Graduation Year

2014

Abstract

This study utilizes a mixed-methods (quantitative and qualitative) approach to evaluate the long-term impact of Illinois Wesleyan University’s Engaging Diversity Program on white students’ color-blind racial attitudes. Survey data reveals that white students who participated in the program not only endorse fewer color-blind racial attitudes than they did immediately after completing the program, but that they also have a more critical awareness of race than the control sample of non-Engaging Diversity students. Individual interviews with Engaging Diversity participants also reveal a link between these students’ learned racial consciousness and their involvement as social justice leaders and advocates on campus. These findings are particularly significant given that IWU is dedicated to cultivating a socially aware and active campus climate. This program assessment, which is also grounded in scholarly research on racial attitudes and the role diversity interventions play in their maintenance, demonstrates how the Engaging Diversity program can serve as a model for other campus initiatives dedicated to meeting diversity and social justice goals.

Disciplines

Community-based Research | Community Engagement | Race and Ethnicity