Vision for Equity and Inclusion at St. Olaf

Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls
as well as a quantitative change in our lives.

 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Nonviolence: The Only Road to Freedom”
Ebony (October 1966)

To be a neighbor means to seek to understand and serve people, communities and their needs. In the global and local communities in which our students move, they care for the people, space and ecology of a neighborhood; …[Lutheran colleges and universities] work toward a common good.
– “Rooted and Open: The Common Calling
of the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities” (January 2018)

Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of a beloved, diverse, community created through a “qualitative change in our souls,” St. Olaf College joyfully embraces diversity among its students, staff and faculty members, and alumni. “Rooted and Open” calls us to see ourselves both as the neighbor and as serving our neighbors. In both capacities, we work to build a community where all can thrive and find meaningful belonging. Members of the college community uplift and engage in mutual education about our diversity—such as race, religion and faith tradition, background and circumstance, gender and gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, differences in ability, political outlook, belief and perspective, and other elements of core identity—and recognize the part that each of us plays in ensuring that St. Olaf is a diverse and beloved community.

St. Olaf achieves this vision through

  • A learning, residential and working environment in which all individuals are included, respected, valued and supported, and are fully able to achieve and contribute;
  • A campus community that embraces the diversity of perspectives, faiths, political outlooks, identities and backgrounds essential to rigorous learning and the development of the whole person;
  • A commitment to justice and equity of opportunity so that St. Olaf students and faculty and staff members are empowered to be their complete and authentic selves;
  • Removal of barriers to education, work, and engagement; and
  • A principle of accountability, knowing that we can only make an inclusive and equitable community through common purpose and shared action.