During the week of October 8-12, Weimar Institute held its first diversity week with programs emphasizing socio-economic, religious, and cultural diversity.
The Weimar Institute has a rich and diverse history. Established in 1978 on the former grounds of a tuberculosis sanatorium and later a refugee clinic, Weimar Institute is home to a college as well as an elementary school, academy boarding school, a store, a veganic farm, and the NEWSTART lifestyle center. In addition, this campus hosts the Depression & Anxiety Recovery program and a community clinic. These diverse programs are all founded on the same biblical principle of Matthew 4:23 – to heal a hurting world.
Attracted by this Christian philosophy, men and women from all over the world and United States have come to Weimar as students, faculty, staff, and volunteers. As Weimar becomes more diverse with nearly 40 different nationalities represented, the Diversity Committee has realized that: “the body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body” (1 Corinthians 12:12). Each part has to be appreciated for the contributions that they have made to the whole body.
Our hope in hosting an annual Diversity Week and other culturally diverse programs is that each person will learn to see the other as a unique child of God. We want to highlight this diversity because we believe that through our varying life experiences, we come to a more complete understanding of Christ himself.
Our goal as a committee is to educate. As demographics around the US and world are shifting, we recognize more and more that diversity does not only entail race but also religion, socio-economic background, ethnicity, age, and gender among a few. Education is imperative when it comes to witnessing for Christ. It is what prepares us to treat every person we meet as a child of God regardless of how widely their background/worldview differs from ours.
By learning of each other’s cultures and God-given experiences, it is our prayer that our in-built biases will diminish as our love and respect for each other grows.
Ron Celestine ND PhD
Chair of Diversity at Weimar Institute