Black Thriving Initiative

Black Thriving Initiative

Black Thriving Initiative banner

Join us at the forefront of this march towards a more equitable campus community.

"If you come together with a mission, and it's grounded with love and a sense of community, you can make the impossible possible." - John Lewis


Cal Poly Pomona’s Black Thriving Initiative recognizes and responds to anti-Blackness as an existential threat to our mission as a public university. Anti-Blackness stifles our ability to educate, discover, create, heal, and thrive. As a result, this campus-wide strategy recognizes that our future as a university must be linked to the success of Black communities and demands racial healing, building capacity and consciousness, and accountability of all.


  • Jonathan Grady, Ph.D., Senior Associate Vice President, Equity and Belonging (
  • Teshia Roby, Ph.D., Associate Vice President, Learning & Research (
  • Cynthia Pickett, Ph.D., Presidential Associate for Inclusion & Chief Diversity Officer (

News and Updates

Read the recap story on Polycentric

Watch first half of program, featuring Provost Brown, President Coley, Dean of Students Jonathan Grady, student speakers, and the keynote address.

Opening Session

Watch breakout Session One - Racial Healing and Truth Telling with Dr. David Turner

Breakout Session

 Progress to Date: First listen, respond and engage, deep listen, design and implement 

In Fall 2022, Cal Poly Pomona launched the inaugural Black Thriving Initiative (BTI). This institutional commitment responds to the voices and experiences of our Black community. The initiative is intentionally designed as a multi-year, capacity-building effort.

In 2022, the campus implemented a sequence of actions in direct response to the findings of the 2022 Black Student, Faculty, and Staff Wellbeing Assessment. These campus-wide oriented efforts composed Phase 1 of the BTI. This phase is anticipated to run from 2022 to 2024, directly linking the findings of the wellbeing assessment to three strategic priorities:

  • Prioritize Campus Racial Healing
  • Increase Campus Awareness, Cultural Humility, and Critical Consciousness
  • Invest in a Sustainable Infrastructure and Develop Campus-wide Accountability Metrics


During Spring 2023, as Phase 1 programs, services, and investments are carried out, the BTI Workgroup was convened and charged with Cal Poly Pomona’s Deep Listen: Campus-Wide BTI Feedback. These ongoing deep listening sessions collect feedback from students, staff, and faculty on topics ranging from racial climate to actions that positively add to Cal Poly Pomona’s promise of inclusive excellence:

  • Describe the current racial climate at CPP.
  • What actions positively add to CPP’s goal of inclusive excellence?
  • What barriers/challenges prevent CPP from achieving our goal of inclusive excellence?
  • What does the campus need to further our growth and development in equity, diversity, and inclusion? What do you need?


To date, over 125 students, faculty, and staff have participated in the deep listening feedback process. If you are interested in participating in a future deep listening session or would like to schedule a deep listening session with your unit, please contact: Jonathan Grady, Ph.D., Senior Associate Vice President & Dean of Students (

Come August 2023, the BTI workgroup will develop its annual progress report on Phase 1 and present specific recommendations and action steps informed by the campus-wide deep listening process. In fall 2023, the BTI Workgroup will host a community forum/program to continue intentional campuswide engagement on progress to date and anticipated next steps.

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Students, staff, and faculty gathered to hear reflections on the Black Thriving Initiative to-date, understand progress made since its inception, and take action to discover what is required of us as an institution moving forward.

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