At Mount Saint Mary’s University, we are committed to diversity in all its possible forms with emphasis on the importance of human rights, equity, fairness, inclusiveness and diversity in the broadest sense including differences in gender, race, ethnicity, generational history, culture, socioeconomic class, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship status, political perspectives, geographic origin and physical ability.
We honor and remain steeped in the tradition and legacy of our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, and we continue to work for social justice, equity and inclusion.
Our mission is to foster a more diverse, inclusive and equitable community where all of our members can flourish and reach their full potential.
We achieve our mission through the engagement and empowerment of all members of our community. The Bernadette Gonzaque Robert Center for Equity, Diversity and Justice provides strategic programs, services, resources, and leadership guidance in support of the Mount’s commitment to building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive institution.
We envision a university where equity and inclusion:
Kimberly Nao is a transformative educator who holds the Fritz Burns Endowed Chair Assistant Professor of Education at Mount Saint Mary's University where she teaches courses on language diversity, linguistics, and teacher professional development. Her research interest is exploring the intersections of yoga, schooling, and social justice. She works extensively on diversity and equity issues with a particular emphasis on the intersection of race and gender. She facilitates discussions on these issues as a consultant for Peace Pros LA and as a Diversity Fellow the Mount. She has trained teachers, police officers, university faculty and staff, and health care providers across the Los Angeles area on issues related to anti-racism, gender, sexuality, and toxic masculinity with the goal of reforming and breaking down structures that oppress marginalized groups.
Chinako Miyamoto Belanger (she/her) is the Interim Director of Women’s Leadership and Student Engagement. In her role, she oversees co-curricular programs related to student leadership, community engagement, and civic engagement. Chinako is the daughter of immigrants and a first generation college student. She earned her B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of California, Irvine and her doctorate of education in Organizational Change and Leadership from the University of Southern California. Her dissertation, Gender Beyond the Binary at Women’s Colleges: Transgender Student Success and the Role of Faculty, investigated the knowledge, motivation, and organizational influences that impact transgender student inclusion at women’s colleges.
Chinako serves on numerous committees at the Mount including the Sexuality and Gender Awareness Committee (co-chair) and the Equity, Diversity and Justice Search and Assessment Committee (co-chair). Notably, her involvement as a co-chair in the Transgender Student Admission Policy Task Force helped to lead the university in developing an admission policy that would allow admission for transgender and non-binary students at the Mount. Her other roles on campus include serving as a Title IX Investigator, member of the President’s Advisory Committee, member of the Academic Assessment Committee, and member of the Ethnic Studies Advisory Board. Outside of the Mount, Chinako is involved with the NASPA Women in Student Affairs knowledge community as a co-chair for the Communications team and a member of the Japanese American Citizens’ League, Greater Los Angeles chapter. She is also a certified Spin instructor and running coach.