Religion and Diversity

Allegheny College Statement of Community

Allegheny students and employees are committed to creating an inclusive, respectful and safe residential learning community that will actively confront and challenge racism, sexism, heterosexism, religious bigotry, and other forms of harassment and discrimination. We encourage individual growth by promoting a free exchange of ideas in a setting that values diversity, trust and equality. So that the right of all to participate in a shared learning experience is upheld, Allegheny affirms its commitment to the principles of freedom of speech and inquiry, while at the same time fostering responsibility and accountability in the exercise of these freedoms.

As Allegheny students confront an increasingly diverse world, nowhere is that diversity more evident than in religion. Neighbors today may as easily be Buddhist as Baptist, Muslim as Methodist; in addition, more and more people claim no religious affiliation. These differences produce conflict over such hot button issues as race, sexual orientation, and abortion, both between and within religious communities.

At Allegheny College, we take seriously the challenge of creating a community of respect around these differences, and recognize that diversity itself is integral to both academic excellence and the holistic development we espouse. Each person and department is asked to commit to the College’s Statement of Community and to consider its specific application for our work.

For Spiritual, Religious and Personal Well-Being, the Statement of Community means we do not shy away from difficult conversations around sexual orientation, abortion, inherent racism in religious traditions and institutions, or conflicts that arise within a religiously diverse society. Instead we continue to seek productive means of engagement – not for the purpose of changing or silencing each other, but of hearing each other with honesty, openness, and sometimes with pain, while being willing to confront our own biases. We further commit ourselves to campus anti-racism conversations, using the Roadmap for Addressing Systemic Racism & Racial Injustice at Allegheny College.

Through such encounters, we hope to make Allegheny a community of safety and hospitality for persons of all identities and beliefs, and to equip students with the tools to engage in such conversations when they leave here.