MSLS Statement on Diversity, Power, & Privilege

The MSLS program is committed to creating conditions for all life to thrive over the long-haul.   

At the heart of this commitment is our dedication to cultivate meaningful and reciprocal relationships across difference; engage with tension as a generative resource; hold space for multiplicity, ambiguity, and incommensurability; deeply examine systems and structures of power and privilege; and use our individual and collective power/privilege to intervene and catalyze change.

Healthy ecological systems naturally foster increasing differentiation and complexity over time.  Furthermore, diversity is the raw material for a system to adapt or evolve in response to changing conditions. We believe that a thriving planet will require systemic leadership efforts to address the social inequities, violence, supremacy, oppression, and human suffering in our communities.  We believe that effectively addressing issues of inequity and injustice calls for leadership practices that are both personal and collaborative, that address immediate impacts and structural change, and that interrupt violence and attend to love and well being. We believe that large scale change will require significant shifts in human consciousness as well as a commitment to intersectionality and solidarity (in the words of Sayra Pinto, “It is not enough to  care about what matters to me.  We must also care about what others care about.”)

As we continue learning and practicing our way toward our aspiration, the MSLS community is committed to the following practices:

  • Deepening and expanding our capacity to practice self-awareness, recognize and acknowledge our degrees of privilege and power; give and receive feedback, and examine the way that colonization, implicit bias, and internalized oppression show up in our habit patterns;
  • Building capacity to step into our unique potential and use our privilege and power to benefit the health and well-being of the systems that we inhabit;
  • Attending to the impacts of historical and present day forms of colonization, oppression, supremacy, violence, and trauma;
  • Learning and continuously exploring how we might most actively and effectively participate (internally and externally) in anti-oppression and decolonization efforts.

*This is a working document that will be continuously updated and revised as we learn (and unlearn) our way further along this journey.  

Learn more about the new DeHayes Multicultural Scholarship

Photo originally uploaded by Bride of Frankenstein