Diversity, Inclusion & Social Justice

Why Diversity, Inclusion, & Social Justice Matter

As with the rest of nature, humanity is a cornucopia of differences. This diversity makes life infinitely more beautiful and interesting, but most importantly, it makes us stronger when we realize the strengths and potential for growth embedded in our differences. As deeply social beings, our health and wellness depends upon the development of supportive communities. Such environments are characterized by a culture of inclusion, equity, empathy, compassion, encouragement, accountability, cooperation, and respect, where we create shared meaning and purpose towards greater good. Healthy communities normalize the imperfect process of growth. Mistakes and missteps are opportunities for learning. Healthy communities foster authentic relationships where individual differences are welcomed, respected, and supported, thereby affording individuals a genuine sense of belongings. These communities become cohesive and stronger through shared experiences of joy, pain, and by challenging one another to learn and act.. For students of diverse identities, the Notre Dame community often falls short of being this type of inclusive community. Systemic inequities left unaddressed, can lead to suffering, loneliness, anger, anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns..

The UCC commits to helping our students navigate life’s challenges by acknowledging the complexity of the experiences, circumstances, and environments that shape them. We strive to challenge our own biases so that we may grow in our understanding of human suffering, which accounts for many interpersonal, intrapersonal, and structural stressors, inequalities, and barriers to belonging and opportunity, such as: discrimination, hostilities, and everyday microagressions that reinforce stigma and serve to marginalize individuals based on their differences. Informed by the experiences of our students and psychological science, we seek to empower our students to self-advocate while also helping to amplify their voices and advocating for inclusive and equitable cultural and systemic changes. We wholeheartedly embrace this role in support of the University’s mission to educate the heart and mind.