Statement on Equity

Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

The tumultuous events of 2020-2021 have exposed radical systemic inequalities which have particularly impacted historically marginalized communities and entrenched their precarious living conditions within the United States and across the globe. The Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Gustavus Adolphus Colleges publicly expresses its commitment to combat those systemic inequalities and to support those at a higher risk of being exposed to such precarities. We, as members of an academic community, recognize that we can make this statement from a place of privilege. Our goal is to positively impact historically disenfranchised individuals and communities. We further recognize that race particularly exacerbates vulnerabilities associated with different forms of minority status (citizenship status, sexual orientation, religious belief, gender identity, disability, and different ethnic backgrounds). We understand the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in the summer of 2020 as an egregious event that prompts us to recognize the way the system targets segments of the population, our fellow citizens, in a way that denies them of the right to live. As George Floyd struggledto breathe, as disadvantaged BIPOC communities struggle to survive the health and financial impacts of COVID19, we should all strive to combat practices that oppress our fellow humans within the United States and across the globe.

The Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures proposes the following:

Teaching: We commit to make our teaching as inclusive as possible. This entails both looking into our pedagogy, selection of materials, and assessment tools. 
Advising: We commit to making sure every one of our students feels welcomed, and, furthermore, to valuing the contributions of our diverse student body to our community.
Research: Our academic inquiry is rooted in building intercultural understanding, so that as a society we develop a better understanding of justice. We commit to be active voices on this topic both in our campus and in our fields.
Service: We encourage our administration to continue to develop initiatives to attain the goal of being a more diverse and just community, where people of color view themselves as integral to the community. We commit our time and ideas to contributing with committees and with programming that is in line with this goal. 
Community engagement/outreach: We encourage the administration to enhance the role of community engagement as a fundamental tool to embody the way in which justice can be achieved through academic and extracurricular activities.
Curricular development: We commit to continue developing our curricula where our students can find ways to identify and analyze the relationship between power and diversity, as well as to consolidate that knowledge through arguments and to create alternatives for the future.

Furthermore, as MLLC works closely with other services on campus and in our building and as we work with administrative offices,

● We will ensure that all Culpeper Language Center staff and student workers participate in diversity awareness education and/or create their own way of approaching this subject.

● We will advocate for an anti-racism unit to be taught within every Challenge Seminar in the new curriculum.

● We urge the College to offer the Rydell Professorship to a Black scholar within the next three years.

● We will advocate for the Reading in Common selection to focus exclusively on BIPOC authors, topics, or social justice issues.

● We will advocate for the Nobel Conference to always be attuned to anti-racism, regardless of topic,

● We demand that the college hire faculty of color and recruit students of color, and that the college make supporting, nurturing, and retaining faculty and students of color its top priority.