Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

JEDI 2020 Vision Statement: “We, the GPSA JEDI committee, serve in the spirit of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion to advance access and opportunities through our courageous leadership of culturally responsive programming. We are committed to serving our ASU Graduate and Professional Student community by championing diversity of thought, style, and lived experiences. We recognize that the concepts of JEDI are ever-growing and we desire to grow with them.”


Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Leah Jones

Leah Jones is a 5th year PhD candidate in the School of Sustainability. Her research focuses on the intersection of water management, complex systems, urban dynamics, and sustainable development. But beyond sustainability, Leah is passionate about justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion for graduate students. Leah has served in GPSA for over three years because she is passionate about elevating the voices of students and ensuring that university structures are designed to support them to succeed and thrive. This year, Leah is honored to serve as the Director of JEDI to advance the work that has already been started and to elevate new initiatives.  

While JEDI is facilitated by the director, our initiatives and efforts are truly led by the Assembly Members and volunteers on the committee. Interested in volunteering the JEDI committee? Email Leah Jones for more information!


2020-2021 Past Events and Initiatives:

Photo Gallery

Check out the photo gallery of GPSA events, highlighting the diversity of our graduate students.

Trans in Grad School & Pride Pack Cards Against Humanity: Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 6-8pm

In celebration of Transgender Awareness Week, join GPSA for a dialogue that creates a safe space to build community and connect with resources. It will be followed by a virtual Pride Pack Cards Against Humanity game. Everyone is welcome! Zoom link: https://asu.zoom.us/j/84109037567

GradsGiving: Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 4-5:30pm

Come join our Thanksgiving-themed town-hall focused on sharing and learning about our diverse culture. The event will feature round-table discussions in the spirit of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion to highlight the unique cultures of our graduate student body through storytelling. RSVP here to receive the Zoom link!

Spring 2021 JEDI Award

GPSA recognizes that the work towards justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion is often taxing, unrecognized, and unrewarded. Yet, many graduate students are doing outstanding work towards JEDI initiatives at ASU and in the community. This award recognizes those students who have done outstanding work to advance justice, equity, diversity, and/or inclusion. Awardees will receive a $500 award in recognition of their outstanding work. The application closed on February 15, 2021.

Dialogue on Experiences as a First-Generation Grad Student: Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 6-7pm

Join us for a dialogue on first-generation graduate/professional student experiences at ASU. Discussion topics may include sharing personal experiences, navigating financial aid, sharing resources for students, and finding community on campus. Zoom link: https://asu.zoom.us/j/9743249174

HerStory Panel Event: Friday, March 26, 2021 at 12-1:30pm

As a part of Women's Week, GPSA PD and JEDI are organizing an event titled "Her Story" to talk about the struggles and challenges faced by highly qualified women who enter their respective fields of expertise. The event will feature a panel of esteemed women who have achieved a high level of success in their professional careers, as they share their experiences on how women deal with "imposter syndrome." We are also giving a book on empowerment to everyone who actively participates in this upcoming Grad Chat! RSVP here. Zoom link: https://asu.zoom.us/j/89532034008

Social Justice Panel: Friday, April 16, 2021 at 12-1:30pm

Join us to hear from the fall 2020 Social Justice Spotlight and spring 2021 JEDI award winners! The panel will discuss the excellent work of fellow graduate students to advance justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion at ASU and in the community and include ways that you can get involved too. Zoom link: https://asu.zoom.us/j/84531825155


Social Justice Spotlight:

The Social Justice Spotlight recognizes graduate students doing outstanding work to promote justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion at ASU or in the community. View our monthly awardees!
October 2020

Aliya Hoff

Aliya Hoff is an anthropology PhD student at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change. Aliya’s dissertation research explores how the intersections of racism, sexism, and classism shape graduate student experiences and persistence in science. She strives to reimagine higher education as an anti-colonial, anti-racist, and equitable space for community and collective action. In her spare time, Aliya serves as the co-chair of the Arizona Science Policy Network, vice chair of the National Science Policy Network’s DEI Committee, and participates in several JEDI initiatives at ASU.

November 2020

Valencia Clement

Valencia Clement is a first-generation Haitian-American poet, activist, doctoral student and entrepreneur from Queens, New York. Her research interests include transformative social pedagogy for/by multiply-marginalized communities, blues aesthetics, womanist social change theory and arts-based methodologies. Over the last two years, she's self-published four collections of social justice poetry titled: “Pale. Pa Ale: Speak. Don’t leave,” “Sonje: Take your medicine. Tell your truth,” “Atansyon: The Colonizers Have Brown Skin, and “Chan Desperans: The Journey to Justice.” They explore phenomena such medical racism, revisionist histories, freedom dreams, utopian longings, imperial racism, womanist theology and more. Most recently, after completing an Equity in Action fellowship with the City of Tempe, she founded “Ansanm Mutual Aid,” (Ansanm). Ansanm is a mutual aid that supports members of the Greater Tempe Community experiencing varying degrees of homelessness. Their current fundraiser has resulted in 24 winter backpacks with blankets, inflatable pillows, reusable water bottles, sunglasses, hand sanitizer, socks, cloth masks and more. To learn more about her and her work or support her projects, please visit Valenciaclement.com

December 2020

Tisa N. Loewen

Tisa N. Loewen is a PhD student in Anthropology at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change here at ASU. She is a bioarchaeologist that studies Iron Age Croatia, Romanization, mixed-ness, and identity. Her work is also focused on biocultural approaches, ethical practices, and addressing anthropology's racialist legacy. She is a member of the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA), Students Identifying as Multiracial/Biracial at ASU (SIMBA), and is on the Critical Mixed Race Studies (CMRS) site council for the upcoming 2022 conference at ASU. Tisa is a founding member of #BlackinBioAnth, a consultant for Anthro Illustrated, and a part of the SHESC DEI Planning Committee, among other important research, outreach, and service commitments.

2019-2020 Accomplishments: 

To see what was accomplished by the 2019-2020 JEDI committee, please view the first edition of the Pathway publication below:

2020-2021 Accomplishments: 

To see what was accomplished by the 2020-2021 JEDI committee, please view the second edition of the Pathway publication below: