Diversity in Muslim Identity
Thursday, February 21, 2013
McCullough Social Space
This event is organized by the Islamic Society of Middlebury College (ISMC). The aim of this event is to promote an authentic depiction of the varied faces of Islam and to show the diversity and the pluralistic nature of the world's second-largest religion. “Diversity in Muslim Identity” encompasses facets such as culture, music, architecture, science, history, environment, poetry and more. The presenters and panel members will consist of ISMC members and professors. The hope is that this event will be informative and will introduce the true characteristics of Islam to the broader Middlebury community.
This event is open to all students, faculty, staff, and off-campus community members.
Our office oversees student life and diversity initiatives at Middlebury College. We work closely with all Middlebury constituencies to ensure that our students, staff, and faculty have the opportunity and the encouragement to participate fully in the campus community.
We are committed to building and maintaining a diverse, inclusive, and vibrant community, representing a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints. Within this community, we strive to create an environment in which mutual respect is paramount and which prizes and nurtures the qualities of openness and the willingness to embrace personal and academic challenges.
In keeping with the College’s commitment to be a model for 21st century liberal arts education, in which learning takes place both inside and outside of the classroom, we work closely with a variety of programs and offices on campus to enrich the intellectual and personal development of all Middlebury students.
Middlebury's Many Voices
Way Beyond Labels
Our students, faculty, and staff come from backgrounds as diverse as there are human fingerprints. There are nearly 4,000 people studying and working here. We come from more than 75 countries and untold numbers of ethnicities, religions, and economic circumstances.
Among us are world travelers, artists, teenagers, grandparents, gays, lesbians, entrepreneurs, activists, ardent peacemakers, cracker-jack mechanics, linguists, scientists, and much more.
At Middlebury our concept of diversity goes way beyond the usual statistics often used to “measure” diversity. Those measures (labels, really) only tell part of the story. It can be tempting to use labels to intellectualize diversity—study it, talk about it, and hold symposiums about it.
But true diversity defies the intellect. It comes, instead, from our willingness to welcome others into our lives and to be challenged by knowing them—and the unique voice they bring to our community adds richness and texture to it.
The Value of Discomfort
Building a welcoming, diverse campus involves more than bringing lots of different people to Middlebury; it involves taking chances:
Even though a campus may become more diverse in terms of the numbers of underrepresented groups present, the level of engagement can still be inconsequential if those representing different viewpoints are not encouraged and supported to express them. . . . And if the wariness about discomfort is stronger than the desire to hear different viewpoints because engaging difference is uncomfortable, then the quest for diversity is hollow, no matter what the demographic statistics on a campus reflect.
— President Ronald D. Liebowitz, Baccalaureate 2007
We will know that we’ve succeeded in reaching our goal of having an openly engaged campus when the members of our community—students, faculty, and staff—can talk about all the issues—even the difficult ones.
Two additions to the Middlebury Web site for 2009 are designed to help visitors better understand the importance of diversity at the College, and to provide easier access to news items, videos and other online content.
At the Web site for the Office for Institutional Planning & Diversity (OIPD), you’ll find a link to a new Flash project that offers visitors — in particular, prospective students, faculty and staff — as well as current members of the community a look at what diversity really means at Middlebury. With words, images, video, music, and slide shows, the new site tells the story of the College’s efforts “to make Middlebury a model of what a 21st century liberal arts institution truly should be—a welcoming learning community—and to build and maintain a diverse and inclusive community.”
Also new for 2009 is an updated “News Headlines” page, accessible from the home page. The page includes not only the most recent headlines, but also links to event schedules, College-related videos, blogs by students, faculty and administrators, other online sources of news from on and off campus, and even the local weather.