Statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola on the campus of Gonzaga University

Why We Exist


Consistent with Gonzaga University’s mission as a Catholic, Jesuit, and humanistic institution, the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) is committed to building an inclusive and thriving community of faculty, staff, students, and supporters from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences. IDEAS (inclusion, diversity and equity in the arts and sciences) in Action supports this work by

  1. identifying barriers to inclusive community building in CAS and
  2. creating opportunities that foster a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment in which all CAS faculty, staff, students, and other constituents are valued for who they are and what they bring to the College.


The CAS IDEAS in Action Council is a diverse group of academic professionals dedicated to increasing the College of Arts and Sciences' diversity and inclusiveness for students, faculty, staff, and supporters. We pursue our work rigorously and reflectively, applying our many skills, experiences, and perspectives; and we intentionally seek advice and support from those whose views might not be represented on the council. We embrace this work as an ongoing, evolving effort that is an essential part of pursuing excellence in all that the College does.


Members of IDEAS in Action espouse the following values that motivate our work including:

  • We value diversity as critical to the pursuit of academic excellence.
  • We value and celebrate the gifts that people of different races, Indigenous groups, genders, sexual orientations, (dis)abilities, national origins, ages, economic and social classes, religions and spiritual traditions, and other identities bring to our community.
  • We affirm people from marginalized identities when they generously share their experiences with us.
  • We acknowledge that there is diversity within identity categories and that no one person represents the views and experiences of others who share a particular identity.
  • We embrace humility and an openness to learning about our privileged and oppressed identities.
  • We hold ourselves accountable for learning and hope others hold us accountable as well.
  • We welcome the fact that DEI work is life-long personal work.
  • We accept the responsibility to encourage and challenge others on their diversity, equity, and inclusion learning journeys.
  • We accept the responsibility to educate others in our units, disciplines, and communities.


Our strategies may change as we learn and work together, yet the following strategies are foundational to our work:

  • We must be attentive to who is and is not represented on IDEAS in Action. We must make active efforts to include all voices, especially when certain minoritized or marginalized identities are not represented on the current council roster or are not present at a particular meeting.
  • We interrogate policies, practices, and procedures that may adversely affect marginalized people's ability to thrive in the College.
  • Identify accountability metrics.
  • We will use best assessment practices to identify concrete goals and assess progress towards these goals.
  • Data and evidence, including institutional metrics, must be used to highlight barriers and opportunities to our work, and help us document our progress.
  • We will seek out and collaborate with experts in the GU and Spokane communities to plan and execute our work.

Want to Learn More About IDEAS in Action?