SNU’s Chief Diversity Officer
Recognizing the diverse intersections of identity on Southern Nazarene University’s campus is crucial to creating a campus of belonging. Through the Office of Intercultural Learning and Engagement, our goal is to work towards promoting diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice on our campus as a means of embodying God’s inclusive love in and through Southern Nazarene University. Our goal is that our university is not simply a place where one feels welcomed. We want our university to be a place where we embody the welcome and hospitality of God as a means of transforming one another into Christlike disciples.
Rev. Dr. Lena Crouso
Rev. Dr. Lena Crouso serves as the Chief Diversity Officer in the Office of Intercultural Learning and Engagement, and she is also an ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene. Dr. Crouso is the daughter of Asian-Indian immigrants and states that her journey from Hinduism to Christ, along with her diverse life path, has given her a heart and mind for the empowerment of all people through intercultural understanding and a desire to lead people in spiritual and emotional ways, empowering students to move towards social transformation and freedom.
We recognize that there are no single stories at SNU, but there are intercultural people with diverse intersections of identity. As Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” We want to tell those “untold stories” because they are the core of who we are, and they provide opportunities for empathy, compassion, and transformation.
Join the Conversation
We recognize that work for God’s Kingdom cannot be done in isolation. If you are interested in getting involved in the Office of Intercultural Learning and Engagement, there are many different opportunities to participate.
- The Intercultural Student Societies provide affinity and belonging for students with similar cultures and experiences through the opportunity to build relationships, offer support, and celebrate one another. Students will be able to grow spiritually and professionally while they embrace diversity and inclusion on the SNU campus. Current societies on campus include:
- Black Student Society
- Hispanic/Latinx Student Society
- International Student Society
- Student Society for Women
- Native American Student Society*
- Intercultural Learning Opportunities
We are working on creating robust annual events that promote intercultural learning opportunities for students on SNU’s campus.
- SGA & Intercultural Learning and Engagement SNU’s Student Government Association (SGA) created a position to embody the ideas of the Office of Intercultural Learning and Engagement, attempting to create a group of student leaders that better represent the diverse intersections of identity throughout the student body. For more information go to www.snusga.com
Who We Are
Intercultural Learning and Engagement houses many distinct but interconnected areas, all focused on creating spaces of belonging and affinity for all learners at SNU. We desire to be a community that reflects diversity, inclusion and equity through the refining of our character, the way we create culture and the way we serve Christ.
The core of our university’s strategic framework is an embodiment of Intercultural Learning and Engagement, making the Office of Intercultural Learning and Engagement necessary for SNU’s campus.
Access & Opportunity
We believe that by providing access to educational support and resources and by guiding students to opportunities that allow them to grow and flourish, we are fulfilling this central mandate of Christian work in the world. Many of our students find themselves held captive not only by systems of inequity and poverty but also by spiritual and social experiences. We take seriously Christ’s words to “proclaim release to the captives (and) to let the oppressed go free.” With God’s help, we work together with our students to create a place where every student at SNU can thrive and grow in Christ-centered community. For more information click here.
Center for Student Success
Located next to the coffee shop in the Library, the Center for Student Success at SNU houses many distinct but interconnected areas, all focused on creating spaces of belonging and affinity for all learners at SNU. Areas of the Center for Student Success include Academic Engagement Services, Disability Services, Intercultural Student Engagement and Learning Opportunities, Commuter Services, Student Retention Initiatives, and New Student Institute. Each of these diverse programs works to promote and sustain inclusion and a sense of belonging in areas including race, class, gender, ethnicity, culture, and ableness. These programs work in close collaboration to embrace and support SNU’s mission of creating Christ-like disciples through higher education. For more information on the services and staff of the Center for Student Success, click here.
Renew Counseling Center
Life can be hard sometimes, but you’re not alone. SNU’s Renew Counseling Center is open to our campus and to the community. For more information, please click here.
The Intercultural Learning and Engagement team has selected the books/articles/videos below as resources to help equip us to be the culturally responsive, beloved community Christ has called us to be. We selected resources for general development and awareness to give space to learn and grow together.
- The Civil Rights Hero Delivers His “Final Manifesto” on Race and the Church’s Call to Unity by Duke Kwon
- What is Juneteenth by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
- And the Whole Truth Will Set You Free by Adam R. Taylor
- On Color Blindness: A Quick Response to a Well-Intentioned White Brother by Dr. Bryan Loritts
- Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
- One Blood: Parting Words to the Church on Race and Love by John Perkins
- Reconciling All Things: A Christian Vision for Justice, Peace and Healing by Emmanuel Katongole & Chris Rice
- Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman
- Harriett Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, HARRIET tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.
- The Great Debaters
- Just Mercy
- Hidden Figures tells the incredible untold story of Katherine Jonson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) – brilliant African-American women working at NASA who served as the brains behind the launch into orbit of astronaut John Glenn, a stunning achievement that turned around the Space Race. The visionary trio crossed all gender and racial line and inspired generations.
Ted Talks & Videos
- Color Blind or Color Brave? The subject of race can be very touchy. As finance executive Mellody Hobson says, it’s a “conversational third rail.” But, she says, that’s exactly why we need to start talking about it.
- Please Remember: A spoken word on Juneteenth performance by by J.P. Haley
- The Danger of a Single Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
SNU Diversity Statement
Southern Nazarene University values each person created in the image of God, therefore, we also desire to be a community that reflects representation of diversity. We care about inclusion and equity through the refining of our character, the way we create culture, and the way we serve Christ. Our University values reconciliation through God’s love.