Hey y’all! My name is Shruthi Venkatachalam, and I am honored to serve as the 2022 Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for USC Helenes.
I am a firm believer in creating safe spaces within the university and within Helenes for folks from marginalized communities to thrive and succeed. Helenes should be a safe space for all members, and I’m certain our DEI initiatives will provide the space for all to grow and learn about both systems of oppression and steps we can take to combat them.
The Helenes seek to ensure that all aspects of our organization - including curriculum, recruitment, and support for our members - reflect our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We will be active participants in the process of acknowledging USC’s unfortunate history of white supremacy, and gentrification, and unlearning our own implicit and explicit biases.
We know that committing to anti-racist and anti-sexist efforts are a life-long responsibility. We have set the following goals and promise to continue to set goals and implement initiatives to advance equity and inclusivity within our organization: - Create and support a sustainable structure to diversity to Helenes membership, increase affordability and access to tools and opportunities. - Promote and educate Helenes membership on DEI issues relating to race, gender, sexuality, ability, class, etc., to ensure a safe and welcoming environment - Develop and provide inclusive training and resources that support, inspire, and engage Helenes membership. - Enhance and enforce sincere accountability and collaboration through the development of community values for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
While I recognize that Helenes has a lot of work to do moving forward, I am fully committed and hopeful that our initiatives will aid in making Helenes a safer space for Black, Indigenous, and Students of Color, low-income students, queer and trans students, students with disabilities, and other students who have experienced marginalization and systemic discrimination.
Helenes love and all of mine,
Shruthi Venkatachalam (she/her)
The Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has curated a Resource List for folks seeking more educational or identity-affirming resources. This document is accessible here.