Southwestern’s Diversity Statement
Approved by the University Council in 2010
Southwestern was founded on the western frontier in the 19th Century as Texas’s first institution of higher education, and today is located in one of the country’s most racially, ethnically, and religiously diverse states. These circumstances necessitate a fundamental commitment to diversity. As stated in our catalog, “Southwestern originated in pioneering Texas and finds its identity in entering unfamiliar environments with confidence and vigor. We were not founded to defend established order, but to generate creative responses to altered opportunities and resources.” Today, Southwestern seeks to expand upon that mandate by redressing the historic social exclusions that have characterized higher education in the U.S. In responding to the increasingly heterogeneous population of the U.S. and creating a socially just community, we make real our core values: fostering diverse perspectives, respecting the worth and dignity of persons, and encouraging activism in the pursuit of justice and the common good.
Southwestern University is committed to inclusive excellence and creating a socially just community from our differences. We affirm the current richness of our community while continually striving for an environment with even greater inclusivity and social justice. We believe that any attempt to marginalize any individual or group diminishes everyone in our community. We understand that engaging differences meaningfully is critical to academic excellence and generates life-long learners with a passion for intellectual and personal growth. Furthermore, supporting diversity and social justice builds knowledge and understanding of our society, promoting more respectful relationships and more effective citizenship in our ever changing world.
We understand diversity in the broadest sense, embracing differences in race and ethnicity, culture, religious and spiritual understandings, gender identities and expressions, sexual orientations, abilities, age, socio-economic class, political and social views, and language and geographic characteristics.
In order to bring these changes about, we commit to progress in these areas:
- Continuing the development of an increasingly diverse community of students, faculty, and staff;
- Enhancing the existing institutional climate so that it better embraces that diversity;
- Offering opportunities for meaningful interaction and engaging learning experiences that span differences.