Inclusion and Global Engagement

What We Mean By Diversity

Diversity is an essential component of the educational experience of our students, a key aspect of academic excellence and a crucial part of an inclusive community. Diversity refers to the wide range of differences that exist among people. Inclusion refers to proactive behaviors that make each person feel welcome and a part of the campus. At Elon University we seek a caring and inclusive environment wherein differences are valued and integrated into every aspect of campus in order to prepare future global citizens.

The Inclusive Community Council at Elon University embraces diversity in its broadest sense, including, but not limited to, diversity of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic standing, and intellectual viewpoint.

Functions of Offices and Centers at Elon that focus on Diversity & Inclusion

Elon has deep expertise in all major areas of diversity and an emphasis on student and colleague diversity education. The following information and visual graphic describes the functions of the offices and centers that focus on diversity and inclusion at Elon and how these efforts fit together at the university.

The Provost Inclusive Community Team (PICT) is a coordinating body with representatives from the centers presented on this site as well as student life, the provost office, human resources, admissions and alumni relations. PICT members work in collaboration to advance the university’s strategic priority of an “unprecedented university commitment to diversity and global engagement.” Members of PICT are also involved in groups across campus with other colleagues including:

  • Inclusive Community Council (ICC)
  • Convening Offices For Diversity Education (CODE)
  • Diversity and Inclusion Content Experts (DICE)
  • Special task forces or working groups as needed

The Center for Access and Success advances education, student services, and programs related to SES and educational access and success. Additionally, we serve as a university wide resource on education access and first generation college students. Specific functions include:
• The Village Project uses a collaborative and multi-level approach to help children in the community who are struggling to read. The Village Project also offers GED/ESL support to area parents.
• The Elon Academy is a college access and success program for academically promising high school students in the Alamance County community who demonstrate a financial need and/or no family history of college.
• The Collegiate Start @Elon is a dual enrollment program designed to provide high school seniors from our community with the opportunity to simultaneously enroll in both high school and college courses, and receive dual high school and college credit.
• The Watson and Odyssey Scholars Program assists students who are poised to take advantage of an Elon education but for whom this possibility might not be an option for financial reasons. 
• The Center also leads student mentoring efforts for first generation and high financial need students.

The Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education (The CREDE) (formerly the Multicultural Center) convenes the conversation on student diversity education campus-wide; advances education, student services and programs related to race and ethnicity; and provides students, faculty and staff of diverse racial and ethnic populations a welcoming and supportive environment.
Specific functions include:
• Support students, faculty, staff and alumni from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.
• Serve as a university wide resource and host signature programs and events on racial and ethnic identities and related topics.
• Coordinate co-curricular diversity education and student development programming in partnership with other offices around campus.
• Lead signature peer education and mentorship programs (i.e. DEEP, SMART, the Intersect conference) for understanding and appreciation of self and others.
• Advise student organizations and groups that foster racial and ethnic understanding.
• Work collaboratively with campus offices that have specialized expertise in specific social identities.

The Gender & LGBTQIA Center advances education, student services, and programs related to gender, gender identity & expression, and sexual orientation. We enhance and advance campus climate for our LGBTQIA-identified students, staff, faculty and alumni.
Specific functions include:
• Support LGBTQIA students, staff, faculty, and alumni at Elon through campus programs, institutional policies, and enhancing campus climate.
• Serve as a university-wide resource around gender and sexuality.
• Lead diversity education efforts around gender and sexuality.
• Collaborate as needed with Elon departments.

The Isabella Cannon Global Education Center advances education, student services, and programs related to international students, faculty and staff and leads study abroad/USA programs. 
Specific functions include:
• Support international students, faculty and staff.
• Serve as a university wide resource on nationality and place or origin diversity.
• Lead diversity education efforts around international issues.
• Lead study abroad and Study USA programs
• Co-lead Celebrate Week with Elon College.

The Office of Disabilities Services advances education, student services, and programs related to disabilities. 
Specific functions include:
• Support students, faculty and staff with disabilities.
• Serve as a clearinghouse of information regarding disability.
• Serve as a university wide resource on disability issues.
• Lead diversity education efforts around disability issues.

The Office of Inclusive Community Well-Being advances education and programs related to diversity education throughout the faculty and staff in our community. This office oversees efforts/policy development for preventing and responding to bias and harassment campus-wide. 
Specific functions include:
• Coordinate diversity education efforts with faculty and staff in partnership with campus experts.
• Coordinate and lead our ADL Campus of Difference program and other anti-bias trainings.
• Coordinate response to bias incidents and oversee campus response functions related to these incidents in collaboration with appropriate offices (campus police, student life emergency response, Human Resources, etc…)
• Work strategically in partnership with Office of Leadership and Professional Development and Human resources regarding diversity and inclusion among faculty and staff.

The Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life focuses on issues of religious affiliation, faith tradition, meaning making, spiritual searching and growth, and supports students from diverse religious and secular identities.
Specific functions:
• Support students, faculty and staff from diverse religious backgrounds and worldviews
• Serve as a university wide resource on worldview and religious diversity
• Lead diversity education and engagement efforts around worldview and religious diversity for all students from diverse religious and secular identities. 
• Provide programs focused on specific religions or denominations, and interfaith knowledge and understanding.

Guiding Principles of our Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

Diversity and Inclusion work is multifaceted. Two important components of this work are education and support.  These are distinct in nature with respect to the engaged populations. We engage all members of the community in diversity education. When it comes to support, traditionally marginalized populations may need support/resources in particular ways.

1. Diversity education is for everyone and we strive to reach all students and colleagues.

2. We have identity formation and support for particular populations based on their needs.  At Elon, we have committed resources to offices/centers that offer attention to a particular aspect of identity:
• Race and Ethnicity:  The Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education
• Gender and Sexual Orientation:  Gender and LGBTQIA Center
• Socioeconomic Status and Educational Access:  The Center for Access and Success
• Religion and worldview:  Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life
• Disability:  Disability Services
• Nationality and place of origin:  Isabella Cannon Global Education Center

3. Intersectionality is a significant part of the work of understanding difference and diversity. PICT connects all the pieces to ensure a similar and consistent approach and philosophy. In addition, the diversity education specialists in the Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education focus on the intersections in student diversity education and the Office of Inclusive Community Well-Being focuses on the intersections in colleague diversity education