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Muhlenberg College

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
2400 W Chew St
Allentown, Pennsylvania 18104
Phone
(484) 664-3100
School Information
"Muhlenberg College aims to develop independent critical thinkers who are intellectually agile, characterized by a zest for reasoned and civil debate, committed to understanding the diversity of the human experience, able to express ideas with clarity and grace, committed to lifelong learning, equipped with ethical and civic values and prepared for lives of leadership and service...All members of our community are committed to educating the whole person through experiences within and beyond the classroom. Honoring its historical heritage from the Lutheran Church and its continuing connection with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Muhlenberg encourages, welcomes and celebrates a variety of faith traditions and spiritual perspectives." Muhlenberg College is a private liberal arts college in Allentown, Pennsylvania, with 61 academic programs. (Source: https://www.muhlenberg.edu/aboutus/mission/) (Source: https://www.muhlenberg.edu/academics/majorsandprograms.html)
General Information
In an effort to financially support scholars studying critical race theory, the college has expanded the scope of the Presidential Diversity Innovation Grants. Grant applicants can now focus on anti-racist programs through the additional funding the college received. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The college said, "Student leaders in orientation and resident advisor roles receive intensive diversity, equity and inclusion training to ensure they can support their first-year peers and beyond. Additionally, Student Advocates for Inclusion and Diversity are trained to facilitate peer dialogues connected with the performance of the student-led Sedehi Diversity Project and with other student groups across campus."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • The college said, "In the summer of 2020, music faculty formed an anti-racism reading group, meeting every two weeks from mid-June until November, and that set the stage for the curricular revision."
  • As part of the new Department of Music curriculum students can now take "courses on power structures in music, which consider how race, gender, religion and economic structures affect the intersections between music and culture."
  • The college announced, "Workshops, panels and reading and discussion groups around campus have begun to explore how departments and offices can implement anti-racist practices, review existing processes and innovate curriculums."
  • The college said, "All academic departments have begun to review their curriculum through an anti-racist lens. More than 20 faculty curricular and pedagogical development grants were awarded during the summer of 2021 to support this work. These efforts also involve work by the Academic Policy Committee about the potential implementation of a general race and power academic requirement."
  • The Department of Theatre and Dance announced, "Going forward, all syllabi for departmental courses will feature: (1) learning goals for inclusive teaching and anti-racism, and (2) statements in which instructors outline specific course practices supporting those goals, and how they (and students) are accountable for adhering to those practices."
  • The Department of Theatre and Dance announced, "The department will establish an ongoing working, reading and discussion group for white faculty/staff members about identifying and combating white supremacy in theatre and dance education."
  • In November 2022, “Muhlenberg approved a new general academic requirement (GAR): Race and Power in the American Experience (RP). It will be added to the 18 other academic requirements, though the College is currently in the process of reevaluating the entire curriculum.”
  • As part of the general education requirements towards graduation, all students at Muhlenberg College are required to complete two courses in human difference and global engagement in order to develop skills towards diversity and equity.
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • The college announced, "Search committees continue to receive training on inclusive and equitable hiring practices, including new cohorts of faculty and staff to serve as equity advocates during each search."
  • The Department of Theatre and Dance announced, "Before the fall 2020 semester, white faculty/staff in the department will undergo training for inclusive educational practices and anti-racism, and will begin discussions specific to applying these practices to departmental contexts."
Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism
  • In July 2023, Muhlenberg College received a $266,280 grant to “improve the retention of underrepresented students in STEM majors” from the Arthur Vining Davis (AVD) Foundation.
Program and Research Funding
  • College will provide additional funding for the Presidential Diversity Innovation Grants to be targeted for anti-racist programs.
  • In February 2023, Muhlenberg College’s statement on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) was updated and approved by the Board of Trustees to reaffirm its commitment towards diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging and to “develop and implement inclusive and anti-racist curricular and co-curricular programming.”
  • In October 2023, Muhlenberg hosted the Liberal Arts Diversity Officers (LADO) Consortium’s semi-annual conference with diversity leaders from liberal arts colleges across the country.
  • Muhlenberg College’s equity advocate, Kaja Dunn, will be hosting a number of info sessions in November 2023 on Fostering Anti-Racist Practices in Theatre and Dance.
Resources
  • The Africana Studies Program at Muhlenberg College “uses anti-racist, intersectional frameworks to prepare students from all backgrounds to identify and dismantle racist systems; contribute to our diverse world.”
  • On February 22, 2023, Muhlenberg College hosted a discussion on Race and the Arts as part of the Lehigh Valley film Traveling While Black, which discusses race and the effects of movement within diverse communities.
  • The Dana Scholars Anti-Racism Initiative at Muhlenberg College “promote anti-racist causes” and research topics of “Predominantly White Institutions, microaggressions, the psychology of diversity work, and basic critical race theory.”
  • In December 2022, Muhlenberg College launched a new graduate certificate program in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Symbolic Actions
  • On July 1, 2023, Muhlenberg's President issued a statement in response to the Supreme Court's ruling on affirmative action which reads: "Without question, this places our nation on the wrong side of history. And, judging by the evidence offered by states that already have bans on race-conscious admissions, this will create more barriers to higher education among individuals who face racial and ethnic discrimination and make it more difficult for colleges and universities to build a diverse community of students we want to attract."
Last updated June 13th, 2024
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