Meets every other week and is only open to residents of the floor.
IDIS 190—Contextual Diversity Studies
The Grassroots Living-Learning Community is intended to deal specifically with the issue of race, racism and reconciliation in the United States. In order to do so, the course will also include an examination of the cultural and ethnic identities of the participants and what it means for life in the Grassroots Community, Calvin College and beyond. Although students living in the Grassroots Community represent a variety of cultural backgrounds, IDIS 190 is not intended to simply be a celebration of cultures but a time to engage the difficult questions of race, racism, reconciliation and biblical justice.
Participation in the Grassroots Community has both an experiential and academic component. IDIS 190 is the academic component and is intended to enhance the experience in the living community. Students living in the Grassroots Community will participate in seminars, learning events and a variety of assignments to supplement and enrich the experience of living and learning in this community. Students will develop a common language to enlighten their study of historic and current racism in the United States, and will begin to apply this to their experiences and learning within the Calvin College community and beyond. This course satisfies the Cross-Cultural core requirement.
Course Learning Outcomes:
Over the course of a year, students—with respect to the goals of living and learning within the Grassroots Community—should develop a deeper understanding of the learning outcomes listed below:
Knowledge/content oriented (Think Deeply)
- Understand the historical, cultural, economic and political forces that shape society and explain their own situation in this context.
- Understand the relationship of power and language, and how language interacts with culture. Understand how language frames thinking and perspectives; “the language you speak creates the box in which you think.”
- Understand the connections between power, knowledge, privilege, race/ethnicity, gender and class (locally and globally).
- Recognize how stereotypes develop and where they come from.
Skills (Act Justly)
- Think, work and move across boundaries in diverse environments with a range of people.
- Develop and use skills in conflict resolution.
- Improve anti-racism and anti-bias practices.
- Develop and use communication skills AND intercultural communication skills.
- Link theory and practice through their own experience both as citizens and in professions.
- Seek out multiple perspectives—inside perspectives as well as outside ones.
Attitudinal/mode of being (Live Wholeheartedly)
- Develop a sense of perspective and social responsibility (Agents of Renewal).
- Appreciate difference; value and acknowledge other cultures as legitimate.
- Improve cultural self-awareness and understanding of one’s self in the global context (one’s own place and connections). And recognize, explore and articulate one’s own racial/ ethnic identity.
- Develop a biblical understanding of kingdom values, of difference, unity and Shalom.