Moving Past Theory

Moving Past Theory

Spring 2020

Essay Collection

The CCCU commissioned Diversity Matters: Race, Ethnicity, and the Future of Higher Education to help administrators, faculty, and staff navigate our increasingly diverse campuses. This collection is adapted and updated from several chapters of that book, highlighting some practical examples and personal stories and showing that our member institutions continue to engage this important topic. To purchase copies for your institution at a substantial discount, visit the ACU Press website (enter coupon code CA2020).

Moving from Theory to Practice | Rebecca Hernandez

One of the greatest joys I have experienced in my work is my connection with colleagues across the country who have been similarly called to help lead diversity change in their institutions. Although the challenges are great in these roles, we also find joy because we believe this work brings our campuses closer to fully modeling God’s vision for Christian community, as expressed through the body of Christ on earth.

To illustrate how various parts of the body are contributing to the work of the whole, I called on several outstanding colleagues to share examples of how they are focusing attention on certain aspects of this work in their institutions. Before presenting these examples, I would offer the following cautions about simply attempting to copy these programs without some assessment work of your own campus environment:

  1. Context matters. Each of these efforts has been developed and implemented in a time and place. The mission, ethos, and campus leadership all matter. To make progress, it is important to be aware of the roots that have formed a campus environment, including its values, vision, and mission. What ties Christian higher education together, and differentiates us from secular institutions, is our unique foundational belief in God, the Bible, and the redeeming grace we have received through the death and resurrection of Christ. But there is more to the context than that. For example, at George Fox University, where I currently serve, our Quaker roots emphasize our commitment to peace, justice, and reconciliation work more passionately than perhaps is the case at other institutions.
  2. This work requires tenacity. It is challenging and requires time and perseverance – often over a period of years – to see significant impact and fruit. Some of the summaries that follow reflect on experiences or programs that have been in place for a decade or more, and that “long obedience in the same direction” (to borrow from the title of Eugene Peterson’s book) has allowed for refinements and a long-term impact that has changed the campus culture in significant ways. Developing such programs requires both attentiveness to the realities of a campus culture as well as strategic thinking to move an institution in new, and at times controversial, directions.
  3. This effort requires collaboration. Most of the good work being done does not happen in isolation, but rather by working across and within multiple units on campus. Someone with vision can develop a compelling vision of a better future in a certain area of campus life, and other individuals and units embrace that idea, for the betterment of wider networks within and often beyond the institution.
  4. Assessment is needed. How do we know if these programs are beneficial? Excellent resources and evaluation tools are available and can be helpful both in documenting the impact of specific programs as well as refining and polishing ideas for greater effectiveness in the future. Although the standard assessment tools are important, in the work of diversity, additional perspectives and measures need to be considered. For example, we need to ask questions such as “Whose voice matters most? Is this change good for students and the institution? Are these changes good even if the value isn’t immediately clear to those directly impacted?” An institutional commitment to ensuring that our campuses include and value every individual member (students, staff, and faculty) requires that the impact of specific programs and services be documented.

The following sections illustrate some of the constructive work now underway across Christian college campuses and lessons learned along the way. Each of these programs was developed in response to a perceived need and guided by the passions of individuals who have been tenacious about furthering the work of diversity in a specific dimension of campus life. It is my hope that these models can illustrate various lessons that can be gleaned from the envisioning and implementation processes of multiple related initiatives across other campuses.

Rebecca Hernandez was the associate vice president of intercultural engagement and faculty development at George Fox University (Newberg, OR) at the time of writing. Since the book’s publication, she has become George Fox’s associate provost of local and global engagement and chief diversity officer.

Building Belonging: Fostering Difficult Conversations | Jennifer Shewmaker

As we work through the issue of racial reconciliation within Abilene Christian University (ACU), we have found that fostering honest, open conversation is difficult but vital. The faculty and staff at ACU have not figured it all out, and we continue to struggle with racial tensions, just as our entire country does. But ACU is committed to moving forward, in love and courage, to embrace the unity of Christ together.

ACU, similar to many postsecondary institutions, has an increasingly diverse student body. In five years, we went from about 20 percent identifying as “other than white” to 40 percent identifying as such. While these students have been encouraged to join our community, it is clear that our job does not end with simply achieving a different balance in student demographics. Providing an education that supports the academic and relational success of all students depends on building and maintaining an inclusive campus community, and this means that all members of the community need to feel valued and supported. Because our student body is changing, it is important for ACU, both individual faculty and staff and as an institution, to consider our history as an institution in the South that has aligned with a predominantly white theological tradition, the biases that have permeated our culture, and how these influences affect our students’ ability to benefit from having a sense of belonging on our campuses.

As our student body has changed, it is important for us as faculty and staff to think about what those changing realities mean for us an institution. One of the key issues is the fact that our students of color may not feel a sense of belonging on our campus. It is vital for faculty and staff to understand that our first-year students, already vulnerable due to their age and stage of life, are likely to feel a lack of belonging on campus if they are from underrepresented groups. Faculty, administrators, and staff need to be aware of these dynamics and act intentionally to provide those students with a sense of belonging.

This is also true for new faculty. The first years after receiving a faculty appointment are challenging for almost everyone who enters the profession. However, new faculty from underrepresented groups face unique challenges relating to certain aspects of their identity. One of the problems frequently encountered by non-majority faculty is stress due to subtle discrimination, such as the feeling of having less support than others and a sense of isolation. Faculty of color also tend to experience students’ questioning of their authority and knowledge more than their majority colleagues, and the perception of unequal expectations that create an unequal burden of obligation to work harder than their majority colleagues and prove themselves again and again. Understanding these challenges presented to underrepresented faculty, being willing to openly discuss such challenges, and intentionally providing all faculty with the support they need to thrive is a responsibility that the university has acknowledged and accepted by choosing to make diversity and inclusion a key component of our strategic plan. Figuring out the best ways to make these things happen is a work in progress.

Institutional Context: Important Background for the Work Ahead

Abilene Christian University was founded in 1906 with links to the Churches of Christ and the mission of providing a Christian education for students in West Texas. This heritage has influenced the diversity, or lack thereof, within our community in important ways; it has also presented us with several challenges when creating an environment that contributes to a sense of belonging for all students.

Tanya Smith Brice, Dean of the School of Health and Human Services at Benedict College in South Carolina, notes that the Churches of Christ even today are typically racially segregated, and she argues that this was purposeful from its origins. Attempts at racial reconciliation have been made, both within the Churches of Christ as a whole and within specific institutions such as ACU. For example, in the 1990s ACU’s president, Royce Money, publicly denounced the history of racism within both the Churches of Christ and our university, and asked for forgiveness. Even with these steps, as ACU professor Douglas A. Foster writes in The Story of the Churches of Christ, “there is still much to be done.”

Having established an Office of Multicultural Affairs, an Intercultural Effectiveness Team, and a variety of groups serving multicultural students, ACU has taken significant steps to model a commitment to inclusion. Conversations about race on campus have been ongoing, although much of our work has been within silos, with little coordination. The challenge is developing consistent, connected programming, policies, and actions that support diversity. How do we move from saying we want to provide a place for hard conversations about race, a place of unity, a place of support and belonging for all students to actually doing the hard work to make that happen? And specifically, how can faculty development be a vibrant part of that initiative, given the central role of the faculty in creating a learning climate that feels safe and affirming for all students?

The Adams Center offers programs to support faculty members from underrepresented groups, working to provide equity in opportunity for development as teachers, scholars, and leaders. These conversations also give faculty members from majority groups the opportunity to understand the perspectives of their colleagues. These programs also have implications both in terms of pedagogy and course content as they help faculty provide a welcoming and supportive classroom for all students.

The Adams Center focuses on three key areas to provide training and support regarding diversity and inclusion:

  1. Programming Specifically for Academic Leaders
    The Adams Center’s primary mission, as a center for teaching and learning, necessarily focuses its work on the academic side of the university. Therefore, most of the center’s programming was developed for academic leaders and is related to the importance of diversity and addressing explicit or implicit biases, both institutional and personal, that can undermine efforts to build equity in the classroom. A pilot program, called Blind Spots (based off a core text for the program, Blind Spot: The Hidden Biases of Good People), was developed in the fall of 2014 and implemented for the first time in the spring of 2015. Offered in four 90-minute sessions, the program focused on the topic of implicit bias and how such bias can hinder the success of students and faculty from underrepresented groups. The open, honest, and practical conversations that occurred led to many breakthrough moments of deep, honest sharing among faculty and administrative leaders on our campus.
  2. Sponsored Conversations About Inequity
    The Adams Center regularly hosts open faculty conversations related to books or films that address issues of inequity. Reading and discussing these books together has provided a safe place for open conversation about bias and diversity. For example, as we discussed the idea of stereotype threat in Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do, one faculty participant offered this honest admission: “I didn’t know about stereotype threat; it didn’t occur to me that thinking that others believed something negative about you could impact the way you can perform in class.”
  3. Partnership with Multiple Offices to Provide Sessions for All Faculty
    The Adams Center works with several offices across campus to provide programming to enhance the work of faculty with an increasingly diverse student body:
    • A partnership with the Halbert Institute for Missions, which promotes cultural competency, has allowed us to cohost guest speakers who have addressed a range of issues, from recruiting and retaining minority faculty, to improving campus climate to support faculty and student diversity, to developing practices to build relationships with those from different cultural backgrounds.
    • Working together with the Center for Heritage and Renewal in Spirituality (CHARIS), the Adams Center offers monthly lunch sessions in which faculty consider the ways that our religious tradition has responded to issues of race, gender, and unity and more effective avenues to promote mutual respect and reconciliation.
    • Through our work with the Center for International Education (CIE), faculty members learn of the challenges that international students face on our campus, as well as methods of instruction and classroom management that work most effectively in aiding these students.
    • Our ongoing partnership with ACU’s Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) provides education and support regarding teaching an increasingly diverse student body.

Recommendations Based on Lessons Learned

As we consider the work that has been done to enhance the sense of belonging and engagement on the part of all members of the ACU community, it is clear that although we have made progress in recent years, important work remains to be done. Our campus community values relationships, and programs that build upon our distinct faith heritage and history will be most likely to succeed. Bringing diversity into the strategic plan is a huge component in being able to progress and have the honest conversation about bias that is vital for us to move forward.

Other institutions seeking to develop programming that supports underrepresented groups and expands inclusive environments would likewise benefit from examining their own individual setting, history, and needs. Based on our experience, I offer several recommendations when developing diversity programming. First, contemplate the institutional language and ethos. What kinds of words, narratives, and images connect with those on your campus?

Second, consider the pockets of strength currently within your community. Are there departments, programs, or colleges that have effective diversity programs, either small or large? In what ways are those programs successful? In what ways might you build upon those areas of effectiveness to develop wider programming for the institution? What people across campus are known to be “magnets” for students of color, and what creates that catalytic effect?

Lastly, it is imperative to build partnerships both across the institution, with other similar institutions, and with community partners. The partnership that the Adams Center for Teaching and Learning has developed with the Office of Multicultural Affairs has benefitted both, providing support and opportunities for growth. Establishing partnerships within your own institution can build connections and promote synergy that move the mission of offices, centers, or groups forward.

Jennifer Shewmaker was the executive director of the Adams Center for Teaching and Learning at Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX) at the time of writing. Since the book’s publication, she has become the dean of ACU’s College of Education and Human Services.

Interlocking Crossroads: Starting Conversations About Complex Matters | Yvonne RB-Banks

Going through the steps of being promoted from director to dean on my campus, I have had to reconsider the best approach for addressing the intersections of diversity for people of color working in Christian higher education. After spending 18 years in this context, I am convinced that leaders need to take specific actions to bring about the diversity work that our campuses require. Such work cannot be done in isolation or designated to one person or department. Rather, this work of diversity must incorporate the engagement of many, especially those on the frontlines and at entry points into our Christian institutions.

Leadership in terms of taking on and promoting diversity work is essential to the effectiveness of our efforts, in addition to holding our Christian communities accountable. Our campuses can continue down the same path regarding diversity, putting forth well-meaning efforts, or we can seek a new path that offers ideas for needed change and effective growth. Clearly, an understanding of the impact of diversity on a campus is required if constructive change is to occur. Diversity does not exist in a singular frame; therefore, reconsidering the topic through the lens of intersectionality offers a starting point for conversations that are relevant not only to people of color but to the well-being of Christian colleges and universities.

The three factors that have been valuable to my own continued investment in a sector of higher education that many people of color have found to be lonely, if not unwelcoming, are:

  1. Mentoring to build relationships,
  2. Learning engagements and opportunities for professional development that foster intellectual growth regarding the social context and the impact of diversity, and
  3. Ensuring the presence of resources that are essential to fostering a path of growth tied to a richly diverse campus community.

These three areas have far-ranging application across various sectors of a campus. For example, they impact the work of enrollment management in recruiting students of color, the work of student development in supporting the social/emotional needs of students of color to improve retention, and the work of human resources in hiring and intervention practices that assist in retaining staff, faculty, and administrators of color. Research supports that the responsibility for embracing and affirming diversity needs to be widely owned across any organization if that work is to be successful.

Three Anchors to Support Diversity

Based on my experiences and training over many years, mentor opportunities continue to be one of the most powerful ways to anchor people to an organization. As a new professor entering Christian higher education, I appreciated the support that I received from two individuals, one a peer-mentor and another a senior administrator, who guided me through the early years of my career with measureable outcomes – from director to dean and from the rank of assistant professor to full professor.

The art of mentoring, when designed and embraced well, can be beneficial to both parties. For mentors (as anchors) to be effective in this role, they must be prepared, believe in biblical principles regarding diversity and social justice, and have both training and their own support systems to be effective in addressing the challenges faced by those from diverse backgrounds. The encouragement here is for leaders to understand the importance of their role in promoting formal and informal mentoring across campuses, with particular attention to counteracting some of the isolation that may be initially experienced by people of color upon entering an unfamiliar organizational culture.

Another anchor that proved to be extremely important early in my professional journey was the availability of professional development opportunities. Various initiatives to increase my learning were available not only in my area of scholarship but also in professional experiences that connected me with other administrators of color. These experiences contributed to my willingness to proactively take on more diversity-related work, despite the complexities involved.

A third anchor relates to having confidence that an assurance to diversity work existed along with resource allocation for programming, personnel, and projects. However, while the budget signals what is important to those who hold positions of leadership, money is not the only resource that sends signals. For example, there is much to be gained through developing coalitions and partnerships, and through reaching out to people who have expertise to offer based on their own experiences. Similarly, reaching out to local communities of color and finding ways to affirm expertise and opportunities for equal partnerships can signal that the institution is serious about diversity.

One Person: The Importance of Leadership

As a starting point to developing a campus-based action plan, it is important to have senior institutional leaders who “get it” and are courageous enough to talk about diversity with all its intersections and interlocking complexities. One person, especially someone in a role of institutional leadership, can communicate with conviction and support programmatic steps that create ripple effects that contribute to building a culture of inclusiveness for all community members. What I have witnessed is that leaders who set this tone and embody a commitment to diversity encourage others to do the same. Change efforts are most effective when leaders:

  • articulate a compelling vision for the importance of diversity based on theological and educational convictions;
  • ensure that efforts of planning for diversity campus-wide move beyond comfortable short-term initiatives;
  • set the tone and convey accountability of those given the responsibility for developing various facets of this work;
  • encourage widespread ownership that contributes to campus-wide synergy for change that empowers others to speak about matters of diversity;
  • ensure that those holding specific spheres of responsibility (e.g., student affairs, human resources, academic affairs, chapel/spiritual life) are working to address barriers that have hindered the development of a campus climate that welcomes all students and employees; and
  • provide clear support, both in words and resourcing, for identifying and engaging the tools needed to do the work.

Yvonne RB-Banks was a professor of education at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul (St. Paul, MN) at the time of writing. Since the book’s publication, she continues to serve as an adjunct professor there as well as serve more broadly as a higher education consultant.

Raising Up the Next Generation of Leaders | Glen Kinoshita

The first conference of what was to become known as the Student Congress on Racial Reconciliation (SCORR) took place in February 1996 at Biola University. The original intent was based on the need to create a space for those desiring to connect with others who daily navigated being students of color, as well as those who valued an appreciation for diversity within the context of a predominately white institution. SCORR’s vision is “to be an annual gathering where attendees experience instruction that broadens their perspectives, dialogue that enhances critical thinking, and artistic expression that inspires creativity.”

In the early days, the conference was predominately regional, serving Christian colleges and universities in Southern California. The feel of the gathering was intimate, as conversations addressed topics such as promoting diversity in a Christian context and addressing systemic injustices. Those who yearned for such dialogue found a place where they could be free to explore and think deeply.

As time progressed, the attendee demographics began to shift. Several departments on Biola’s campus, as well as other institutions represented at the conference, began requiring student leaders (e.g., student government, residence life, etc.) to attend SCORR. Many of these student leaders either were new to the conversation or had not given much thought to topics relating to diversity. Because much of the content was unfamiliar, some participants experienced cognitive and emotional dissonance, expressing that they felt confused or guilty when conversations addressed ethnic identity development or framed diversity issues as being systemic in nature. Yet other attendees yearned to go deeper, and sought for ways to implement structural change on their campuses.

As a result, I expanded the conference to utilize a developmental perspective referred to as “sequencing,” which essentially programs according to the current developmental level of the student. Diane Goodman explains this developmental perspective, suggesting “that change occurs through particular sequences. As one’s current perspective or way of being becomes inadequate, this creates a sense of disequilibrium, and the impetus to move to new ways of seeing and being.” Goodman further described the concept of sequencing by citing the work of Harvard scholar Robert Kegan, who identified three phases of growth: confirmation, contradiction, and continuity. By utilizing this sequencing method, we constructed workshop sessions into tracks structured around this model.

The confirmation phase is appropriate for those new to the conversation on diversity. Sessions for those in this phase included introductory concepts of intercultural competence and established why addressing issues of equity and inclusion is important, including the biblical foundations that establish the value of diversity from a theological perspective.

The contradiction phase engages the dissonance that conversations on diversity and justice often evoke. Conference sessions designed for those in the this stage address issues of systemic injustice, such as power and privilege, while also allowing participants to engage in dialogue on topics such as biblical justice, internalized racism, and other forms of oppression. The process used to stretch and challenge participants during the contradiction stage involves integration of thought and emotion in learning, with facilitators carefully managing the affective domain.

In the continuity phase, students are urged to continue the process they started during the contradiction phase. Goodman has described the goal of this step as wanting “to help students integrate and apply their new knowledge and awareness. They are seeking to recreate a sense of equilibrium.” Movement that integrates critical thinking into action and leadership results in the continuation of learning needed in our institutions.

Over the years, I utilized a more collaborative approach that involved the student development deans and directors who sent student leaders to SCORR. We discussed that wherever possible, it is important for students to engage topics of diversity prior to attending SCORR, as well as to debrief afterward, thereby conveying the point that diversity, equity, and inclusion are leadership values.

Another significant element through the years has been the presence of the arts. Music from various cultures, especially as it relates to worship, is embedded throughout SCORR. Other expressions of creativity such as graffiti art, dance, spoken word poetry, and drama are present every year. On average, 15 to 17 Christian colleges and universities from across the country send delegations to SCORR, in addition to attendees from the Biola community, with annual conference attendance now averaging 900 students and staff. The future of SCORR will no doubt encompass sessions for faculty and staff, which will further broaden the scope and impact of the conference.

Glen Kinoshita is the director of Imago Dei initiatives at Biola University (La Mirada, CA). In addition to directing the annual SCORR conference, he engages in faculty development for intercultural competence and serves as adjunct faculty in the department of sociology and the Cook School of Intercultural Studies at Biola.

Changing a Culture: The Fresno Pacific University Samaritan Scholarship Story | Dina Gonzalez-Pina

The story of Fresno Pacific University (FPU) choosing to make “Samaritan Scholarships” available to undocumented students begins in California’s Central Valley. The city of Fresno is a community where the neighboring farmlands are rich and able to produce food for the state, the nation, and the world. In the minds of some Americans, this region is known as the food basket capital of the world.

Although primarily white farmers own the Central Valley that surrounds Fresno, it is the immigrant Hispanic community that works the land, often in 110-degree heat, giving of themselves to produce its crops. Approximately 80% of the labor force in the farm-working community is undocumented; no one with any kind of education, English language skills, or vocational skills would choose to work in this physically demanding agricultural work.

It was in the year 2000 that a group of local high school counselors approached Fresno Pacific University advocating for educational access on behalf of their talented undocumented students. At that time, most California postsecondary institutions would accept undocumented students only if they chose to pay tuition fees as “out-of-state” students, representing a hurdle that was impossible to surmount for some of the most vulnerable and economically impoverished students, who have come to be known as “dreamers.” Although the local public university had invested in these students, most of these students were unable to pursue their career goals unless they were able to secure a scholarship or financially commit to the high cost of education.

What the high school counselors who approached FPU did not know at the time of their request was that FPU had adopted an internal policy in response to California’s concerns over “the browning of America.” The institutional policy at that time asked that if an employee suspected any student of being undocumented, a report was to be made to the administration. How do you move a faith-based educational institution from a place of patrolling and hostility to a place of welcome and embrace? That process required a combination of prayer, relationships, education, negotiation, and lots of patience. It took ethnic Latino staff to cast a new vision that included these students.

In order for this new vision to be implemented, numerous meetings were held within the university, beginning with the admissions team wrestling over this situation that brought together matters related to policy, financial need, and institutional vision. Once the admissions recruiters/directors were in agreement regarding a commitment to support undocumented students to attend FPU, the next step was to move toward convincing a few of the administrative leaders, all of whom were white, to consider the need to provide educational opportunities to those living in the local community.

Making progress on this issue within the institution required several meetings and actively engaging a variety of people in a cross-cultural dialogue and experience. A small number of us (Latino and white) joined a local “Voices of the Valley Tour” directed by the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), an organization that works on issues related to immigration and faith. This tour consisted of encountering the immigrant undocumented farm laborers in their agricultural work settings to hear their hopes and dreams for their children. These workers also shared with the group their challenges in seeking proper documentation with the broken immigration system. Another critical step in moving our institution forward was providing opportunities for key administrators to meet with potential undocumented students, who told stories of personal struggles and racism faced by members of immigrant communities as they sought acceptance and opportunities. One result of those dialogues was a deeper commitment to the university becoming a place of biblical compassion and justice, rather than a place of indifference or judgment regarding their situation.

In 2001, Fresno Pacific University established a program of offering two full-tuition Samaritan Scholarships each year to two students who meet established criteria, in response to the request of the community and the institution’s commitment to its biblical values (see the university website for criteria). The first student to graduate from FPU after receiving this scholarship continued his education at Duke University and now serves as a practitioner in the impoverished farm working community of Firebaugh, California. As of 2017, FPU has graduated more than 50 Samaritan Scholars with degrees in almost all of the 30-plus majors offered at the university. The students who have been supported through Samaritan Scholars funding have a graduation rate of 100% in four years or less. These students have graduated with academic honors and have been some of FPU’s best athletes, musicians, and academic scholars. Many of these Samaritan graduates have continued to complete master’s degrees in fields such as business, social work, education, and chemistry; some have completed doctoral studies in areas of the health sciences. A few have been able to successfully navigate through the legal process and have obtained their residency and citizenship. In the past years, these undocumented students were able to travel abroad with academic cross-cultural programs offered through the university. Over two summers, 20 undocumented students from Fresno Pacific University participated in study abroad programs in Latin America (Colombia and Guatemala).

Living out the scriptural mandate of Matthew 25:35 (“I was a stranger and you took me in,” NHEB), FPU has provided for these students an opportunity to continue their academic dreams, to deepen their spiritual faith, to develop peer relationships, and to be “seen.” For other institutions that might be interested in creating a program like the Samaritan Scholars, what follows is a list of suggested action steps.

First, find out what your campus might already be doing in this area. Meet with the professionals in the admissions office and ask if they have an application process for undocumented students, what resources are available, and whether admissions counselors have been trained and assigned to serve this specific population. Additionally, you might want to ask if your institutional recruiters have developed a relationship/partnership with local immigrant church congregations that serve families with these specific needs.

Second, find out what the authorities in your community are saying to high school students who are undocumented. High school counselors, local ethnic pastors, and local ethnic leaders are positioned to offer helpful guidance in terms of postsecondary institutions that are welcoming of undocumented students. If such students are not considering or currently attending your institution, it might be that they are unaware of their welcome to your campus.

Third, know your state laws as they pertain to funding undocumented students. Although some states have allocated resources (in-state tuition, grants) to support the education of undocumented students, others have not.

Fourth, in conversation with the financial aid director at your institution, be aware of whether aid might be committed to funding scholarships for these students. If there is institutional willingness and concern to support undocumented students, meeting with staff in the advancement office could open doors to donors who have a burden or passion to make higher education accessible to these students. In concert with key institutional leaders, find acceptable ways to pursue the creation of a similar scholarship fund to serve generations of future students.

Dina Gonzalez-Pina was assistant dean of multicultural ministries at Fresno Pacific University (Fresno, CA) and now serves as ethnic and gender equity specialist at the Mennonite Central Committee.