A Treatise on Diversity in a Dominant Culture University

By Brenda Morton, Linda Samek, Anna Berardi, Debby Espinor, Steve Song, Waneen Aden White, Amy Dee and Stephen Bearden.

Published by The International Journal of Diversity in Education

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The authors examine progress in strengthening the Diversity agenda in a school of education within a private Christian university. This agenda is informed by external academic accrediting organizations and principles of social justice congruent with the historical roots of the university. Special emphasis is placed on the unique challenges of confronting how privilege manifests itself in seemingly homogeneous environments. The ultimate goal of the authors is to promote moving beyond cosmetic compliance with accreditation obligations towards a metabolized second order change reflecting internal paradigm shifts in which social justice is a central motivating factor in one’s vocation.

Keywords: Christian, diversity, education, marginalization, privilege, social justice, university.

The International Journal of Diversity in Education, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp.105-117. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 402.039KB).

Brenda Morton

Assistant Professor, School of Education, George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon, USA

Brenda is an assistant professor in the Masters of Arts in Teaching Department in the School of Education at George Fox University.

Dr. Linda Samek

Dean, School of Education, George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon, USA

Linda is the Dean of the School of Education at George Fox University. She is currently serving as the School of Education Diversity Committee facilitator and is a member of the University Diversity Committee. She regularly works internationally in China and East Africa and has interests in peace and reconciliation initiatives as well as women’s issues around the world. Linda is currently teaching a senior capstone course at George Fox titled “The Majority World and the West” where she and her students are exploring diversity issues and the responsibility of Americans at home for engaging in both local and global issues of poverty and repression. Linda earned an EdD in Educational Leadership from Portland State University.

Dr. Anna Berardi

Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy, School of Education, Graduate Department of Counseling, George Fox University, Portland, Oregon, USA

Professor of marriage and family therapy in the School of Education at George Fox University. She is a practicing psychotherapist and a local and international disaster relief volunteer. Her academic interests include gender role dynamics and its influence on intimate relationships. Anna’s work emphasizes an ecosystemic view of relational health, grounded in principles of fidelity (trustworthiness) and mutuality informed by ethics of care and social justice as one engages in relationship with self, other, and the physical environment. She invites students to explore how various social systems, including faith-based communities, can undermine or facilitate these processes. Anna earned an MA and a PhD in marriage and family therapy, as well as an MA in theology.

Dr. Debby Espinor

Assistant Professor of Education, School of Education, George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon, USA

Assistant Professor of Education at George Fox University. She also is the director of the Elementary Degree Completion Program for Adult learners. Her research interests include the calling and vocation of prospective teachers, faith development, and cross-cultural partnerships.

Dr. Steve Song

Assistant Professor of Education, School of Education, George Fox University, Newberg, OR, USA

Assistant Professor of Education at George Fox University. His research interests include immigration, race, ethnicity, and international education policy. He earned a MEd and EdD from Harvard University Graduate School of Education, as well as an MA in teaching English as a second language from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to his work at George Fox University, Steve worked as a middle and high school teacher in China, South Korea, and the United States.

Prof. Waneen Aden White

Assistant Professor of Education, School of Education, George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon, USA

Assistant Professor of Education at George Fox University. Previously, Waneen taught in the ESOL/Bilingual endorsement program at Western Oregon University. She has taught pre-kindergarten through university level students in the United States and overseas. Waneen’s areas of expertise include second language acquisition; intercultural rhetoric and biliteracy; and diverse student populations. Her current focus is on facilitating cross-cultural engagement in both the Teacher Education program at George Fox University and in her volunteer work. Waneen earned an MA in education from the University of Connecticut at Storrs.

Dr. Amy Dee

Assistant Professor, School of Education, George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon, USA

Amy is an assistant professor within the Master of Arts in Teaching Department of the School of Education at George Fox University.

Dr. Stephen Bearden

Assistant Professor, School of Education, Graduate Department of Counseling, George Fox University, Salem, Oregon, USA

Steve is an assistant professor of marriage and family therapy in the School of Education at George Fox University.