Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
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.
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.
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
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.
Your home away from home
The Center for Just Living
Hang 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
The 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.
Located 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.
Information and Resources
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.
- Religion/religious creed
- Gender or gender identity/expression
- National origin
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 learning, teaching and development resources for the community. You’ll also find recommended reading and accessibility resources.
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.
- 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
- Association of American Colleges & Universities
- Definitions and Resources (Augsburg)
- Foundational Concepts & Affirming Language (Harvard)
- Merriam Webster
- National Conference for Community and Justice, Intersectionality