Downs
    • Stung with Love: Poems and Fragments by Sappho
    • The Bone People by Keri Hulme
    • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
    • The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle by Lillian Faderman
    • The Hours by Michael Cunningham
    • The Miseducation of Cameron Post Emily M. Danforth
    • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
    • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
    • The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
    • They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
    • Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution by Susan Stryker
    • Unprotected: A Memior by Billy Porter
    • What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli
    • When We Rise: My Life in the Movement by Cleve Jones
    • A Fantastic Woman
    • Beginners
    • Brokeback Mountain
    • But I’m a Cheerleader
    • Carol
    • Cruising
    • Desert Hearts
    • Dog Day Afternoon
    • Fire Island
    • Front Cover
    • Genera+ion
    • God’s Own Country
    • Goodbye Mother
    • Handsome Devil
    • Happiest Season
    • Hedwig and the Angry Inch
    • Holding the Man
    • How to Survive a Plague
    • I Carry You with Me
    • Longtime Companion
    • Love, Simon
    • Mala Mala
    • Milk
    • Moonlight
    • My Own Private Idaho
    • Palmer
    • Pariah
    • Paris is Burning
    • Pelo Malo
    • Philadelphia
    • Portrait of a Lady on Fire
    • Pose
    • Pride
    • Rafiki
    • Rocketman
    • Southwest of Salem – The Story of the San Antonio Four
    • Sweetheart Dancers
    • Tangerine
    • The Children’s Hour
    • The Danish Girl
    • The Death and Life of John F. Donovan
    • The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
    • The Half of It
    • The Hours
    • The Kids Are All Right
    • The Miseducation of Cameron Post
    • The Normal Heart
    • The Prom
    • The Queen (1968)
    • The Watermelon Woman
    • The Wedding Banquet
    Movies and TV
    • Buffering the Vampire Slayer
    • Coming Out Stories
    • Dyking Out
    • Food 4 Thot
    • Gender Reveal
    • Inside the Closet
    • Keep It
    • Las Culturistas
    • Life Out Loud
    • LGBTQ&A
    • Lovett or Leave It
    • Making Gay History
    • Nancy
    • NB: My Non-Binary Life
    • Never Before with Janet Mock
    • One from the Vaults
    • Outward
    • Pod Save the People
    • Queer Ear
    • Queerology
    • Queery
    • Strange Fruit
  • 2023 Calendar of Interfaith Observances

    As an inclusive community, we recognize our members have a variety of faith practices and days of observance. Awareness of these differences strengthens our community through respect and compassion.

  • Helping Individuals Enhance Intercultural Competence

    The world we live in is comprised of people from many cultures. Any given day we may interact with individuals from our own culture and/or different cultures. We rely on our personal knowledge, skills, and attitudes to think, act, and communicate effectively with people from different cultural backgrounds. Intercultural Competence is one’s ability to make sense of and respond to cultural differences.

    At St. Mary’s, we recognize the importance of intercultural competence as a key to inclusive excellence. To help each individual on their personal journey, we offer the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) assessment tool and developmental plan to students, faculty, and staff.  IDI aligns closely with our mission to create leaders for the common good.

    IDI assesses intercultural competence –the capability to shift cultural perspective and appropriately adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities. After taking the assessment, IDI generates profiles on an individual’s intercultural competence paired with an Individual Development Plan (IDP) –a detailed blueprint for the individual to further develop their cultural competence.

    For more information, email

  • Employee Affinity Groups

    St. Mary’s University values diversity and recognizes the importance of all individuals feeling connected to our community, regardless of their personal identities. As we continue to foster an inclusive campus work environment, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is pleased to sponsor affinity groups for employees and has established guidelines for employees seeking to form an Employee Affinity Group (EAG).

    These voluntary, identity-based groups may be formed around demographic characteristics (such as, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, or ability) as a way to bring together employees with a shared purpose. In addition to networking with individuals from similar and often marginalized communities, EAGs empower members to contribute to the education of our campus community, give back to the local community, and be an active voice for change.

  • Hear the Name, Say it Right with NameCoach

    At St. Mary’s, we value each individual and believe correct name pronunciation is a sign of respect. To continue fostering inclusion, in the classroom and beyond, we are providing faculty, staff and students access to the NameCoach platform which will allow each person to record the correct pronunciation of their name. 

    This animated short highlights the importance of names.

    Ideas for using NameCoach

    • Before a meeting, listen to name recordings if you are unsure of pronunciations
    • Ask students you work with to record their name and to use the recordings to learn their peers’ names
    • Share the Nivedhan video and have a discussion
    • Talk within your work team to discuss ways you might use Name Coach
    • Share the story of your name as an icebreaker and way to get to know each other 
    • Remind students of the NameCoach recordings as a resource before and during group work
  • Language Resource Directory

    The purpose of the Language Resource Directory is to provide contact information for faculty and staff who need assistance communicating with campus visitors during regular business hours. The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion requested assistance from faculty and staff who speak multiple languages and are willing to be listed in an online directory,  and as a result, we have contacts for 11 languages: Arabic, French, German, Hindi, Kannada, Korean, Persian (Farsi), Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Tamil.

    The directory is available for students, faculty and staff of the University.

  • Resources

    The St. Mary’s University Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is committed to providing resources to organizations and materials that would be of use to members of our community.

    Students, faculty and staff can find comprehensive lists of organizations for diverse populations and resources to learn about systemic injustices and other cultures.

    The resources are available for students, faculty and staff of the University.

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge the San Antonio River as Yanaguana, (Spirit Waters in Pajalate) as the source of life for this city and commit to protecting her, all her tributaries and connected waters and this land called Texas as Somi Sek to the Esto’k Gna people who are called Carrizo-Comecrudo by the Spanish, today and for future generations.

We acknowledge this place known as San Antonio as the traditional homeland of many Native American peoples who are called Coahuiltecan by Spanish records. 200 tribes/bands/clans were documented in historical records and include the Payaya, Auteca Paguame, Jarame, Pompopa, and Borrado, as well as other aboriginal peoples such as the Carrizo-Comecrudo who continue to carry their traditional lifeways.

We acknowledge these Indigenous various communities as the traditional people of this land now called San Antonio, Texas.

We acknowledge this homeland that would later include Comanches and Lipan Apaches in the 1700s, as a place that is now home to nearly 30,000 Urban Indians spanning from tribes across the North, Central, and South America who continue to sustain their traditional languages and customs.

Land acknowledgments honor historical links between Indigenous Peoples/First Nations and the territories. This traditional custom dates back centuries for many Native communities and nations. For the last several years, many institutions of higher education and organizations commonly begin meetings and events with formal statements of land acknowledgments.

In these public statements, institutions acknowledge history and express a commitment to current reality and future relationships between the institution, Indigenous Peoples/Nations, and the land. For non-indigenous communities, this signifies respect and recognition and honors the traditional caretakers of the land on which we work, live, and play. Knowing the unceded land we live on is important because Indigenous history is American history. By learning about the cultures and history of our original inhabitants, we honor their history and counter the narratives of discovery and colonization.

Land acknowledgments alone are but a small gesture and are made more meaningful by authentic and informed actions of support and solidarity with our Native Urban Communities. This is a first step in creating an ongoing intentional practice of amplifying Indigenous voices and moving toward truth and reconciliation. San Antonio College is inspired to action by learning a more truthful existence of our Native Urban community through our alliance with the American Indians of Texas of the Spanish Colonial Missions.

About Land Acknowledgements
  • Advisory Board

    Sheri King, Ph.D. (Chair)
    Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    Cody B. Cox, PhD
    Associate Professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior
    Greehey School of Business

    Léo Benavides
    Office of Student Financial Assistance

    Mike Martinez, Jr., J.D., M.S.I.S.
    Director Sarita Kenedy East Law Library and Professor
    St. Mary’s University School of Law

    Verónica Contreras-Shannon, Ph.D.
    Professor and Program Director – MARC U*STAR
    Department of Biological Sciences

    Wendy D. Martinez, M.A.
    Assistant Dean
    Office of Residence Life

    Jenee Margo Gonzales, J.D.
    Chief Development & Communications Officer
    Community In Schools of San Antonio

    Janet Guadarrama
    Executive Director of Human Resources, Title IX Coordinator
    Office of Human Resources

    Paul X. Uhlig, Ph.D.
    Professor & Chair of Mathematics, Marianist Educational Associate

    Andre Hampton, J.D.
    Professor of Law
    St. Mary’s University School of Law

    Marlon Furlongue
    Associate Athletics Director, Compliance and Internal Operations

Contact Us

Sheri King, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President

Julieta Sanchez
Program Coordinator

Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
St. Louis Hall Suite 105

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