Navigating Diversity, Inclusion, and Global Engagement at Elon

Guiding Principles of Our Diversity, Inclusion, 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 we 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.

Areas Supporting Diversity Education

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 year-round and 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:

  • DEEP Rooted in Social Justice– actively engages students, faculty, and staff in increasing their understanding of and appreciation for diversity and promoting activism for social justice through events and workshops
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Celebration– a campus-wide series of events to celebrate the life and legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Student Mentors Advising Rising Talent (S.M.A.R.T Program)– offers opportunities to first-year ALANAM (African American/Black, Latino/Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, Alaskan Native, and Multiracial) students to be mentored by an upper class student
  • El Centro de Español– a center committed to providing 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

The Gender & LGBTQIA Center

The Gender & LGBTQIA Center partners across campus and community to support, advocate, and educate around gender and LGBTQIA identities to create an inclusive campus community of equity, justice, and academic excellence for students, employees, and alumni. Signature Programs include:

  • LGBTQIA & Ally New Student Welcome- a fun mingling opportunity for new incoming LGBTQIA & Ally students to get connected to Elon’s affirming community of returning LGBTQIA & Ally students, faculty, and staff
  • Gender-Based Violence Prevention– educational trainings and programs around the prevention of gender-based violence, which includes sexual harassment, stalking, relationship violence, and sexual assault
  • Ally Trainings– educational sessions exploring LGBTQIA histories, terminology, ally tips, and interactive small group scenarios on real-life current events and topics around gender and sexuality
  • Lavender Graduation– annual ceremony honoring LGBTQIA & Ally graduating seniors as well as students, faculty, and staff who have helped advance inclusion, support, and education around LGBTQIA identities at Elon

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

Disabilities Resources

Disabilities Resources 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 Center for Equity and Inclusive Excellence

The Center for Equity and Inclusive Excellence 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-up actions
  • 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

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 where members of our Elon community share pieces of their own story, enjoy live music and artistic expression, and have 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 both inside and outside their own including InterFaith Lunch and Learns, religious festival series, multifaith internships, and an interfaith spring break trip
  • Interfaith Living Learning Community– houses eight juniors and seniors from a variety of religious, spiritual, and worldview backgrounds in an intentional community dedicated to interfaith dialogue and understanding
  • Ripple Conference– a student-led conference that draws together participants from over 20 college campuses for a weekend of learning, dialogue, service, and relationship-building

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:

  • Intersect: Diversity and Leadership Conference – provides an unprecedented look at the disciplines of diversity, leadership, and the cross-sections of the two. Participants engage in dialogue and reflection through keynote speakers, educational sessions, and round table discussions. The conference pillars work to inspire participants to create positive change for the common good in their organizations and communities. Intersect is sponsored by the Center for Leadership and the CREDE.
  • Leaders in a Global World Living Learning Community – offers a unique living and learning environment for Elon University students interested in exploring leadership. LGW residents will begin to examine leadership by exploring themselves within and learning more about the kind of leader they wish to become. Leaders in a Global World creates, cultivates and sustains an atmosphere for leadership exploration in tandem with living in a civically-engaged environment. The LGW community is focused on facilitating interactions between residents with diverse life experiences, backgrounds and worldviews along with fostering the awareness of and appreciation of differences.
  • Leadershops – leadership workshops, are available for any and all Elon students to advance their leadership knowledge and skills. Leadershops help students understand themselves as leaders, how to work effectively with others and how to create change. These leadership experiences have been intentionally designed to provide students with the opportunity to connect with other students, explore concepts of leadership, reflect on their leadership capacity and identify goals and future opportunities. Leadershops are facilitated by Center for Leadership staff and delivered in an interactive, reflective format ranging from 60-90 minutes. You can sign up for a Leadershop via the Center for Leadership’s PhoenixCONNECT page!

The Department of Health Promotion

The Department of Health Promotion engages students in developing lifelong 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

Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement

Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement is in partnership with local and global communities to advance 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
  • Alternative Breaks Program– immersive service experiences designed to introduce students to new communities while working alongside local residents to address pressing social issues
  • 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:

  • 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