Teaching about Diversity at a Small Church-Affiliated Liberal Arts College
Dr. Marie Walker, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN
How does one teach Psychology of Diversity at a small Lutheran liberal arts college with a majority Caucasian student and faculty population? Campus level diversity efforts, including examination of administrative policies and strategies, were explored. Students examined commonalities in generational and national identity followed by exploration of individual identity, racial/biracial identity and personal narrative. Class activities included role-playing job interviews from multiple perspectives, life story interviews, acknowledgement of White privilege, diverse group task performance and compassion and mindulness meditation. Students engaged in an experiential component by participating in on-campus events or volunteering for community programs. Additionally, students addressed a relevant campus or community concern through a needs assessment, exploration of resources/obstacles and a research-based action plan. The students and a control group (taught by the same instructor) were evaluated pre- and post-semester using measures of multiethnic identity, cultural competency, modern sexism, modern racism and belief in a just world.