Diversity & Inclusion

Mission & Commitments 

Hilbert College’s Catholic Franciscan values call us to create a diverse community that is inclusive, responsive, and supportive of all students, staff, and faculty. We intentionally integrate the rich diversity of our campus community into our educational processes by developing a living and learning environment that allows us to expand our knowledge and practice our values as part of a diverse and inclusive society.

We achieve these aspirations through ongoing efforts to extend our understanding, disciplined review of our achievements, and regular evaluation of our processes and outcomes. Consistent with our mission, the Hilbert community seeks to move beyond tolerance of each other to genuine acceptance and celebration of the unique gifts each person brings.

We send our deepest condolences and prayers to every family affected by the Jefferson street tragedy. Together we will remain steadfast in boldly promoting racial and social justice. Read about our efforts and additional resources through our news release and statements of the director below.
A male student talking in the classroom.

Stand Up to Bias

We empower, inform, and involve our students, faculty, and staff to proactively address acts of bias and discrimination in order to promote a more harmonious campus community and ensure fair and equal treatment of all people.

Our Stand  Report Bias

Students learning in Hilbert College's computer lab.

Accessibility Services

We actively promote the development of an environment that embraces diversity through educational programming, services, resources, and facilities - usable by all members of the campus community to ensure equal access.

Accessibility Support

Students and staff help out in yard work during Day of Caring at Hilbert College

Community Support

Support goes both ways -  we are committed to supporting our community and have local and regional organizations available to help should students need resources, aid, or just want to learn more about different perspectives. 

Our Communities

Statements from the Director

Dr. Diedre DeBose

Dr. Diedre DeBose 
Vice President for Mission and Equity
Call: (716) 926-8816
Email Dr. DeBose

Hilbert College is committed to providing a supportive environment where diversity is encouraged and valued. We recognize the strength and richness, that diversity brings to our campus community. We are committed to minimizing barriers for underrepresented and historically excluded groups, and we strive to cultivate an inclusive community where everyone feels welcome, valued, and a sense of belonging.

Academic Resources

Take a deep dive into different perspectives, stories, and lives in our Academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion resources. We offer many digital mediums to explore - podcasts, books, movies, webinars, blogs, and organizations active on social media. 

Gain a Different Perspective  DEI & Pedagogy

Our Pledge to Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

Hilbert students and employees are active participants in our work toward inclusive excellence.

All members of the Hilbert community are encouraged to affirm their commitment to diversity and inclusion by acknowledging Hilbert's Diversity Pledge and creating a community of inclusion and a safe space for open dialogue.

Diversity Pledge

We pledge to foster and promote the ideals of respect, civility, inclusion, and appreciation of others.

The Diversity Pledge signifies your commitment to diversity, social justice, and inclusion at Hilbert College. There are various facets of diversity including, but not limited to: socio-economic status, age, race/ethnicity, gender, spirituality/religion, mental and physical ability, sexual orientation, and citizenship.

However, diversity is not only about being aware of our differences as individuals, but actively embracing them. The Diversity Pledge is our commitment to diversity and inclusion, social justice, and building a holistic community.

  1. To promote an atmosphere of mutual respect, civility, and appreciation of others in our campus community and beyond.
  2. To learn more about cultural diversity, engage in intercultural dialogues, and examine my own biases.
  3. To live by the Franciscan core values of our institution: service, respect, compassion, peace, hope, joy, integrity, and vision.
  4. To refrain from using derogatory language and practicing discriminatory behaviors, and to challenge stereotypes in a respectful way.

Our Hilbert Community Initiatives

We Acknowledge

  1. That all Hilbert College community members have intrinsic worth
  2. That the Hilbert College community benefits from its members who bring varied backgrounds and diverse perspectives
  3. That the Hilbert College educational experience is enhanced by an understanding of the Franciscan values

We Aspire

  1. To create a community that respects and appreciates the dignity and uniqueness of all and reflects this in our teaching-learning process and our campus climate
  2. To increase diversity in all parts of the Hilbert College community through active recruitment
  3. To educate and engage all members of our campus community to foster an environment of acceptance and opennes

We Act

  1. To ensure that the Hilbert College community intentionally engages diversity to support the social and academic growth of the students by developing a curriculum that incorporates diverse viewpoints, experiences, and social justice
  2. Actively recruit and retain more faculty and staff from diverse groups
  3. Actively recruit and retain a student body that represents a diverse population
  4. Cultivate a community that is committed to service, respect, and compassion

Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Goals

Goal: Enhancing our Franciscan Mission and Identity 

We will enhance our Catholic, Franciscan identity by deepening our engagement with our values and heritage.  Our understanding of the dignity and worth of every human being inspires us to serve and develop all members of our community, and to give special welcome and support to those among us who experience marginalization and injustice 

  • Division Goal: Ensure that our Catholic, Franciscan mission is comprehensively integrated, widely known, and effectively measured. 
    • Collaboratively develop programming and services designed to enhance DEI professional development and student DEI development
    • Continue to create an environment where members of the Hilbert College Community feel welcomed, valued, and respected
    • Develop a hiring program to recruit and support a diverse, equitable and mission driven workforce
    • Implement a Bias training Program for all Hilbert Employees 

  • Division Goal: Strengthen our commitment to social justice and create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive college. 
    • Access data used to ensure diverse and inclusive pedagogy throughout the Hilbert College curriculum
    • Continue to Create a community that respects and appreciates the inherent dignity and uniqueness of all by establishing a diversity, equity, and inclusion training and development program for all members of the Hilbert College Community
    • Implement and publicize a biennial cultural climate survey with targets for improvements for Hilbert employees and Hilbert students
    • Enhance our focus to create a community where DEI data is collected, stored, and analyzed

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


Social Media

Follow us @hilbertcollege


Diversity & Inclusion Committee

The Committee on Diversity and Inclusion is dedicated to aiding in the creation and maintenance of a welcoming, diverse, inclusive, and engaging campus experience for all campus community members.


  • Habib Bakht, Chair of Natural Sciences and Math, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
  • Diedre DeBose, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Jessica Hoffman, Co-Chair; Assistant Professor of Sociology
  • Brandon Kottowitz, Student Representative
  • Gordon Snow, Professor of Philosophy
  • Alexis Kelson, Student Representative
  • Grace Zabawa, DEI Graduate Assistant
  • Kera Bush-Turner, International Student Coordinator; Study Abroad Coordinator
  • Colleen Kumiega, Chair of Behavioral Sciences Department,  Associate Professor of Human Services
  • Julie Kusmirez, Associate Professor of Human Services
  • David Reis, Chair of Liberal Studies Department; Assistant Professor of Religious Studies 
  • Sharon Sisti, Associate Professor of Human Services
  • Rachel Wozniak, Director of Career Development,  Service Learning & Community Engagement
  • Marta S. RizzoCoordinator World Language Dual Enrollment Program, Adjunct Professor - Spanish and Italian