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Welcome to OLLI at Chico State! > About Us > Better Together: Our Commitment to Inclusivity

Better Together: Our Commitment to Inclusivity   

We want OLLI to be a place where member conversations, comfortable and uncomfortable, ignite new learning opportunities. We know that having varied perspectives helps generate better ideas and unites us in exploring the complex problems of a changing and increasingly-diverse world. OLLI hopes to create and maintain a space in which everyone can have an equitable opportunity to thrive.

As a lifelong learning program, we focus on education as the best way we can advance the cause of welcoming everyone, just as they are, into both our OLLI community and the larger communities around us.

We are committed to making OLLI as welcoming and accessible as possible for as many people as possible.

Bits & Bytes E-newsletter
Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy
What are personal pronouns? Why do they matter?
Financial Concerns
Ideas for Improvement
Our Inclusivity Story


No homework, no tests, just learning. Whether you have a PhD or never finished high school, OLLI classes are for you. The only requirement for joining OLLI is an interest in learning.

We have made a commitment to increase the diversity of our presenters and class topics.

Bits & Bytes E-newsletter

All members receive our Bits & Bytes E-newsletter twice a month. Every issue highlights a topic or event that relates to celebrating and learning more about people and perspectives that have been underrepresented in our broader world – with a focus on events happening right here in Chico whenever possible. In the month of June 2022, for example, we highlighted the calendar of Pride events happening in Chico and the African American Family & Cultural Center’s 10th annual Juneteenth Celebration in Oroville.

Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy

We welcome people of all of the following non-exhaustive list of groups:



  • Racial identities
  • Genders
  • Sexualities
  • Marital statuses
  • Socioeconomic classes
  • Mental and physical abilities
  • Body shapes and sizes
  • Education levels
  • Citizenship statuses
  • National origins
  • Political beliefs
  • Religions
  • Veteran statuses


Harassment on the basis of any of these aspects of a person’s identity, whether actual or perceived, will not be tolerated. If you experience any such harassment, please report it to the OLLI office at or 530-898-6679.


What are personal pronouns? Why do they matter?

We often think we can determine a person’s gender, and therefore what pronouns to use for them, based on their name or appearance. But human beings are so much more varied and complex than that! And even when our guesses are correct, the fact that we guess means we’re assigning a category to someone without letting them tell us who they are.

Using someone’s correct personal pronouns is a way to respect them and create an inclusive environment, just as using a person’s name is a way of showing them respect. Displaying our pronouns in conjunction with our name – whether on Zoom or in the class catalog – helps to avoid misidentification and lets people know we’re a community that respects people’s pronouns. Listing your pronouns is always optional.

Learn more about pronouns – what they are, how to use them, and how to communicate them – at


OLLI is committed to making our classes as accessible as possible for as many people as possible. We acknowledge that conflicting access needs and the practicalities of existing physical spaces mean that we may not be able to accommodate every person at every time. We are still committed to doing our best.

The Basics: Our main classroom spaces at The Social Chico are wheelchair accessible with sound systems to amplify instructors’ voices and reserved seating for those with visual or hearing difficulties. If you can’t find what you’re looking for or have other questions about accessibility, email us at or call us at 530-898-6679.

For more details about accessibility issues, see our full accessibility statement.

Financial Concerns

We don’t want financial concerns to prevent you from joining us at OLLI. We offer payment plans that allow you to spread your membership payment over 2 or 5 payments. We also offer a fee assistance program. Donations from our annual fundraising campaign are earmarked for these scholarships. We ask that you pay according to your means, and we appreciate your contribution! If you need assistance, please contact us at or 530-898-6679.

Ideas for Improvement

Inclusivity is an ongoing process, one built on an ever-evolving process of hearing and understanding perspectives we may not have considered before. We truly believe that we are better together. If you have ideas for making OLLI feel more inclusive of you, your community, or someone you know, we want to hear them! Email us at or call us at 530-898-6679.

Our Inclusivity Story

In 2020, in addition to battling the coronavirus, we were faced with the killing of George Floyd. As a predominantly white community, we found this tragedy a shocking wake-up call. In the years since, we’ve continued to grapple with multiple instances of racial injustice and the alarming frequency of mass shootings in schools, grocery stores, and workplaces.

OLLI chose to confront some of these issues through education using the amazing human resources at Chico State and in the wider community. Instructor Lori Murphy Cole joined a small group of OLLI volunteers who met monthly with the program director to explore new approaches to the topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion. These discussions led to the creation of several classes, starting with the fall 2020 Book in Common class, “Exploring Antiracism.” This five-week class was facilitated by faculty member Laura Nice and featured four guest speakers, all Chico State faculty, who offered background and experience on sensitive topics related to race. This course launched others and our OLLI community became aware that there was much to learn.

Lori said, “After the killing of George Floyd when it was obvious to many people that racism must be addressed as a society, I tackled the topic as any other privileged white person. I wasn't racist, why did I need to delve further into the topic? Yet something was pulling me to be the lifelong learner I had always encouraged my students to be. I soon learned that I didn't know the real story behind being white. I didn't know (had I even thought about it?) about white privilege. I didn't know the stories of the people that have faced racism and marginalization all their lives. It was time to learn and learn more.”

These courses aren't an attempt to trend with the times; our commitment is to broach topics that uncover bias and racial injustice and to address them in our greater community. It's time to turn our curiosity and dedication to learning in the direction of tough topics with the goal of coming to a better understanding of today's world.


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