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Ƶ. Scholastica

Become a member of St. Scholastica, where inclusive excellence is actively shaping our community. As a Catholic Benedictine learning community, we believe that academic excellence finds its most authentic expression within an environment that embraces diversity and inclusivity. Our mission revolves around fostering a campus culture that prioritizes diversity, equity and inclusion, and the Division of Inclusive Excellence is at the heart of this mission.

Fostering a Welcoming Environment

At the Ƶ, we are working to create a sense of belonging for everyone across our campuses and online spaces. Our journey towards a more just and equitable community involves a range of strategies, including robust student support, engaging curricular and co-curricular education, active involvement of employees and dedicated community outreach.

The Division of Inclusive Excellence focuses on these main areas:

  • Multicultural Student Services
  • Native Initiatives
  • Employee Engagement and Professional Development
  • Community Resources, Outreach and Training

Our community’s commitment to inclusive excellence is a shared responsibility. Join us in creating a campus where everyone thrives academically and contributes to developing a welcoming environment. At St. Scholastica, inclusive excellence is more than a goal — it’s a lived experience.

Strategic Plan

The Inclusive Excellence 2025 Strategic Plan for Ƶ. Scholastica is a living plan of action that is intended to serve as a blueprint for embedding diversity, equity and inclusion into the systems and culture of the Ƶ. Diversity, equity and inclusion are integral to who we are as a Benedictine institution. An intentional focus on diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of the Ƶ is essential to our mission as a Catholic Benedictine institution. Inclusion is at the very heart of what it means to be an institution committed to Catholic social justice.

Students gathered in the medicine garden

Multicultural Student Services

The Office of Multicultural Student Services provides leadership on student initiatives related to diversity, equity and inclusion. At our core, we are committed to supporting students through:

  • Advisement
  • Clubs, events and programming
  • Multicultural Leadership Orientation (MLO)
  • Social justice scholarships
  • Student Employment

Student Opportunities

Getting involved with Multicultural Student Services allows you to explore the specific resources designed for multicultural students and take advantage of advisement and regular check-ins. Our staff can also connect you with student resources across the larger St. Scholastica community.

You will be able to experience St. Scholastica with a community of students dedicated to further diversity, equity and inclusion through clubs, events and other programming.

Attend Multicultural Leadership Orientation

As a new incoming student, this five-day August Adventures orientation session gives you an opportunity to:

  • Strengthen your leadership skills
  • Explore and expand your understanding of social justice
  • Build lifelong relationships with other new and returning St. Scholastica students

You can also meet staff and faculty who will support you for the transition to college and support your academic success. This program is run primarily by current St. Scholastica students and is supported by the Office of Multicultural Student Services.

Explore Our Student Spaces

Your home away from home

The Center for Just Living

The Center for Just Living student spaceHang out, be yourself, build community, challenge yourself and learn from others. Located on the ground floor of Tower Hall (T25), the Center for Just Living (CJL) serves as a social gathering space for students. The CJL is a safe place for BIPOC students, LGBTQ+ students, other underrepresented students, and everyone involved with CJL clubs and activities. The CJL cannot be reserved for events or activities.

The Intercultural Center

Intercultural Center student spaceThe Intercultural Center is the bridge between the CJL and the student union on the ground floor of Tower Hall (T23 and T21). Students use this space for studying, fundraisers and club meetings. It is open to all students involved with the Office of Multicultural Student Services. The Intercultural Center (IC) promotes cross-cultural understanding and inclusivity by encouraging the campus community to socially engage and respectfully interact with one another in a diverse environment. Contact the Associate Director, Sarah Stewart, with any questions or to reserve the space for an event or activity.

Jiimaan Abiwin

Jiimaan Abiwin student spaceLocated on the third floor of Tower Hall (T3115), the Jiimaan Abiwin room (also known as the Canoe Room) is a place for Native American students to create a community with other Native students. Students practice spirituality and know that they are in a safe environment based on their unique needs and culture. Smudging is allowed in this space for physical and mental well-being.

Social Justice Clubs, Events and Programming

Multicultural Student Services oversees, supports and provides mentorship to a number of student clubs focused on social justice. These clubs are part of the Center for Just Living (CJL) and have a staff or faculty advisor, as well as a board of student leaders and student members. Each club also has a presence in the Justice League, which is a leadership cohort that meets regularly under the direction of the Associate Director of Multicultural Student Services. Explore the clubs below, check out for more information and join a group.

Social Justice Clubs

Asian Student Union

The mission of the Asian Student Union is to promote awareness of the cultures of Asia and foster understanding of cultural diversity in Ƶ. Scholastica and the greater Duluth community. Planned club activities and community-wide events provide a safe, enjoyable and stimulating environment for club participants and visitors. All people from all backgrounds are welcome!

Black Student Union

The mission statement/purpose of BSU is to educate, celebrate, and support as well as to create a sense of community specifically related to Black identities at Scholastica. The club is focused on Black identities and all are welcome.

Earth Action

Coming Soon

International Student Association

The International Student Association is for all St. Scholastica students. The purpose of the club is to provide all students and the community the opportunity to better understand and to be more aware of different cultures throughout the world. We meet every other Thursday. Everyone is welcome to join the club! If you are interested, contact us to receive information about our meetings and events throughout the year.

Latinx Student Union

Latinx Student Union (LSU) upholds an appreciation for the richness and beauty of the Latinx culture. We want to assist fellow members in widening the knowledge and appreciation of the language and culture of Spain, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean to the community.

Native American Student Alliance

The Native American Student Alliance strives to be a safe and engaging group for Native students as well as non-Native students on campus. Native American Student Alliance provides a space for Indigenous peoples attending Ƶ. Scholastica to connect and share our unique, authentic indigenous ways of knowing with each other and with non-indigenous peoples within the community. As a club, we participate in group bonding activities and volunteering within the community. All self-identified Native students and non-Native allies are welcome to participate in club activities. Please contact us for more information or to connect with the club.

Queer Student Union

Coming Soon

United for Africa

United for Africa is a student-led club at Ƶ. Scholastica that seeks to raise awareness and foster an in-depth analysis of issues affecting Africa and the African Diaspora. Club membership is open to all students, staff and faculty and currently includes members from many countries in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States. United for Africa works to clear prejudices and stereotypes, have meaningful discussions, empower future leaders and celebrate cultures. The club holds events throughout the year that are both educational and fun, and meets one day every other week.

Student Employment in Multicultural Student Services

Consider joining the Multicultural Student Services team! As a student employee, you would work with the office’s associate director to plan and implement programming, make appointments, and manage office duties. Apply today and gain skills and knowledge in the work of social justice. Your experience as a student employee will also give you the opportunity to utilize the associate director of the office as a reference for other jobs, specifically after college graduation.

Native drum with sticks.

Native Initiatives

Native Initiatives embodies St. Scholastica’s commitment to be a partner with regional Minnesota tribal communities. The purpose of Native Initiatives is to engage and speak to the historical and contemporary affairs facing Native communities and to create academic programming, community outreach, and student support that honors the unique and distinct attributes of Native students and communities. The Ƶ is committed to being a partner in celebrating and supporting tribal sovereignty through the following efforts:

Community Resources, Outreach and Training

Community outreach and engagement are crucial endeavors in our Inclusive Excellence work. Through proactive outreach and a spirit of collaboration, we reach beyond campus borders, forging meaningful connections with diverse communities and supporting diverse community initiatives. Such efforts enrich and contribute to the broader efforts to create a more just and inclusive community. We particularly aim to amplify and support the voices of underrepresented groups and champion inclusivity in all its forms.

Employee Engagement and Professional Development Programs

Employee engagement and professional development are at the heart of our inclusive excellence efforts. St. Scholastica encourages and empowers employees to explore and grow in their understanding and application of diversity, equity and inclusion. As an employee, you can increase your cultural fluency through the programs below, as well as support and advance DEI initiatives as a part of the Ƶ community.

Photo of a group of people discussing a book

One Campus One Read (OCOR)

The annual OCOR program connects employees around a social justice-themed book. These events create shared and meaningful dialogue on campus around a common topic and bring people together.

Photo of Staff in an EUE Fellowship workshop

Eue Faculty and Staff Fellows Program

Each individual in the employee fellows program identifies a problem of practice related to diversity, equity and inclusion in their department. They focus on resolving or improving that challenge/barrier throughout the year.

Anti-bias search team in a discussion.

Anti-Bias Search Advocate Program

The Anti-Bias Search Advocate program trains employees to use a research-based model to aid in minimizing the impacts of cognitive and structural biases in our search process. To date, we have trained around 40 advocates.

Staff and Faculty in a workshop

L.E.A.D Certificate

In the Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Diversity program, participants complete 9 workshops, an IDI and a final reflection. This training empowers employees to create a more just and equitable community.

Photo of staff involved in DEI Conversations

DEI Conversations

The Ƶ community collaborates with campus offices and community partners to promote inclusive practices across campus. Through these intentional DEI conversations, we’re able to implement these efforts.

Presenter speaks at Diversity Dish event

Diversity Dish

Employees gather at monthly Diversity Dishes to learn and explore a DEI topic in a low-key, relaxed atmosphere. Presenters include Ƶ and area community members sharing their DEI and accessibility advancements.

Information and Resources

Bias and Harassment

A Bias Incident is defined as single or multiple acts of verbal, written, electronic or physical expressions of disrespectful bias, hate, intimidation, or hostility against an individual or group or their property because of the individual or group’s actual or perceived status of being in a federally protected class.

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion/religious creed
  • Gender or gender identity/expression
  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • National origin
  • Disability
  • Veteran-status
  • Marital status
  • Sexual orientation

Expressions may be in the form of language, words, signs, symbols, threats, or actions that could potentially cause alarm or fear in others or that endanger the health, safety and welfare of members of the campus community. To be considered within this definition, the words or conduct must be objectively offensive to a reasonable person.

Diversity and Inclusion Resources

The work of diversity and inclusion belongs to all of us. To support making St. Scholastica a welcoming place of inclusion the Office of Multicultural Student Services has collected a variety of helpful ,Ի resources for the community. You’ll also find Իdzܰ.

St. Scholastica Preferred Definitions

Ƶ. Scholastica believes in the need for a common vocabulary as we work towards dismantling systemic barriers and creating a more just, inclusive campus community. A common vocabulary will enable us to advance inclusive excellence in community with one another, to avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations, and to foster a campus culture where each and every one of our members — faculty, staff, students, and Sisters — can thrive.

Acknowledging that language is constantly evolving and that words often have different meanings depending on lived experiences, this glossary is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather intended to provide a basic framework for key terms as they relate to diversity, equity, inclusion, identity and culture.

Preferred Definitions

  • Ableism: beliefs or practices that rest on the assumption that being able-bodied is “normal” while other states of being need to be “fixed” or altered. This can result in devaluing or discriminating against people with physical, intellectual or psychiatric disabilities. Institutionalized ableism may include or take the form of un/intentional organizational barriers that result in disparate treatment of people with disabilities.
  • Accessibility: the “ability to access” the functionality of a system or entity and gain the related benefits. The degree to which a product, service, or environment is accessible by as many people as possible. Accessible design ensures both direct (unassisted) access and indirect access through assistive technology (e.g., computer screen readers). Universal design ensures that an environment can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people.
  • Accommodation: any change, alteration or modification to the way things are customarily done that provides an equal opportunity for those with disabilities and/or chronic medical conditions. Examples of accommodations include, but are not limited to, sign language interpreters, materials in alternative formats (such as braille, different font size or digital format), preferential seating and assistive listening devices.
  • Antiracist: one who is supporting an antiracist policy through their actions or expressing an antiracist idea.
  • Assistive Technology (AT): any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve ease of use or usability for individuals with disabilities. Examples include message boards, screen readers, refreshable braille displays, keyboards and mouse modifications, and head pointers.
  • Bias: prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in an unfair or negative way. Unconscious bias, also known as implicit bias, represents the attitudes and stereotypes that influence judgment, decision-making and behavior in ways that are outside of conscious awareness.
  • Bias incident: bias incident is defined as a single act or multiple acts of verbal, written, electronic, or physical expressions of disrespectful conduct, hate, intimidation and/or hostility against an individual or group or their property because of the individual or group’s actual or perceived status of being in a category protected under this Policy.
  • Biological sex: refers to anatomical, physiological, genetic, or physical attributes that we use to classify people as male, female, or intersex. These include both primary and secondary sex characteristics, including genitalia, gonads, hormone levels, hormone receptors, chromosomes and genes. Sex is often inaccurately conflated or interchanged with gender, which is more social than biological, and involves personal identity factors as well. Additionally, although sex is based on real statistical variation among humans, the boundaries between sex categories is not always clear and is influenced by bias and cultural norms.
  • BIPOC: acronym for Black, Indigenous and People of Color that emphasizes the unique racial experiences of Black people and Indigenous people
  • Cisgender: used to describe an individual whose gender identity and gender expression align with the socially constructed gender identity and expression associated with the sex they are assigned at birth.
  • Cissexism: the assumption that all people are cisgender, and that people who are cisgender are superior to trans* folx. Also used to describe the systemic oppression of trans* folx.
  • Coming out: for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer, the process of self-identifying and self-acceptance that continues throughout one’s life, and the sharing of their identity with others. Sometimes referred to as disclosing. Individuals often recognize a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/gender-expansive, or queer identity within themselves first, and then might choose to reveal it to others. There are many different degrees of being out: Some may be out to friends only, some may be out publicly, and some may be out only to themselves. It’s important to remember that coming out is an incredibly personal and transformative experience. Not everyone is in the same place when it comes to being out, and it is critical to respect where each person is in that process of self-identification. It is up to each person, individually, to decide if and when to come out or disclose.
  • Cultural fluency: set of congruent behaviors, attitudes and policies that enable a system, agency, or professional to function effectively in cross-cultural situations. Like other types of competence, cultural competence is developed over time through training, experience, guidance and self-evaluation.
  • Culture: patterns of shared basic assumptions, behaviors, and experiences within a group of people that are learned by and taught to new members in order to guide them in the appropriate and inappropriate ways of perceiving, thinking, feeling and acting
  • Disability: a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of an individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment (from the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990).
  • Diversity: individual differences (e.g., personality, prior knowledge and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious or other affiliations)
  • Ethnicity: social identity and mutual belongingness that defines a group of people on the basis of common origins, shared beliefs, and shared standards of behavior
  • Equality: treating everyone the same or giving everyone the same opportunities regardless of their individual attributes
  • Equity: creation of opportunities for historically underserved populations to have equal access to and participate in educational programs that are capable of closing the achievement gaps in student success and completion
  • Folx: an alternative spelling to the familiar word “folks”. While the word “folks” is gender neutral, the spelling “folx” has been adopted by some communities as a way to indicate inclusion of marginalized groups, specifically LGBTQ+ individuals and people of color.
  • Gender: a set of social, psychological, and/or emotional traits, behaviors, and/or expressions, often influenced by societal expectations, that classify an individual within a spectrum of man, woman, nonbinary, genderqueer, etc.
    • Gender binary: the classification of gender into two discrete categories of male and female. Related to “genderism” below. See also “gender spectrum” below.
    • Gender dysphoria: discomfort or distress related to an incongruence between an individual’s gender identity and the gender assigned at birth.
    • Gender expression: clothing, physical appearance and other external presentations and behaviors that express aspects of gender identity or role.
    • Gender identity: an internal sense of being male, female or something else, which may or may not correspond to an individual’s sex assigned at birth or sex characteristics.
    • Gender nonconforming: describes an individual whose gender identity or gender expression differs from the gender norms associated with the sex they were assigned at birth.
    • Gender spectrum: the concept that gender exists beyond a simple man/woman binary model, but instead exists within a spectrum. Some people fall towards more masculine or more feminine aspects, some people move fluidly throughout the spectrum, and some identify off the spectrum entirely.
    • Genderism: the belief that gender exists as a binary, comprising of male and female, and that a person’s gender is inherently linked to the sex they are assigned at birth.
    • Genderqueer: describes an individual whose gender identity doesn’t align with a binary understanding of gender, including those who think of themselves as both male and female, neither, moving between genders, a third gender or outside of gender altogether.
  • Heteronormativity/heterosexism: the assumption that everyone is heterosexual, and that heterosexuality is superior to all other sexualities. Also used to describe systemic oppression on the basis of sexual orientation.
  • Inclusive Excellence 2025: the Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence at Ƶ. Scholastica; a living plan of action that is intended to serve as a blueprint for embedding diversity, equity and inclusion into the systems and culture of the Ƶ.
  • Inclusion: active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity — in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect — in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions
  • Inclusive excellence: introduced in 2005 by AACU as a methodology for helping colleges realize the benefit of diversity and its positive impact on institutional quality. Making Excellence Inclusive, defines it as in a campus context to mean an active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with differences — in people, in the curriculum and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect — in ways that increase one’s awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.
  • Intersectionality: describes the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, genderism, classism, etc.) combine, overlap or intersect, especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups.
  • Invisible disabilities: there are many people with non-visible disabilities that can range from chemical sensitivities to diabetes. Given their particular situation they may require some assistance. If a person tells you assistance is needed, do your best to provide it — even if it takes a little extra time.
  • Microaggressions: brief and commonplace “verbal, behavioral and/or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative … slights and insults”
  • Misgender: to refer to someone, especially a transgender or gender-expansive person, using a word, especially a pronoun or form of address, which does not correctly reflect the gender with which they identify.
  • Neurodiversity: when neurological differences are recognized and respected as are any other kind of human differences or variations. These differences can include Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyscalculia, Autism Spectrum and Tourette Syndrome.
  • Nonbinary: refers to individuals who identify as neither man or woman, both man and woman, or a combination of man or woman. It is an identity term which some use exclusively, while others may use it interchangeably with terms like genderqueer, gender creative, gender nonconforming, gender diverse or gender expansive. Individuals who identify as nonbinary may understand the identity as falling under the transgender umbrella and may thus identify as transgender. Sometimes abbreviated as NB or Enby.
  • Outing: the deliberate or accidental sharing of another person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression without their explicit consent. Outing is considered disrespectful and a potentially dangerous act for LGBTQ+ individuals.
  • People of Culture or Bodies of Culture: a more inclusive phrase to include all who identify with their BIPOC identities, including those who society deems as “white passing” (individuals who “appear” to be non-BIPOC but identify with their BIPOC heritage). Bodies of Culture is a phrase that digs deeper, this phrase identifies race as a social construct used to denote whiteness as the shorthand for humanness. Resmaa Menakem on the phrase ‘Bodies of Culture’: “I don’t say ‘bodies of color’ anymore, because what I’m trying to do is, I’m trying to reclaim the idea that I’m actually a human.”
  • Power: a relational term; understood as a relationship between human beings in a specific historical, economic and social setting
  • Privilege: an advantage that comes from historical oppression of other groups; can be seen in race, gender, sexuality, ability, socioeconomic status, age. Acknowledging it isn’t meant to shame those with certain privileges but rather to challenge the systems that make it exist.
  • Queer: historically a derogatory term used against LGBTQ+ people, it has been embraced and reclaimed by LGBTQ+ communities. Queer is often used to represent all individuals who identify outside of other categories of sexual and gender identity. Queer may also be used by an individual who feels as though other sexual or gender identity labels do not adequately describe their experience.
  • Race: socially constructed concept of dividing people into groups based on skin color and physical characteristics
    • Racism: combination of individual prejudice and individual discrimination, on one hand, and institutional policies and practices, on the other, that result in the unjustified negative treatment and subordination of members of racial or ethnic groups that have experienced a history of discrimination. Prejudice, discrimination and racism do not require intention.
    • Racial oppression: results from the use of institutional power and privilege where one person or group benefits at the expense of another. Oppression is the use of power and the effects of domination
    • Racial justice: proactive reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes for all
  • Religious accommodation: any adjustment to the work/academic environment that will allow a person to practice their religion. The need for religious accommodation may arise where an individual’s religious beliefs, observances or practices conflict with a specific task or requirement of the position/application process/academic course. Accommodation requests often relate to work schedules, dress and grooming, or religious expression in the workplace/classroom.
  • Sex assigned at birth: refers to the sex assigned to an individual by a medical professional in infancy, based on the appearance of the external genitals. In almost all cases, people are assigned either Male or Female and this designation is placed on legal paperwork such as their birth certificate and social security records. This sex assignment may not correspond with the individual’s actual biological sex or gender. Some individuals are able to later change their legal documentation to reflect their proper sex or gender but this process can be challenging and, in some states and countries, impossible.
  • Sexual orientation: emotional, romantic, or sexual feelings toward other people. While sexual behavior involves the choices one makes in acting on one’s sexual orientation, sexual orientation is part of the human condition, one’s sexual activity does not define one’s sexual orientation; typically, it is the attraction that helps determine orientation. Examples include: gay and lesbian (homosexual), straight (heterosexual), bisexual, pansexual, asexual, aromantic, etc.
  • Social justice: both a process and a goal. The goal of social justice is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure.
  • Trans*: a shorthand, umbrella term encompassing those whose gender identities or gender roles differ from those typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. The use of the asterisk in the term trans* serves to represent the wide array of identities expressions, and embodiments encapsulated in the transgender community.
  • Trans-affirmative: being aware of, respectful and supportive of the needs of transgender and gender nonconforming individuals.
  • Transition: the process of shifting toward a gender role different from that assigned at birth, which can include social transition, such as new names, pronouns and clothing and medical transition, such as hormone therapy or surgery.
  • Two-spirit: a term used within some American Indian (AI) and Alaska Native (AN) communities to refer to a person who identifies as having both a male and a female essence or spirit. The term — which was created in 1990 by a group of AI/AN activists at an annual Native LGBTQ conference — encompasses sexual, cultural, gender and spiritual identities, and provides unifying, positive and encouraging language that emphasizes reconnecting to tribal traditions.
  • Universal design (UD): also known as “inclusive design” and “design for all,” this is an approach to the design of products, places, policies and services that can meet the needs of as many people as possible throughout their lifetime, regardless of age, ability, or situation.
  • White body supremacy: the idea that the white body is the ostensibly supreme standard against which other bodies’ humanity is measured. The attitudes, convictions, and beliefs of white-body supremacy are reflexive cognitive side effects that are reinforced through institutions as practice, procedures and standards. The white body is used to hearing things that make it comfortable. The term white body supremacy helps white folk embody the intellectualized concept of white supremacy. Resmaa Menakem writes, “only a small fraction of white supremacy lives in our conscious mind.” Much of the patterns and reflexes that sustain racism are unconscious and manifest in our bodies. This manifestation informs the term “white body supremacy” and calls for racial justice work to include a focus on the body, not just the intellect.
  • White supremacy: belief that white people dominate society, typically to the exclusion or detriment of other racial and ethnic groups


  • (American Psychological Association)
  • Association of American Ƶs & Universities
  • (Augsburg)
Ƶ. Scholastica

Main Campus

1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811
United States