Diversity and Inclusion
At USC Annenberg, we believe that communication provides the most effective means to navigate a world of profound and constant change.
Walter H. Annenberg founded this school with a deep understanding of the power of communication: “The right to free communication carries with it the responsibility to respect the dignity of others…. Educating students to communicate this message effectively and to be of service to all people is the enduring mission of this school.”
Guided by this vision, USC Annenberg aims to be the leading research and teaching institution focusing on issues of diversity, inclusion, equity and access in the media, communication, journalism and public relations fields. Here, every administrator, faculty member, and staff person is fully committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive working and learning environment, which helps us prepare students to create, sustain and thrive within diverse work environments and to tell stories about diverse populations with empathy and compassion.
These efforts are reflected in our areas of research and practice, our curricula, and our engagement with our local and global communities. Our faculty engage in anti-racist, anti-homophobic and anti-sexist work, using the arts and popular culture as conduits for cross-cultural exchange, and leveraging emerging technologies to study decision-making among diverse populations. Student-produced news outlets such as Black., Dímelo, and elevASIAN tell the stories of marginalized groups in L.A. and beyond. And our staff and faculty meet in task forces and trainings surrounding issues of diversity and inclusion to spread best practices, new knowledge, and to share ideas across boundaries.
Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is grounded in our history, embraced in our present and embedded in our future. Explore this page to learn more.
USC Annenberg defines diversity as it relates to the respect and inclusion of all variations of race, nationality, gender and gender identity, difference of ability, neuro-divergence, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, and religious or political affiliations. Across our areas of research and practice, our curricula, and our engagement with our local and global communities, we are committed to diversity in all its forms.
Our mission is to lead the fields of communication, journalism and public relations in a global, multicultural environment through groundbreaking scholarship, professional work, teaching and public service. Explore our plan and accomplishments below.
Or read the 2020–22 Progress Report.
students, especially first-generation students and students of color, reached through the Annenberg Resources & Mentoring and Seeing ME in the Media programs since 2017.
awarded through Student Success Fund and Student Emergency Assistance Fund to ensure equitable access for students.
Faculty and staff by the numbers
Explore research centers and programs
As the world’s leading think tank studying diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry, the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative publishes data-driven and theory-based research to offer targeted insight and solutions that tackle inequality in media.
IDEA explores the redemptive and transformational capacities of media, the arts and culture, with specific attention to what they illuminate about identity, difference and power.
The Bass Lab saves, studies and shares news stories and oral histories about Black social justice trailblazers on the West Coast. They connect USC Annenberg students to trusted media outlets that value Black storytelling — especially in XR.
Our commitment in action
New skills-building program prepares professionals to collaborate with, manage and lead diverse teams
The new Managing Complexity in Diverse Organizations (MCDO) program prepares future communications professionals to create and support inclusive environments, and to help advance equity and representation across industries.
The podcast series Forward Together, produced by Elle Davidson, Daniel Hahm, Hanna Kang and Celine Mendiola, explores the L.A. Civil Unrest of 1992 through the stories of diverse Angelenos.
IDEAS grant supports development of USC Annenberg’s first-of-its-kind study abroad program in Latin America
With the support of the IDEAS grant, Professor of Professional Practice Amara Aguilar will design, develop and launch “MESA: Mexico Experiential Storytelling Abroad,” a dual-language, semester-long study abroad course in Mexico, to expand and diversify the school’s undergraduate student participation and engage with more diverse destinations abroad.
Explore the sections below for student services, advocacy contacts, school-specific initiatives, financial aid opportunities for the USC student community, events, programs/training, and community outreach.
Resources for USC community:
- Campus and Student Affairs Resources
- School-Based Initiatives and Resources
- Events and Programs/Training
- Office of the Ombuds
- USC Race and Equity Center
Resources for students:
- First Generation College Students
- Trojan Guardian Scholars for former foster youth
- Student Advocacy Groups and Resources
- Fellowships and Aid for Students from Historically Underrepresented Communities
- Latinx Chicanx Center for Advocacy and Student Affairs (La CASA)
- Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs (CBCSA)
- LGBTQ+ Student Center
- Asian Pacific American Student Services
Resources for staff and faculty:
- Annenberg Black Student Association Adviser: JaBari Brown, associate director, Annenberg Student Services
- Annenberg Cross-Cultural Student Association (ACCSA) Adviser: Miki Turner, associate professor of professional practice, journalism
- Asian American Journalists Association, USC chapter Advisers: Dana Chinn, lecturer, journalism
- National Association of Black Journalists, USC chapter Adviser: Lisa Pecot-Hebert, director, Journalism (MS); professor of professional practice.
- National Association of Hispanic Journalists, USC chapter Adviser: Laura Castañeda, professor of professional practice, journalism.
- USC Student Religious Organizations Over 80 different student organizations, many of which are also open to staff and faculty.
- Annenberg Media verticals Black., Dímelo, and elevASIAN
Other USC Fellowships and Aid for Students from Historically Underrepresented Communities can be found here.
- Seeing ME in the MEdia Mentorship Program: This student-to-alumni mentoring program supports students who identify as first-generation and/or BIPOC. A diverse and dedicated group of alumni mentors serve as advisers and role models as first-gen and BIPOC students explore the communication and media industries. Learn more about applying here.
- Annenberg Resource and Mentoring Program (ARM): This one-on-one mentoring program pairs a student with a faculty or staff member, who provides advice and information on campus resources and insights. This program is designed to help students adjust academically and socially to the college experience. Learn more about applying here.
- GRoW @ Annenberg Scholarship: This scholarship, initiated by Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, an Annenberg Foundation vice president and director, is designed to underwrite the cost of graduate studies for Black journalists.
- Aquarius Trust Endowed Scholarship: This scholarship was established to ensure newsrooms reflect the communities they serve. Positive consideration may be given to individuals who promote diversity and inclusion in newsrooms.
- Paramount Latinx Diversity in Journalism Scholarship: A partnership between Paramount and USC Annenberg to ensure newsrooms reflect the communities they serve. This scholarship supports tuition costs for students enrolled in one of USC Annenberg’s journalism master’s programs.
- Paramount HBCU Diversity in Journalism Scholarship: This partnership between Paramount and USC Annenberg was created to ensure newsrooms reflect the communities they serve. This scholarship supports tuition costs for HBCU alumni enrolled in one of USC Annenberg’s journalism master’s programs.
- USC Annenberg Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access (DEIA) Task Force is actively committed to helping faculty, staff and students combat long-standing societal divisions and prejudices by embedding and expanding the principles of DEIA in every aspect of our campus life. They help the USC Annenberg community implement strategies that build awareness, empathy and solidarity through ongoing professional development, programming, and advocacy related to research, faculty hiring, and recruitment and support of students.
- The USC Annenberg Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Committee promotes the wellbeing of AAPI staff and faculty within the school and advocates for change.
- The USC Annenberg Latino Faculty and Staff Caucus promotes the wellbeing of Latino faculty and staff within the school and advocates for change.
- USC Asian Pacific Islander Faculty and Staff Association (APIFSA) creates a safe space and a strong voice to advocate for API faculty and staff across the USC community.
- USC Black Staff and Faculty Caucus (BSFC)’s goal is to accomplish a positive working relationship between the university’s Black staff, faculty and students and to contribute to affirmative hiring practices with regards to Black faculty and staff.
- USC Latino Forum represents Latino staff and faculty while celebrating and stimulating conversations around what it means to be Latino at USC in Los Angeles and in the United States.
- The LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Alliance at USC aims to provide a network that explores, promotes and supports the personal and professional issues related to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer employees.
- USC Women in Management provides a forum for communication, professional development, and career opportunities for women at USC.
- The Annenberg Youth Academy for Media and Civic Engagement is a four-week summer intensive academy for 26 talented high school students from the communities surrounding the USC.
- Civic Paths analyzes how participatory culture interactions encourage young people to create, discuss and organize to engage with specific civic issues and events.
- The Critical Media Project is designed to serve high school instructors and other educators who seek to incorporate media literacy into the classroom. The site contains a wide range of media artifacts that explore the politics of identity across issues of race and ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality.
- Los Angeles Youth Media Day, held annually, provides local high school students with a firsthand look at the future of communication, journalism and public relations through workshops geared toward the use of social media, mobile and other storytelling tools.
Managing Complexity in Diverse Organizations is a professional skills-building program for master’s students that addresses a critical competency for 21st-century professionals — the ability to create, sustain and thrive within diverse work environments. The program is a core and mandatory experience for all USC Annenberg graduate students in the Communication Data Science (MS), Communication Management (MCG), Communication Management (Online) (MCG), Digital Media Management (Online) (MS), Digital Social Media (MS), Global Communication (MA), Public Diplomacy (MPD), and Public Relations and Advertising (MA) programs.
Optimizing Inclusion: A Learning Experience for Media Leaders is a training series focused on creating and supporting a truly inclusive environment in USC Annenberg’s Media Center, which serves as a classroom, student-led newsroom and incubator for new ways of connecting with audiences. This leadership learning series guides learners through developing the critical understanding and functional skills to help them collaborate with, manage and lead diverse teams more effectively, and to — ultimately — tell accurate, ethical and impactful stories about the complex communities in which we live, work and learn. The first three courses are foundational training modules, mandatory for all undergraduate journalism media center students and full-time faculty. The series is hosted by Shaun Harper, founder and executive director of the USC Race and Equity Center.
For suggestions, comments, questions or concerns regarding DEIA at USC Annenberg, contact Laura Castañeda, associate dean of diversity, equity, inclusion and access.
The Office of the Ombuds is available to contact if you are experiencing a university-related concern, conflict or challenging situation. This office is open to all members of the USC community with a campus-related issue.