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Bringing Theory to Practice

Tulane University


Demonstration Site Grant: Community Engagement for Diversity and Inclusion Excellence (CEDIE)

"In the Community Engagement for Diversity and Inclusion Excellence program, students, faculty, and community members will address longstanding and challenging issues within the complex culture and social structure of New Orleans. Participants will grow in their student leadership while contributing to the development of an attitude of inclusion across the university and city. The Community Engagement Advocates (CEA) are a trained a group of students who work with professors and students on cultural sensitivity and inclusive language. Their work will help the Tulane community become more aware of the politics of power, the root historical causes for social issues, and the best practices for determining community needs in an unbiased manner. This awareness and serious attention to understanding the complex web of attitudes and linguistic choices that make people culturally sensitive, will begin to make us conscious of alternative choices in our engagement with the full diversity of our community. Our basic premise is that phobias and “isms”, are socially conditioned and constructed and can be unlearned and deconstructed. In the ever-present goal of shifting public service from paternalistic help to reciprocal engagement, recognizing and challenging inappropriate discriminatory language is key. The work of the Community Engagement Advocates and supporting faculty members will create a more whole campus community that is better prepared for wider engagement. The Community Engagement Advocates work to spread the following ideas across campus, with a particular focus on those students involved in service: • Unlearn hurtful language and unconscious oppression • Develop sensitivity to and awareness of the unique history and culture of New Orleans • Gain particular knowledge and awareness of the major “isms” and phobias: Address the intricate differences and similarities between the dynamics of sexism, homophobia, religious bias, racism, xenophobia, classism, able-ism, and ageism. Over the previous nine months the CEA program has recruited and continues to train 10 student advocates to spread the ideas of inclusion across campus. We continue to work with these students as they engage service learning students and faculty members in dialogues regarding issues of difference."


Program Start-Up Grant: Center for Public Service: Public Service Fellows Program

Tulane established a Center for Public Service Fellows (PSF) that aspired to be a student-focused and learning-centered leadership program which established a culture of engagement, invigorated scholarship, and a renewed commitment to campus-community partnership at Tulane.