Diversity at SU

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Diversity at Southwestern / Transforming the Collective

Transforming the Collective

Southwestern University’s core values include fostering diverse perspectives, respecting the worth and dignity of persons, and promoting activism in the pursuit of justice. Southwestern requires all students to complete one course that provides them an opportunity to understand how difference is used in the maintenance of structures of power (e.g., institutions, discourses, etc.) and inequality, as well as the activism in which people engage to promote social justice.

Students taking an FYS or AES class will be required to attend the module “The Return of the JEDI–Learning how to build inclusive environments” during Welcome Week. The module discusses how Southwestern is home to people of countless cultures and identities. Join the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Center for fun games and critical conversations about building a safe and welcoming campus.

Southwestern offers a race and ethnicities studies minor designed to examine race and ethnicity as categories of difference and as forms of lived experience and attends to how these categories intersect and overlap with other forms of difference (such as gender, nation, indigeneity, class, religion, ability, sexuality, etc.). The minor approaches race and ethnicity as constructs in particular historical contexts from interdisciplinary, comparative, intercultural, and transnational perspectives. It also develops a critical awareness of colonial and Eurocentric influences on both the construction of these categories and the scholarly discourse about them. Thus providing a critical lens on a variety of historical and contemporary issues and debates generated by specific racial and ethnic formations. At the same time, the minor takes note of mobilizations and liberating cultural expressions that have emerged both in response and as alternatives to dominant racial and ethnic structures.

Learning goes far beyond classroom walls. Southwestern is committed to providing creative ways for students, faculty, and staff to learn from one another, engage deeply to develop understanding across differences, and grow as a result.