Living Our Values Experience (LOVE) Pilot Program

LOVE = Living Our Values Experience

Arcadia University is launching a pilot program for the 2021 academic year that offers undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to enter and engage in a powerful community-wide exploration of racial justice. 

The LOVE Pilot Program has been designed by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring (CTLM) to serve as a much-needed space for Arcadia students to evolve on issues of identity, racism, and systemic discrimination, and to examine their own role within society as change agents. 

By engaging in this critical conversation, we live our values and culture as a community unafraid to look at racist ideas and practices, our role in them, and acquire tools for dismantling a system that is built on injustice. 

This program responds directly to the immediacy and urgency of the Black Lives Matter movement. It is also deeply aligned with President Nair’s call for an “open course” to address racial justice.

Call to Join

Students who join this program will receive a wide array of benefits, from the immediate and timely opportunity to become better equipped to understand and address racial inequality, to the valuable preparation to enter a diverse workforce, to become an effective agent in changing the structural systems that keep racism alive and well in our nation. 

Space is limited. To allow for as diverse an applicant pool as possible, the LOVE pilot program admits students through three pathways: by application, nomination, and lottery. 

Critical Skills and Experience

Arcadia's LOVE Pilot Program offers a learning experience that addresses important skills in racial justice, including:

  • Taking accountability and understanding responsibility in personal, professional and political matters of race

  • Engaging in critical Inquiry and deliberate discourse both within affinity groups and across racial differences

  • Developing the capacity to address matters of race with authenticity, transparency, and trust

  • Exploring the ethics of care and morality of justice as it relates to racial equity

  • Learning how to create intersectional processes and projects that make it safe to take risks, including all voices, and reveal innovative and effective solutions to persistent conflicts and problems.

Principles and Pathways

The LOVE Pilot Program draws on principles from past and ongoing Arcadia initiatives, including:
  • Pluralism Course Curriculum

  • Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Principles (JEDI)

  • Global Connections Experience and Reflection Requirements

  • Arcadia’s Lived Values

 
Students will explore and experience pathways to:
  • Critically analyze the interactions between individuals and institutions and locate the self in those interactions 

  • Recognize and dismantle systemic white supremacy and develop strategies and approaches to anti-racist work from the local to global levels

  • Understand the dynamic nature of institutions and how they maintain socio-political and economic power

  • Examine the impact of institutions on issues of racial equity and justice

  • Examine the role of a change agent, and the pathway to becoming one

  • Interpret aspects of other cultures/races with greater sophistication and accuracy

  • Gain more in-depth knowledge of the historical, political, scientific, cultural, and socioeconomic interconnections within the US and between the U.S. and the world

  • Recognize when power relations are present and be able to affect the dynamics of global and local transactions when power is a subtle but potent presence 

  • Identify obligations to people situated both inside and outside their communities and national borders.

Program Structure

Participant Experience
The structure of the LOVE Pilot Program is designed to combine large group (L) learning opportunities with a small group (S) experiential and discussion format to allow for integrating and understanding the topic on multiple levels. The culmination of the experience will include a group presentation of projects that will compete for a funding implementation grant. Participants will have to fulfill minimum participation requirements, and two-term participants will be granted a certificate of completion. No credits are being offered in the Fall, and two credits are offered for undergraduates in the Spring.

The program modules are as follows: 

Teach-In (L)
The teach-in format will bring together both LOVE program participants and First-Year Seminars and the wider Arcadia community to engage in focused learning about racial equity.
 

Fall Schedule and Topics 

(All teach-in webinars will run from 6:30-8 p.m. and will be recorded for later listening.)
  • Thursday, Oct. 22
    An Arcadia Call to Action: How Can We Be Better Anti-Racists?
    Speakers: Doreen Loury, Director of Pan-African Studies and Assistant Professor of Sociology; Jessie Guinn, Assistant Dean of STEM, College of Global Studies; Jennifer Riggan, Professor of International Studies

  • Monday, Nov. 10
    Bias/Microaggressions/Racial Abuse: How can we do better/heal? 

    Speakers: Favian Guertin-Martin, Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Director of the Criminal Justice Program; Lauren Reid, Assistant Professor, Graduate Program in Counseling

  • Wednesday, Dec. 2
    Working for Racial Justice at Arcadia: What are we doing; what more can we do?

    Speakers: Student Members, CTLM/Just Act Ensemble

Small Group (S)
Small groups of 15 participants will hold six synchronous meetings per term. These groups will be facilitated by two staff/faculty and one peer mentor. There will be a place where the teach-in material can be discussed in greater depth, and experiential learning and dialogue can take place. 

Fall 2020: The small group will be organized as affinity groups to allow those who identify similarly with each other to have a space to explore how racial equity issues impact them both individually and as a group. These groups will be held weekly (when there is not a Teach-In that week) starting the week of October 5th through the week of December 7th.  

Spring 2021: The small groups will be re-organized in the spring term to be racially mixed and will focus on understanding intersectionality and generating solutions for persistent and systemic racial disparities. Each small group will create and collaborate on a project that addresses structural racism, either within Arcadia, the local community, or beyond, and prepare to present at the end of the term. 

Culminating Project Competition
Final proposals from each group will be presented to the entire Arcadia community in the spring. One project will receive approval and funding to move forward the following year. This annual culminating project intends to begin a spiral that moves through each successive year, creating a culture of leadership and action in racial inequality and social justice and places Arcadia at the forefront of generating solutions and training leadership in the area of racial justice.

How to Join

By Application: If you are a student and you already know this program is a fit for you, click here to apply. Application deadline: September 16

By Nomination: We are asking faculty and staff to nominate students who might benefit from or contribute to this program. If you are nominated you will receive an invitation to apply.

By Lottery: We will also run a lottery to identify students randomly and invite them to apply in an effort to ensure that the program is as diverse as possible, in every way imaginable. If your name is chosen through the lottery, you will be sent an invitation to apply. 

Note: Participation is always optional, but if you are chosen to apply through nomination or lottery, you are strongly urged to consider applying. It is possible to join the program for one term only, but you are encouraged to participate for the entire year if possible. Certificates of completion are only available for full-year participants.  

If you have further questions, please contact LOVEpilot@arcadia.edu