While ACS member institutions differ in numerous ways, we share a common and a primary purpose: to provide a quality liberal arts education that prepares students to be responsible and effective local, national, and world citizens. The following five practices are at the center of the types of learning that distinguish a liberal arts education from other types of learning:
The liberal arts curriculum is known in Latin as artes liberales, or “work benefiting a free person.” At its best, the academic and social aspects of a liberal arts education teach one how to live.
Mission of the Diversity Initiative within the Context of a Liberal Arts Education
An essential element of a liberal arts education, as noted in number 3 above, is a welcomed and valued diverse learning community, where individuals and the campus community as a whole may safely and respectfully explore unfamiliar ideas, convictions, and practices. This element in particular and the purpose of a liberal arts education in general frame and shape the mission of the ACS Diversity Initiative, which is to support and to encourage the ACS member institutions in their endeavors to create and to sustain campus learning/teaching and social environments that welcome, value and celebrate diversity.
In keeping with this mission, the ACS Diversity Initiative is about the tasks of:
Approved by the ACS Diversity Initiative Planning Committee, September
Approved by the ACS Council of Deans, October 2003
Approved by the ACS Presidents, January 2004
"We need to help [people] cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that surrounds and strengthens this community - and nation." Cesar Chavez, activist
While ACS institutions
differ in numerous ways, we share a common belief that diversity in our
student bodies, faculties, and staffs assists us in attaining our primary
mission: providing a quality liberal arts education that prepares students
to be responsible and effective local, national and world citizens. We
believe that racial and ethnic diversity on our campuses significantly
enriches the educational experience and promotes personal growth, by increasing
the exposure to and the understanding of differences that are found in
the larger, pluralistic society.
At their best, multicultural experiences foster mutual respect, teamwork, and communities where it is the quality of a person's character and contribution that matter the most. This is of utmost importance in a world where we work and play side by side with people from very different cultures and backgrounds.
Through the links on this website, ACS shares with you information and resources that we hope will promote, help, and inspire your multicultural adventures and interactions. If you have additional sites and resources that you would like to recommend to your fellow ACS colleagues, please send all of the pertinent information to firstname.lastname@example.org
I believe we can stand together
to create A community that values and respects our differences.
Ron Swain, Senior Advisor to the President, Southwestern University
You don't get harmony when everyone sings
the same note.
Doug Floyd, columnist
None of us is responsible for the complexion
of his skin. This fact of nature offers no clue to the character or quality
of the person underneath.
Marian Anderson, singer, 1941
This Diversity Initiative was funded by the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation as part of the New Models of Cooperation in Three Challenged and Critical Areas Grant.
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