Diverse cultures, 0ne community
Consistent with our core values, we aim to develop an intentionally diverse Christian academic community. Diversity, of course, is not an end in itself; rather, it is a means to the lofty end of cultivating a healthy educational environment. Diversity values students, faculty and staff understanding why people of various backgrounds interpret and apply the same information differently. Diversity encompasses inclusion and respect. It appreciates one another, moving beyond mere tolerance to celebrate our differences.
Here are some of the ways we develop a diverse Christian community at our university:
Vice President of Diversity & Inclusive Development
Multnomah University employs a full-time vice president of Diversity & Inclusive Development, Dr. Jessica Taylor, who also serves on the president’s council as one of the senior leaders responsible for the overall leadership of the university. Diversity & Inclusive Development is housed in the executive wing of the university, allowing access to senior-level leadership for our underrepresented populations.
The Multicultural Center
The Multicultural Center exists to foster opportunities for underrepresented persons to feel a sense of belonging in the MU community and explore their authentic selves where safety, diversity and God are honored. It’s a place for studying, praying, training, meeting, gaming, connecting, relaxing, planning, venting, resting, learning, film viewing, playing music, and escaping the stresses of college life. The center takes into account the need for affinity group support and participation in the community at large.
The Multicultural Center is located at 615 NE 87th Ave. The center sits on the east edge of campus in the light green house (formerly known as the Teacher Ed House). The student entry is accessed from the heart of campus, through the back door.
Monday through Saturday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.*
*These hours can change if there are special events on campus or if there is an inability to supervise the space properly. Signage will be posted at the back door which will be used as the main entrance, so students can know when to expect someone to return should an unexpected closure occur.
Why do we need a Multicultural Center?
Students can become increasingly isolated in their cultural, racial and religious identity as they come to college. Research shows spaces like the Multicultural Center help students develop their identity and relationships with others while increasing their sense of belonging and community. Though there are other places for students to be on campus, having a dedicated space in which students of color and students from different backgrounds can be their authentic selves is critical to their success and healthy integration at Multnomah University.
Who is the Multicultural Center designed to benefit most?
People of color and underrepresented groups of students as well as their allies are the groups this space is intended to serve. You ultimately decide if your experience at Multnomah is underrepresented and if you could benefit from the space.
ALL people are allowed to access the space, but people from the majority culture are encouraged to use discretion when using the Multicultural Center. This space is to be led, directed and influenced by students in need of this space, and so they ultimately decide if anyone is distracting from the purpose or intended atmosphere of the center. Also, it is important to know that students want ALL to feel welcome, and that includes majority culture persons who are understanding of their need for the space and in support of them expressing their authentic selves.
The Voices Scholarship
What is the Voices Scholarship?
The Voices Scholarship is intended to develop students of color and their allies — known as Voices Scholars — as leaders on the MU campus. This is accomplished by mentoring, providing leadership opportunities and spreading awareness of diversity and inclusion efforts from student-driven platforms.
What do the Voices Scholars do?
The Scholars will participate in diversity and inclusion initiatives, including events, workshops and training sessions. They will also be giving and receiving peer mentoring to help them through their experience in a dominantly white institution. Each Scholar also takes a rotation weekly being available to serve other students in the Multicultural Center.
How do you apply for the Voices Scholarship?
Students may apply online like they would for any other scholarship. The scholarship is for one academic year; therefore, applicants cannot be accepted mid-year. Learn more about the Voices Scholarship.
The Voices Club exists to provide a space for openness, honesty and raw discussions in the context of identity, humanity, and racial and social justice. The club highlights issues of significance within today’s context and allows its members to be vulnerable and learn from one another in a gracious and understanding environment. The Voices Club supports the ongoing mission of multicultural engagement and unity at Multnomah University.
A typical Voices meeting focuses on a specific topic for the week. We alternate between watching culturally-centered media (TV shows, Ted Talks, music videos, spoken word and poetry) and hosting guest speakers. Discussions are held after each activity. Every meeting is meant to engage each club member and encourage everyone to truly have a voice.
The Voices club also serves as a place to unpack social and cultural events and current topics. “Unpacking” of trainings and diversity initiatives also happens in the context of the Voice Club, giving students a place to process and integrate their learning.
Mosaic Week is an annual, week-long series of events meant to spark critical thinking and dialogue around issues of diversity, inclusion, cultural identity and justice on the Multnomah University campus. We desire to stir conversations that promote equity, understanding and viewing diversity through a biblical lens.