I have worked as a campus activist and community organizer for many years, with specific focus on diversity and inclusion in STEM fields. While these have served as useful learning experiences and (hopefully) made an impact on minoritized communities, I recognize the futility of 'demonstrated commitment' to these topics without material change in policies and outcomes of these policies. I also recognize the futility of well-written diversity statements when they are not backed up by actions that challenge and change conditions and systems.
Instead of promoting my diversity and inclusion work, I highlight the fact that I filed a civil rights lawsuit against Oregon State University and instigated policy changes when I settled my case out of court. I had language changed within the student code of conduct to reflect updates to the state of Oregon's constitution, which make it unlawful to impose non-disclosure agreements on victims of discrimination in work settings. I am pleased that university policies are attempting to keep up with state laws.
In this settlement, OSU paid me a sum of money which did not completely cover my legal fees incurred. I had to obtain additional funding from AAUW's (American Association of University Women) Legal Advocacy Fund to be able to afford my legal fees, and you can read my profile on their website here:
Devan-Song v. Oregon State University
The excess funds that I received from this case will go towards setting up the Beaver DHAM fund for minority retention at Oregon State University. I want to lower barriers for women of color at OSU to exercise their civil, employment, and educational rights. I believe my institution can and will do better.
Institutional betrayal and Institutional DARVO are not uncommon. If you are experiencing similar situations and are in need of resources, please reach out to me and I will try to help. I cannot offer legal advice but I can try to be a source of support in other ways. You may also email me for court documents if you are unable to download them online.