Statement of Purpose

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

Inclusive Excellence Initiatives

  • Black History Month

    The Office of Inclusive Excellence invites the St. Mary’s Community to celebrate Black History Month, a time to honor the contributions and legacy of African Americans across U.S. history and society—from activists and civil rights pioneers to leaders in industry, politics, science, culture and more.

    Black History Month Events

    Monday, Feb. 5  
    Black History Bingo  
    7 p.m. 
    The Pub at St. Mary’s

    Tuesday, Feb. 6  
    Lunch and Learn: Celebrating Black History Month 
    Noon to 1 p.m. 
    University Center, Conference Room B

    Tuesday, Feb. 20 
    Speaker Ms. Franks’ finding the first black families. 
    3:30 p.m. 

    Monday, Feb. 26 
    Strength Through Vulnerability: Processing Emotions After Racially Motivated Crimes 
    2:30 to 3:30 p.m. 
    University Center, Room C 

    Tuesday, Feb. 27 
    Strength Through Vulnerability: Processing Emotions After Racially Motivated Crimes  
    11 to 1 p.m. 
    Sarita Kenedy East Law Library, Law Alumni Room 

    Wednesday, Feb. 28 
    MLK March  
    Tailgate to the Black Beauty Reclaimed event  
    5:30 p.m.  
    Alkek Plaza 

    Wednesday, Feb. 28 
    Black Beauty Reclaimed 
    6 p.m. 
    University Center, Conference Room A 

    Thursday, Feb. 29
    MLK Day: The Making of a Holiday
    6 to 7:30 p.m.
    Reinbolt Hall, Room 001

    Black History Film Series February – How Does It Feel To Be A Problem?
    Friday, Feb. 2, 2024 @ 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
    The Little Carver 226 N. Hackberry San Antonio, 78202

    Black History River Tour
    Saturday, Feb. 10 @ 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
    SAAACAM at La Villita 218 South Presa San Antonio, TX 78205

    9th Annual Black History for Children Book Exhibit 2024
    Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024 @ 2 p.m. to 3p.m.
    3455 Martin Luther King Drive, San Antonio,78220

    I AM Black History Professional Service Expo
    Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024 @ 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    Davis-Scott Family YMCA, 1213 Iowa St, San Antonio, TX 78203   //   508 N Center, San Antonio, TX 78202-2709

    Unexplored Greats: A Study of Lesser-Known African American Authors
    Monday, Feb. 12 @ 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
    Gemini Ink and online via Zoom

    Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 @ 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
    Jo Long Theater at The Carver 226 N. Hackberry San Antonio, 78202

    Cary Clack in Conversation with Naomi Shihab Nye
    Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 @ 6:00 p.m.
    Trinity University Ruth Taylor Recital Hall

    Black Excellence Hair Showcase
    Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024 @ 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    4803 South Flores Street, San Antonio, TX

    Celebrate Black History Month with Brunch
    Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024 @ 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
    Central Market San Antonio, 4821 Broadway, San Antonio, TX

    The African Influence In The Americas: Documentary Film
    Thursday, February 29 @ 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    Online Viewing via Zoom

    Prints By Contemporary Black Artists
    December 13, 2023 – March 17, 2024
    The McNay – Butt Paperworks Gallery

    Interested in local events?

    Black History Month Resources

    • The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones
    • Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells by Ida B. Wells
    • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
    • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
    • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass
    • Passing by Nella Larsen
    • Pauli Murray: Shouting for the Rights of All People by Deborah Nelson Linck
    • A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
    • Sing, Aretha, Sing! by Hanif Abdurraqib, illustrated by Ashley Evans
    • South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon yo Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry
    • Taught By Women: Poems as Resistance Language by Haki R. Madhubuti
    • Teaching Black History to White People by Leonard N. Moore
    • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
    • Who’s Black and Why?: A Hidden Chapter from the Eighteenth-Century Invention of Race edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Andrew S. Curran
    • Your Legacy: A Bold Reclaiming of Our Enslaved History by Schele Williams, illustrated by Tonya Engel
    • 13th documentary
    • A Ballerina’s Tale
    • A Raisin in the Sun
    • Agents of Change
    • All In: The Fight for Democracy
    • Barry
    • Becoming
    • Black Panther
    • Da 5 Bloods
    • Dreamland: The Burning of Black Wall Street
    • Freedom Riders
    • Harriet
    • Hidden Figures
    • John Lewis: Good Trouble
    • Just Mercy
    • Malcolm X
    • Marshall
    • Mr. Soul
    • Passing
    • Race: The Power of an Illusion
    • Red Tails
    • Ride to Freedom: The Rosa Parks Story
    • Rustin
    • Summer of Soul
    • The Black Godfather
    • The Color Purple
    • The Hate U Give
    • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
    • The United States vs. Billie Holiday
    • Till
    • When They See Us
    • 1619
    • Black All Year
    • Blackbelt Voices
    • Black Blood Heals
    • Black History Buff
    • Beyond Black History Month
    • Code Switch
    • Dear Culture
    • Go Off, Sis
    • Historically Black
    • In Search of Black History with Bonnie Greer
    • Louder Than a Riot
    • Natal
    • Noire Histoir
    • Pod Save the People
    • Resistance
    • Seizing Freedom
    • The Brown Girls Guide to Politics
    • The Diversity Gap
    • The Stoop
    • Therapy for Black Girls
    • Witness Black History

  • 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 Inclusive Excellence 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. We 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

    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

    Cody B. Cox, Ph.D.
    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 – URISE
    Department of Biological Sciences

    Wendy D. Martinez
    Assistant Dean
    Office of Residence Life

    Jenee Margo Gonzales, J.D.
    Chief Development and 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 and 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

Stella Silva, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President

Julieta Sanchez
Program Coordinator

Office of Inclusive Excellence
St. Louis Hall Suite 105

Back to top