Oberlin College recognizes and actively supports the distinctive cultural identities and histories of individuals and groups, while encouraging them to transcend these boundaries through encounters with those whose experiences and perspectives are different from their own.
Oberlin’s founders wrestled with the idea of integration more than 170 years ago, at a time when such mixing of the races was uncommon and highly unpopular. The decision to admit students without regard to race or gender took place in 1835. If the early leaders recognized that a liberal arts educational community needed to be diverse, what about now? Today, Oberlin’s faculty, staff, and student body reflect the college’s early dedication to diversity and social justice. Though not perfect, they actively contribute to it through a variety of academic programs, resources and support systems, as well as cocurricular activities.
This commitment requires us to work to build a community of learners who respect and value personal uniqueness, choices, and differences; who ask the difficult questions and challenge stereotypes; and who promote mutual understanding and inclusion. We show our commitment to diversity in many aspects of campus and student life—academics, housing, dining, athletics, recreation, organizations, wellness. We also provide opportunities for engagement, collaboration, personal growth, leadership development, and the creation of meaningful relationships among members of the Oberlin community. We encourage students to be active participants, to involve themselves in activities and organizations that promote community building and social justice.
To further demonstrate this commitment to diversity and social justice, we offer dialogues on topical political and societal issues; events that honor culture and language; concerts and recitals that showcase classical artists and new age musicians; symposiums that focus on such issues as poverty, sustainability, and gender identity and expression; culturally themed residential housing; and classes on such subjects as peace and conflict, gender, feminist, and sexuality studies, colonialism, and much more.
While the programs and services we offer may change, our commitment to diversity and social justice has not. We invite you to learn more about our resources, programs, and services.
Learn more about Oberlin through our diversity and social justice programs and initiatives: