The Multicultural Leadership Scholars Program (MLSP) is a year-long program designed to develop students’ understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion and their impact in society as well as in Guilford College. Students will also be given an opportunity to gain experience in the practical application of these concepts, through projects that help Guilford achieve its goal of becoming a more inclusive, equitable and affirming institution and a project that serves a specific community organization in Greensboro. In addition, the program is designed to foster a sense of community among the participants while learning to build trust across differences. MLSP students receive a scholarship for the academic year.
The MLSP process is comprised of two (2) components: academic and experiential exploration of diversity, equity and inclusion; two (2) group projects focused on a policy or institutional practice that will help the institution create a more inclusive, equitable and affirming environment; and, a community project designed to assist a community organization (that focuses on diversity issues) in their capacity to fulfill its mission. Students meet for two (2) hours a week every semester. One (1) hour is spent discussing a wide variety of diversity-related topics such as power, privilege, oppression, race, sexual orientation, gender, disabilities, intersectionality, etc. The other hour is spent working on group projects from planning to implementation.
MLSP students meet for an hour a week engaging in discussions that will help students gain deeper awareness of the whole spectrum of diversity. This is accomplished through readings, videos, workshops and other mediums, followed by personal reflections in the form of journal entries and group discussion. Students are expected to share their journal entries and be open to receiving feedback that is both supportive and critical. Through this process, students will learn about the impact these issues have had in their personal lives and how they manifest themselves at the institutional level through policies, practices and organizational culture. Throughout the year, students will be asked to select a topic of their interest and lead the group discussion. Every student will have the opportunity to facilitate at least once.
Students will be asked to form three (3) groups and each group will select a project they will work on the whole year. Two (2) projects should focus on Guilford College and one (1) should focus on the Greensboro community.
The Guilford projects should be designed to help the institution move towards becoming a more inclusive and equitable institution. Groups need to focus on a specific policy or practice that will lead to the creation of a more affirming culture for all groups. For example, a group might create a mentoring program for African American males in order to increase their retention and graduation; or a group might work on making sure all buildings are fully accessible for students with physical disabilities.
The community project is supposed to connect students with a community organization that is working on empowering marginalized and oppressed communities. The group should work to support the objectives of the organization and create a project that serves their needs.
The groups will work throughout the year in researching the issues they want to address through their projects, meeting with stakeholders and creating a timeline in order to have a finished product at the end of the year.