St. Olaf College | News

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Update – March 25

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This is part of a series of regular updates that Vice President for Equity and Inclusion María Pabón Gautier sends to the campus community.

Dear St. Olaf Community,

Happy spring! Yesterday, I had the opportunity to be in conversation with alumni Aldra Henry Allison ‘77 and Jeanne Foley ‘75. This event was part of the college celebration of Women’s History Month. When spending time with pioneers, I am always reminded of living life with a purpose in order to honor their work and experience. It is a continuous call to work towards change and leave the spaces better than you found them. As we welcome spring, a time when the natural world rejuvenates and comes back to life after months of battling hard weather, I am encouraged and reminded that many of us are seeds.

Heritage, History, or Awareness Month Celebrations

This year for the first time, we will be formally recognizing and celebrating two important areas of diversity and identity: religious and spiritual diversity and disability awareness. We will celebrate Religious and Spiritual Diversity Weeks from April 1 to April 16 and Disability Awareness Weeks from April 17 to April 30.

See below for all the great events we have planned for Religious and Spiritual Diversity Weeks (next update we will highlight the events during Disability Awareness Weeks).

Featured Event – Dr. Anantanand Rambachan

Learning from Hinduism about Celebrating Religious Diversity

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Regents Hall 150, 4 p.m.

Spiritual Wellness Fair

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Crossroads, 11:30am-12:30pm

Presented by: Wellness Center, College Ministry, and Lutheran Center.

Holy Days on the Hill: Ramadan, Easter, and Passover

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Viking Theater, 5 p.m.

Join campus ministry for a panel talking about the holy days and traditions happening this month. 

Tauseef Akbar, Associate Chaplain for Muslim Life

Chapel Talk Speaker

Monday, April 11, 2022

Boe Chapel, 10:10am

 Dr. Anantanand Rambachan

Chapel Talk Speaker

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Boe Chapel, 10:10 a.m.

2022 Common Read Experience

What is the Common Read? The purpose of the Common Read is to introduce new students to topics of equity and inclusion that can be integrated in their social and academic life. The program provides a common experience for all new students while strengthening a sense of belonging from their first days on campus. It engages students in intentional ways of thinking across disciplines, experiences and strengths.

After reviewing submissions from students, faculty and staff, the Orientation & Transition Experience team is excited to announce our 2022 Common Read selection: Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights. The Book of Delights is a spirited collection of short lyric essays, written daily over a tumultuous year, reminding us of the purpose and pleasure of praising, extolling, and celebrating ordinary wonders. The book is a genre-defying book of essays—some as short as a paragraph; some as long as five pages—that record the small joys that occurred in one year, from birthday to birthday, that we often overlook in our busy lives. 

We welcome and encourage our students, staff, faculty, and alumni to engage with the book. It promises to be a great experience!


Dr. María C. Pabón Gautier
Vice President for Equity and Inclusion