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Navigating Inclusion, Diversity and Global Engagement at Elon

Guiding Principles of Our Inclusion, Diversity and Global Engagement Efforts

At Elon University we seek a diverse and inclusive environment wherein differences are valued and integrated into every aspect of campus in order to prepare globally engaged citizens. We embrace 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.

We recognize this work is continuous, multifaceted, and intersectional. Two important components of this work are education and support. We engage all members of the community in diversity education, and provide support and resources for those exploring aspects of their identities or need assistance navigating our community in relation to aspects of their identities.

Inclusion and Global Engagement Offices

The following graphic depicts the offices and centers that focus on inclusion and global engagement at Elon and how these efforts fit together at the university. These offices support and provide resources for members of our community exploring different aspects of their identities or need assistance navigating aspects of their identities. More information about diversity education opportunities from these and other offices can be found below.

Convening Office of Diversity Education (CODE)

The Center for Access and Success

The Center for Access and Success serves individuals in our Elon University community and our surrounding communities from pre-K to adults. The office has a particular focus of supporting community members in relation to socioeconomic status and educational access and success. Signature Programs include:

  • Collegiate Start @ Elon- a dual enrollment program for local high school seniors
  • Elon Academy- a summer residential college access and success program for promising high school students in Alamance county that have financial need and/or no family history of college
  • Odyssey Scholars- a highly selective merit-based program consisting of talented individuals who are academically strong, civically engaged, action-oriented leaders in their communities, who will benefit from an Elon education and demonstrate financial need
  • The Village Project- uses a collaborative and multi-level approach to assist children in the community to foster the ability to read; offers GED/ESL support to area parents

The Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education

The Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education advances education, student services, and programs related to race and ethnicity while also providing students, faculty, and staff of diverse racial and ethnic populations a welcoming and supportive environment. Signature Programs include:

The Gender & LGBTQIA Center

The Gender & LGBTQIA Center provides services, education, and programs geared towards prospective and current students, employees, and alumni who identify across the Gender & LGBTQIA spectrum (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, & Ally). Signature Programs include:

  • LGBTQIA & Ally New Student Welcome- a fun mingling opportunity to connect with new and returning students, as well as faculty, staff, and administrators
  • Homecoming LGBTQIA Alumni Awards Brunch- speakers include President Lambert, LGBTQIA Alumni Network Leadership Team, and awards are given out
  • Lavender Graduation- an annual ceremony conducted on numerous campuses to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and ally students and to acknowledge their achievements and contributions to the University
  • Ally Trainings- 2-hour trainings including identity terminology, LGBTQIA history, homophobia, heterosexism, ally tips, real-life scenarios, and current events

The Isabella Cannon Global Education Center

The Isabella Cannon Global Education Center fosters the development of an interculturally competent and globally aware campus community. Signature Programs include:

  • Study Abroad- provides immersive opportunities for students to integrate their academic studies in a global context and foster intercultural competence through international partnerships
  • Study USA- discover and engage the globe here in the U.S. one of the most diverse nations in the world
  • CELEBRATE! Week- Elon's annual, weeklong celebration of student achievements in academics and the arts including seminars, presentations, art exhibitions, plays, student showcases, dance and music performances, and much, much more
  • International Living Learning Community- an intentional residential experience that facilitates social and academic interactions, where students with international experience, backgrounds, and interests come together

The Office of Disabilities Services

The Office of Disabilities Services supports a diverse population of students with disabilities, providing them with an opportunity to participate meaningfully in the University’s programs and activities while also working with faculty and staff in an advisory capacity as they provide support to their students. Signature Programs include:

  • Workshops- guide faculty and staff on their rights and responsibilities when working with students that have disabilities
  • Mentoring Program- support students to navigate and thrive on campus through a robust peer mentoring program
  • Thomas Barnett “Breaking Down Barriers” Scholarship- an annual scholarship of $1,000 to be awarded annually to one Elon undergraduate who successfully completes a high-quality project on a topic related to improving the university experience of students with disabilities provided by the parents of Thomas Barnett in his memory

The Office of Inclusive Community Development

The Office of Inclusive Community Development advances diversity and inclusion programs for faculty and staff in our community. This office also oversees efforts and policy development for preventing and responding to bias and harassment campus-wide. Signature Programs include:

  • Bias and Harassment Reporting Form- provides an anonymous way for students, faculty, and staff to report incidents of bias, harassment, and violence with the option to discuss follow actions
  • Intercultural Consciousness Certificate for Staff and Faculty- a three-part certificate program that includes workshops, research, and a digital portfolio intended to compliment the current work of faculty and staff
  • Inclusive Community Development Workshops- interactive workshops to foster individual and collective reflection on the complexities of identities and skill building around reducing and intervening biased behaviors
  • InterGroup Dialogue- an academic course that brings together groups of different social identities to discuss social group relations using a dialogic pedagogy

The Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life

The Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life encourages students to honor the spiritual dimension of life, to respect religious and cultural differences, to deepen and explore their faith traditions and worldviews, to embrace the present responsibly and the future with hope, and to live the principles they value. Signature Programs include:

  • Numen Lumen- a gathering every Thursday morning to members of our Elon community share pieces of their own story, enjoy live music and artistic expression, and followed it with all coffee and refreshments
  • Interfaith Immersion- a variety of programs throughout the year providing opportunities for students to learn about and engage with religious and spiritual traditions outside their own including InterFaith Lunch and Learns, site visits to diverse places of worship, and an immersion trip to Morocco
  • H. Shelton Smith Lecture on Religion and Society- honors the legacy of Dr. Smith, a 1917 graduate of Elon College and founding director of graduate studies in religion at Duke University, by continuing the conversations he began on the issues of social justice, racial relations and the church’s role in society
  • Multifaith Scholars Program (SAGES)- a multifaith engagement program that enables students to experience religious and spiritual diversity and build relationships with people from diverse faith traditions and worldviews

The Center for Leadership

The Center for Leadership supports student to develop a greater leadership self-efficacy, the desire and ability to work collaboratively within diverse communities of people, as well as have the confidence and competence to put innovative ideas into action for positive change. Signature Programs include:

  • LEAD Program- a three tiered, self-paced program open to all students that focuses on leading the self, leading with others, and leading for change
  • Intersect: Diversity and Leadership Conference- a two-day conference that educates students, faculty, and professional staff on topics of diversity and leadership through dialogue, reflection, and training through keynote speakers, workshops, and lunch and learns
  • Leaders in a Global World Living Learning Community- creates, cultivates, and sustains an atmosphere for leadership exploration in tandem with living in a multicultural environment through an intentional focus on facilitating interactions between residents with diverse life experiences, backgrounds, and worldviews
  • IMPACT: Summit for Change- an opportunity for students to identify challenges or issues on campus to address by working in teams to explore the topic, brainstorm ideas for possible action, design a commitment to action

The Office of Health Promotion

The Office of Health Promotion engages students in developing life-long behaviors for mental, physical, and social well-being and advances systemic resources for student health. The Office seeks to create a supportive environment through inclusive health programming, advocacy and outreach to further the intellectual vision of Elon University. Signature Programs include:

  • Students Promoting Awareness, Responsibility, Knowledge, and Success (SPARKS)- a team of peer educators, leaders, and advocates who provide health-related programming and serve the Elon University community as health resources, in order to enhance the well being of their peers; topics addressed include: self-esteem/body image, alcohol education, sexual assault, sexual health, prescription drugs, and stress management
  • Gender Violence Prevention Programming- a wide variety of activities, workshops, and documentaries that engage students in issues that relate to violence prevention including survivor support, bystander intervention, challenging rape culture (including deconstructing gender), engaging men, and sex education programs.

Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement

Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement in partnership with local and global communities, advances student learning, leadership, and citizenship to prepare students for lives of active community engagement within a complex and changing world. Signature Programs include:

  • Elon Volunteers!- a student initiated and student-run co-curricular volunteer program.  More than 140 student leaders plan, implement, and evaluate programs and events that engage undergraduates in mutually beneficial volunteer opportunities in collaboration with community partners.
  • Civic Engagement- opportunities and programs to learn about the assets, needs, and concerns of the larger communities of which we are a part and the willingness to collaborate with others to help define and achieve the common good
  • Academic Service Learning Courses- engages students in real-life settings, working on community issues to connect classroom learning with societal issues.

Cultural and Special Programs

Cultural and Special Programs enriches the college experience and supports the academic mission of Elon University consistent with the University’s values and its goal to produce global citizens. Signature Programs include:

  • Elon University Lyceum Series
  • Baird Pulitzer Prize Lecture
  • Elon Common Reading Lecture
  • Isabella Cannon Distinguished Visiting Professor of Leadership

Residence Life

Residence Life is invested in supporting individual growth in and out of the classroom, developing dynamic living-learning communities, and preparing students to become active members of the global society. Signature Programs include:

  • Faculty Connects Program- provides opportunities for informal interactions between faculty/staff and students outside the classroom
  • Linked Courses- programs that directly integrate the curriculum with the residential experience. Cohorts of up to 25 first-year students, who live in the same building or residential neighborhood, are co-enrolled in a set of courses during the fall semester.
  • Living Learning Communities- groups of students residing in the same residential area, interacting academically and socially with each other and with faculty, and sharing the same academic major, program or interest

El Centro de Español

El Centro de Español is committed to provide excellent instruction and learning opportunities that challenge faculty, staff, and students to develop their language proficiency in Spanish as well as to know and understand the cultures of the Spanish-speaking peoples of the world.  Signature Programs include:

  • Spanish Conversation Classes- scheduled conversation classes take place from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Classes are put together according to the level of Spanish of each group: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Classes meet twice a week 45 minutes each time. They are short, relaxed and a lot of fun
  • Volunteer Opportunities- multiple volunteer opportunities to work with Spanish-speak families in Alamance Count including in school or non-profit settings
  • Travel Grant to a Spanish-Speaking Country- after engaging with El Centro programming for 140 hours over two years, you can apply for a grant for $650 towards a plane ticket to the Spanish-speaking country of your choice