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Diversity and Inclusion Mission Statement

In accordance with The Faculty of Arts & Sciences, The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures (MLL) “values inclusiveness most highly and believes that diversity is critical to equity and the pursuit of academic excellence. Our goal is to create and sustain an environment in which diversity can thrive. A diverse faculty, student body, administration, and curriculum together foster learning and enhance excellence. We seek to promote an environment of inclusion and to maintain a safe, nurturing community that is respectful of our differences and what we share.” 

MLL defines diversity as encompassing differences in age, cultural identity, ethnicity, language, gender, faith, ability and disability, neurological make up (neurodiversity), geographic background, military experience (veterans), political and ideological perspectives, race, sexual orientation, and social and economic status. MLL promotes cultural and linguistic diversity on campus and in our communities and encourages the learning of languages. We raise awareness of language-specific knowledges and cultures. We stand for language rights as articulated in the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights. We foster students’ and faculty’s ability to express themselves in many different languages, and to introduce and insert language diversity into public spaces in written and spoken form. We see ourselves as a space of language difference and inclusion on the W&M campus and in the community. We are building a future where cultural and linguistic diversity are viewed as invaluable assets that enrich the lives of all. *

MLL also acknowledges the following in every syllabus:

William & Mary occupies the ancestral lands of the Powhatan people. In 1677, near our historic campus, the Pamunkey leader, Cockacoeske, negotiated Articles of Peace, with England, on behalf of several indigenous tribes. We acknowledge the Native youths who attended the Brafferton Indian School in the eighteenth century. At present we acknowledge and honor Virginia's seven federally recognized tribes and the Commonwealth's four state-recognized tribes. William & Mary acknowledges that it owned and exploited slave labor from its founding to the Civil War; and that it had failed to take a stand against segregation during the Jim Crow Era.

 * Language taken from ACTFL.

MLL Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan 2020-2021