Diversity and Inclusion

As a global leader in the study of international and public affairs, the Watson Institute considers diversity and inclusion central to its mission of promoting a just and peaceful world.

As a global leader in the study of international and public affairs, the Watson Institute considers diversity and inclusion central to its mission of promoting a just and peaceful world. Our commitment to these principles is reflected in our scholarship, policies and practice. Formed in 2016, Watson’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee is comprised of faculty, staff and students who share a commitment to fostering the realization of these values at Watson.


The Watson Institute is a leader in the advancement of knowledge about the complex interaction between race, ethnicity and power. While a number of Watson scholars are particularly focused on exploring how policy and institutions have affected the experience of historically underrepresented groups in the United States, numerous researchers at Watson study comparable issues for underrepresented groups in a variety of national contexts. The Institute is committed to understanding globally how the intersection of privilege, power, and injustice impact the least powerful members of human society. 


The Watson Institute is committed to increasing representation and amplifying the voices of members of historically underrepresented groups. It is also committed to creating an environment in which all feel welcome, and all are able to reach their full potential, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual preference, or other identity. 

At Watson, we are committed to the idea that finding creative and innovative solutions to the world’s problems requires embracing the diversity of thought and experience that results from inclusive practice. 

Watson partners with the University’s Undocumented, First-Generation College, and Low-Income Student Center (U-Fli) on regular dinners to bring together students, faculty and staff who identify as first generation and/or low income college students. During the Fall 2023 semester Watson will also host a unique study group in collaboration with U-FLi, "Leadership and Networks — Preparing for Future Opportunities," focusing on issues relevant to first-generation and low-income college students.

Learn more

Leon Rodriguez hosts U-Fli dinner

HBCU/HSI scholarships cover 50% of a student’s tuition for Brown’s Master of Public Affairs program. To be considered for these scholarship awards, students must be enrolled in, or graduates of, a Historically Black College or University or Hispanic Serving Institution. 

Learn more

Dr. Matt Lyddon


Watson’s staff peer mentoring program partners new hires with established Watson staff members to provide informal support, information, engagement and encouragement throughout their first few months at the Institute.

Become a peer mentor

Isabel Costa and April Huth


Watson’s DIAP committee invites Watson-affiliated faculty interested in revising or creating courses that address issues of diversity and structural inequity. The Institute offers five awards per semester up to $1,500 each to hire a student research assistant to support efforts to address issues of structural inequality, racial disparities, and/or inequitable systems of power through coursework.


David Blanding teaching


Watson DIAP Liaison
Melissa Nicholas serves as the DIAP Liaison for Watson, where she is responsible for overseeing and executing the strategic objectives detailed in the Institute's Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. Her role involves monitoring the outcomes related to diversity and inclusion, communicating progress, planning and coordinating workshops, programs, and meetings, and acting as the primary contact point for inquiries about Watson's commitment to diversity and inclusion. If you have any questions or need to get in touch with Melissa, please feel free to reach out to her at melissa_nicholaus@brown.edu.

Brown University DIAP
"Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University" outlines a set of concrete, achievable actions to make Brown a more fully diverse and inclusive community. 

Incident Reporting
The bias reporting system is one tool used for collecting information, identifying trends and themes as well as informing future campus climate initiatives.

Course Designation
DIAP Courses on Race, Gender, and Inequality examine issues of structural inequality, racial formations and/or disparities and systems of power within a complex, pluralistic world. Learn more about how to find or designate a course.

Brown University Land Acknowledgement
Brown has developed an official land acknowledgment as part of a set of commitments to build a better understanding of the relationship between the University, the Indigenous peoples of this region and the land on which Brown is situated.

Resources During National Unrest (2020)
Brown's Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED) has compiled articles and other resources to help faculty, staff and students expand their knowledge on anti-blackness and systemic racism, look into forms of meaningful allyship and come to learn some of the organizations that are deeply committed to this work (understanding that a number of community members have already been engaging in this work).

The Sheridan Center
The Sheridan Center offers publications and online resources addressing a wide range of teaching and learning topics, including inclusive teaching, writing pedagogy, mentoring and course design. The Inclusive Teaching section, in particular, covers many topics that Watson faculty and students regularly discuss, including syllabus development, supporting diverse students and inclusive classroom discussions. 

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