Welcome to the Power, Culture, Justice, and Belonging On & Off Campus Conversation Series
An introduction to the four-part series hosted by the CPGC, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the Quaker Affairs Office.
Power, Culture, Justice, and Belonging On & Off Campus is a conversation series born of the ongoing struggle for more just and inclusive community(-ies), on campus, off campus, and around the world. It is an invitation to Haverford student, staff, and faculty communities to sit with our shared tensions in this work, to see those tensions more clearly, and to get to know one another in shared community. It is also an invitation to propose next steps together, for this year or next, for implementation now, or for radical re-visioning en route to an as-yet-unimagined, better tomorrow.
The Center for Peace and Global Citizenship staff worked with CPGC student associates, faculty partners, and other staff members across campus, including repeated collaborations with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Quaker Affairs, to co-create this series. Its aim is to bring us into deeper engagement with one another, to explore critical questions together, and to identify the different kinds of agency we all have in respect to our next steps. The series follows a chronological logic, though we do encourage anyone to join any conversation at any time, and we do not believe that someone needs to have attended prior conversations in order to take part. It is, in many ways, a series that invites us into critical global citizenship conversations.
The series begins with on-campus challenges of building inclusive community, and the ways in which power, privilege, positionality, and whiteness intersect with CPGC and CPGC-affiliated identities. Following that first session (January 27), our conversation on February 10 will focus on the ways in which power, privilege, and positionality shifts across contexts off-campus, both nearby and around the world. Understanding and continuously re-evaluating our own identities across context(s) is an essential component of social change work, and our third session (February 24) considers models of social change at the organizational and individual level. Finally, in session four (March 16) we ask the question: what do higher education institutions have to do with social change work, and how might they need to be reimagined to contribute to that work more boldly?
All members of the Tri-Co community are welcome throughout these sessions, which will take place 6 – 7:30 pm on the Mondays mentioned above, in the Bryn Mawr Room of the Haverford College Dining Center. Upon reflection, CPGC staff feel it is important to share the page below, which is the introduction of the document that led to the creation of the CPGC. The document was authored during 1999, drawing from a broad range of faculty, staff, and students, and first shared in the year 2000, when the CPGC was founded.
CPGC Founding Vision (Excerpt, Year 2000, italics added in 2020)
After several years of discussion and a growing sense of the expanding opportunities implicit within our faculty coupled with much reflection on how Haverford's special educational mission can respond to the challenges faced by the human family, the College has embarked upon a plan to establish a new and forward looking Center for Peace and Global Citizenship. As an educational institution founded upon Quaker principles, we believe that this Center will serve as an appropriate vehicle for carrying the message of our collective history forward, providing an appropriate focus for our intellect, energy, and compassion. As a community of higher learning, we are committed to the necessity of preparing our students to live in a world, which though politically divided, has become inextricably interconnected and united. It is, therefore, imperative that Haverford enters this new world by helping our students acquire the global perspective that they will need to live and work on the planet Earth in the twenty-first century. And we understand this global perspective to be not just “multicultural” or “international” but also expressive of the fact that global issues are, fundamentally, local issues that are subject to differing cultural articulations and interpretations.
We propose, therefore, to help our students grow into global citizens who, irrespective of their careers, will devote their lives to the pursuit of global peace both in their own backyards and overseas. The skills of global citizenship remain to be discovered, defined and debated by the work of the new Center. However, we are clear that, central to the enterprise of global citizenship, is a clear understanding and appreciation of the complexity of human diversity and the requirements of multi-cultural dialogue. The solutions to our shared problems must be understood in terms of diversity and approached through a communication process that is open and interactive.
The Center for Peace and Global Citizenship will advance the role of integrated learning at the College -learning that is both multidisciplinary and experiential. Thus, the Center will have two primary goals. First, it will foster interdisciplinary work by linking the various academic divisions in a common enterprise. Second, that enterprise will be outward looking both in its intellectual focus and in its concern with connecting faculty and students to individuals and organizations outside the Haverford community. Thus the Center will: link faculty in new ways both within departments, across departments and Divisions, help integrate existing programs with new ones, and provide a mechanism for establishing broader connections between the College, its local communities and the world at large. And this linking will lead to a pervasive exchange of people and ideas and an ongoing interaction between study and action uniting the process of learning with the processes of civic participation on a global scale.
The Center will accomplish these objectives by supporting a set of programs that will integrate the role of global citizenship into the daily life of the College. These programs, which will include both residential and internship programs for students, academics and practitioners, will generate the social conditions for both an ongoing, intense discussion of the responsibilities of global citizenship in this new century and provide a host of opportunities for exploring how to be a global citizen on campus, in our local communities and overseas.
Haverford's Center for Peace and Global Citizenship will create a forward-looking educational program that distinguishes the College both nationally and internationally as a significant force for global education. And this new Center will provide the College with avenues to expand and refocus its curriculum and community in ways that will enhance the classroom experience and the value of a Haverford degree.