Culture of Belonging

Diversity and Inclusion in a Culture of Belonging

Berry celebrates the increasing diversity of its community, because we believe that a rich variety of voices and ideas makes Berry a dynamic place to live and learn. Distinctive backgrounds and stories enlarge our perspective and contribute to our collective identity.

One of the most important benefits of living with people markedly different from ourselves is that it exposes our unquestioned assumptions and misconceptions. Living 24/7 in a residential college community provides students with opportunities to study, work and play alongside people who we might otherwise never get to know. Navigating differences and disagreements may be uncomfortable at times, but intercultural skills of this sort serve as building blocks for personal and professional success in a complex world. We value our differences precisely because they challenge our personal narratives and provide insight into ourselves as much as others.

For these reasons, Berry aspires to be a place of belonging for students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The college strives to allocate resources in ways that promote personal and professional success for all students. In its diversity and inclusion efforts, the college intentionally holds certain principles and commitments in tension: to provide a supportive and caring home for all students even as it promotes the free expression of competing ideas. Berry’s approach is to embrace this tension with patience, humility, and generosity of spirit.

Diversity of people

We seek members who contribute to the intercultural breadth of our community, especially as it pertains to racial, ethnic and gender identity — as well as socioeconomic background and geography.

Diversity of ideas

We seek members who contribute to the intellectual breadth of our community, especially with respect to interests, abilities, experiences and viewpoints.

Respect for difference

We value the essential dignity of all individuals and strive to establish a culture of belonging in which all members feel at home; we do not accept hostility toward or language that denigrates individuals on matters that define their personhood.

Respect for dialogue

We value freedom of expression and freedom of inquiry as defining attributes of an academic community and believe that candid and caring dialogue about our differences can improve the well-being of our community and its members; we are averse to censuring ideas.

Reporting Complaints and Concerns

Additional Information

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