The Women's Spirituality Program Diversity Statement
The Women's Spirituality Program holds diversity as a crucial component to our understanding of integral education. The program acknowledges the power differentials based on the social meanings assigned to gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, immigration status, colonization, ability, and disability. We are committed to unlearning oppression, building alliances, and unpacking our various privileges. While we are a program that focuses on the roles, activities, and spiritual practices of individuals and groups characterized as women, the Women's Spirituality program explicitly acknowledges difficulties that arise from heteronormativity in spirituality and from dual or binary gender systems. We welcome individuals of all sexualities and diverse gender identities.
To learn more about student and faculty diversity:
In its 20+ years, this program has witnessed a burgeoning expansion in faculty, student, and curriculum diversity which allow us to assert that this is one of our most solid areas of strength.
Our core and adjunct faculty represent diverse spiritual traditions, academic disciplines, artistic practices, ethnic and cultural groups, class perspectives, countries of origin and sexual orientations and identities (including lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual, queer, etc.). Some faculty members are single while others are married/partnered; some are without children, some have children, and some have grandchildren.
We value ethnic and economic diversity in our program and we make a concerted effort to recruit and retain students who come from communities that reflect these diversities. We support diverse students through the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, the focus on diversity that is reflected by the curriculum, the solicitation of funds awarded to students via WSE Diversity Scholarships, and the involvement of students of color in our recruitment. We pay particular attention to issues of diversity in our advising and mentoring, recognizing that ethnic and class background, along with sexual orientation, are often part of what shapes and directs students' academic and career goals.
The diversity of students in our classes promotes an embodied understanding of disparate worldviews and epistemologies. It supports a lively exchange of information in which many points of view are represented and discussed and facilitates students' ability to effectively participate in the increasingly pluralistic world of the 21st century. In a learning situation in which all of us are co-learners, new information emerges from our diversity that expands our scope of knowledge. Our collective understanding of the human condition is enhanced by the safe and facilitated sharing of personal reflections and experiences that encourage us to re-examine assumptions of privilege in the dominant paradigm(s).
Our Fall 2014 student body of 57 individuals includes 16 self-identified women of color who represent approximately 28% of our total student enrollment.