Center for Diversity & Inclusion

The Center for Diversity & Inclusion at Buena Vista University assists domestic students from diverse populations and international students with the transition to student life by fostering an environment that supports both personal and professional growth.

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About the Center

By developing opportunities for students to learn and understand the importance of multiculturalism, the Center for Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) supports all students in broadening their perspective of diversity. The CDI enhances the visibility and awareness of diversity within our campus community by creating opportunities for students, staff, and faculty to come together for cultural exchange and celebration.

Located in Siebens Forum, the CDI offices are a hub for conversations and activity. The Center works collaboratively with academic and co-curricular departments to enhance student learning, development, and success. Further development of the Center allows us to examine strategic efforts to invite people in the progression of cultural competency, civility, inclusiveness, and identity development.

    The programs and services of the Center for Diversity & Inclusion are designed to:  

    • Assist diverse and international students in reaching their highest level of academic potential and accomplishments.
    • Foster a safe and supportive living and learning environment within which students can explore their own cultural identity.
    • Assist diverse and international students in their endeavor to graduate from Buena Vista University.
    • Help diverse and international students set and achieve realistic career goals.
    • Develop and encourage strong relations and collaboration among diverse group members.
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    Bias Response Team

    A safe and confidential resource for students to raise concerns regarding incidents of bias or discrimination that impact the campus community, creating a supportive environment for students.

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    Diversity & Inclusion Week

    Community engagement opportunities, speakers, activities, and workshops. The week develops cultural awareness and understanding of social justice and disability, cultural humility, advocacy, and more.

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    Diversity Ambassadors

    The Diversity Ambassadors offer support and advocacy for our students and campus community. They are trained faculty and staff and are committed to diversity and inclusion practices.

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    Spiritual Life

    Faith and spiritual practice is an important part of life for many students at BVU. The Chaplain provides religious services, spiritual guidance, and opportunities to connect with others from a range of traditions.

    Defining Diversity

    Diversity refers to differences in views, interpretations, and reactions that result from a variety of personal lived experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from the heterogeneity of cultures and circumstances.  Differing views, interpretations, and reactions that evolve from diversity enrich learning environments focused on preparing individuals to live and work in a global society.  Dimensions of diversity include, but are not limited to, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, philosophy, gender, ability, socioeconomic status, age, and affectional orientation.

    Student Organizations

    Many student organizations at BVU celebrate cultures and promote multicultural engagement! Learn about these student groups and the many fun activities and opportunities they provide for all!

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    CDI Statements

    Statements from the CDI regarding issues of race, diversity, and inclusion.

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    Center for Diversity & Inclusion Staff

    Dr. Joel Berrien, Jr.

    Senior Director for Diversity & Inclusion
    BerrienJ@bvu.edu

    Joanna Chavez DeLeon, M.A.

    Assistant Director for Diversity & Inclusion
    ChavezDeLeonJ@bvu.edu

    Dr. Melanie Hauser

    University Chaplain
    Hauser2@bvu.edu