The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) seeks to create an environment that allows students to cultivate a curiosity and appreciation of human differences. Our role in the educational experience at Earlham College is to aid in the development of successful students who are empathetic persons capable of engaging in dialogue with diverse groups and individuals in a respectful and inclusive manner.
Earlham’s Diversity Aspiration Statement emphasizes our efforts as a learning community “to create social justice” and “to treat all humans with respect, honoring human dignity.” Often diversity is defined through racial, ethnic, and cultural lenses; however, at Earlham College, in addition to those categories, we embrace religious pluralism and disability. ODI responds to the needs of students and the institution’s commitment to diversity in its fullness.
The ODI collaborates with student organizations, academic departments and administrative offices to explore differences present in our community and beyond. Through formal and informal programs such as lectures, music, theater, dance, and speaker series, ODI encourages students to reflect on and learn about the complex set of issues that facilitates and/or impedes social justice. ODI advises and mentors students of color, GLBTQ students, first-generation and low-income students. The ODI also works to address issues of academic access and retention.
The College highlights the contributions and experiences of diverse communities with campus-wide events throughout the academic year. More than simply cultural exhibitions, these events are designed to bring those at the edges of our society and to weave a new cloth of our shared and different experiences. These opportunities challenge us to learn new ways of communicating and sharing.
Hispanic Heritage Month: During October the range of issues facing Hispanic, Chicano and Latino communities are explored. In addition, it is a time of celebration of the rich and varied cultures. In the spring, there is a Latino Festival where all are welcome.
Kwanzaa Celebration: This is a dinner to commemorate family, community and culture in the African American experience. In the spring, Umoja, which means unity and is one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa, is celebrated.
MLK Celebration: Experts in the history of the Civil Rights movement provide lectures on Martin Luther King, Jr., and others vital to the Civil Rights Movement.
Black History Month: February celebrates the accomplishments and forward progress of Black Americans,
African and Caribbean peoples. During this month, the achievements and milestones throughout history are examined.
Women’s History Month: Although women’s history is shared with men, the accomplishments and impact of women were overlooked and undervalued for generations. During March the unique historical contributions and societal achievements of women are recognized.
Pride Week: This is a weeklong celebration of the diversity of the LGBTQ communities. Events include various presentations, Pride Walk and the week culminates with a dance.