Logo for Equipoise, consisting of scales, surrounded by the words, BLACK STAFF AND FACULTY - ACCESS OPPORTUNITY MENTORSHIP

Equipoise is the University of Pittsburgh’s affinity group for Black/African American Faculty and Staff with the mission of moving Black Staff and Faculty toward a common agenda of building collectivism, connection, and career support.

If you are interested in joining, please email Nena Ansari at Equipoise@pitt.edu


The Equipoise Black Staff and Faculty Pitt Communities Group (Equipoise) seeks to move Black Staff and Faculty toward a common agenda of building collectivism, connection, and career support. Through participation, retention, and membership, Equipoise will provide a vibrant community which drives agenda-setting at the University of Pittsburgh regarding collaboration, inclusion, and sustainability.  Equipoise draws upon the definition of sustainability posed by United Nations Brundtland Commission, as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”


The purpose of the Equipoise Black Staff and Faculty Pitt Communities Group is to:  

  • Drive University agenda-setting relative to compensation arrangements, career laddering, and professional learning.  
  • Provide resources and support to Black staff and faculty, including convening key stakeholders and facilitating critical dialogue through ongoing communication, collaboration, and problem solving with units, and divisions. Resources and support are provided based upon topics, themes, and ideas generated through general membership meetings and also through direct request of participants.  
  • Identify and leverage the talent and resources of Black staff and faculty to promote sponsorship and mentorship opportunities of Black staff and faculty.   
  • Centralize engagement and organizing activities among Black staff and faculty.  
  • To stand in solidarity with other affinity groups across the university, in pursuit of equity and justice.   

General Body Meetings 

General meetings for Equipoise are open to any member of Black Staff and Faculty within the University of Pittsburgh.

Register to receive information for upcoming meetings and events.

Equipoise Leadership  

The Equipoise Black Staff and Faculty Pitt Communities Group agreed upon having Chairs of Committees in lieu of membership titles. The Chairs include:

Chance Wideman: Office for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (OEDI) Liaison

Christine McClure: Chair of Governance  

Nena Ansari: Chair of Events and Budgets  

Sheena Hancock: Chair of History & External Engagement and Member Experience   

Stennetta Hunter: Co-Chair of Marketing and Communications  

Kelly Protho: Co-Chair of Marketing and Communications  

Shallegra Moye: Chair of Programming and Education   

Marlana Myers: Chair

Participation Criteria 

General Membership: 

Any Black staff or faculty member within the University of Pittsburgh may join Equipoise and participation is completely voluntary. To provide continuity and effectiveness of programming, Equipoise asks that those interested in joining, commit to attending 75% of general body meetings, 4 meetings hosted by either Events and/or Education and Programming, and vote on matters that require acceptance by the full Equipoise body.  

Participants who meet the attendance criterion become eligible to join committees.

Leadership Committee:  

Members of the Equipoise Leadership Committee must be staff or faculty members in good standing with the University. Good standing with the University is determined on an individual basis and by consensus of Equipoise and the Office for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion.

This working group will be comprised of any staff or faculty from the University of Pittsburgh who elect to join, and Chairs of the working group will be appointed in conjunction with the OEDI Liaison. Membership within Equipoise is completely voluntary and does not require pre-approval. We ask that those who choose membership adhere to the governance and bylaws.

To join our membership email list for news, events, and updates, please contact Equipoise@pitt.edu