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George Mason University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
4400 University Dr
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
(703) 993-1000
Email address
School Information
"We Were Made to Make it Better: Our identity was forged in 1972 on Virginia's strong ideals of academic excellence and service. Today, that spirit energizes us as a leader in scholarship and research; preparing graduates to meet the complex needs of a rapidly changing world. (...) "Our Mission: A public, comprehensive, research university established by the Commonwealth of Virginia in the National Capital Region, we are an innovative and inclusive academic community committed to creating a more just, free, and prosperous world." The university offers 211 degree granting programs and enrolls over 37,300 students. (Source:
General Information
George Mason University announced two definite changes to its operations. First, the university made clear that grounds and buildings may be renamed, although no renaming has occurred yet. Furthermore, an anti-racism statement will be required on all syllabi. Curriculum changes are also being considered. No mandatory Critical Race Training sessions are yet required of students. However, see developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • Mason Science created the AJEDI Graduate Program Application Fee Waiver to promote AJEDI principles within the STEM community.
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The university's task force proposed that the university should "Create an Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence Certificate Program, which will be offered to all Mason faculty, staff, and students."
  • The university's task force proposed that the university, "Implement Student Requested Foundational Course on Diversity and Inclusion titled 'Foundations for Building a Just Society.'"
  • All George Mason employees are required to complete three DEI trainings within 30 days of their employment: Title IX Overview and Sexual Harassment Prevention, Equal Opportunity: A Fair Shake, and Ethics.
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • Anti-Racism statement will be required on all syllabi; curriculum changes are also being considered.
  • The university offered a "Democracy Lab" program for first-year students. At the group's inaugural event, the university president spoke about "how anti-racism and inclusive excellence are integral to democracy."
  • GMU offers a Research Methods Graduate Certificate with a Concentration in Anti-Racist and Decolonizing Research.
  • In response to the Black Lives Matter movement and increased national attention around the murder of George Floyd, GMU students and faculty collaborated to create UNIV 381: Foundations for Building a Just Society. The three-credit class fulfills two Mason Core requirements—global understanding and social/behavioral sciences—and is projected to evolve over time into a required course for all students.
Program and Research Funding
  • The task force recommended that the university "Strengthen and expand the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Center (TRHT) to include a new AntiRacism and Inclusive Excellence Lecture Series, K-12 and community partnerships centered on inclusive excellence and antiracism, and alumni engagement opportunities."
  • The university task force recommended that the university "Develop a research seed funding initiative focused on anti-racism and inclusive excellence to promote and support diversity and inclusion through multi-disciplinary research, scholarly and creative projects."
  • The university announced "an initial $5 million commitment over three years for the ARIE agenda (Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence)," according to faculty member at the Mercatus Center writing in City Journal.
  • GMU's Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning provides support for faculty to "improve curriculum design, teaching strategies, and pedagogical resources supporting anti-racist and inclusive teaching (ARIT)." Grants include the Impact Grant, ARIE Faculty Capacity Building Grant, ARIE Kickoff Grant, and ARIE Mini-Grant.
  • In April 2023, the Office of Research Innovation and Economic Impact (ORIEI) in collaboration with the Office of DEI announced the 2nd Annual Anti-racism & Inclusive Excellence (ARIE) Seed Funding Call for Proposals. This funding will support research, scholarship and creative activities addressing the "myriad issues on the theme of anti-racism and inclusive excellence." ORIEI and DEI anticipate funding 4-8 projects with two tiers of funding: up to $25,000 and up to $50,000.
  • In April 2023, the Office of the Provost is announced the inaugural Mentoring for Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence (MARIE) program. MARIE will fund project ideas of GMU graduate students who are committed to "advancing the values of access, diversity, equity, and inclusion at Mason."
  • On August 29, 2022, GMU announced that a team of university employees dedicated to building and maintaining more diverse faculty and staff have secured a National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Catalyst grant for just under $300,000 to help them with the process.
  • GMU offers a Graduate Inclusion & Access Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded on a competitive basis and is available to first-generation college students who are incoming fall semester doctoral degree students, are from an underrepresented population within their doctoral field of study at Mason, and have demonstrated financial need.
  • The library offers an "Anti-Racism, #BlackLivesMatter, and Civic Action" resource guide, which includes Ibram X. Kendi's "How to Be an Antiracist."
  • The College of Education and Human Development has an "Anti-Racist Research Methods" page, which claims that researchers "have a moral obligation to interrogate our research goals, methods, and dissemination strategies and to resist, disrupt, and dismantle white supremacy in the context of academia and research."
  • The College of Human Development and Education's "Anti-Racist Research Methods" initiative offers "Anti-Racism Resources," which include "How to Be an Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi.
  • The College of Human Development and Education's "Anti-Racist Research Methods" initiative offers Anti-Racist Research Workshops, such as "Workshop 1: What is anti-racist research?" and "Workshop 2: Taking Concrete Steps as an Anti-Racist Researcher."
  • The Honor's College offers a program called Honoring Our Community, which "provides opportunities for students to have honest conversations about racial and social justice with the goal of cultivating an anti-racist culture and tighter sense of community."
  • GMU's 2022 Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is called "Transforming Education through Anti-Racist Community Engagement". This plan focuses on connecting student learning and student success to community engagement, civic learning, and anti-racism.
  • GMU hosted a "Revolutionizing Research for Social Change Workshop" from July 25 to 29, 2022, with the goal of building "a cohort of revolutionary researchers who engage anti-racist and decolonizing research principles and practices."
  • GMU President created the ARIE Task Force in July 2020 to aspire toward an inclusive and equitable campus environment. ARIE stands for Access and Success, Campus Climate, Education and Scholarship, Community Engagement, Infrastructure and Accountability.
  • Creating Anti-Racist Theater is the professional guest artist series of the GMU School of Theater, offering the theatrical community the opportunity to discuss and explore ideas and practices around building inclusive spaces and practices in the global theater industry.
  • From March 18-19, 2024, GMU will host its 2024 ARIE National Conference, where individuals from education, research, policy, and advocacy come together to support creating and maintaining communities that are more equitable and inclusive.
  • GMU has an Access to Excellence Podcast that often discusses DEI and antiracism issues.
  • GMU's College of Visual and Performing Arts has a Kritikos Anti-Racist Reading Group. Kritikos engages topics such as writing about the arts, critical studies, translation, the artist in society, and art as speech.
  • The Inclusive STEM Teaching Project is a 6 week course designed to "advance the awareness, self-efficacy, and the ability of faculty, postdocs, and doctoral students to cultivate inclusive STEM learning environments" for their students and to "develop themselves as reflective, inclusive practitioners."
Symbolic Actions
  • Grounds and buildings will be renamed
  • The Office of Compliance, Diversity and Ethics been renamed to be the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).
  • According to the U.S. News & World Report's "2023 Best College List" rankings, GMU is among the top 10 most diverse and innovative public universities in the country.
  • In November 2021, the Enslaved People of George Mason Memorial opened as the centerpiece of the redesigned Wilkins Plaza on the Fairfax Campus, and is the focal point of how the university is addressing its identity as it relates to a complicated Patriot.
  • On September 1, 2021, Sharnnia Artis joined GMU as the new vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion and chief diversity officer.
  • From March to April 2021, students and faculty at GMU’s Antonin Scalia Law School participated in a 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge.
  • After the murdering of six Asian American women in Atlanta, Georgia in March 2021, GMU president released an anti-racism statement condemning the violence and offering support to the Asian community.
  • GMU's Honors College has an Inclusion and Anti-Racism statement.
  • The Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution has an anti-racism statement.
  • GMU College of Science has an Access, Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (AJEDI) statement.
Last updated September 16th, 2023
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