Connecticut College takes seriously the responsibility of educating students to put the liberal arts into action as citizens in a global society. This is our institutional mission and we fulfill it by creating rich opportunities for meaningful student engagement and reflection.
One of our most powerful examples of active citizenship is the expectation that all Conn students will complete two courses of their choosing on the topic of social difference and power––an important aspect of our unique four-year integrated curriculum called Connections. We require these courses because we believe our graduates must be able to reflect on their identities and positions within society in order to become effective leaders and agents for social change.
Our commitment to social justice extends beyond educating students to include the entire Conn community. We expect every student, staff, and faculty member to complete an annual online training program that covers foundational information about diversity, equity, and inclusion. We also offer events and educational programming for prospective students and families, current students, staff, faculty, alumni, and trustees through the Agnes Gund ‘60 Dialogue Project.
But we wanted to take our commitment to social justice education to an even higher level. And that is why we created––Elevate.
The Elevate Social Justice Conference at Connecticut College recognizes, celebrates, and amplifies the beauty of the cultural diversity among the members of our community and within the greater New London region. The conference is intentionally designed as a space of empowerment for people who have felt marginalized, erased, or silenced because of their social identities or personal backgrounds. (At Conn, we focus our programming efforts on intersections of “The Big 9” social identities: ability, age, citizenship or nationality, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexuality, and socioeconomic status.)
Elevate was built on the principle of full participation––the idea that every member of the community will have opportunities to thrive, reach their fullest potential, and contribute to the thriving of others. But in order for everyone to thrive, we acknowledge that we must continually work to create the conditions for all members of our community to feel respected, connected, and empowered. Elevate is one way we live out our values and we are glad you are here to learn more about how you can take part.