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  • Dr. Nickey Woods

New Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion envisions a path to healing


by Leslie Ridgeway, USC Gould School of Law


When Nickey Woods was interviewing for the inaugural position of Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the USC Gould School of Law, the words “healing” and “belonging” came up repeatedly as she discussed her goals for solving some of the broadest social justice issues on a smaller scale. For her, that work starts with defining what DEI is.

“If I have to answer that in a sentence, it’s making the invisible visible,” says Woods, who comes to USC Gould from UCLA, where she held the position of Assistant Dean of Diversity, Inclusion and Admissions in the Graduate Division. “There are harms done or hurtful things said not because people are being intentionally cruel or mean. DEI is making the things that are not apparent more obvious, and creating awareness of concepts and ideas we may take for granted.”


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