Olympic College recognizes that in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world, the critical examination of difference, power, and equity is an essential part of any education. The Diversity & Social Justice requirement at Olympic College provides such an opportunity through a range of coursework that prepares students to lead responsibly with critical tools and skills for examining topics including but not limited to race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, and sustainability.

Leading with Diversity & Social Justice

The Diversity & Social Justice requirement at Olympic College is grounded in two distinct though interconnected concepts. 

Diversity: Social differences based, for example, on race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, ability, religion, and nationality. These differences may be reflected in historical experiences, cultural traditions, and overall ways of making meaning. Diversity is important to the Diversity & Social Justice requirement’s goal of recognition, respect, and perspective-taking. 

Social Justice: Building society in accordance with the principles of equity. This involves eliminating injustices when differences are sorted and ranked in a hierarchy that unequally confers power, resources, and institutional and cultural validity to social groups based on their location in that hierarchy. Social justice is important to the Diversity & Social Justice requirement’s goal of being conscious of and challenging historical legacies and institutional patterns that structure social relations inequitably.

In our view at Olympic College, diversity and social justice are inextricably bound together. Without valuing diversity, there cannot be an effective means to address issues of inequity and injustice. Without addressing injustice, we cannot value diversity.

Knowledge: Students will produce and demonstrate knowledge about systems of power that shape diverse life experiences.

Consciousness: Students will become lifelong learners through the development of a critical consciousness that connects the personal, individual life story with sociohistorical context.

Collaboration: Students will be better equipped to foster an effective record of collaboration and conflict resolution across social and cultural differences.

Action: Students will challenge inequities, become effective change agents, and/or advocate on behalf of the strengths of cultural and social differences through various forms of action and engagement.

Courses that meet the Diversity & Social Justice Requirement