Diversity--the heart of our Catholic mission

by Carol Bradley

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

Creating a diverse and inclusive culture

The University’s diversity initiative came out of the work of the President’s Oversight Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, the formation of which was announced in September 2013 in a letter from Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., to campus.

The goal of the committee, chaired by Father Jenkins and including eight other members of the administration, is to ensure that University-wide initiatives are underway and progress is being made in creating a more diverse and inclusive campus community. The committee considers issues around diversity of race, ethnicity, nation of origin, socioeconomic class, gender and sexual orientation.

“We foster a diverse and inclusive community at Notre Dame for many reasons,” said Father Jenkins. “It provides a richer educational environment, enables us to attract and retain a wider variety of talented people and enhances the satisfaction of those who study and work here. All these are important.

“Yet the most important reason goes to the heart of our mission as a Catholic university—we strive to be a community that is welcoming, just and mutually supportive. We learn when we encounter a variety of perspectives and experiences, and we grow when we come to appreciate the gifts of each individual.”

While diversity and inclusion bring benefits to all colleges and universities, Father Jenkins adds, “As a pre-eminent Catholic university, we are part of one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse organizations in the world, and we strive to reflect that diversity—and to make every individual who is part of the University community feel fully welcomed and included.“