Diversity & Inclusion at the I School
The School of Information is deeply committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice (DEIBJ). These core values inform our curriculum, define our community, and guide our work in the information sciences and beyond. Our faculty, students, staff, and alumni share a vision for a vibrant and inclusive I School. In seeking to advance knowledge and practice wherever people interact with information and technology, we also seek to ensure that this principle applies for all people, and that these interactions are humane, thoughtful, and in the service of society.
Read our Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan (2020-2025) (authentication required)
Read our 2022 update on our Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan progress (authentication required)
Who We Are
The I School is a welcoming community for students, faculty, staff, and alumni from a wide variety of backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. Our students hail from more than a dozen countries and the majority of US states. Our community includes students with disabilities, students of color, student parents, veterans, first-generation college graduates, and non-traditional students. Gender diversity ranges from one-quarter to one-half women depending on the program, and we strive to be inclusive and welcoming for LGBTQ+ students.
Supporting All Students
We particularly recognize the challenges facing women in STEM, underrepresented minority students, and other groups discouraged from pursuing education or professional opportunities in technology. Because the tech industry struggles with diversity and inclusion, especially of women and underrepresented minorities, we know that we have a special responsibility to address these issues directly before sending our graduates on to careers in the public and private sectors. We aim to support students from backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented in higher education, as well as individuals who have demonstrated significant academic achievement by overcoming barriers such as economic, social, or educational disadvantage. We remain committed to expanding our recruitment efforts and to supporting an even wider variety of students pursuing graduate education in technology and related fields.
Research, Teaching, and Social Good
In addition to welcoming and supporting a diverse student body, faculty, and staff, the I School strives to incorporate ethical values into our curriculum and our research. Topics such as public interest technology, algorithmic fairness, technology for social good, and information access are woven into our courses, our faculty’s research, and our students’ projects. We believe that the social and ethical dimensions of information studies, technology, data science, design, and cybersecurity are a core component of our field and our work. We welcome students, faculty, and staff who are excited about contributing to this mission.
Knowing Our History
We believe that the information sciences have a particularly important relationship with equity. Information and data can reveal social issues and technology can be used to redress them – but technology can also amplify or conceal bias, and can be used, intentionally or unintentionally, to discriminate and to harm. In our research and our teaching, we consider both the consequence and impact of technologies on social groups and on social interaction and how society defines and shapes the technologies that are produced.
- Read more from our DEIBJ student representatives about why they do this work.
- Explore the history of technology and race with reading recommendations from the I School faculty.
- Learn to look for who’s not at the table and other advice from female data scientists.
- Consider one I School alumna’s statement of values, the I School Pledge.
Why So Many Terms?
We’re often asked about Berkeley’s acronym DEIBJ, including five principles: diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice. We use this collection of terms to refer to a series of interrelated concepts that we value:
Diversity “refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance.” A diverse community is a heterogeneous community. At Berkeley, one of our Principles of Community is that “we recognize the intrinsic relationship between diversity and excellence in all our endeavors.”
Equity is “the guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement.” Using an equity lens, we recognize “that there are historically underrepresented and underserved populations and that fairness regarding these unbalanced conditions is needed.”
Pursuing these values together, we seek to create a just community of people from many different backgrounds, who not only feel welcomed but also have a meaningful voice and are treated fairly.
We approach this work with humility. We don’t have all the answers, and our community is continually developing to become one that is more inclusive and just. We are committed to continuing to recruit and support a diverse community, to ask the difficult questions about technology and equity, and to listen to the answers. We hope you’ll join us. Learn more about open faculty and staff roles and graduate student admissions.
A variety of resources and groups are available at UC Berkeley and beyond to provide support and community for our diverse I School populations.
“I strongly believe in positively impacting academic and professional spaces for not only myself, but other underrepresented students. I was drawn to the I School’s close-knit community and focus on each student, and I think that [it was] the perfect learning environment for me.”
— Nailah Hill, MIMS 2022
“As a first-generation, woman of color in STEM, my personal challenges have served to strengthen my resolve to work for an equitable, diverse, and equal environment in everything I do.”
— Simran Sachdev, MIDS 2022
I School Student Demographics (2023)
|79%||US domestic students|
|2%||Decline to state|
These demographics include all I School students; demographics in specific degree programs may vary.