Diversity & Equity
Recognizing the Benedictine and liberal arts tradition of respect for human dignity, the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University promote joint missions to teach and foster respect for diversity, to embrace the marginalized, and break down the privileges that exclude those who are different or disadvantaged. Mary Hinton, the president of the College of St. Benedict, framed our campus' commitment to creating an inclusion ecosystem during her remarks at the All-Community Forum in August 2016.
Inclusion efforts are designed to support diversity along multiple dimensions: economic, racial and ethnic, georgraphic, religious, ability, sexual orientation and gender identity, and perspective and thought. As Benedictine institutions we commit to all having a voice in our community; therefore it is essential that we think about the variety of people we serve and what they add, and expect from, our community.
Below are some initiatives that are working to further diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice on our campuses.
Intercultural Directions Council
The role of the Intercultural Directions Council (IDC) is to empower, facilitate, assess and provide data, resources and feedback to the CSB/SJU communities so as to enhance intercultural competence. This process embraces an integral and collaborative approach that over time engages all aspects of both institutions. The Strategic Directions Council expects the IDC to provide quality and timely information in order to inform the SDC in institutional planning.
In 2018 the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University received a $600,000, three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support initiatives focused on inclusive pedagogy and community building. The goal for Becoming Community is to teach and enable CSB and SJU faculty, staff and students to become agents of change by preparing them to dismantle oppression rather than simply learning about oppression.
The goal of transformational inclusion in the CSB and SJU community reflects a number of broad objectives. CSB and SJU aims to:
- Build on and move beyond the work of awareness raising and programming to the work of culture shifting and becoming a transformatively inclusive community.
- Analyze and begin to dismantle systems that support and promote exclusion.
- Design and implement changes in how the institutions recruit, hire and support underrepresented faculty.
- Empower students, faculty, staff and local community partners to co-create mutually respectful partnerships, activities and structures in pursuit of a just, equitable and sustainable future for our region.
- Disseminate our learning to others in higher education who seek systemic transformation and lasting substantive change as it relates to inclusion.