INCLUSION, AND JUSTICE
You are welcome here.
Mercyhurst University is committed to building a community of students and employees that resembles the world we seek to serve. Your personal and intellectual growth is best served through a challenging education that defies sameness of thought and exposes you to unfamiliar perspectives and experiences. Living and learning at Mercyhurst means being part of a community that insists on respect for all people.
Consistent with our core values of hospitality, compassion, and acceptance, we seek to honor the Sisters of Mercy with a continued commitment to their five critical concerns: caring for women, caring for immigrants, caring for the earth, promoting nonviolence, and combating racism.
We seek to advance our efforts in diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice as we fight against systemic oppression and injustice in our world today. We want every student and employee to not only hear “You are welcome here,” but to truly feel accepted and valued at Mercyhurst University.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) Statement
Grounded in our core values and the Mercy tradition, Mercyhurst University fosters a welcoming environment and seeks the courage, creativity, and compassion needed for the work of inclusion. We believe that our community’s intellectual and social growth depends on each person’s freedom to be their authentic self, and we actively celebrate the experiences and perspectives of our diverse community members*. We commit to an increasingly equitable campus where students and employees form lifelong commitments to service and justice in a multicultural world.
*Rooted in Catholic Social Teaching and a commitment to uphold the inherent dignity of every person, we seek to be sensitive towards and supportive of a range of diversities, including age, ability, neurotypicality, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship status, ethnicity, race, religion, educational status, socioeconomic status, marital status, and veteran status.
The President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (PAC-DEIJ)
Formed in 2021, the PAC-DEIJ regularly advises the president and cabinet while advancing strategic DEIJ goals for the university. The council is comprised of ten students, administrators, and faculty.
For the current academic year, PAC-DEIJ plans to implement the following actions:
- Completing a full DEIJ strategic plan for Mercyhurst University.
- Conducting large-scale programming for civil discourse and learning to dialogue across categories of difference.
- Working with student leaders to create a new multicultural lounge in the Sister Carolyn Herrmann Student Union.
- Assessing the bias reporting process during its first year of operation.
- Conducting an audit of the campus to improve diversity in images and artwork.
- Completing DEIJ updates to the public webpage and internal Mercyhurst Hub page.
- Evaluating and improving practices for hiring and retaining diverse employees.
DEIJ Resources and Activities for Students
International Student Office
Mercyhurst students come from dozens of countries. We are committed to providing our international student population with the proper support and resources to ensure them a safe, happy, and successful collegiate career. Visit our International Student Office webpage for more information about how our International Student Office supports students through the admissions process and the rest of their time as a student.
Multicultural Student Services
Multicultural Student Services assists with the educational, cultural, social, and personal needs of all students, with special emphasis on race, gender, and sexual orientation. This organization is committed to supporting and developing future leaders through community advocacy and hands-on mentorship.
Multicultural Student Services serves the diverse needs of the student body by sponsoring, co-sponsoring, and supporting academic, social, and cultural events at Mercyhurst and in the Erie community as well as providing trainings, workshops, and professional development opportunities to students, faculty, and staff. Some annual programs and services include a Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration, Kente Stole Ceremony, MLK Day Celebration, professional development and networking, LGBTQIA+ student programming, and inclusion dialogues.
Multicultural Student-Led Clubs and Organizations
Visit our Clubs and Organizations webpage for a full list of Cultural and Diversity clubs. Students are also encouraged to gather friends and an academic advisor to start their own club or organization!
- Active Minds
- American Sign Language Club
- Black Students for Unity
- International Student Association
- Mercyhurst Veterans Association
- Sexual and Gender Acceptance Club (SAGA)
Recent DEIJ Events Held at Mercyhurst University
- Mercy March for Antiracism
- Fr. Gregory Boyle: Be Fearless for Me: Courage and the Gospel of the Marginalized
- Bomba con Buya event for Mercy Heritage Month
- Native American Heritage Month Lecture
- MLK Day Week of ComMUnity Student and Faculty & Staff Panels
- Rejoice and Sing: A Reflection on Black History Month through the Lens of Harry T. Burleigh
- Moral and Ethical Issues Facing 21st Century Policing
- "Talking Black in America" Documentary and Discussion
- Documentary Screening of "The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson" for Trans Day of Visibility
- Literary Festival
- Mosaic of Life Art Exhibit
Mercyhurst University at the Booker T. Washington Center
Mercyhurst maintains an ongoing partnership with a local community center, the Booker T. Washington Center. Mercyhurst students participate in regular service projects with students at the center, including tutoring, games, and mentorship.
Bias Reporting Process
Students who feel they have experienced discrimination or harassment at Mercyhurst (which is a violation of our code of conduct) may file a complaint using the Non-Discrimination Grievance Form
For cases that involve bias but do not rise to the level of harassment or discrimination, the Bias Reporting Team regularly responds to reports by offering supports and interventions, along with education and dialogue, to ensure a campus climate of increasing sensitivity and critical learning.
There are two options to initiate a report of bias activity. In case of an immediate threat or emergency, call Police & Safety at 814-824-3911, or dial 911 for local law enforcement. Privacy will be respected throughout the process regardless of which option is chosen.
Option 1: Contact Dr. Greg Baker, vice president for Mission, who will assist you in pursuing the best options for you to bring forth your complaint. This is the recommended option that will give you and the university the best opportunities for productively handling your report.
Greg Baker, D.Min.
Vice President for Mission
Option 2: Fill out the Bias Activity Reporting Form available to Mercyhurst University students and employees (with an option for anonymity). Please know that the university’s options for potential investigation, follow-up, or support will be significantly limited if you choose the form's anonymous option.
Mercyhurst University Diversity Statistics
Student Racial/Ethnic Data At-a-Glance
- African American/Black: 4.6%
- Alaskan Native/American Indian: 0.6%
- Asian: 1.1%
- Hispanic/Latinx: 4.5%
- Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.0%
- Caucasian: 78.4%
- Two/more races: 0.6%
- Unknown: 5.8%
- Non-Resident Alien: 4.5%
As of Fall 2021
Employee Racial/Ethnic Data At-a-Glance
- African American/Black: 1.95%
- Alaskan Native/American Indian: 0.18%
- Asian: 1.59%
- Caucasian: 90.62%
- Hispanic/Latinx: 1.59%
- Multiple: 0.88%
- Non-Resident Alien: 0.88%
- Unknown: 0.71%
As of Spring 2022
Local DEIJ Resources
Erie’s Black Wall Street (including a list of Erie POC-owned businesses)
Multicultural Community Resource Center
“A Shared Heritage” Virtual Tour of Erie’s African American History
The “Better Together Council” of the City of Erie
NAACP of Erie, PA
Erie Latino Leadership Association
LGBTQ+ Council of the City of Erie
“Our Erie” Podcast