Lewis University: A Sanctified Zone
Guided by its Catholic identity and Lasallian heritage, Lewis University is firmly committed to fostering a campus atmosphere that is permeated by its Mission-based values of Fidelity, Wisdom, Knowledge, Justice and Association. We treasure each member of our community as made in the image and likeness of God, as a person of innate dignity, and as a profound gift. As such, we seek to be a place and a people United in Diversity. Accordingly, we have declared Lewis University a Sanctified Zone.
As a Sanctified Zone, we seek to acknowledge, value, and celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion at Lewis University in all our programs, classrooms, experiential learning settings, and virtual spaces:
- by hearing each person’s unique stories;
- by accepting each other as individuals and as members of communities;
- by challenging our unexamined assumptions to help us unmask personal, cultural, religious, racial, and systemic stigmatization and discrimination based on gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, and individuals with diverse abilities;
- by recognizing that prejudice, ignorance and stereotypes create and sustain privilege and preference for some while marginalizing and oppressing others;
- by educating lifelong learners who will be bridge builders and change agents in our communities, locally, nationally, and internationally by fostering a sense of belonging and by extending radical hospitality to all;
- and by becoming people who are more compassionate, welcoming, hospitable and committed to justice, healing, and peace.
The active promotion of diversity and the opposition to all forms of hate, prejudice and bias are a powerful and healing expression of our desire to be “Signs of Faith” (Signum Fidei) to our students and each other.
HISTORY OF THE SANCTIFIED ZONE
At a special Mass during Founders Week in April 1997, the campus was first dedicated as a Sanctified Zone as the University declared its commitment to and appreciation for diversity, proclaiming the campus to be a place where respect for the dignity of each person is to be promoted. Members of the University Diversity Council formulated the Sanctified Zone initiative. That group of faculty, staff, administrators and students called upon the entire Lewis community to reflect our Mission values by helping everyone, whatever their personal background, to feel comfortable, accepted, and respected at the University. In the Spring of 2017, the original Sanctified Zone statement was revised by the Diversity Engagement Committee (the successor to the University Diversity Council) as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of this important campus designation and the new statement was formally dedicated on April 24, 2017 in a special campus ceremony.
A PLACE OF WELCOME
Consistent with our Catholic and Lasallian Mission, Lewis University strives to be a place of welcome to those of all faith traditions and worldviews. As a university comprised of lifelong learners, we aspire to foster a community committed to exploring and understanding the religious, spiritual, and secular beliefs, values, and practices of ourselves and others through sharing, study, reflection, and encounter.