Updated resources May 2024

During these difficult times we would like to remind the community about two important values that can guide our decisions and interactions with each other: student success and support and freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech

CGU is dedicated to upholding freedom of speech and safeguarding freedom of expression, ensuring that all members of our academic community can confidently articulate their ideas and perspectives without fear of retaliation or reprisal.

It is our collective responsibility as a community to provide safe spaces in which thoughtful and empathetic understanding can be promoted. Even in instances where complete understanding may not be reached, and sharing diverse views may be uneasy and painful, the exposure to diverse views contributes to our intellectual and emotional development.

When engaging in dialogue – in person, virtually, through social media – we may dislike or find other’s expressions and views offensive, and we can further engage respectfully in that conversation, or we can decide to disengage from it. The freedom to express ourselves doesn’t negate the possibility that our words may cause hurt to others. As a community, we do not tolerate holding any space for violence to be celebrated, hatred to be expressed, or retaliation perpetrated in response to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is a valuable right that we should treasure by using it with responsibility, kindness, tolerance and respect.  

Historical Context Podcast Suggestion

A brief historical introduction to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict 101 Podcast series ( History Teacher Alli Roper designed this 101 4- episode series for those who know little to nothing about the history of the land and the details of the conflict and are looking for an approachable way to learn about it. The 3 episodes were recorded during August and September 2023:

Part 1 of 3:  This episode covers from 4,000 years ago until 1917 with the Balfour Declaration.
Part 2 of 3: This episode covers from 1917 to the beginning of 1967.
Part 3 of 3: This episode covers from 1967 (Six Day War) to 2023.
The Middle East Today: Must-Know History & Country Relations. This episode covers the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, European influence in the region, some major historical conflicts from WWII to 2023, and how Middle Eastern countries currently relate to each other, generally. The hope is for those who know little to nothing about the Middle East to have a basic primer that can be used as a springboard for further research.

Past Events

The DEI committee hosted support events during Fall 2023. If you would like to access the edited recordings of those sessions, please email

An Open Conversation before Winter break

This week we will hold an online session to create space to converse and connect before Winter break. Professor M. Gloria Gonzalez-Morales (Director of CAFE) is trained as an Intergroup Dialogue facilitator, and she will host this meeting. She will start the facilitation by guiding the participants in creating a community agreement.

Date: Friday, December 15th at noon (12.00 pm to 2.00 pm)

Location: Online

  • Online Session for Students, Faculty and Staff – A Conversation with the Claremont Colleges Chaplains

Date: Thursday, November 30th at noon (12.00 pm to 1.00 pm)

Location: Online (email to inquire about the recording)

Please, join us in conversation with Imam Hadi Qazwini, PhD (Muslim Interfaith Chaplain) and Rabbi Danny A Lutz (Jewish Interfaith Chaplain) from the Claremont Colleges Services. We will start with some remarks on what is important to understand about the conflict in Gaza and Israel and how it impacts our communities. We will have dedicated time for questions from the audience.

  • Online Session for Students, Faculty and Staff – Intergroup Dialogue Tools

Date: Friday, November 10th from 10.00 to 11.00 am

Location: Online (email to inquire about the recording)

Intergroup dialogue is a form of engagement that fosters communication, critical reflection, and collaborative action across cultural and social divides. Join this online session to learn basic strategies based on Intergroup Dialogue to facilitate conversations across differences.

  • In-Person Group Session for Faculty and Staff – Supporting the Community-OPTUM

Date: Wednesday November 15,  from 10.00 to 11.00 am

Location: CGU Yuhaaviatam – YHC 110 (Conference Rm)

In this in-person meeting, OPTUM professionals will hold a 1-hour session on Coping with a Traumatic Event Reactions after a traumatic event or incident.

Individual sessions will be held from 11.00 am to 12.00 pm.

  • Teaching in difficult situations for Faculty 

Date: Friday November 17th, from 10:30 to 11:45 am

Location: Online
Hosted by Sara Hollar (CTL)

Even though we hope to create safe and supportive learning spaces for all the students at the Claremont Colleges, often painful realities within our community and in the broader world impact our students (and us as teachers.) You’re not alone if you’re finding it difficult to manage pain, crisis, tension, and conflict in your classroom.

In this reflective webinar Sara Hollar, Director of the CTL, will:

1. Present an evidence-based and trauma-informed approach to deciding when and how to respond to local and global events.

2. Introduce practices to skillfully respond to conflict, hot moments, or unexpected harm in the classroom.

3. Provide structured reflection time to build a toolbox of teaching practices that fit your disposition, your values, and your course.

Please note that this workshop is meant to equip and fortify teachers to respond to many types of difficult situations and will be focused on teaching practices generally, instead of tailored to any specific event. However, we will likely discuss and think about specific instances affecting our community that may be painful or traumatic. This session will be recorded. Please RSVP to receive a zoom link to attend, or to receive a recording after the event.

  • Online materials and resources

Grief & Trauma Pack:

  • How to help when you don’t know what to say
  • Coworkers facing grief together
  • Change, crisis and loss
  • Coping with a traumatic event

Israel-Gaza Crisis – support and resources | OptumHealth

 For students: 

 For faculty and staff: 

  • Click here to learn about confidential assistance to help you manage stress, overcome anxiety and cope with trauma. 
  • Student success and support. As we approach the final weeks of the semester, we’d like to emphasize the importance of following suggested guidelines when engaging in conversations with students expressing concerns about their ability to complete coursework. Please refer to the provided link for detailed information:

Working alongside CGU’s leadership team, and with members of the campus community, CGU’s DEI Committee is committed to strengthening the institution in its endeavors to provide support and safety during this difficult time. 

We acknowledge with profound sadness the violence occurring in the Middle East, and in our own country and communities, including the violence that comes from suppression of thought and freedom to express love and care for one and other. We also acknowledge the complexity, the nuance, and the multivalent perspectives, feelings, experiences and lives that are connected to this violent conflict and the divisive impacts felt in our communities.  

We do not have a playbook or lesson plan to navigate this situation, largely because we often approach violence as a dichotomy in which sides must be taken. However, there is no dichotomous construct to conceptualize suffering or humanity. The only clear dichotomy we recognize is between safety and support and violence and fear. It is our responsibility to provide safe spaces at CGU in which healing discourse and thoughtful understanding can be promoted. As a community, we cannot tolerate holding any space for violence to be celebrated or hatred to be expressed. 

We aim to help our community by doing everything we can to provide welcoming and safe spaces, where all perspectives can co-exist and where we can collectively acknowledge pain and grief, while we nurture safety and healing as this violence takes away from our humanity.  

CGU is a place of learning, where we foster complex conversations using our tools, expertise and sense of community. We facilitate dialogue and the hope that, where we lack words and tools, we can co-create them together.  We also look to our communities as partners; more than ever, CGU needs to adhere to its core value of being a place of learning. As such, the DEI Committee is seeking collaboration with members of the communities involved, including:  

  • Extending invitations to a Rabbi and an Imam to come to campus and help us listen and learn. 
  • Initiatives to help develop understanding of the histories and contexts for this situation. 
  • Safe space sessions with intergroup dialogue (IGD) facilitators (see more information above)

Please click here to express interest in attending any of these events and receiving more information or sharing resources. 

We are also providing supportive resources for those who are struggling with pain and grief (see above).

We have learned something during this time, which is we can lose our humanity in busy schedules, deadlines, responsibilities, confusion and sorrow. We are taking this opportunity to remind ourselves to draw on our humanity, to practice compassion, and to support healing.  We hope that this violence ends soon, and that resolution arrives from a discourse of peace in the face of terrorism and war instead of the discourse of hate, such as that seen in the anti-Palestinian and antisemitic narratives. 

These words are to say that we see your pain. That we are listening.  

Humanity is not a dichotomy.