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Fairfield University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT, Connecticut 06824
(203) 254-4100
Email address
School Information
"We are a Jesuit University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions, with more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the U.S. and across the globe enrolled in the University’s five schools. Fairfield embraces a liberal humanistic approach to education, encouraging critical thinking, cultivating free and open inquiry, and fostering ethical and religious values. Fairfield is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City" (Source: Fairfield University was founded in 1942. Today, the institution offers 48 undergraduate majors and 48 graduate programs and its student to faculty ratio is 12 to 1.
General Information
Fairfield University is dedicated to teaching social justice as one of its core motives in educating its students. Fairfield University mandates that social justice is taught to all students as part of the required core curriculum. Additionally, the university offers courses specifically dedicated to CRT and the BLM movement. Fairfield University does implement CRT programming and training for students, faculty, and staff. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • Fairfield's "Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Narrative" plan states, "we are called to recruit, admit, retain, graduate, place, and engage diverse, underrepresented, and first-generation college students."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The GSEAP faculty's EDI committee took several actions to promote anti-racism. Namely, it created a book club where "faculty met online during the summer to examine issues D’Angelo addresses – specifically, why White people become angry or defensive when confronted with the idea that they are complicit in systemic racism."
  • The EDI committee also hosted workshops and training to combat white supremacy. The university indicated that, "One day of the workshop focused on White supremacist culture, another on the way White people operate with implicit bias and how faculty can counteract that in their lives and academic work."
  • The EDI Committee held a retreat that lasted for three hours. This retreat discussed how faculty members of the GSEAP "could support current students to examine the constructs of power, privilege, and oppression in their chosen profession."
  • Fairfield's "Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Narrative" plan states that the university would "continue to build cultural competencies into the hiring process to identify bias and barriers for applicants from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented groups."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • Fairfield University educates students using its Magis Core Curriculum. The university states that this curriculum requires students to "be engaged with social justice issues." At least one course must be designated as an "introduction to social justice" and there must be two others that are designated "social justice" courses. Thus, in total, all students are required to take three courses that instruct students on social justice.
  • As a result of the various workshops and training programs that the EDI committee led for faculty, "all participants were charged with examining their syllabi and rooting out ways readings and coursework uphold notions of White supremacy."
  • In November 2020, Fairfield University announced that, "The Educational Studies and Teacher Preparation Department approved the Culturally Responsive Teacher course as a core component of the Education Minor."
  • In November of 2020, the university indicated that "the Family Therapy and Social Work Department integrated more content on racial and systemic privilege and oppression into their coursework."
  • Fairfield University offers a minor in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to undergraduates through the Dolan School of Business.
Program and Research Funding
  • Fairfield University has a Service for Justice Residential College. The university states that, "By intentionally examining social justice issues, students explore how they are called to become change agents. Through reflection, action and service, students are challenged to see how they can use their privileges to help those who are oppressed."
  • Fairfield University has funded the Multicultural Scholarship Fund for minority students. This fund seeks to "amplify access and inclusion of students of color through immediate-use scholarship, diversifying the student body, and promoting the value we can realize when we teach, learn, and grow together."
  • The university created the Center for Social Impact which provides academic enrichment opportunities as well as funding for research to undergraduate students.
  • Fairfield University offers the Dream Fund through the Center for Social Impact. The fund “supports undocumented students attending Fairfield University” through the possibility of coverage for “room and board, health insurance, books and more.”
  • Fairfield has the Office of Student Diversity Programs & Multicultural Affairs general fund, which goes towards “promoting the power of inclusive living and learning” and “a greater understanding of diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice through cross-campus programming and activities.”
  • In 2020, Fairfield University brought in Olga M. Segura, an author, as the fourth Canisius Academy Lecturer. The university stated that, "Segura will explain how major events in 2020 — the pandemic, and the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others — transformed her message into an urgent wake-up for Catholics and a radical call to dignity and equality for all people." Additionally, the university said that, "She will examine the founding of the Black Lives Matter movement and the Church’s history of systemic racism, and offer ways that the Church can move forward through the discomfort of authentic self-reckoning."
  • The President created the Presidential Working Group on Inclusive Excellence in order to "advance the Jesuit Catholic Commitment of Fairfield University to creating and supporting radical hospitality for and with diverse others in our teaching, learning, scholarship, and service."
  • The university has stated that it engages in Inclusive Excellence which is "a critical dimension of our academic mission."
  • The university provides many Racial and Social Justice Resources.
  • For diverse students, Fairfield University provides programs such as the Academic Immersion Program which "is designed to assist students with the transition to college."
  • Fairfield provides diverse students the opportunity to engage in the Cura Personalis Mentoring Program which is meant to "provide incoming first-year students from underrepresented populations an opportunity to become acclimated and succeed at the University."
  • Fairfield created the Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, which hosts numerous diversity resources.
  • The College of Arts and Sciences has compiled an "antiracist resource guide" which includes the following book titles: "Decolonizing the University," "Education and Racism" and "Unschooling Racism."
  • On February 6, 2024, Fairfield University held an event titled "Respect the Process: Examining our Social Justice Perspectives Workshop" which would "help participants examine their own perspective of their social justice work and ideas about diversity, privilege, and intersectionality."
Symbolic Actions
  • The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee was created by the GSEAP faculty. This committee took action in 2020 in response to the death of George Floyd. The committee created a statement saying, "Let us commit anew to confront racism, classism, and other forms of oppression in everything we do. Let us be passionate upstanders who recognize and response to incidents of discrimination within our sphere of influence."
  • In response to George Floyd's death, the President released a statement in the Summer of 2020 saying, "At the time of this writing, the deaths of George Floyd and others, and the nationwide protests that followed, find us in a state of national mourning and reflection."
  • On March 9, 2023, the School of Education and Human Development hosted its annual Diversity Lecture Series on the topic, “Understanding Anti-Blackness in Education Through the Work of Frantz Fanon and W.E.B. Du Bois.” This lecture “will explore topics including anti-blackness as a structural impediment rather than a psychological problem at the interpersonal level, metaphors as powerful devices through which to pose educational problems, and theorizing, when done appropriately, as a concrete activity rather than an abstract exercise.”
  • It was announced that the Fairfield University Student Association “organized a student walk on Wednesday, April 19 to recognize the need for ‘cultural change on campus’ and support the students who have been marginalized and silenced.”
  • On January 31, 2023, Fairfield University hosted a lecture for “Spirituality for Racial Justice” presented by Rev. Bryan Massingale, S.T.D.
  • On October 13, 2022, Wilton Cardinal Gregory presented “the inaugural ‘Faith Leaders for Racial Justice’ lecture at Fairfield University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.”
  • In January 2023, it was announced that Fairfield created a new role for the Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. Don C. Sawyer III, PhD, was appointed for this role.
  • It was announced on May 3, 2023 that “Fairfield University is opening a new office of Diversity, Belonging and Inclusion as part of the final recommendations of the President’s Working Group on Diversity and Inclusive Excellence.”
Last updated April 12th, 2024
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