Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Professor and students in labs coats

The Department of Food Science and Nutrition affirms the pressing importance of fulfilling our collective responsibility to create an environment where everyone is respected and valued. We believe it is critical to actively transform our work and learning environments to better meet this responsibility.  Furthermore, we recognize that many cultures, communities and individuals offer knowledge and experience that can advance the health, well-being, and prosperity of our society, and we are obligated to continue learning about the deep relationships between culture, knowledge, and health. Our geographic context offers a unique opportunity and responsibility to lead our disciplines in valuing human difference. The richness of the human experience across difference is an untapped resource that can make our organization richer and more robust, leading to greater impact and innovation. This work will help us to cultivate educated and fair-minded citizens of the world. We commit ourselves to creating an academic environment that reflects the twenty-first century land grant mission of serving our pluralistic society, and we acknowledge the historic resistance of institutions to facing and addressing these needs.

Meet Lisa Chou, 2021 Food Science MS graduate and CFANS Diversity Fellow

Meet Dr. Francine Overcash, FScN researcher, instructor, and CFANS Diversity Fellow

FSCN DEI Initiatives

Expand all

Food Systems, Health and Society for 2050

The theme of the 2020 FSCN Showcase was “Food Systems, Health and Society for 2050.” Many of the discussions centered around the work being done in our local communities and the future direction of research and outreach. Particular focus was given to the topic of culinary heritage and how we can be more inclusive to diverse food cultures in our work.

Learn more about these projects and watch the session recordings

Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute

Many diversity and equity initiatives within FSCN and the University at large are done in collaboration with the UMN HFHL Institute.

Learn more about their grant programs and their work in sharing knowledge of multicultural and Indigenous food traditions

DEI in Hiring and Education

The following are excerpts from the FSCN Strategic Plan. The Department has committed to DEI development in the following ways:


"...the Department’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion means that the processes and practices for departmental searches and hiring should reflect the most effective, evidence-based tools for increasing workforce diversity and comply with University and collegiate policies."
"Related Activities

  • Members of the Department develop interview questions for search committees, related metrics, and requests for candidate presentations that facilitate assessment of candidate capacities and demonstrated experience in shared leadership, collaboration skills, diversity/equity/inclusion and new revenue models
  • Develop interview questions to assess capacity, interest, and demonstrated experience with diversity, equity, and inclusion, in partnership with CFANS Office for Diversity and Equity"

"Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Goal - The Department exemplifies a diverse workforce and student population, and an equitable, inclusive organizational culture


  • Build a department that is representative of the diversity of society in staff, faculty, students and offerings
  • Foster a departmental climate that consistently draws upon the resources of human diversity
  • Ensure discovery, learning, and outreach respond to current and future realities

Related Activities

  • Establish evidence-based, data-driven departmental baseline focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in partnership with CFANS’ Office of Diversity
  • Using baseline data, set goals, metrics, and create a departmental plan for diversity and equity that advance relevant goals contained in the strategic plan
  • Work with CFANS Office for Diversity and Equity to ensure interview questions, candidate recruitment and selection processes, search committee composition and preparation, interview processes, candidate evaluation, and hiring reflect evidence-based best practices in advancing diversity and equity
  • Identify and use effective channels for publicizing open positions that will draw a diverse candidate pool within a rapidly changing society
  • Support faculty and staff with ongoing professional development opportunities to increase intercultural competency
  • Assess annual progress toward goals outlined in departmental diversity and equity plan"

Undergraduate and Graduate Education:

"Goal #1 - Develop intercultural capacity as a means to join food science and nutrition disciplines with undergraduate and graduate education Objective

  • Provide an array of activities that strengthen diversity and equity in the Department

Related Activities

  • Support and encourage student involvement in diversity and equity initiatives
  • Reduce departmental threshold score for admissions and consider designing and implementing a holistic admissions process
  • Participate in CFANS "Working Across Difference Initiative"
  • Provide scholarships of at least $1,000 to any FScN student participating in approved study abroad programs
  • Ensure full support for implementing all facets of graduate level diversity plan, as mandated by University, integrating it into departmental diversity plan efforts
  • Review and update recruitment, admissions, retention, and related aspects of student success, in compliance with University-mandated graduate education requirements. Ensure full support for implementing all facets of graduate level diversity plan, integrating it into departmental diversity plan efforts."

Other Resources

Expand all

Land Acknowledgement

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities is located on traditional, ancestral, and contemporary lands of Indigenous people. The University resides on Dakota land ceded in the Treaties of 1837 and 1851.

  • Local Dakota Land Map — downloadable visual and audio Dakota land maps of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and surrounding areas by local artist Marlena Myles
  • Territory Map and Territory Acknowledgement Guides from UMN Libraries
  • Why Treaties Matter — a comprehensive and thoughtful exploration of treaties and land theft in Minnesota. For our area, we recommend you begin by reading about the 1837 land cession treaties with the Ojibwe and Dakota, and the 1851 Dakota land cession treaties

(Courtesy of the UMN Institute for Advanced Study)