Becoming Community

Executive Summary

BECOMING Community will design and undertake a practice of ongoing community formation based on transformative inclusion. Our goal for BECOMING Community is to prepare and enable our students, faculty and staff to become agents of change by preparing them to dismantle oppression rather than simply teaching them about oppression. The subject matter will itself become transformation. We seek to make a substantive shift from the narrative of critique to the narrative of dynamic action, moving from a deficit perspective on diversity and inclusion to a strength, or asset-based, perspective.

BECOMING community will enable us to move our institutions into an intersection of fields, involving explicit anti-racism work as well as reconciliation/conflict resolution/community mobilizing work. This will allow us to include local community partners to ensure that our impact extends beyond our campuses. We will leverage our strength and history as strong liberal arts institutions to demonstrate the value of critical and creative thinking, problem solving, and asking and finding solutions to complex problems as we seek to create a free and educated citizenry.

Our goal of transformative community formation reflects a number of broad objectives. We will:

1. Move beyond the work of individual awareness of inclusion and programmatic modification to the systemic and dispositional work of shifting our primary cultural paradigm to that of being a transformationally inclusive community.
2. Analyze and begin to dismantle the systemic components of our communal life that reify dynamics of inclusion and exclusion. Correspondingly, we structurally embed modes of transformative inclusion into our systems and organizational culture.
3. Empower students, faculty, staff and community partners to co-create mutually respectful partnerships, activities and structures in pursuit of a just, equitable, and sustainable future for our region.
4. Disseminate our learning to others in higher education who seek systemic transformation and lasting substantive change as it relates to inclusion.

We ultimately will demonstrate measurable progress toward transformative inclusion.