Diversity Engagement Committee
"The new reality of Lasallian association in a multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-ethnic, and global context has common elements, even though Lasallians experience them in different ways. The anthropological view of human nature that motivates Lasallians recognizes and dignifies every human being as unique, unrepeatable, and educable. Discrimination based on gender, culture, religion, sexual orientation or political affiliation has no place in the Lasallian educational mission. As social beings, humans are capable of establishing relationships. As spiritual beings, they are open to the transcendent reality and the search for life’s meaning. This holistic view of human nature includes intellectual, emotional, social, cultural, ethical, and spiritual dimensions."
[Circular 461: 3.2-3.4]
The Diversity Engagement Committee (DEC) seeks to further strengthen and advance Lewis University’s ongoing efforts to embrace and affirm the equal dignity of every person in the spirit of our Catholic and Lasallian Mission. The work of the Diversity Engagement Committee contributes to the University’s efforts to prepare students for a pluralistic world by offering resources and experiences which contribute to their appreciation and understanding of the diversity of the human experience.
History and Context
Some form of University-wide coordinating committee for matters related to diversity has existed for approximately 20 years. These committees have included: President’s Transcultural Facilitation Council, President’s Diversity Task Force, University Diversity Facilitation Council, University Diversity Council, and the University Diversity Action Team (UDAT). These entities have evolved over time to adapt to the needs of the community and the changing nature of diversity issues on campus. The Diversity Engagement Committee, created in the Fall of 2016, has been created in this spirit.
The DEC is one of four standing committees of the Mission and Heritage Council (MHC). The MHC is chaired by the President and facilitated by the Vice President for Mission and Academic Services. The DEC is chaired by the Chief Diversity Officer.
The Diversity Engagement Committee includes faculty and staff from areas throughout the University. The DEC collaborates with other departments and offices to accomplish three primary goals:
- Thoughtful and Respectful Dialogue: Study and discuss emerging trends, best practices, data, and research related to diversity and inclusion in higher education and in society at large and identify ways to further promote and advance campus wide conversation and action.
- Programs and Initiatives: Create, recommend, and promote initiatives and programs that explore and foster a rich, engaged, and respectful community dialogue.
- Resources and Messaging: Develop resources and messaging which fosters appreciation for and understanding of diversity that is consistent with the University’s Mission.
The Diversity Engagement Committee meets several times each semester.