Diversity Equity and Inclusion

Mission Statement:

The Department of Human Development and Family Science recognizes the importance of anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion and believes that this work is integral to the success of our department and our discipline. As such, we are committed to the following:

  • Affirming and acknowledging the impacts of racism and discrimination on our faculty, staff, and students by promoting relevant on-campus learning and engagement opportunities, as well as resources for support
  • Challenging our own biases and prejudices by incorporating anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings into our professional development
  • Ensuring that our faculty, staff, and students share a collective responsibility towards preventing all forms of racism and discrimination and that there are clear guidelines for reporting incidents
  • Promoting greater inclusion of historically marginalized and oppressed groups through active recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, staff, and students
  • Supporting our faculty, staff, and students in establishing diversity, equity, and inclusion research, teaching, and clinical agendas that are recognized as service, included in student portfolios, and evaluated as part of the promotion and tenure process.
  • Routinely reviewing our undergraduate and graduate curriculum to ensure that our mission is reflected and consistent throughout our courses
  • Advocating for transparency about concerns within our department, areas for growth, and ways that we are actively addressing them

DEI Committee Members:

mindy headshot

Dr. Mindy Gonzales-Backen

Associate Professor

jamila holcomb

Dr. Jamila Holcomb

Teaching Faculty, DEI Committee Chair


Dr. Nari Jeter

Teaching Faculty

kani diop heashot

Dr. Kani Diop

Teaching Faculty


Dr. Lenore McWey

Professor, Graduate Program Director

Michele Parker

Dr. Michele Parker

Assistant Professor

Crystal Marroquin headshot

Crystal Marroquin

MFT Doctoral Candidate

emmanuel manhiri headshot

Emmanuel Manhiri

HDFS Doctoral Candidate

Imani Campbell

HDFS Undergraduate

DEI Committee Charge:

To explore ways the Department of Human Development and Family Science can assess its ability to become more diverse and inclusive at all levels of departmental affairs such as recruitment of new faculty, and students. Additionally, this committee shall explore and make recommendations to improve upon our current departmental policies, instructional quality, and processes with respect to undergraduate and graduate students’ curricular (course offerings and course content). Additionally, the committee is charged with undertaking Best Practices in relationship to diversity and inclusion tools offered by FSU’s Human Resources Department already established using the phases as outlined in that tool. Ultimately, this Committee will be charged with designing a Diversity and Inclusion Plan with recommendations and a mechanism for evaluating our progress in the Department of Human Development and Family Science around diversity, inclusion, and equity keeping in mind the University’s Strategic Plan, the College’s plan, and our larger Departmental mission and goals.

DEI Statement on Florida House Bill 7:

“At Florida State University, we recognize that every competitive advantage begins with people. By valuing, celebrating, and leveraging the differences and similarities of our students, faculty, and staff, we inspire an environment of innovation and passion—one that enables us to create a teaching, research, and service environment that better reflects the needs of our students, faculty, staff, customers, constituents, communities, and other key stakeholders.” (excerpt from the Florida State University Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement)

As the HDFS Diversity and Inclusion Committee, we remain dedicated to supporting the Department of Human Development and Family Science in fostering a safe and inclusive atmosphere. We recognize legislative changes, such as HB7, may impact our approaches toward diversity, equity, and inclusion in various ways. As a committee, we will continue to provide faculty and students with up-to-date information and resources. We are here to support you – if you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Melinda Gonzales-Backen, Interim Chair of the D & I Committee.

House bill 7 (2022) – The Florida Senate

DEI Resources

Florida State University is richly diverse and has many organizations and groups that may be of interest including:

With over 750 recognized student organizations, there so many opportunities to engage with others from our campus and surrounding communities. For a searchable list of organizations, please visit here: https://union.fsu.edu/sac/involvement.

Association of Chinese Professors at FSU (ACP-FSU)
Contact: Ming Ye mye@fsu.edu

Black Faculty and Staff Network

Latinx Faculty & Staff Network

Queer Professionals Network
Contact: Paige Rentx prentz@fsu.edu
Karin Brewster brewster@admin.fsu.edu

South Asians Noles Association
Contact: Somnath Chatterjee somnath@admin.fsu.edu

Veterans, Friends and Family Group
Contact: Bill Lamb BLamb@admin.fsu.edu

The EDI Office is interested in supporting the formation of Affinity Groups for (1) faculty and staff with Native American/Indigenous identities and (2) Persons (faculty and staff) with a disability. If you are a faculty or staff member interested in participating in this effort, please contact our EDI Office at agrier@fsu.edu

  • Center for Leadership & Social Change (The Center)


  • Center for Global Engagement (CGE)


  • Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE)


  • Center for Intensive English Studies (CIES)


  • Center for the Advancement of Human Rights


  • Center for Autism Related Disabilities


  • Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy


  • Student Veterans Center


  • Civil Rights Institute

Recent Dissertations:
2022 Su, Tom. Towards successful intercultural relationships: The initial development and validation of a relational cultural intelligence scale.

2020 Harris, SharDane. Perceptions, identities, and involvement: Black fathers’ perspectives on aspects of fatherhood. FSU 3-minute thesis finalist (2020).

2020 Jackson, Lawrence. Support, expectancy, and academic achievement of Black males. McKnight Doctoral Fellow, AAMFT MFP Fellow.

2020 Ferrill, Jasmine. Vicarious race-based stress: How widely publicized racism injuries and cultural coping protect.

2020 Iheanacho, Ebony. Great expectations: Exploring educational expectations and emotional distress with African immigrant families
2018 Montgomery, Jordan. Culturally competent parenting: A test of web-based training for transracial foster and adoptive parents. AAMFT Dissertation award (2019)

2018 Murray, Kimberly. Family of origin dynamics and youth sexual development: A qualitative study of parenting practices, gender, and race.
2018 Rayburn, A. Fear, loss, and adaptations of Latino families: Learning from families who have a parent at risk for deportation. AAMFT Graduate Student Research award (2018)

2017 Reynolds, Jamila. Predictors of ethnic-racial socialization profiles in early childhood among African-American parents.

Rayburn, A., McWey, L. M., & Gonzales-Backen, M. (2021). Living under the shadows: Experiences of Latino immigrant families at risk for deportation. Family Relations, 70, 359-373. https://doi.org/10.1111/fare.12534

Jackson, L., Ford, J., Randolph, C., Schleiden, C., Harris-McKoy, D., & McWey, L. M. (2020). School climate as a link between high school Black males’ math identity and outcomes. Education and Urban Society, 53, 469-487. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013124520931453

Gonzales-Backen, M. A., McWey, L. M., & Reynolds, J. E. (2019). Cross-ethnic measurement equivalence of the Children’s Depression Inventory among youth in foster care. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. doi:10.1177/1063426619838539