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Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Opening Safe for All

Finlandia is committed to opening safe for all.  The systemic racism that contributed to the violent killing of George Floyd and other black Americans in the past weeks calls us to reaffirm Finlandia’s essential commitment to foster enduring positive change in how we think, act, and feel in matters of the self, others, and the wider world.  

Finlandia is small. We are multi-colored. We are from various faith traditions and no faith traditions.  We are rural and urban. We are gay and straight.  We are local.  We are from coast to coast and beyond.  The common calling of ELCA Lutheran higher education urges the practice of radical hospitality, of service to neighbor, of bold questioning, and to love one another as God has loved us.  We welcome all to learn from all so that all may flourish.   Finlandia’s spiritual and intellectual tradition calls us to embrace and value each story, in order to more fully understand and celebrate our differentness and work toward a more just and peaceful world. To this we aspire.  This is our shared vision.  You are welcome here.

Opening safe for all means thoughtfully and deliberately preparing for a year of honest talk, deeper reflection, and  sustained action.  This work may be unfamiliar and uncomfortable for many.  We will not all hold similar convictions or draw the same conclusions. Perhaps the riskiest work of all is the journey inward; exploring and naming one’s own  deeply seated motivations, assumptions, and fears.  Finlandia is committed to accompanying you in your daring self-examination as well as in your unique self-expression. In all of this, our community’s speech and action will be life-giving, not life-diminishing.

Over the coming weeks I will work and learn with you, our campus pastor, our equity and diversity committee, and other faculty and staff.  We will imagine meaningful ways to foster conversations, encourage reflection, and engage in constructive action that leads toward enduring positive change in how we think, act, and feel in such matters.  We will be doing this together because Finlandia believes opening safe for all matters as much as a safe open.

Safety and Wellness Policy Enforcement
  • Campus Safety and Security personnel will address policy violations.
  • Supervisors will ensure departmental staff compliance.
  • Housing staff, including resident advisors, will be empowered to issue warnings, and repeat offenders would be sent through the University’s student disciplinary procedures for violating University policy.
  • Maxient, a campus safety/security reporting software, is available to all community members so they themselves can report violations for follow up from Campus Safety and Security.
Bias Based Discrimination and Stigmatization
What is cognitive bias?
  • Cognitive bias is when humans filter information in a way that helps to simplify it so that it results in inaccurate assumptions.
What is stigmatization?
  • Stigmatization is when humans make negative assumptions about people or groups of people based on perceived or real differences, which can lead to discrimination.

The fear and anxiety caused by the COVID-19 outbreak has provoked cognitive bias and discriminatory behaviors against people of certain ethnic backgrounds as well as anyone perceived to have been in contact with the virus. That fear and anxiety can also create a stigma aimed toward specific people, groups of people or places, which can lead to discrimination, labeling or stereotyping. We know that people of all races, ethnicities, religions, genders, sexual orientations, ages, and physical abilities are susceptible to COVID-19.

Finlandia University is committed to creating and maintaining an environment in which all members of the community (students, faculty, and staff) are respected and treated with dignity, free from bias and harassment.

We encourage victims of hate crimes, harassment, or bias to report the incident to the appropriate authorities or use the Maxient reporting form

Finlandia’s Equity Policy is available here.

It is more important than ever for the Finlandia community to treat one another with kindness and respect.