Diversity Forum 2021

Looking for the 2022 Diversity Forum? Visit the Diversity Forum 2022: Rewiring Our Systems: Transforming the Intersections of Inequity webpage.

Dismantling Oppressive Systems: Building Just Communities

July 26-29, 2021

Last year’s forum sessions and workshops engaged and equipped participants with the knowledge, skills and resources to identify sources of systemic oppression, consider strategies for dismantling that oppression, and identify actions critical in fostering more equitable and just communities in which to live, work and learn. 

Access the Digital Program for session details and video recordings.

Forum Schedule


5:30-6:45 p.m. A Conversation on Social Justice

7-8:30 p.m. Spitting Fire: An Evening with Friends


9 a.m. Bitter Fruit: The Poison of America’s Racism

10:45 a.m. Workshops

12:15 p.m. In a Just Community: To Be Oneself (focus on transgender equality)

2 p.m. Workshops

3:30 p.m. Building a Just Education System


9 a.m. Combating Environmental Racism and Injustice

10:45 a.m. Workshops

12:15 p.m. Mission Critical: JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Approaches to Dismantling Oppressive Systems and Building Community in the Health Sciences

2 p.m. Workshops

3:30 p.m. Building Community-Supported Healing: New Traditions

A Few of Our Featured Speakers

  • Anthony Ray Hinton, who was wrongfully convicted of two murders and spent 30 years on death row in Alabama. With the assistance of the Equal Justice Initiative led by attorney Bryan Stevenson, Hinton was exonerated and released in 2015. The 2019 film “Just Mercy” depicts Stevenson’s journey in seeking justice for wrongfully convicted death row inmates, including Hinton.
  • Dr. Keisha Blain. Her latest books are the #1 New York Times Best Seller Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, edited with Ibram X. Kendi; and Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America.
  • Supreme Court challenger and troublemaker Simon Tam, who celebrates creative people’s power to effect change. 
  • Dr. Jules Gill-Peterson, author of Histories of the Transgender Child and the forthcoming Gender Underground: A History of Trans DIY.
  • Professor Russell Jeung, co-founder of the Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition that tracks and responds to incidences of hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.  
  • Dr. Anneliese Singh, Tulane professor and chief diversity officer, award-winning author of The Racial Healing Handbook and the Queer and Trans Resilience Workbook.
  • Jacqueline Patterson, Founder and Executive Director of The Chisholm Legacy Project: A Resource Hub for Black Frontline Climate Justice Leadership
  • Dean Valerie Kinloch, Renée and Richard Goldman Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Education and author of the  critically acclaimed Harlem on Our Minds: Place, Race, and the Literacies of Urban Youth.
  • The health science JEDI leaders (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) of Pitt. 

Art of Diversity Showcase

In conjunction with the 2021 Diversity Forum, the University of Pittsburgh Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and the Center for Creativity presented the Art of Diversity Showcase. All members of the Pitt and regional communities were invited to submit creative work of any kind, from visual art to writing to performance.

Learn more about the Art of Diversity Showcase.

Now What?

We acknowledge that this work is ongoing and involves the committed efforts and strengths of all members of our communities. 

Pitt’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion regularly communicates opportunities to learn and engage through our e-news and our social media channels. Please email diversity@pitt.edu if you would like to subscribe to the e-news; please click on one of the social media icons at the bottom of this page to follow us on your channel of choice. 

The University of Pittsburgh has partnered with our neighbor, Carnegie Mellon University, to form the Collaboratory Against Hate, a research and action center to combat extremist hate. The Collaboratory is calling for interested collaborators with diverse backgrounds and relevant expertise to build out the center's research team.