Recently, we posted our conviction that Black Lives Matter. You can find our statement here.
The systemic oppression of Black people is not a problem specific to the United States; it is a global one. We all have a responsibility to confront systemic racism and institutionalized anti-Blackness. As international educators, we recognize the privilege of studying abroad. We acknowledge that institutions of higher education have been a part of the problem, but they can also be a part of the solution.
Radical change starts within our communities. Due to our strong tie to the University of Minnesota, as the host of our North American Office, our School of Record, and long-time close partner, we have decided to donate to their scholarship, which honors George Floyd, for a sum of $25,000. Find the University of Minnesota Scholarship in honor of George Floyd here.
Additionally, here are other ways we have contributed so far:
- We are lowering barriers and improving access for underrepresented students through scholarships
- More than 50% of our students receive financial support from DIS through need-based and diversity scholarships
- DIS awards $2.5 million each year on scholarships and aid
- We continue to commit to our longstanding partnership with Diversity Abroad, an organization that provides resources and scholarships to promote equity in study abroad
- We are partnered with the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA), providing financial support for students who are underrepresented in study abroad
- We provide resources for students on site: The Diverse Identities Social Club is open to all students in Copenhagen and Stockholm and provides a safe space to discuss and reflect on personal experiences with identity and intercultural interactions while studying abroad
Though we are proud of our ongoing efforts to increase accessibility and diversity within our student cohort, we acknowledge that there is still much more work to do. Moving forward, we will:
- Continue to listen and amplify the voices of Black students, alumni, staff, and faculty who challenge us to be better
- Continue to increase accessibility for Black students and students from other backgrounds underrepresented in study abroad through scholarships and intentional advising
- Increase our commitment and resource allocation to fund faculty and staff training on dismantling systemic inequality and building anti-racist thinking in the classroom
- Continue to develop curriculum related to race and ethnic studies in a Scandinavian context
- Build an organizational culture where staff and faculty are encouraged to share educational resources internally (including articles, literature, podcasts, as well as information about local organizations, petitions, and demonstrations)
We recognize that these actions are just a start. Dismantling structures of injustice is an ongoing process and we will hold ourselves accountable as we continue to put work into being anti-racist, advocating for students of color, creating spaces that are inclusive, and educating and being educated by young people so that we all may become more engaged and informed global citizens.
>> Diverse Identities Social Club
>> Diversity Resources
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