The Inclusion Initiative Curricular Community

inclusion initiative words surround by multiple colors

Following the success of Pandemic Pandemonium, the College of Humanities and the Arts is instituting student curricular engagement with current issues as an annual initiative of H&A in Action with awards for best student creations selected by a committee. The broad goals of the H&A student initiatives are:

  • to offer the opportunity for students to explore a common experience (e.g., COVID-19) in an academic setting;
  • to reinforce in students the value of the arts, humanities, critical thinking, reflection, and expression in the face of a crisis, all essential tools for life, through course materials and assignments that explore various current themes;
  • to create an intellectual, artistic, and creative community among our students;
  • to provide a platform for showcasing to the SJSU community and beyond student creations that result from signature assignments;
  • to provide students with an opportunity for professionalization in presenting their work to audiences beyond their professor and class; and,
  • to showcase the pedagogical innovations by faculty in leading their students’ work.

Inclusion Initiative: Social Justice and Racial Equity

During recent years, our country has been experiencing a racial reckoning starting with the murder of George Floyd. Issues of racial equality and social justice and exposure of inequality and injustice have been in our minds and will continue to do so. As a university, we owe it to our students to teach them ways of thinking through these issues and informing their lives. But we in the humanities and the arts have the rational and creative powers and the disciplinary tools to not simply admire each other’s works but to include in our circles what is perceived as “the other” and to value the multiplicity of colors, genders, shapes, beliefs, opinions and habits, as they all define our humanity. 

Our college’s Inclusion Initiative: Social Justice and Racial Equity is an exercise in releasing the artistic, creative and intellectual geniuses in our students to express their ideas and analyses of what inclusion means, to visualize life in an inclusive social environment and to create representations of such life, and to discover the multiple implications of social justice and racial equity. 

Winners Announced for Spring 2022

We are pleased to announce AY 2021-2022 faculty contributors, all of whom submitted outstanding assignments. Each assignment has been archived in King Library's ScholarWorks with a Creative Commons license that invites anyone to revise, reuse, and remix the materials, and assignments have been added to our Examples of Innovative Assignments. Congratulations to our intrepid faculty! 

Award winning student creations are available here:

NOTE: This opportunity is now closed. 

We invite you to engage with this effort in two ways:

  1. Submit a signature Assignment (by Feb. 22) from one of your courses that addresses inclusivity. Signature assignments could lead to student creations that include artistic creations (paintings, sculptures, ceramic artworks, jewelry, digital media representations), design solutions for social equity, artistic expressions (poetry, short stories, multimedia creations), performances (musical compositions and reinterpretations, dance interpretations and choreographies, films, skits, and animated stories), and analyses (research on the language, texts, and narratives, on media coverage of racial issues, in English and other languages). We ask for submission of just the assignment as this point so you can be notified of acceptance and can prep your students when you submit their creations towards the conclusion of the semester. (New: Faculty with accepted assignments will receive $150 professional development funds)
  2. Self-Nominate for the Awards Committee (by Feb. 22) to serve as a member of the Inclusion Initiative Awards Committee. The committee of faculty representing each department/school will judge the student creations nominated by their instructors using a set of criteria and will award prizes in each of the five disciplinary categories (analytical scholarship, literary arts, visual arts, performing arts, and media arts). The College is supporting this competition with a generous grant of $5,000 to be divided equally among the five disciplinary categories. (New: Faculty on this committee will receive $250 professional development funds)

See below for the timeline for submitting your assignment, self-nominating for the awards committee, and submitting your student creations (by April 29). 

Timeline & Submission Links



Feb. 22 Submit your assignment through the Google Form using the required assignment template.
Feb. 22 Self-nominate for the Awards Committee here
Mar. 1  Faculty notified about their assignments being selected; faculty who self-nominated for the awards committee notified about participation
April 29 Submit up to 3 student creation selections here accompanied by student permission form (for each student)
April 30 Student creations made available to Awards Committee
May 2 During week of May 2, Awards committee meets to select winners
May 9 Selected student showcase participants are notified
May 16 Digital showcase of selected showcase participants goes live
May 20 Showcase Opening Event (in-person, if possible) & winners in each category from these showcase selections announced
May All faculty assignment prompts archived in ScholarWorks

Review Committee

Associate Dean, Roula Svorou, is leading the review committee and invites faculty to self-nominate (via this Google Form). Those serving on the committee may not submit to assignment for this opportunity. Faculty on this committee will receive a $250 professional development stipend.

Archiving Your Assignments

Because we think that the work and innovation that goes into creating new pedagogy and particularly pedagogy that brings together our college’s multiple disciplines around a theme needs to be recognized and shared, we have created a structure that will permanently archive the assignment prompts and the nominated student creations in SJSU ScholarWorks with a Creative Commons license so that they can be shared globally (See the 2020-2021 faculty assignments from Pandemic Pandemonium).


We sincerely hope that you will consider serving our students by participating in this college initiative either by creating a signature Inclusion Initiative assignment or by being a member of the awards committee. There will be additional communication with further details from me in October and November. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Associate Dean, Roula Svorou ( or Director of Public Programming, Katherine D. Harris (email or Open Office Hours), who is responsible for making your pedagogical work visible and accessible to the larger academic community.