MLS Statement on Diversity, Power, & Privilege

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

We believe that large-scale change will require 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.”)

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. 

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

  • Deepening and expanding our capacity to practice self-awareness, recognizing and acknowledging our degrees of privilege and power, giving and receiving feedback, and examining the ways that colonization, implicit bias, and internalized oppression and domination 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 practicing 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.

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 differentiated and interdependent expressions of leadership that systematically address the social inequities, violence, supremacy, oppression, and human suffering in our communities. Effectively addressing these deeply rooted and complex forms of inequity will require leadership practices that are both personal and collaborative, that address immediate impacts and structural change, that draw on the wisdom of multiple ways of knowing, and that attend to relationship, love, and well being.

Learn more about our Multicultural Scholarship


Photo originally uploaded by Bride of Frankenstein