Diversity & Inclusion
The Division of Diversity and Inclusion helps to coordinate, cultivate, and contribute to institutional efforts to advance inclusive excellence at Whitman College. Guided by principles of cultural pluralism, cultural humility, and cultural wealth, the work of the Division is to enhance our collective awareness and capacity around issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism. Inclusive excellence is a shared responsibility of all members of the Whitman community.
The Division of Diversity and Inclusion works across the College and with relevant stakeholders to cultivate a campus community where inclusive excellence drives decision-making at all levels; where decisions are guided by our commitment to equity and racial justice; where we proactively work to recruit, retain, and support faculty, staff and students that do not merely reflect diverse social group identities, but that also share and can contribute to our institutional principles of inclusive excellence.
Our Principles of Inclusive Excellence provide a foundation for the community we are actively fostering. We recognize that our path towards inclusive excellence requires:
- Diversity without dominance
- Equity without benevolence
- Inclusion without othering
- Belonging without assimilation
At Whitman, we want an environment where there is diversity across a range of social, cultural, and political identities, without the dominance of a particular cultural frame and where someone who is in the numerical minority in this context would not and should not feel like their perspectives, needs or concerns are less important or valid. We want an environment where there is equity without benevolence. One that acknowledges that the playing field is not even and efforts to address the imbalance are not charity or generosity, but an appropriate and reasonable response to existing and ongoing systemic oppressions. We want an environment where there is inclusion without othering. One where no one is degraded, diminished, ridiculed or marginalized based on difference and where interpersonal harm is infrequent and addressed when it occurs. We want an environment where everyone feels like they belong and can show up as their authentic self. One where everyone feels welcomed and no one is expected to assimilate, codeswitch or present themselves differently for acceptance or recognition of their value.
The work of the Division of Diversity and Inclusion is trifurcated operationally and exercises horizontal influence across the institution. Our three operational areas include: Identity and Belonging, Equity and Compliance, and Inclusive Excellence.