Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Flowers in front of SPU's Clock Tower

Sandra Richards Mayo is the vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dr. Richards Mayo provides leadership in Seattle Pacific University’s ongoing work of reconciliation by providing strategic opportunities to fulfill SPU’s institutional mission.

Meet Sandra Richards Mayo

Dr. Richards Mayo joined Seattle Pacific in July 2017 as vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion. With a doctorate from Claremont Graduate University, Dr. Richards Mayo was formerly an associate professor and director of the doctoral program in educational leadership at Azusa Pacific University. She also served as associate dean for academic affairs in the APU School of Education, with primary responsibility for student academic support, curricular management, and faculty development.

In her academic and administrative roles, Dr. Richards Mayo has long focused on social justice, diversity, and equity. Her scholarly work has explored historical perspectives on racial disparities. Her publications appear in the Journal of Higher Education, Caribbean Quarterly, and The International Christian Community for Teacher Education Journal. She is also a contributor to Black Protest Thought and Education, and The Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography.

As SPU’s first VPDEI, she is a member of the leadership team and part of SPU’s ongoing efforts to reflect the Kingdom of God in this community, living out the call to be reconcilers, and respecting each person’s humanity and uniqueness. In this role, Dr. Richards Mayo focuses on developing an integrated vision and shared responsibility for diversity at Seattle Pacific University. To this end, she works collaboratively with, and serves as, a resource for academic and administrative units on campus as they establish, coordinate, and assess their contributions to institutional diversity goals.

Recent publications

  • Richards Mayo, S. (2015). Chasing the “hounds of hell”: Howard Thurman's Jesus and the disinherited as a curriculum for racial justice and reconciliation. ICCTE Journal (A Journal of the International Christian Community for Teacher Education), 10(1).
  • Richards Mayo, S. (2016). ‘Where riotous difference is welcomed’: Reframing diversity conversations in education through a theological understanding of hospitality. In H. Lee & P. Kaak (Eds.), The Pedagogy of Shalom: Theory and Contemporary Issues of Faith-Based Education. Singapore: Springer.
  • Richards Mayo, S. (2017). Historical conundrums: Extending inclusivity to Jamaica’s children in state care. In S. Blackman & D. Conrad (Eds.). Historical and Contemporary Issues in Inclusive Education in the Caribbean. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Office staff

SPU students talking about issues of diversity

Diversity, Justice, and Reconciliation

Learn about the SPU Diversity Initiative’s ongoing efforts in both undergraduate and graduate academics and programs. 

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SPU Now Ranked as a “Best National University”

SPU is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report, the only private university in the Pacific Northwest to make its 2017 Best National Universities list.

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