Institute for Diversity and Empowerment at Annenberg (IDEA)


The new Institute for Diversity and Empowerment at Annenberg (IDEA) furthers the USC Annenberg legacy of diversity and empowerment studies by framing an impressive cohort of acclaimed scholars, leading research, compelling courses, and impactful programs that allow students to examine the vast complexities of diversity, identity, and culture – across both the School of Communication and the School of Journalism.

Framing the Legacy

Students from across our city, state, nation, and world sit side by side daily, in dozens of classroom settings large and small, encouraged by media communication faculty experts to consider, discuss, tackle, and create projects about diversity, identity, and difference. They are building skill sets to better understand previously unfamiliar world affairs, cultural differences, complexities of race and gender dynamics, and more, all through the lens of media communication studies.  

Distinguished USC Annenberg faculty members have led student explorations for more than three decades.  These are globally recognized scholars who are leaders in diversity studies across the disciplines of Communication and Media, and the authors of many essential texts. 

In the 1980’s, it was Félix Gutiérrez and Clint Wilson with race and ethnicity studies, Betty Friedan and Kay Mills with gender studies.  In the 1990’s, Roy Aarons and Larry Gross through LGBT studies, and Sandra Ball-Rokeach empowering community-based cultural media through Metamorphosis Project

In 2010, led by faculty member Bill Celis, 19 of our faculty and administrators developed Celebrating Difference, a report compiling USC Annenberg ‘successes in diversity hiring, student recruitment and retention, course offerings, scholarly and professional projects. Concluding with a call to redouble efforts to maintain – and improve upon – our advantage’. 

Today, led by School of Communication Director Sarah Banet-Weiser, with support of USC Annenberg Dean Ernest J. Wilson III, School of Journalism Director Willow Bay, and our founding sponsors − The James Irvine Foundation, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, The Norman Lear Foundation, USC Annenberg Dean’s Initiatives, and a generous anonymous funder − a new Institute spanning the School of Communication and School of Journalism emerges as a resource for d­iversity studies, research, publications, student talent, and convener for important dialogue.

See what USC Annenberg diversity and inclusion has to offer…. Dive in

Institute for Diversity and Empowerment at Annenberg (IDEA)
3502 Watt Way Suite 305
Los Angeles, CA 90089