The student applying for the Teach for America program, which recruits recent college graduates to teach for two years in underprivileged urban and rural public schools, knows that she must convince readers of her suitability to such a demanding commitment, and she has just two short essays with which to do so. She successfully achieves this through examples related to service mission work that she completed in Ecuador before entering college.
The implementation of the Commitment to Diversity will rest with the campus community as a whole. The president, in addition to a personal commitment and involvement, may use the Augustana Diversity Committee, campus administrators, faculty, staff, and students, as well as other members of the campus community to implement effectively the philosophy and intent of this statement.
Academic Affairs values diversity, equity, and inclusion as essential ingredients of academic excellence in higher education, and we have established the office of the (VC-EDI) to actively advance these values as an institutional priority.
Perhaps somewhere between these two attitudes is the most profitable approach when studying the work of your peers. In critiquing the work of others who essentially represent your competition, you should take a respectful stance both critical and kind, just as selection committee members are likely to do. The sample essays in this chapter represent personal stories that are intriguing, diverse, complex, honest, and humanizing. These samples present opportunities for you to study, admire, question, emulate, reject, and—most importantly—consider how to present the best, truest, most effective picture of yourself, carefully refined for the eyes of others.
In our commitment to the furthering of knowledge and fulfilling our educational mission, Augustana University seeks a campus climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the entire variety of human experience. In our commitment to diversity, we welcome people from all backgrounds and we seek to include knowledge and values from many cultures in the curriculum and extra-curricular life of the campus community. Our commitment to work toward an environment that values diversity requires that we create, promote, and maintain activities and programs which further our understanding of individual and group diversity. We will also develop and communicate policies and promote values that discourage intolerance and discrimination.
As I contemplated the idea of working towards my Master’s in Education I brought with me the idea of diversity in education and why facilitating different school systems is vital to a healthy society.
A concern for diversity is not the same as a concernfor social justice. We need both, but they are distinct. A concern for diversityon the part of a member of the most empowered groups in society is in partselfish and can and perhaps should arise out of enlightened self-interest. Aconcern for social justice may also be partly a matter of enlightenedself-interest, but it is I think intrinsically more altruistic. It seeksbetterment for others because that course is right, not solely because it isnecessary to our own survival or prosperity. I write this essay from a positionwhich is more nearly that of the most empowered social groups, though I also insome very definite ways distance myself those groups (as I explain in somedetail in the opening chapter of my book ).
That said, as it needs to be said more often and moreclearly than it usually is, a quest for meaningful diversity in the academyshould begin with efforts to recruit not just faculty and students who are womenor who identify as African-American or Latino/a or Asian-American or NativeAmerican, but also those whose intellectual viewpoints will have been influencedby their experiences of working-class lives or serious poverty, living with aminority sexual orientation in a hostile heteronormative culture, being raisedand/or educated outside the U.S., and even (most radically I think) being at asignificantly different point in the age distribution than are most currentfaculty or students. [For more on age-related issues see .]
IT IS, of course, fitting that the United Nations celebrate diversity. The hundreds of flags in front of its headquarters, and the 365 languages into which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is translated on an official UN website, are just two symbols of the institution's commitment to the world's ethnic mosaic. But this week's Human Development Report, from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), takes the commitment to diversity further. Released each year since 1990, the Human Development Reports provide an update on the fight against poverty around the world, each time with a new theme. This year's report ties two themes together, arguing that respect for diversity is integral to development. State-builders in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan will no doubt be thumbing through the report with interest, in the hope of learning something about how to make fractious ethnic groups work together for prosperity. It also offers them an opportunity to share their views: this year, the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, contributed an essay on his country's language policy.
The first degree of affirmative action is a policy ofpro-actively seeking to increase the diversity, with respect to as many relevantsocial categories as possible, and at least for those formally recognized in thelaw or by university policy, in the pool of applicants for faculty positions orstudent admissions and aid. Recognizing what I have already said about thedifference between mere diversity and meaningful diversity, and the need toexpand the range of relevant differences, I personally strongly support thisfirst degree in all cases. I believe that it represents progressive socialpolicy and good academic policy. Its unintended side-effects seem minimal andgenerally acceptable.
Valuing diversity can be defined as, “valuing the vast differences between people within an organization.” Our text defines valuing diversity as: “means putting an end to the assumption that everyone who is not a member of the dominant group must assimilate.” In today’s work...