Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion & Compassion

Alverno College is an active learning community founded on Catholic, Franciscan values and shaped by research from across academic disciplines and professional fields in service of our mission: to educate students in a collaborative, inclusive, compassionate and supportive atmosphere.

These Catholic and Franciscan values call on us to cherish the full diversity of human identity, to acknowledge differences in identity as the work of God, and to act together across differences to oppose oppression. Our values challenge us to view the world through a lens of compassion without judgment. Our values compel us to build compassion within ourselves where we fail to find that compassion with ease. 

Alverno College strives to nurture, promote and protect the academic, personal and professional development of students, colleagues and guests by embracing individual identities. We pledge continual action toward building a safe environment for all members of our community by creating policies and curricula that fortify our ability to value, strive and succeed within and across diverse populations.

The College recognizes that each of us relies on aspects of our personal identities, histories and experiences for self-definition and strength, and that each of us has a right — an imperative — to explore, express and evaluate those identities and experiences in the context of higher education. Our right to this exploration must come without fear of stereotype and discrimination, and it must not be exercised to the exclusion or harm of others. When conflicts arise, we will work to find resolutions that affirm each member’s humanity and value.

In pursuing our personal and professional goals at Alverno, we learn to negotiate and to inhabit the shared spaces that construct not only the college community, but also the workplace and the broader global community, whether we interact in person or online. We accomplish this objective through continual self-assessment (recognizing and critiquing the foundations of our values, beliefs and knowledge) and social interaction (learning to communicate across differences).  

How do we live our commitment to diversity, inclusion and compassion?

  • We promote diverse working and social groups and acknowledge that a peaceful and inclusive community is a shared responsibility. 

  • We focus on observing and developing one’s own abilities and goals.

  • We call upon the common core of all world faith and value systems — compassion — and ask students, faculty, staff and visitors to engage in civil discourse so as to arrive at understanding, if not agreement. 

  • We recognize the challenges of cross-identity communication, thereby committing to a program of study that examines the causes and impacts of cross-identity conflicts and reinforces skills to help us to cross those boundaries peacefully, respectfully and effectively. 

  • We affirm that the disciplines represented within the Alverno curriculum each promote inclusion and diversity among professionals and clients as part of ethical professional conduct.

  • We nurture our commonalities and celebrate our divergences – the pieces of our individual identities that together comprise our powerful and inclusive whole.