Inclusion and Belonging

Who We Are

Our Vision and Core Pillars

The Office of Inclusion & Belonging aims to build integrated, interactive, intersectional, and innovative ecosystems. We impact the University culture, climate, and community. Through intentional programming, informative professional & policy development, and strategic student engagement, OIB is committed to staying aware of student needs, inspiring our stakeholders to do their work through a lens of Inclusion & Belonging and equipping our campus and community partners to see and serve the whole student with integrity and empathy.

The OIB supports many student organizations and works to make their Pitt experience one rooted in belonging. Click here to see our students in action and hear them in their own words.

We are committed to making sure we:

  • See the Whole Student: We acknowledge, recognize, engage, and embrace all of the identities, parts, areas, and layers that make up a student.
  • Learn the Whole Journey: We take the time out to learn where students have come from, what brought them here, what influenced their story or perspective, and where they are headed.
  • Work with the Whole Community: We not only serve/work for students, but we collaborate/work with them as well. We embrace collaboration and make sure our engagement is transformational rather than transactional.

Our Programs are approached with:

  • Intentionality: We think about the reasons why we do programs, who it impacts and centers, and it’s short- and long-term outcomes, before creating and implementing them. Intent always comes before content.
  • Cultural Humility: We approach our programs and the lived experiences they hold with a posture that examines our own lens and biases with the goal of educating ourselves. Posture matters.
  • Passionate Excellence: We bring energy, quality, passion, detail, imagination, expertise, and knowledge to our programs. We combine the head and the heart.

We aim to help students:

  • Embrace: We help students embrace who they are and accept the diversity around them.
  • Connect: We help students connect with others who are different from them and feel like they belong on Pitt’s campus.
  • Empower: We equip and encourage students to be their authentic selves, use their voice and agency, during and post-college.


Inclusion: Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities and decision/policy making in a way that shares power. Inclusion promotes broad engagement, shared participation, and advances sense of belonging through safe, positive, and nurturing environments. Inclusion is key to eliminating systemic inequality. (Pitt DE&I)

Belonging: Belonging is the feeling of security and support when there is a sense of acceptance, inclusion, and identity for a member of a certain group. It is when an individual can bring their authentic self to work. When employees feel like they don’t belong at work, their performance and their personal lives suffer. Creating genuine feelings of belonging for all is a critical factor in improving engagement and performance. It also helps support business goals. (Cornell DE&I)

Ecosystem: a community of intersecting & interacting organisms (stakeholders/people), the multiple environments they inhabit, and the various identities they hold. (Chapin. 2011)