Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The transformative nature of a Lasallian education is central to the Lasallian heritage and in the ways Lasallian pedagogy has adapted to changing student needs over time; educating the educators is also a fundamental practice within the Lasallian heritage. Education for social justice is a central tenet of Lasallian pedagogy, and makes it a good match with broader tenets of critical pedagogy.
A brief foray into the Chronicle of Higher Education or Inside Higher Ed demonstrates a pervasive need at the university level for effective and far-reaching shifts in how diversity and equity are discussed and operationalized. From curricular offerings and academic support to microaggressions in classrooms and residence halls to fundamental institutional inequities in admission and hiring practices, universities need to establish and implement best practices for diversity, inclusion, and equity at every level and along multiple axes of difference. In February 2019, a Black male student in NYU’s Silver School of Social Work has released an email he received from a classmate that unequivocally states that the classmate would find class easier “without a black presence in the room.” In January 2019, a professor at Duke excoriated students for speaking a language other than English in common areas. A cursory scan of the Chronicle documents a torrent of articles on the struggles universities nationwide are experiencing around diversity and equity:
- the emotional labor expended by and expected of minority faculty and staff and the “diversity fatigue” they experience as a result,
- the “hidden curriculum” faced by people of color, working class, and first-generation students (categories which often overlap)
- the challenges faced by students, faculty, and staff who are LGBTQ+, neurodiverse, or members of minority faith traditions
La Salle University is not immune from these phenomena. In collaboration with the Multicultural and International Center, the Becoming Anti-Racist White Educators (BAR WE) group, and other groups on campus, the De La Salle Institute co-sponsors and/or promotes programming that challenges our campus community to discuss and address the effects of implicit bias on pedagogy, advising, and other elements of community life at La Salle.
The DLSI aims to address diversity broadly, focusing not only on racial diversity, but also encompassing diversity of faith, class, ability, language, sexual orientation, and gender identity. DLSI programming emphasizes the importance of equity, in keeping with our Lasallian mission, which focuses on “championing social justice through engaged and experiential learning,” not merely awareness or appreciation of difference.
See the Events and Workshops tab for upcoming programming.