A community doesn’t include only one color of the rainbow.

Multiple flags adorn the Lehigh Pride Center in Christmas-Saucon Hall with a flurry of colors representing different identities to show all are welcome and able to thrive as their full, authentic selves. The Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department held a social event on April 18 to extend Lehigh’s community building resources for all faculty, staff, and students.

Over the Rainbow


“The acts of creating spaces for students to mingle with each other and faculty, while also giving students in-depth introductions or reminders of the many resources on campus are both best practices of imbedding inclusion work into a campus” says Dr. Rita Jones, Director of The Center for Gender Equity at Lehigh. “Faculty don't always know which students need which kinds of resources and giving information to all students ensures that no one feels singled out when accessing resources.”


The Lehigh advocacy centers serve as a cultural hub for students to gather and find community. Jones led a listening activity at the event, which was a miniature version of the 90-minute workshop, ‘Listening Differently, Listening for Difference’, offered through The Center for Gender Equity. “As part of our feminist praxis approach, listening is the first step to building an inclusive community, and understanding how each person listens differently can help us learn about one another and see the creative potential behind that. I also wanted to bring in a little interactive trivia to give everyone a chance to think about the gender equity work that has been led by students, staff, and faculty at Lehigh thus far, as well as the work we have yet to do.” 

Dr. Joseph Menicucci, Associate Chair and Teaching Associate Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering reflects on one of the core tenets of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers that notes members shall ‘Treat all colleagues and co-workers fairly and respectfully, recognizing their unique contributions and capabilities by fostering an environment of equity, diversity and inclusion.’ “Jones' presentation highlighted the importance of recognizing everyone’s unique perspective and how embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion is not only the right thing to do, but also leads to a better result. I am very proud of how our students challenged themselves and embraced the message.”

Photography by Ryan Saks

Rita Jones, Director
Center for Gender Equity

Associate Chair and Teaching Associate Professor
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering