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The College of St. Scholastica

Vision Statement

To dismantle systemic barriers and create a more just and inclusive campus community.

Mission Statement

The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion aims to support the retention and graduation of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and other historically underrepresented students; our work is grounded in our Catholic Benedictine heritage and commitment to inclusive excellence.

We achieve this mission through:

  • Student support services and success
  • Employee engagement and professional development
  • Community engagement


View a list of our priorities for 2020-2021.

Inclusive Excellence Strategy Plan

The Inclusive Excellence 2025 Strategic Plan for The College of St. Scholastica is a living plan of action that is intended to serve as a blueprint for embedding diversity, equity and inclusion into the systems and culture of the College. Equity, diversity and inclusion are integral to who we are as a Benedictine institution. An intentional focus on equity, diversity and inclusion at all levels of the College is essential to our mission as a Catholic Benedictine institution. Inclusion is at the very heart of what it means to be an institution committed to Catholic social justice.

Get Involved

The progression of social justice scholars at The College of St. Scholastica is unique to every individual, but there are trends that we have identified that may help you in your own social justice identity development and growth.

Set Your Sights

As you are is a great place to begin. See yourself reflected by exploring St. Scholastica with a diverse group of student ambassadors. These students share why they chose to be at St. Scholastica and what it’s “really” like.

Visit St. Scholastica with a Student Ambassador

The Student Ambassador program recruits current St. Scholastica students from diverse backgrounds to participate and serve as ambassadors to interested incoming students or families visiting the College. To request a visit with EDI or Student Ambassadors contact us.

If you think St. Scholastica is a good fit here are some things to think about before enrolling

  • Applying for scholarships
  • Multicultural Leadership Orientation (MLO)
  • Dignitas and social justice scholarships
  • Tribal funding

Explore and Persist

To begin we want you focused on your academics, adjusting to college life and exploring a variety of social justice interests.

Get connected with campus resources such as:

  • The Rose Frenzel Warner Writing and Critical Thinking Center
  • Tutoring Center
  • TRIO Student Support Services
  • Campus Ministry
  • Veterans Resource Center
  • Career Services

You are strongly encouraged to explore many student activities, social justice clubs and volunteer experiences.

Multicultural Leadership Orientation

This five-day orientation session is designed to provide new incoming students an opportunity to:

  • Strengthen leadership skills
  • Explore and expand their understanding of social justice
  • Build lifelong relationships with other new and returning St. Scholastica students

Students also get to meet staff and faculty who will support them for the transition to college and support their academic success. This program is run primarily by current St. Scholastica students and is supported by the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Student Spaces

Your home away from home

The Center for Just Living

The Center for Just Living student spaceHang out, be yourself, build community, challenge yourself and learn from others. Located on the ground floor of Tower Hall (T25), the Center for Just Living (The CJL) serves as a social gathering space for students. A safe place for students of color, LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented students on campus. Social justice clubs meet here and plan club events.

The Intercultural Center

Intercultural Center student spaceThe bridge between The CJL and the student union on the ground floor of Tower Hall (T23 and T21). Open to all students for studying and hanging out. The Intercultural Center (The IC) promotes cross-cultural understanding and inclusivity by encouraging the campus community to socially engage and interact with one another respectfully in a diverse environment.

Jiimaan Abiwin

Jiimaan Abiwin student spaceLocated on the third floor of Tower Hall (T3115), the Jiimaan Abiwin room (also known as the Canoe Room) is a place for Native American students to create a community with other Native students. Students practice spirituality and know that they are in a safe environment based on their unique needs and culture. Smudging is allowed in this space for physical and mental well-being.

Social Justice Clubs

The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion provides leadership and support to student social justice organizations.

Asian Student Union

The mission of our club is to promote awareness of the cultures of Asia and foster understanding of cultural diversity in the College of St. Scholastica as well as the Duluth communities by providing a safe, enjoyable, and stimulating environment for our club participants and visitors through planned club activities and community-wide events. All people from all backgrounds are welcome!

ASL and Deaf Culture Club

Working to create a rich environment in which students, faculty, staff, and community members can express interest while learning about Deaf people, American Sign Language, Deaf Culture, and taking a stance against Audism. Humphries originally defined audism as, “the notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or behave in the manner of one who hears.”

Black Student Union

The Mission statement/purpose of BSU is to educate, celebrate, and support. To create a sense of community across black identities at Scholastica. The club serves everyone, but has a focus on people who identify as black or African American, however, all identities are welcome. The club meets every other week, Wednesday evenings.

International Student Association

The International Student Association is for all St. Scholastica students. The purpose of the club is to provide all students and the community the opportunity to better understand and to be more aware of different cultures throughout the world. We meet every other Thursday. Everyone is welcome to join the club! If you are interested in being part of the club contact us and we will add you to our email list so you know about our meetings and the events we have throughout the year.

Latinx Student Union

Latinx Student Union (LSU) upholds an appreciation for the richness and beauty of the Latinx culture. We want to assist fellow members in widening the knowledge and appreciation of the language and culture of Spain, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean to the Iona community.

Native American Student Alliance

The Native American Student Alliance strives to be a safe and engaging group for Natives and non-Natives on campus. Native American Student Alliance provides a space for Indigenous peoples attending The College of St. Scholastica to connect and share our unique, authentic indigenous ways of knowing with each other and with non-indigenous peoples within the community. As a club, we participate in group bonding activities and volunteering within the community. All self-identified Native students and non-Native allies are welcome to participate in club activities. Please contact us for more information or to connect with the club.

Club advisor: Brian Kingfisher


The mission of St. Scholastica Oxfam is to help educate the community about the injustice of poverty and the importance of sustainability while empowering individuals to make decisions that will lead to a future that is just, secure, and equitable for all. It is open to anyone in the St. Scholastica community who is passionate about serving the underserved population in Duluth. We meet every 2 weeks for volunteering, planning events, and learning about the injustice of poverty. Let’s feed the world, one campus at a time.

Sexuality and Gender Advocates (SAGA)

Working towards a more accepting environment for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender identity through education, support, social action, and advocacy.

United for Africa

United for Africa is a student-led club at The College of St. Scholastica that seeks to raise awareness and foster an in-depth analysis of issues affecting Africa and the African Diaspora. Club membership is open to all students, staff and faculty and currently includes members from many countries in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States. United for Africa works to clear prejudices and stereotypes, have meaningful discussions, empower future leaders, and celebrate cultures. The club holds events throughout the year that are both educational and fun, and meets one day every other week.

Upcoming Events

Information and Resources

Bias and Harassment

A Bias Incident is defined as single or multiple acts of verbal, written, electronic or physical expressions of disrespectful bias, hate, intimidation, or hostility against an individual or group or their property because of the individual or group’s actual or perceived status of being in a federally protected class.

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion/religious creed
  • Gender or gender identity/expression
  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • National origin
  • Disability
  • Veteran-status
  • Marital status
  • Sexual orientation

Expressions may be in the form of language, words, signs, symbols, threats, or actions that could potentially cause alarm or fear in others or that endanger the health, safety and welfare of members of the campus community. To be considered within this definition, the words or conduct must be objectively offensive to a reasonable person.

Workshops and Presentations

One way we support inclusive excellence throughout the St. Scholastica community is by offering a variety of workshops and presentations for student organizations, academic courses and employees. Browse our current offerings and submit a request. Specialized presentations are also available.

Native Nations 101

This workshop’s focus is on the history of tribal sovereignty over the last 500 years through law and policy. In this workshop, we will explore tribal and European/U.S. relations, provide local histories from Native perspectives, help to define laws and policies impacting Indian Country and dispel some common misconceptions or stereotypes about Native peoples.

Diversity 101

This workshop will help to develop a foundational understanding of the many frameworks of diversity, inclusion, and equity. The group will look at identities, values, and community to see how each individual’s story has importance and impact on the greater whole. This exploration will also give the group some skills on how to interact with other stories.

Crucial Conversations

What do we mean as a campus community when we use terms like diversity, equity and inclusion? In a polarized world how do you have meaningful and impactful dialogue around issues of equity and inclusion? In this session we will address these two questions with the goal of having a common understanding and opening ourselves to lean into the discomfort.

Bias in the Workplace

Unconscious Bias are thoughts or feelings that you are not aware of that influence judgments. These judgments can lead to exclusion behaviors, often time unintentionally. We all have bias. This workshop will explore unconscious bias, explore why we have them and identify ways to overcome them.

Diversity and Inclusion Resources

The work of diversity and inclusion belongs to all of us. To support making St. Scholastica a welcoming place of inclusion the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion has collected a variety of helpful learningteaching and development resources for the community. You’ll also find recommended reading and accessibility resources.

St. Scholastica Preferred Definitions

The College of St. Scholastica believes in the need for a common vocabulary as we work towards dismantling systemic barriers and creating a more just, inclusive campus community. A common vocabulary will enable us to advance inclusive excellence in community with one another, to avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations, and to foster a campus culture where each and every one of our members ‒ faculty, staff, students, and Sisters ‒ can thrive.

Acknowledging that language is constantly evolving and that words often have different meanings depending on lived experiences, this glossary is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather intended to provide a basic framework for key terms as they relate to diversity, equity, inclusion, identity and culture.

Preferred Definitions

  • Bias: prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in an unfair or negative way. Unconscious bias, also known as implicit bias, represents the attitudes and stereotypes that influence judgment, decision-making, and behavior in ways that are outside of conscious awareness
  • Bias incident: bias incident is defined as a single act or multiple acts of verbal, written, electronic, or physical expressions of disrespectful conduct, hate, intimidation, and/or hostility against an individual or group or their property because of the individual or group’s actual or perceived status of being in a category protected under this Policy.
  • BIPOC: acronym for Black, Indigenous and People of Color that emphasizes the unique racial experiences of Black people and Indigenous people
  • Chief Diversity Officer, CDO: highest-ranking individual on campus responsible for leading diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. A CDO’s primary duties usually include addressing curricular and systematic issues at the college; they are usually the ones who are primary in bias, discrimination and hate crime cases. Their programing efforts often focus on education with faculty and staff (and some students in cases of bias, discrimination) and retention of fac/staff of marginalized identities.
  • Cultural fluency: set of congruent behaviors, attitudes and policies that enable a system, agency, or professional to function effectively in cross-cultural situations. Like other types of competence, cultural competence is developed over time through training, experience, guidance and self-evaluation.
  • Culture: patterns of shared basic assumptions, behaviors, and experiences within a group of people that are learned by and taught to new members in order to guide them in the appropriate and inappropriate ways of perceiving, thinking, feeling, and acting
  • Diversity: Individual differences (e.g., personality, prior knowledge, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations)
  • Ethnicity: social identity and mutual belongingness that defines a group of people on the basis of common origins, shared beliefs, and shared standards of behavior
  • Equality: treating everyone the same or giving everyone the same opportunities regardless of their individual attributes
  • Equity: creation of opportunities for historically underserved populations to have equal access to and participate in educational programs that are capable of closing the achievement gaps in student success and completion
  • Inclusive Excellence 2025: the Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence at The College of St. Scholastica; a living plan of action that is intended to serve as a blueprint for embedding diversity, equity and inclusion into the systems and culture of the College.
  • Inclusion: active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity—in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect—in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions
  • Inclusive excellence: Introduced in 2005 by AACU as a methodology for helping colleges realize the benefit of diversity and its positive impact on institutional quality. Making Excellence Inclusive, defines it as in a campus context to mean an active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with differences—in people, in the curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect—in ways that increase one’s awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.
  • Intersectionality: interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group
  • Microaggressions: brief and commonplace “verbal, behavioral, and/or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative … slights and insults”
  • Office of EDI: The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion aims to provide leadership and professional development on initiatives related to equity, diversity and inclusion. At our core, we are committed to student support, advocacy and education through access and success. At St. Scholastica, the Office of EDI reports to the CDO.
  • People of Culture or Bodies of Culture: A more inclusive phrase to include all who identify with their BIPOC identities, including those who society deems as “white passing” (individuals who “appear” to be non-BIPOC but identify with their BIPOC heritage). Bodies of Culture is a phrase that digs deeper, this phrase identifies race as a social construct used to denote whiteness as the shorthand for humanness. Resmaa Menakem on the phrase ‘Bodies of Culture’: “I don’t say “bodies of color” anymore, because what I’m trying to do is, I’m trying to reclaim the idea that I’m actually a human.
  • Power: a relational term; understood as a relationship between human beings in a specific historical, economic and social setting
  • Privilege: an advantage that comes from historical oppression of other groups; can be seen in race, gender, sexuality, ability, socioeconomic status, age. Acknowledging it isn’t meant to shame those with certain privileges but rather to challenge the systems that make it exist.
  • Race: socially constructed concept of dividing people into groups based on skin color and physical characteristics
    • Racism: combination of individual prejudice and individual discrimination, on one hand, and institutional policies and practices, on the other, that result in the unjustified negative treatment and subordination of members of racial or ethnic groups that have experienced a history of discrimination. Prejudice, discrimination, and racism do not require intention.
    • Racial oppression: results from the use of institutional power and privilege where one person or group benefits at the expense of another. Oppression is the use of power and the effects of domination
    • Racial justice: proactive reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes for all
  • Social justice: both a process and a goal. The goal of social justice is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure.
  • White body supremacy: the idea that the white body is the ostensibly supreme standard against which other bodies’ humanity is measured. The attitudes, convictions, and beliefs of white-body supremacy are reflexive cognitive side effects that are reinforced through institutions as practice, procedures and standards. The white body is used to hearing things that make it comfortable. The term white body supremacy helps white folk embody the intellectualized concept of white supremacy. Resmaa Menakem writes, “only a small fraction of white supremacy lives in our conscious mind.” Much of the patterns and reflexes that sustain racism are unconscious and manifest in our bodies. This manifestation informs the term “white body supremacy” and calls for racial justice work to include a focus on the body, not just the intellect.
  • White supremacy: belief that white people dominate society, typically to the exclusion or detriment of other racial and ethnic groups