Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is dedicated to serving the needs of our employees and ensuring we are recruiting and retaining employees from diverse backgrounds that have an opportunity to feel included, welcomed, and valued at our institution.

Diversity Statement

Diverse Faculty FellowsHarper College aspires to build, strengthen, and maintain a respectful and safe community where inclusivity and the open exchange of ideas are encouraged and supported. Only when our learning and working environments intentionally embrace and embody diverse perspectives can our educational practices move us toward a just society.

It is our personal and shared responsibility to:

  • Operate from an individual and collective awareness of the dynamics of social identity and inequality
  • Respect, value, and learn from a wide range of ideas and perspectives
  • Advocate for equity, recognizing that equal treatment may not be sufficient to achieve success for all people
  • Identify and remove unjust barriers that limit our realization of an inclusive community

Social Justice LeadershipWe are fully committed to sustaining an environment where individual differences and identities are recognized as strengths. Harper College is dedicated to supporting our diverse campus and fostering student success as a means of achieving equity in our society and the world.

The creation of a fully inclusive community is an ongoing process. This statement and its implementation at Harper College will continue to evolve alongside our diverse and changing community.

Equity Statement 

The core values at Harper College include providing equity in learning, teaching, and working environments for all students, faculty, and staff. While equality involves treating everyone the same way regardless of their starting points and needs, equity is based upon the principles of fairness. Equity acknowledges that everyone has a different starting point and individual needs. It means meeting people where they are and providing them with support and opportunities essential to accomplishing their goals.

Our commitment to equity at Harper involves providing support and access to resources for all members of the college community and finding solutions to remedy academic equity gaps for students. Our institution will identify inequities and remove structural barriers faced by underserved populations. We will adopt practices and support services that promote equitable participation in educational programs and the equal opportunity for everyone to achieve their full potential. We will promote a culture of inclusion, work to bring about social justice, and advance sustainable change to support the success of all members of the Harper College community.

How Diverse is Harper College?

The Diversity Scorecard has launched in both English and Spanish! It is an online dynamic dashboard that gives you access to Harper's current statistics on employee diversity in each of the areas of the college. Employees Only


Dr. Claudia Mercado

Dr. Claudia Mercado is a scholar practitioner who currently serves as the Interim Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In her work, Dr. Mercado will focus on increasing educational attainment of students from marginalized communities by evaluating barriers, systems and policies; providing culturally responsive pedagogical approaches to serving a diverse student body by embedding systematic supports to faculty; delivering diversity, equity and inclusion training to all employees by developing institutional capacity; increasing economic mobility by providing educational access to high poverty community members; creating space and community which attracts, retains and uplifts diverse students and employees; and improving college DEI performance metrics surrounding employee and students by evaluating institutional and community data  .

For more information, contact Dr. Claudia Mercado, Interim Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at  or 847.925.6767.

Sonia Jawnyj, Administrative Assistant, 847.925.6260

Location: Office of the Interim Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Wojcik Conference Center, Room W321.

Contact Us

Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Building W, Room W-321

Schedule a meeting

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