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Whitworth’s Chief Diversity Officer Lorna Hernandez Jarvis Appointed to Spokane Human Rights Commission

July 10, 2020
Whitworth’s Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Lorna Hernandez Jarvis, Ph.D., has been appointed to the Spokane Human Rights Commission.

Hernandez Jarvis was hired at Whitworth in 2017. She is a cognitive psychologist, has an extensive background in intergroup dialogue, has conducted and published research in acculturation processes and psychological well-being in adolescents and is a published author in the field of semantic development in young children, bilingualism and bilingual education.

Her knowledge and expertise have given Whitworth’s students, faculty and staff the resources and strategies they need to be able to engage in important discussions about racism and work to end racial injustice.

She is currently implementing a professional development series for all Whitworth employees that will consist of several sessions on race, race relations, racism and anti-racism. She has also scheduled an Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion speaker series at the university this fall and will continue to strengthen her already successful intergroup dialogue student program focused on race.

When the vacated commissioner’s seat was mentioned to her, Hernandez Jarvis felt it was a perfect fit.

“After being in the city for three years, I felt I was ready to get involved in significant ways in helping the city address the needs of its citizens and to give back to this community that welcomed me and my family,” Hernandez Jarvis says.

Spokane Human Rights Commission Chair Lance Kissler says Hernandez Jarvis has already engaged with city officials on community projects around racial injustice and brings a great deal of expertise to this position.

“We are looking forward to Lorna serving on the Spokane Human Rights Commission and bringing her skills, knowledge and experience with diversity, equity and inclusion programs, particularly from an academic perspective.”

Hernandez Jarvis will work alongside the other commissioners, who are currently focused on several major tasks. They are working on exploring the establishment of an Office of Civil Rights within the city administration, increasing community engagement and outreach with citizens on topics important to them including racial injustice and the recent protests in the Spokane community, and co-hosting a Human Rights Awards program with the Spokane County Human Rights Task Force.

About Whitworth University:

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of more than 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or