Luther values and social justice
December 4, 2016
Filed under Letter to Editor
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The Luther community is engaged in serious, ongoing conversations about issues of social justice, and I want to share my thoughts—and the college’s core principles—with respect to issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Luther’s mission statement articulates our shared values as a community. Our mission statement is clear and resolute with respect to diversity, equity and inclusion: “As people of all backgrounds, we embrace diversity and challenge one another to learn in community, to discern our callings and to serve with distinction for the common good.” We are called to “care for all God’s people.” This is our statement of common purpose—from students, faculty, staff and administrators to alumni and the Board of Regents—and our approach to service and leadership in challenging times.
As president, I’ve shared two statements with you this fall (via email, Tuesday and the Bulletin) emphasizing my personal commitment to learn from each other, embrace diversity and respect the dignity of each person. I’ve appreciated the opportunity to be in conversation with individuals and with members of campus organizations. I’ve also continued to work with students, faculty and staff on the search advisory committee to identify and hire a Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion.
Your Luther education is designed to help you move “beyond immediate interests and present knowledge into a larger world—an education that disciplines minds and develops whole persons equipped to understand and confront a changing society.” I’m pleased to see so many of you acting on your passion and commitment to social justice. I respect and encourage your advocacy and political engagement, both here on campus and in the wider world.
Due to an already scheduled work trip, I was unable to participate in the Black Lives Matter panel discussion on Nov. 16, so my office is working with the Black Student Union and the Diversity Center to organize an upcoming campus conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion at Luther. The event will take place next week—watch for the day, time and location in the Tuesday and Bulletin. I know it’s a busy time of year, but I hope you will join me for this important conversation.
At Luther, we are guided by our core values and commitments—to care for each other and the community, to act with integrity, to seek truth, to embrace diversity and to respect the dignity of each person. This is who we are as a community of faith and learning. I look forward to our continued engagement around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in our life together here at Luther.
President Paula Carlson