Loyola Marymount University’s Intercultural Facilitator Program, a student-led effort to engage the campus community in critical cultural conversations, earned an exemplary program award this week from a leading students affairs association.
The American College Personnel Association-College Student Educators International honored LMU on Monday, March 27, with a “Voices of Inclusion Medallion,” which recognizes initiatives in higher education and student affairs that have contributed to making their campus communities a welcoming and inclusive environment.
Two of the program’s 18 student facilitators were on hand to accept the honor in Columbus, Ohio, with the director of intercultural advancement, Henry Ward, who developed LMU’s program five years ago.
“I am proud of the facilitators who devote so much time and attention to this program, which serves as a resource for all students as they prepare for the challenges and rewards of living in a diverse society,” Ward said. “This honor speaks to their hard work and dedication to promoting healthy dialogues on campus.”
Intercultural Facilitators – or IFs – are trained to lead discussions on sensitive, sometimes difficult subjects while maintaining a sense of neutrality to ensure all viewpoints are respected. The facilitators, who specialize in topics such as racism, feminism, sustainability and social justice – complete a yearlong study program before beginning their work.
This academic year, they have presented to roughly 3,000 students and guided discussions around such topics as addressing racial stereotypes in policing, and increasing understanding and positive interactions between police officers and community members.