Adding Caste to Our Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy
Dec. 17, 2019
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
As an institution of higher education founded on the principles of equitable access and inclusion, Brandeis celebrates the diversity of our community. We are committed to providing our students, faculty, and staff with an environment conducive to learning and working, where all people are treated with dignity and respect.
In this spirit, Brandeis will now include caste, a system of inherited social class, in our non-discrimination policy. Discrimination based on caste will now be expressly prohibited at our university, just as discrimination based on race, color, ancestry, religious creed, gender identity and expression, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, genetic information, disability, military or veteran status, or any other category protected by law is prohibited.
Guided by our founding values, Brandeis is a leader in making this addition; we know of no other institutions of higher education in the United States that currently include caste in their non-discrimination policies.
Brandeis believes that since caste identity is so intertwined with many of the legally recognized and protected characteristics, discrimination based on a person's caste is effectively the same. Going forward, the Office of Equal Opportunity will oversee issues and complaints of discrimination related to caste brought forward by members of the Brandeis community, just as it does for other types of discrimination.
Brandeis has accomplished a great deal since our founding. One of our most significant achievements is our diverse and global community of students, alumni, faculty, and staff. With this comes our dedication to continue building an environment that reflects our founding ethos of treating others with dignity and respect.