Living Our Values Experience (LOVE) Pilot Program

LOVE = Living Our Values Experience

The Living Our Values Experience (LOVE) program brings students, faculty, and staff together to do antiracist work and study and develop practices and interconnections between structural systems of discrimination and oppression, including bias, stereotype, prejudice, microaggressions, privilege, and power.  It responds directly to the Black Lives Matter movement and calls from President Nair for an “open course” to address racial justice. The LOVE program invests in our community to formulate a much-needed space for students, staff, and faculty to collaborate on strengthening the Arcadia community and examining their role within society as agents of change.  As you can see below, the Spring Semester builds on the Fall, is structured somewhat differently, and includes a core focus on planning for action. 

In Spring 2021, there will be 4 components of the LOVE Pilot program. We will have regular group meetings on Friday afternoons from 3:30-5pm, as well as three evening "Act-Up" Sessions (the spring version of "Teach-Ins") throughout the semester. The first Act-Up will be held on Thursday, Feb. 25 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Weekly sessions will rotate between Affinity Groups, which will focus on personal, interpersonal, and group dynamics of race, and Working Groups, which participants can choose based on their interests and that develop a Culminating Action Project together. The total anticipated time commitment for participation in the LOVE Pilot Program in Spring 2021 is approximately 12-15 hours per month.

Image of triangle for spring 2021 LOVE Pilot

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.

Spring Schedule and Topics 

Spring 2021 LOVE Pilot Program Components explained

Fall Schedule and Topics 

(View All teach-in webinars recordings below)

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

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

Working for Racial Justice at Arcadia: What are we doing; what more can we do? Speakers: Student Members, CTLM/Just Act Ensemble

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

Teach In 1: An Arcadia Call to Action: How Can We Be Better Anti-Racists?

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

Teach in 2: Bias/Microaggressions/Racial Abuse: How can we do better/heal?

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

Spring Participant Invitation By Application: If you are a student and you already know this program is a fit for you,  we encourage you to apply. Application deadline: January 29th.

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 Continued Participation: Any student who participated in the fall and wishes to continue their involvement with the LOVE Pilot program does not need to re-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

Working Groups Spring 2021

In the spring term, LOVE Pilot participants will rotate between meeting in Affinity Groups, designed to support the personal and group development of participants, and Working Groups, designed to examine specific areas that are affected by systemic racism and oppression and propose ways to take action. Each group identifies a broad topic, but from there, dives into the specific ways that topic manifests itself either in the Arcadia, Philadelphia, or extended communities where participants live and work. There will be a total of five Working Groups, and each one will take a three-step approach to the topic, [Find, Focus, Act], intended to develop participant skills in the essential steps it takes to identify and dismantle systems of oppression.  

Structural Inequality in Health Care slides

The global pandemic has brought not only medical disparities into view, but also the many variables that affect public health, and the many places of racial inequity that are built into this system. For example, it was recently discovered that pulse-ox equipment is not as accurate when used on people with darker skin -- what are the implications of this? Why wasn’t it caught sooner? How can this information be applied to improve health outcomes for people of color who are affected by it? This group will look at the myriad ways that racial inequity impacts our public health system, and how these inequities have surfaced during the pandemic.

Looking in the Mirror: How has this public health crisis affected students at Arcadia differently, according to their race? Was the support offered by Arcadia commensurate with the specific needs of different groups, or were they one-size-fits-all?  How aware of these issues are the medical programs at Arcadia, and how are they preparing students to address them?  

From museum walls to sports arenas, a gaping chasm between races in our art and sports ecosystems is painfully obvious. And yet, these two worlds often seem like they exist on different planets. What could result from a dialogue between the two? What are the similarities, and what are the differences in how racial inequity plays out in each arena? Is there a way to learn from one another, to support one another, to listen more deeply, and bring these two planets together into a more allied relationship? 
Looking in the mirror: How do Arcadia’s art department and sports programs uphold these stereotypes, and how do we push against them? What would have to change for our own departments to resist the pitfalls of stereotyping, misrepresentation, and financial disparity in the two areas that dominate the pulse of popular culture, and arguably, that set the standards and trends for every other area of society? What is our place in this conversation? What is our responsibility? 

This group will identify all the aspects of employment and career advancement that are negatively impacted by race, from bias against names and hairstyles, to negative stereotypes and assumptions about intellect and preparedness, to segregation in informal networking and referral systems. We all know -- or can learn -- the statistics, but what are the drivers of the Income and opportunity disparities that continue to plague us, and how can we begin to dismantle them? 

Looking in the Mirror: How does Arcadia’s Career Center prepare students for these realities? How can students begin to change these dynamics for themselves and one another? Are there role models leading the way? What can be done at the collegiate level that might impact the corporate level? How are Arcadia’s own hiring practices informed by race, either implicitly or explicitly? 

Any discussion of racial inequity and injustice requires that we face the historical actions and influences that have delivered us to the present circumstances. Current conversations range from reparations to removing historical markers. By tackling one such issue that affects our community, we have the opportunity to engage in dialogue, truth-finding, and mapmaking for this tricky hot button issue. 
Looking in the Mirror: To make this specific to Arcadia, we would look at the connection of the former ownership of the land on which the main campus sits, the connections with the sugar trade and its use of enslaved people for profit -- how do we acknowledge and honor this history? How do we address it in meaningful ways? 

Mass incarceration lives on our doorstep -- in this group we untangle its systemic roots, especially those close to home. Despite the fact that crime rates have decreased in the state of PA, we have experienced a 288% increase in prison population over the last three decades, with a disproportionate number of those incarcerated being Black men.  The number of black women in the prison system is also on the rise. This impacts everything from voting rights, census procedures, local and federal elections, community funding, and outcomes of families and communities of those who are incarcerated. 

Looking in the Mirror: The city of Philadelphia is particularly impacted by the placement, the privatization, and the gerrymandering of votes and  tax dollars to rural areas of the state. What are the costs, both hidden and obvious, to the city of this practice? How does this impact both those who are incarcerated, as well as their families and communities? How is this connected to wider discussions of voting rights and voter suppression both locally and nationally? What policies does Arcadia have about employing those who have been formerly incarcerated?