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Pepperdine University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, California 90263
Phone
(310) 506-4000
School Information
Pepperdine University was founded by George Pepperdine in 1937. "[His] founding vision was that of a university committed equally to academic excellence and Christian values. The students, faculty, and administration of Pepperdine University today affirm this vision and advance the University's standing as a cutting-edge educational institution by growing in knowledge, as well as spirit." (Source: https://www.pepperdine.edu/about/our-story/). "Pepperdine University boasts top-ranked graduate and undergraduate programs, with separate schools dedicated to business, education and psychology, law, liberal arts, and public policy. At Pepperdine, we engage in the pursuit of knowledge at its highest level and provide an array of practical, hands-on opportunities that bring it down to earth." The university has a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, 87 degree programs, and 17 NCAA Division 1 Teams. (Source: https://www.pepperdine.edu/about/at-a-glance/).
General Information
As a university founded in the Church of Christ tradition, Pepperdine justifies many of its DEI and antiracism initiatives as "reinforcing the antiracist tenets in living a life of faith." Pepperdine hosts many teach-ins and has resources dedicated to promoting equity, diversity, and justice. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • In efforts to advance social and racial justice, Pepperdine Athletics worked closely with student-athletes from the Waves Leadership Council in summer 2020 to put together a variety of education panels to discuss race, diversity, and inclusion. In June 2020, the athletics department hosted a panel called "Listening to Each Other: A Conversation about Race and Anti-Racism."
  • On Twitter, Pepperdine announced that the university was hosting Professor of Psychology Thema Bryant-Davis to discuss with clinicians and psychologists the "important journey from cultural competency to antiracism in their work."
  • On April 26, 2023, Pepperdine's Dean of Students, Diversity, and Belonging Chalak Richards presented "Authoring DEI Best Practice" at the Annual Meeting of Law School Diversity Professionals. Dean Richards' learning session was an "intensive and interactive 3-hour workshop" designed for law school professionals who are responsible for institutional diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging objectives.
  • During Spring 2023, Pepperdine offers Diversity and Inclusion Presentations, on topics such as "understanding your cultural intelligence", "racism in higher education", and intersectionality.
Program and Research Funding
  • The Seaver College Student Fellowship for Equity and Social Justice is awarded annually to up to two rising seniors who have "demonstrated a deep and abiding commitment to issues of equity and social justice." Student awardees will receive a $7,500 scholarship and faculty mentors will receive a $2,000 stipend.
  • On March 17, 2023, Pepperdine hosted the third annual Belonging Awards, which celebrates the diversity of the law school's students, faculty, staff, and alumni. This event honored student organizations that "thoughtfully promote diversity, belonging, and important views at the school; alumni who promote diversity and belonging in their profession; and students who exemplify diversity, inclusion, and belonging at the school of law."
Resources
  • In celebration of 2021 Black History Month, the Office of Intercultural Affairs partnered with the Office of the President and hosted a variety of virtual events. One of the guest speakers spoke about the significance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work while also "reinforcing the antiracist tenets in living a life of faith."
  • The Pepperdine Graziadio Business School (PGBS) has a Diversity Council (GDC) that helps promote and implement institutional and community efforts focused on equity, diversity, and justice.
  • Besides the Business School's diversity council, Pepperdine has six other diversity councils: the University Diversity Council, the Seaver College Diversity Council, the Caruso School of Law Council for Diversity and Inclusion, the Graduate School of Education and Psychology Diversity Council, the School of Public Policy Diversity Committee, and Athletics Diversity Council.
  • For Black History Month 2023, Pepperdine hosted various activities and events, including a "Judges Panel Discussion on Diversity in the Judiciary", a lecture on how to "[Disrupt] Racism Through the Lens of the Arts", and a screening of "The 1619 Project: Perspectives and Discourse."
  • On January 17, 2023, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the National Day of Racial Healing, Pepperdine's Larry D. Kimmons Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Initiative co-hosted a virtual "Coast-to-Coast Racial Healing Circle" event with the Citadel (the Military College of South Carolina) and the Social Justice Racial Equity Collaborative of Charleston.
  • Pepperdine offers Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Resources as a "Christian University fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion." It has both on-campus resources and affinity group resources.
  • The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Grant (EDI Grant) awards faculty $5,000 and is designed to "promote academic excellence and support outstanding faculty scholarship in the areas of equity, diversity, and inclusion."
Symbolic Actions
  • On June 2, 2020 for Black Out Tuesday, Pepperdine posted a black square and stated in its caption that it is "committed to becoming a stronger ally to the Black community around the world and standing against anti-Black racism in all of its forms."
  • Pepperdine's Aliento and Graduate School of Education and Psychology has an antiracism and antidiscrimination statement, where it says that it "[stands] in solidarity against racial inequities and injustice and other forms of discrimination and oppression" and "encourages all community members to engage in critical learning and reflection to strengthen [Pepperdine's] capacity for being effective, active, and outspoken against all forms of racism and intersectional oppression."
  • Pepperdine's Caruso Law School's inaugural Diversity and Belonging Report was published in 2021 by the Office of Diversity and Belonging. The report shares the previous year's progress toward goals laid out in the Diversity and Belonging Strategic Plan. Pepperdine's DEIB work includes events such as the Belonging Awards and open conversations, student recruitment initiatives like scholarships for students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, community activities like a partnership with LA vs. Hate, and diversifying tenure-track faculty through new faculty recruitment.
Last updated June 6th, 2023
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