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About the Center for Identity & Inclusion

Where Students Come First!!

Since its inception in 1969, CII has served thousands of students, helping them to persist, thrive, and graduate. Similar to many universities in the U.S., our intuition developed Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP) during the Civil Rights era as higher education opened its doors to members of underrepresented groups. The CU Denver EOP was established and played a vital role in the outreach and recruitment of underrepresented students.


In the summer of 2017, EOP changed its name to the Center for Identity & Inclusion (CII) to reflect the programs CII remains an integral part of CU Denver as the only unit whose programs focus explicitly on American Indian, Asian American, Black, and Latinx students. The proportion of undergraduate students of color at CU Denver has increased each year since 2005. Consequently, there is a heightened need for intentional, inclusive programming that optimizes the potential for ALL students to benefit from being members of a diverse student body.



We are: 

·        A vital source for helping underrepresented students to persist, thrive, and graduate. 

·        home away from home that facilitates students' academic, personal, and social development.

·        recognized leader in offering activities to the campus community to enrich cultural awareness. 

·        valued partner with other units on campus that provide services for student success.

·        bridge that connects students to the campus, external communities, and their future as alumni of the University of Colorado Denver. 



CII recognizes that collaborations with faculty, staff, and external partners are essential to strengthening and sustaining an inclusive campus. By working together, we provide engagement opportunities for historically underrepresented students and create a home away from home. 

Social Justice

CII recognizes that striving for a more socially just society is critical to the success and livelihood of our students. We enact social justice as a process and a goal towards a vision for a society where people from all social groups have equal access to resources and opportunities and feel physically and psychologically safe and secure.

Learning & Scholarship

CII recognizes that some voices have historically been excluded in the academy. We advance CU Denver's educational mission by providing counter-narratives and raising awareness of untold stories to foster critical thinking and reflection about issues that impact marginalized communities. CII serves as an academic partner that values excellence in scholarship, in order to retain and graduate underrepresented students at CU Denver while also promoting lifelong learning. 


CII recognizes that many of our students have developed resilience because of the challenges they have and/or currently endure. CII affirms, supports, and strengthens underrepresented students and their processes of adaptation in the face of adversity, trauma, threat, and other sources of stress. CII staff endeavors to model and embody resilience while teaching students to be agents of social change. 


CII recognizes the lack of diversity in key leadership roles in higher education and other contexts in the United States. CII empowers student leaders while encouraging them to challenge the ways society continues to marginalize underrepresented populations. CII offers leadership programs to prepare students to become change agents on campus, in society, and in their prospective careers.​

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