DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION AT VILLANOVA
At Villanova, we believe that diversity is at the heart of all teaching and learning experiences. Whether student, staff or faculty, we know that to grow is to broaden perspectives and develop new insights on the world. A complete Villanova education must include active involvement with communities outside the walls of our classrooms and an exploration of new relationships within our own community. We are committed to forging relationships across and through lines of difference. I invite you to explore these pages and to share your thoughts on how we can continue to enhance Villanova’s diversity initiatives.
Teresa A. Nance, PhD (She, Her, Hers)
Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Chief Diversity Officer
Professor, Department of Communication
STATEMENT OF ANTIRACISM
Villanova University, as a Catholic Augustinian institution of higher education, knows that the work of antiracism is essential to the creation of a living, learning and working community where all can thrive. Our institution is rooted in the belief that all persons are made in the image and likeness of God, the source of human dignity. We are restless in our pursuit of racial justice. We call on all people of goodwill to draw upon their own sources of wisdom and justice to join in an individual as well as a collective effort against racism, prejudice and injustice.
The work of antiracism is a prophetic challenge that asks each individual to examine habits and patterns of behaviors that privilege one group over another and to pursue individual and communal transformation. Antiracism also requires that we challenge any action and condemn any silence in institutional and educational policies, organizational structures or traditions that maintain or extend violence against, or oppression of, any minoritized group. We are called to do no less.
Veritas: We are committed to learning what we do not know about issues confronting Black and minoritized members of our community. As an academic community and as a moral community, we realize that racism – its ideology, assumptions, structures and impact – must be examined critically, submitted to rigorous debate and review and ultimately dismantled.
Unitas: We are committed to building an equitable community by ensuring that our community is racially and ethnically diverse and inclusive. We recognize that this means an equally strong commitment to ensure that all new community members, but especially our Black and minoritized members, feel welcome. The strength of our community will be measured by our willingness and openness to engage one another across and through the lines of difference, including national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, age, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnic, and other differences as they intersect with issues of race.
Caritas: We are committed to the well-being of one another, regardless of our similarities or our differences. Caring means that we strive every day to ensure all members of our community feel celebrated and respected. We recognize our responsibility to respond empathically to the needs of others with fairness and justice.
Villanova University, as a Catholic Augustinian institution of higher education, recognizes diversity as an integral component of the teaching and learning experience and as an essential element of the ongoing intellectual, social and spiritual development of every member of the Villanova community.
Accordingly, Villanova University will be a diverse community. We commit ourselves to cultivating an academic environment marked by genuine curiosity about different perspectives, ardent receptivity to knowledge generated through intercultural connections and a genuine sensitivity to the variety of human experiences marked by domestic and global differences.
LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND ACTIONS
We acknowledge that Villanova sits on the unceded land of the Lenni Lenape people. We acknowledge the Lenape community, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations. We acknowledge their spiritual, emotional and physical connection to the land, their contributions, and struggles. They are an important part of our history, and we should honor them.
As shared by Dr. Cutcha Risling Baldy, Land Acknowledgments are so much more than just acknowledging the land that you occupy--they require us to act. Consider an actionable step that you can take to support Indigenous people.
Start working to return Indigenous land. Decolonization is not a metaphor; returning the land to those it was stolen from is the actual goal. There are a number of steps to make this happen.
Commit to paying an Honor Tax. An Honor Tax is a voluntary tax paid to the Indigenous tribe’s territory you occupy as a way of recognizing that the society that has been created around you is a result of the theft of Indigenous land, life, wealth, and livelihood.
Decolonize your language. Dr. Risling Baldly shares we can do this by, "renaming and using Indigenous languages a lot in spaces. I think we’ve been taught for far too long that our languages are very weird or foreign, and it actually spreads the message to our own people, our own youth, that somehow our languages are inaccessible. Because they’re not seeing it every day or everywhere."
OFFICES & GROUPS
Villanova's Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion serves as a centralized resource for the University community. But a wide variety of academic programming, curricular initiatives and groups in the diversity, equity and inclusion space are active within our Colleges and across our University.
Ensuring our community members have access to basic care is central to our mission. We have a list of inclusive restrooms which any person is welcome to use. These restrooms are especially useful for many different people, including parents with children, people who may require the accompaniment of a caregiver, Transgender and Gender Non-conforming people, people using assistive mobility devices, or people who simply would prefer additional privacy.
Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women's Leadership
- Office of Intercultural Affairs
- International Students Services Office
- Office of Disability Services
Events focused on topics surrounding and supporting diversity, equity and inclusion take place across campus throughout the academic year, including these notable annual events:
This day of service celebrates the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday by bringing the Villanova community together to improve lives, bridge social barriers and move our nation closer to the "Beloved Community" that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned. There are opportunities for members of the University community to volunteer throughout Greater Philadelphia and on our campus.
Fall Festival is regarded as the largest university student-run Special Olympics event in the world led by Villanova University's Special Olympics Committee.
Villanova hosts an annual Freedom School in January in observance of the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom School sessions may cover a variety of topics, such as immigration, the possibilities and challenges of globalization, the rule of law and respect for human rights, affirmative action, education and social justice, peacemaking and peacekeeping, nonviolence and nonviolent social change, and the sins of racism and white supremacy.
One Book Villanova is a distinctive educational program that engages all segments of the campus community – students, staff and faculty – in activities presented throughout the academic year which explore dominant themes presented in a selected book.
VU Pride is a group of students, faculty and staff working together to foster awareness and celebration of LGBTQ+ identities on campus. VU Pride offers an array of programs and community builders through the year, primarily planned by students in VU Pride. Programs typically include an LGBTQ+ Awareness Week in the Fall and a Pride Week each Spring. In addition, VU Pride hosts a number of educational and social opportunities through the year for VU Pride members, open to all.
DID YOU KNOW?
NOVA NOOK is a safe space where students can access essential items such as toiletries, non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies and other necessities.
The AFFORDABLE MATERIALS PROJECT is a University-wide collaboration between the bookstore, Falvey Library, CASA and the Office of the Provost, to provide faculty and student with information about affordable options for course materials.