Diversity and Inclusion

Samuel Merritt University’s mission is built on transforming the care experience in diverse communities. That commitment to inclusion and equity is found in everything we do.

Create a Culture of Inclusion, Innovation, and Excellence

At SMU, we prepare students to become compassionate health leaders committed to advancing health equity. Through our classroom and clinical education, we develop leaders that reflect regional and community demographics. Much of our focus and outreach is geared toward reducing health care disparities in underserved and vulnerable communities. 

Our dedication to helping underserved populations begins at our regional campuses. We understand that diversity is integral to a thriving society, so we’re proud of our diverse and welcoming community. 

At SMU, diversity includes group and social differences such as race,  ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, first language spoken, nationality, physical and mental abilities, learning styles, life experiences, and religion. We aim to recruit and retain a diverse faculty, staff, and students, which, in turn, contributes to creating a more diverse health care workforce. Our campus community members adhere to a code of ethics, which emphasizes integrity and positive interactions with others. 

Campus Programs and Initiatives

Our Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Disability Resources Center and other campus groups and offices sponsor and spearhead several programs and initiatives.

  • Nursing Workforce Development Grant—An initiative designed to recruit, retain, and develop underrepresented and first-generation students to SMU’s undergraduate nursing programs
  • Community Reads—A campus-wide, shared reading initiative where students, staff, and faculty can explore the structural and social determinants of health through storytelling
  • Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Trainings— Educational workshops geared toward helping faculty, staff, and students broaden their understanding of structural and social determinants of health causing health inequities
  • Dr. Cornelius Hopper Diversity Excellence Award—Named for our former Board of Regents chair who has been addressing racial disparities in the U.S. health care system since 1971

Student Organizations

Among our student groups and clubs—which are open to all—there are several that relate to diversity and inclusion. 

  • International Healthcare Club 
  • Pride Committee 
  • Students of Color Collective 
  • California Student Nurses Association
  • Presidents Ambassadors
Student in Health Sciences Simulation Center

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

We're dedicated to creating a culture of service, inclusion, and excellence on campus and beyond.

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Ethnic Health Institute

Ethnic Health Institute

This outreach program focuses on improving the health and wellness of people in underserved communities.  

Pride flag

SMU Pride Committee

The Pride Committee works with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to identify and addresses the needs of LGBTQIA students and faculty. The committee provides advocacy, resources, safe zone trainings, social events, and more. 

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Students participating in TeamSTEPPS exercise

Disability Resources

SMU recognizes disability as an aspect of diversity that is integral to society and to the campus community.

Can We Help?

We Celebrate Diversity

Different backgrounds and life experiences make a stronger together.