Diverse Perspectives

McKendree University is committed to nurturing a diverse and inclusive environment. We bring together faculty, staff, students and community members from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives to engage in a mutual exchange of ideas and experiences; encourage respect and understanding of human and cultural differences; and embrace many viewpoints. Our mission focuses on seven student learning outcomes, including diverse perspectives.  To achieve this, specific classes within the curriculum focus on issues of diversity, and a variety of activities allow students to experience and celebrate it.

Campus Events

Arts Midwest World Fest: Baladino (Israel)

April 29, 2016

The Hett’s participation in the 10-state World Fest brings another group of exceptional artists to our area for a week long residency. The season’s second World Fest event features Mediterranean folk band Baladino, an Israeli world music ensemble than blends centuries-old melodies and sounds carried to Israel from Spain, Eastern Europe, Turkey, and Arabic countries.  Presented by the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts.

Global Awareness Week

April 2-9, 2016

International Music - Presented by the Campus Activities Board (CAB).

Flag Painting - Presented by the Study Abroad program.

International Reading - Presented by the Holman Library.

Flags and Facts - Presented by the Admission office.

Recycling LL Display

April 4, 2016

Dots and Donuts - Presented by the Study Abroad program.

Plow Sharing Fair Trade Sale Table - Presented by the Center for Community Service.

Fair Trade and Its Global Impacts - Presented by Rich Howard Wills of Plow Sharing.

International Food Sampling - Presented by the International Student Organization (ISO).

Study Abroad Panel - Presented by the Study Abroad program.

Representing China at the United Nations - Presented by the Model UN program.

Red Seder Native American Drums - Presented by the Center for Faith & Spirituality.

April 5, 2016

Global Dress Day

60 Seconds of Service Table - Presented by Residence Life.

Interfaith Conference Presentation - Presented by the Center for Faith & Spirituality.

Global Perspective Domestic Violence Simulation - Presented by the McKendree Young Feminists organiztion.

Haiti Medical Mission - Presented by the Nursing Honor Society.

April 6, 2016

Fresh Food Fundraiser Table - Presented by the Center for Community Service.

Syria - Presented by the Brown Bag Committee.

Tucson/Mexico Spring Break Trip on Immigration Presentation

Jewish Seder Meal in Circuit Riders - The Seder Meal is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of Passover. The Seder involves a retelling of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.  Presented by the Center for Faith & Spirituality.

Connecting Our Community - The SJEC’s initiative to promote knowledge and understanding among all members of the McKendree community about issues of diversity, inclusion, social justice, and equity. SJEC member, Rhoda Warner, will speak on behalf of the SJEC.

April 7, 2016

Why Head Wrap Table - Presented by the Center for Faith & Spirituality.

Half the Sky Part II - Presented by the Holman Library.

Why Head Wrap Conversations - Presented by the Center for Faith & Spirituality.

Betsy Kohen of the St. Louis Mosaic Project - Presented by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

April 8, 2016

Speech & Debate in the Quad - Presented by the McKendree Speech and Debate Teams.

Presentation by Dr. Aurelie Capron, Associate Professor of Spanish

Aasif Mandvi: Distinguished Speaker Series

March 31, 2016

“The Daily Show” correspondent brings his hilarious, skewering perspective on politics and foreign affairs to the Hett. Known for his entertaining and insightful “on location” reporting, Aasif Mandvi has appeared in film and on television, and won an OBIE Award for his one-man play, "Sakina’s Restaurant."  Presented by the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts.


Spring Break Immersion Trip

March 12-19, 2016

The spring break immersion trip will send students and staff to Tucson, AZ and Mexico.  Students will experience the immigration issue from both sides of the border.  They will also eat local cuisine, meet with agricultural workers, have conversations with Border Patrol, ICE, and families affected by immigration.

Sponsored by the The Lyn Huxford Center for Community Service and the Center for Faith and Spirituality.

Straight Outta Compton (2015): Film Art Series

  February 1, 2016

In 1988, a groundbreaking new group revolutionizes music and pop culture, changing and influencing hip-hop forever. Rated R; 150 min.

An informal audience discussion follows the screening. Some films contain adult themes or language and may not be appropriate for everyone.

Presented by the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts.

Humanitarian Awards Reflect Spirit of MLK

January 21, 2016

McKendree University will celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King and give Humanitarian Awards to members and friends of the University community.

The annual awards are given to community members who demonstrate increased understanding and tolerance for all people; embrace humanitarian principles and ideals; and lead or participate in programs or service that reflect these ideals.

Shaquille Armstrong, a sophomore sociology-criminal justice major from East St. Louis, and Roger “Mitch” Nasser, director of residence life at McKendree, will be recognized for their outstanding work to promote understanding and diversity on campus. Given annually, the award honors those in the campus community who demonstrate understanding, acceptance, humanitarian principles and ideals, and the philosophy of nonviolent social change advocated by Dr. King.

The event will feature music and a dramatic interpretation of excerpts from several of King’s speeches, by the Reverend Ranodore Foggs, director of public safety at McKendree and pastor of New Horizons Church in East St. Louis. A reception will follow.

Japan (Technos College): A Cultural Experience of a Lifetime (Brown Bag Presentation)

December 2, 2015

Arts Midwest World Fest: Aysenur Kolivar (Turkey)

October 22, 2015

The Hett is the only Illinois venue to participate in the 10-state World Fest, as over the next two years exceptional artists from all over the world will spend a week working and performing in our community. In the first of two World Fest performances this season, Turkish folk songstress Aysenur Kolivar explores the music and traditions of her Black Sea heritage.  Presented by the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts.

Jesus Nebot: “Illegal” Immigration: Humanitarian Solutions (Brown Bag Presentation)

October 14, 2015

Presented by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Internalized Racism and the Role it Plays on Reality Television by Traci Easley Williams (Brown Bag Presentation)

September 30, 2015

Presented by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Nicaragua Immersion Trip (Brown Bag Presentation)

September 16, 2015

Presented by the Center for Community Service and the Center for Faith and Spirituality.


Popcorn & Empowerment: Discussion & Clips on Women's Oppression 

March 26, 2014

Popcorn and Empowerment Film:  Half the Sky:  Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women - According to PBS, Half the Sky was filmed in 10 countries and follows Kristof, WuDunn, and celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union, and Olivia Wilde on a journey to tell the stories of inspiring, courageous individuals. Across the globe oppression is being confronted, and real meaningful solutions are being fashioned through health care, education, and economic empowerment for women and girls. The linked problems of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality - which needlessly claim one woman every 90 seconds - present to us the single most vital opportunity of our time: the opportunity to make a change. All over the world women are seizing this opportunity.

Due to viewing rights, this event will be showing film clips and discussing oppression of women worldwide.  Some issues being discussed will include healthcare, education, human trafficking, and economic opportunity. 

Unaccompanied Minors, Human Trafficking and Immigration - Some immigrants are forced to migrate from their country of origin.  At this presentation, we will hear stories of working with migrants as well and information on unaccompanied minors as many children are fleeing gang violence in Central America.  If they do not leave home, they will be forced to join gangs or be killed, so instead they flee to the United States alone.  Once they are here, policies may strip them of their ability to tell their story and receive asylum status. In this case, they are sent back to their home country to face gangs.


Interfaith SymbolsGlobal Awareness Week

March 22-29, 2015

Global Art - Touching art will be displayed on campus to get students thinking about culture, global issues, and raise awareness.

Free the Girls Human Trafficking Collection - “Women and girls comprise at least 80% of the world’s trafficking victims, and up to 50% are minors.  They are exploited in fields and brothels, in homes and conflicts, and in factories and fisheries. More women are being pushed out of developing countries due to economic, familial, and societal pressures – becoming ever more vulnerable to modern slavery,” so, WOW, in conjunction with APO (maybe) will be collecting bras for Free the Girls, a non-profit organization that provides job opportunities for survivors of sex trafficking by collecting gently used bras to donate to women as starting inventory for their own business selling the bras.

Interfaith Service Day by Campus Ministries - McKendree will be joining The Center for Service and Community Engagement, along with the Interfaith Alliance at SLU for a day of service on Saturday, March 22. The day will begin in Boileau Hall and after our time of service, an after-party featuring multicultural music, reflection, discussion and lunch catered by several local multicultural restaurants will be provided upon returning to Boileau Hall.

Global Views of Human Rights in the United States - The United Nations Human Rights Council has a new monitoring process called the Universal Periodic Review. Every member of the UN, including the US, now goes through a peer review process evaluating the state of human rights in their country. Come and see how the world both praises and criticizes the US for its human rights record. Analyzing this review illustrates both how understandings of human rights conflict and how the US plays an ambiguous role in developing human rights norms.

Study Abroad Flag Planting by Study Abroad - Pick up a flag from a country close to your heart in the Study Abroad Office and plant it at the Peace Pole.

International Student Panel by Diversity and Multicultural Affairs - International students from the campus will share their thoughts and experiences on the benefits of studying in a foreign land and why domestic students should consider studying abroad.  Students will show the geographical locations of their countries; talk a little about some of the customs and culture of their lands.  They will also leave time for questions and answers at the end.

Global Economic Freedom - This event will report on the current levels of economic freedom around the world.  Focus will be on the connection between the level of economic freedom and the level of economic wellbeing, life expectancy, political rights, and civil liberties. Special attention will be given to the changing status of the United States in the rankings.  Information for this session is from the 2013 and 2014 report of Economic Freedom of the World by the Fraser Institute.

Peace Museum - Gateway to Peace Museum introduces the concept of peace to children through play and engagement.  What a wonderful time to be promoting peace. Peace for Me, Peace for Us, Peace for Everyone and Peace for the Planet. Peace will be expressed in several ways to the students from the Lebanon Grade School. They will explore peace stations staffed by McKendree students, faculty and staff volunteers for several hours. Use this opportunity to teach and give public service to the Lebanon Elementary School Children in a positive way!

Environment Around the World - Human impact on the natural environment has dramatically increased since the industrial revolution in the West.  Global economic development in the contemporary period has lifted millions out of the most extreme poverty but has also contributed to increasing stress on the natural environment.  Environmental problems can no longer be understood as local, as issues like climate change and species extinction affect the entire biosphere.  The presentations from students examine important environmental issues around the world, looking at both the problems and potential solutions.

Why Cover: Exploring Sacred Head Coverings - Opportunities to learn about and wear head coverings for a day.  Scarfs and other materials will be provided free or for nominal cost.

Exploring Global Poverty - Students from the SOC 240-Cross Cultural Practicum will discuss their recent alternative spring break service learning trip to Morant Bay, Jamaica.

Jewish Seder Meal - Join us for a Jewish Seder Meal experience led by Rick Kodner, President of the Jewish Federation.  This will include a light supper with a limited number of seats with reservations. Please R.S.V.P. if you are interested in attending.

Global Health and Humanitarian Work - Erin Hempen is the founder of the humanitarian organization "With Change in Mind”. She has been coordinating projects in Malawi, Africa for seven years.  Erin will address nutrition and malaria in the areas the organization serves. She will share her experiences, the benefits and drawbacks of humanitarian work, as well as strategies to overcome obstacles. She is also willing to discuss the process of embarking on a humanitarian trip, how to find an organization that is the right fit, and any other questions interested person might have.


SelmaSelma (2015): Film Art Series

March 18, 2015

Chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernays SELMA tells the real story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history.

In addition to the Selma screening, co-star of the film, Colman Domingo (Rev. Ralph Abernathy in the film) will be on campus for the day.  Domingo has appeared in many films, including Lincoln and The Butler.  He was nominated for a Tony for his work in The Scottsboro Boys.  Domingo will participate in a master class for McKendree Theater students and take questions after the screening of Selma.


Vernon WallOne Better World: Privilege, Identity, and Social Justice Presentation

February 23, 2015

Keynote speaker, Vernon Wall, will present to students on how to create "one better world."  The journey begins with you.  Come learn how your identities influence all you do and how you can use this knowledge to become agents of change on campus and in our world. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere!”  Follow-up conversations with students will be facilitated by faculty and staff.


Creating a Campus Culture Committed to Social Justice & Equity

February 23, 2015

Faculty and staff are invited to participate in an interactive workshop on inclusion led by nationally known speakers Vernon Wall and Kathy Obear.

As a result of participating in this session attendees will:

•   Receive some introductory key concepts and theory on social justice and inclusion

•   Examine the concepts of identity groups and privilege in our society

•   Use an “Inclusion Lens” to engage in dialogue about the current culture and climate

•   Use a 6-phase model to assess the degree of social justice and inclusion

•   Identify specific activities that support movement to becoming a more socially just campus

•   Develop a process to sustain conversations on organizational change


MLKHumanitarian Awards Reflect Spirit of MLK

January 22, 2015

McKendree University will celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King and give Humanitarian Awards to members and friends of the University community.

The annual awards are given to community members who demonstrate increased understanding and tolerance for all people; embrace humanitarian principles and ideals; and lead or participate in programs or service that reflect these ideals.

We will also be hearing from McKendree’s own Gospel Choir and Sister Thea Bowman Liturgical Dancers.


David MartineauDavid J. Martineau, Guest Speaker at the Teaching for Excellence Workshop for Faculty

January 6, 2015

Guest speaker, David J. Martineau will speak to faculty at the Teaching for Excellence Workshop about effective communication in the classroom about difficult topics (e.g. Conversations about Diversity).

Forum on Understanding Ferguson and McKendree at the Holman Library

December 5, 2014

There are as many ways to view the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson on August 9, 2014 as there are opinions on race, poverty, police, the justice system and the rule of law. This guide attempted to provide resources to understand and foster discussion of the Ferguson shooting from all perspectives as well as inform the debate with the historical and demographic history of Ferguson and the St. Louis area.  The goal of the forum was to provide a safe, civil space to discuss how we are dealing with recent events in the area and on campus. Dr. Bill Haskins, a McKendree Professor Emeritus of Speech Communications, moderated the discussion.


Confront the Roots Presents Race and Diversity

November 18, 2014

Students discussed cultural diversity and participated in an open dialogue "McKendree Speaks" forum.

Panel Discussion on Ferguson and the McKendree Campus Climate

November 3, 2014 

Students, faculty and staff gathered for a meaningful discussion on the effects of the events of Ferguson on the McKendree campus climate.  The panel discussion focused on issues of race relationships and what we can do as a community to build a healthy campus for all who are a part of our community.


100% Bearcat March

October 30, 2014 

The 100% Bearcats program was a student led initiative to promote an environment of inclusion on McKendree’s campus regardless of race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, creed, and socioeconomic status.  Students marched through campus carrying signs that had various identities, with the last identity stating that they are 100% Bearcat.


Marjane SatrapiMarjane Satrapi: Distinguished Speaker Series

October 27, 2014

Marjane Satrapi spoke to the community as part of the Hett's distinguished speaker series.  The Iranian born graphic novelist and filmmaker rose to international prominence with her acclaimed autobiographical work, “Persepolis.”

Colin GordonAuthor Uses Maps to Analyze Decline and Inequality

October 21, 2014

Author and University of Iowa history professor Colin Gordon discussed “Mapping Decline: St. Louis, Ferguson and the Fate of an American City.”


Shaped By Fire BookBrown Bag: Courtney Logan "Shaped By Fire"

October 1, 2014

Courtney Logan, attorney, author and McKendree Alumnus, discussed his new book "Shaped By Fire." It is a biographical sketch of his life growing up in East St. Louis and experiences there, here at McKendree, at SLU Law School and beyond.

CandlelightCandlelight Community Interfaith Peace March

September 22, 2014

The Candlelight Community Interfaith Peace March was held in partnership with McKendree University, the City of Lebanon and the Lebanon Police Department.  Citizens gathered at the Entryway Monument for singing from a community choir and short messages from McKendree Public Safety Director Ranodore Foggs, Member of Student Government Christin Austin, and Lebanon Chief of Police Scott Abbott.  Participants then marched the campus perimeter to six stations where students, staff, Lebanon community people shared short prayers or messages on peace.  The event concluded at the Peace Pole with closing remarks and reflections.


Callie CrossleyCallie Crossley: Distinguished Speaker Series

September 16, 2014

The distinguished journalist and radio host from Boston speaks across the nation on topics of race, gender, politics and the media hit the stage as part of the Hett's Distinguished Speaker Series. Crossley was McKendree’s Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow from the Council of Independent Colleges.

Brown Bag: Why 'All Hell Broke Loose' in Ferguson, Missouri

September 3, 2014

A discussion and presentation was led by Dr. Ann Collins about what happened, why it happened in Ferguson, and what we can do in response?

Discussion on the
Events in Ferguson, Missouri

August 24, 2014

Courtney LoganGuest speaker, Courtney Logan, led a discussion on recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, focusing on the death of Michael Brown, race relations in North County, and the history of race segregation and discrimination that led to the death of Brown.  Courtney, who graduated from McKendree with degrees in Philosophy and Speech Communication and then received his JD from SLU, is now a practicing attorney at Lashly & Baer, P.C and also teaches at the SLU Law School.  Courtney brought with him Larry Thomas, who runs a youth organization in Washington Park.  Courtney shared his experiences as an African-American man who has experienced discrimination and he led the group who attended in discussing events in Ferguson.  The event took place at the Holman Library.