Diversity & Inclusion

The mission of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion is to strategically lead, coordinate, and develop overall diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policy, education, and activities to advance inclusive excellence in the College’s learning and working environments, as well as to enhance belonging and the intercultural awareness of faculty, students, and staff.

Diversity StatementFreedom of Expression Philosophy

Asian American-Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month

A number of important monthly celebrations coincide during the month of May. In the essay below, Minh-Thu (Sarah) Nguyen (she, her, hers), a first-year student and one of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion’s student assistants, shares her thoughts on one of those celebrations.

Asian American-Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month honors American people with roots in various regions of Asia, including East Asia (China, Japan, Korea) and Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines). Pacific Islanders refers to people from Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, and Micronesia, among others.

May is designated as AAPI Heritage Month to signal the first immigration waves of Chinese and Japanese that began in the 1850s, following the California Gold Rush and the construction of the transcontinental railroad, where hundreds lost their lives, as well as to underline the crucial socio-economic role that Asians and Pacific Islanders have played in American history. Former president Jimmy Carter was the first American President to recognize that history in 1978, with a week-long celebration in the first week of May, until Congress designated May, as AAPI Heritage Month.

Asians, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have faced longstanding injustices throughout US history, including the discrimination in immigration involved in the Page Act of 1875 (immigration restriction of Chinese women into the United States); the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 (first significant law restricting immigration based on race); Immigration Act of 1917 and the Immigration Act of 1924 (implementation of restrictive quotas targeting Asian immigrants); the incarceration of Japanese American citizens during World War II; the mass shooting of Southeast Asian refugee children in 1989; and the targeting of South Asian Americans, especially those who are Muslim, Hindu or Sikh, after the national tragedy of 9/11. Even now, the AAPI communities continue to face challenges, including systemic racism, discrimination, hate crimes, and especially after COVID-19 pandemic.

Awareness on this month is important, not only because this is a formally recognized heritage month that is meant to honor and commemorate, but also because it empowers Asians, Asian-Americans and Pacific-Islander communities. These histories should be learned and taught in the educational system to spread awareness on the hardships, struggles and injustices that these communities went through in the creation of this nation.

Land Acknowledgement

Gettysburg College is located in a storied place; a site of historical trauma and building of national identity with deep ties to racial justice and injustice. Yet, a major aspect of our story has been absented: that this place is Indigenous land. The Gettysburg College Land Acknowledgement initiative has sought to address the erasure of Indigenous presence while understanding this work to be ongoing. The land acknowledgement statement itself is an important first step in building relationships with the Indigenous communities who call this place home.


Diversity & Inclusion


Diversity & Inclusion
Campus Box 2994
Pennsylvania Hall 2nd Floor
300 N. Washington Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325






Gettysburg College is proud to be a member of the following organizations:


Black Doctoral Network


CEO Action

HACU (Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities)

LADO (Liberal Arts Diversity Officers Organization)

NADOHE (National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education)

NCFDD (National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity)
How to join the NCFDD