Diversity & Inclusion

Wesleyan is an academic community where women of different faiths, different colors, DIFFERENT ABILITIES, and different sexualities learn from and grow with one another. 

Our students are a small, close-knit community of women who are richly diverse. About one third of our students are African American and about one quarter are international students. Our small population provides an ideal setting for all students to interact with each other on a personal level, and our diversity provides our students the opportunity to build relationships with people very different from themselves.These experiences improve the ability to think critically, communicate effectively, and collaborate harmoniously with others.

Opportunities to explore and engage in diversity at Wesleyan are as great as your willingness to get involved and expand your experiences:

  • participate in Diversity Dialogues and Diversity and Inclusion Discussions (DID)
  • intentionally get to know members of the Wesleyan campus community and open your mind to learn from them and share your own experiences
  • share resident space or become study partners with people who have different beliefs, cultural, or ethnic backgrounds than your own
  • participate in cultural events and celebrations, such as the annual International Student Festival
  • join diverse student clubs and organizations, such as AXIS (Association of eXemplary International Students), BSA (Black Student Alliance), GLBAL (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual ALliance), LUC (Latina Unity Club), and the Diversity and Inclusion Board (DIB)
  • attend convocations that focus on topics outside of your major or your direct interests

 

Diversity and Inclusion Goals

The overall goals of diversity and inclusion programming and initiatives at Wesleyan College are:

  • increase self-awareness and self-knowledge, promote critical and reflective thinking
  • stimulate productive and effective dialogue
  • recognize, realize, and work together to overcome any obstacles that hinder us from advancing to appreciation and celebration of the individual differences in our campus community 
     


Diversity and Inclusion Board (DIB)
A student-led Diversity and Inclusion Board will begin this fall under the guidance and support of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. DIB's goals for students include:

  • gain a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities as members of our diverse community
  • develop skills of inclusive leadership, valuing and involving all members of each group for their unique contributions
  • increase self-awareness and self-knowledge by learning with and from others whose experiences differ from their own

     

Diversity and Inclusion Discussions (DID) click to read more
The assistant dean of students for diversity and inclusion and the faculty diversity liaison lead six student leaders through a Diversity and Inclusion Discussions (DID) process that gives them context to develop skills in facilitation and conflict resolution. DID is the most recent project in our ongoing partnership with the Interactivity Foundation to help our students develop collaboration, facilitation, and critical thinking skills. In DID, students facilitate discussions among their peers, record what they find, and share the results with faculty. DID is a part of an intense campus focus on exploring who we are and how we can live in true community with each other. We plan to extend the program to help our students facilitate DID discussions among high school students, students at other colleges, and others in the community. Our vision is for the facilitators to then help train new facilitators in expanding circles around us.

 

WISe Lab: Appreciating Differences

This workshop for all first-year students helps them understand the benefits and obstacles of diversity and how to work past challenges to become more inclusion-minded.

Students will

  • understand how their biases and thoughts affect their behavior
  • explore the many facets of diversity and how individuals fit into each dynamic
  • gain an understanding of essential and effective vocabulary in discussing diversity
  • explore ways to appreciate and include people who are different from themselves
  • complete a workshop evaluation - stories and reflections on things learned and experienced will be shared

ALWAYS FIRST FOR WOMEN, ALWAYS FIRST FOR YOU!

Alumnae Tonya Parker smiles for the camera

MEET TONYA PARKER ’01

Tonya Parker is the assistant dean of students for diversity and inclusion and director of international student services. Parker, a 2001 graduate of Wesleyan College, previously served as the director of education and outreach at the Tubman Museum of African American Art, History, and Culture, and as the executive camp and program director for Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, Inc. Parker’s primary focus is to support students from diverse populations and preside over the student-focused diversity and inclusion programming and initiatives at Wesleyan. Some of her goals include stimulating productive and effective dialogue that promotes reflective and critical thinking, and creating opportunities for campus members to work together to overcome obstacles that hinder us from advancing to acceptance, appreciation, and celebration of the unique, individual differences present within our campus community.

Photo by: Lisa Crosby

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