The CCE’s Strategic Action Committee voted unanimously to change our mission statement, but not our mission. The change might be seen as minor wordsmithing, but it’s meant to be more inclusive and we know that language matters. While we understand that when the folks who wrote the original mission statement did not intend for “active citizens” to imply legal status, we recognize that some might reasonably perceive this term to exclude students who are not US citizens. The removed language is crossed out and the added language is underlined:
The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) advances community based programs on the Sonoma State University campus. The CCE supports faculty in developing community based teaching that integrates academic theory with community service and scholarship that is inclusive of community partners and students to address local problems. By incorporating these projects into the curriculum, we teach students to be active citizens engaged in public life and that the theories taught in the classroom do apply to real world issues.
By replacing “active citizens” with “engaged in public life,” we are able to express more clearly what our mission is. We certainly intend for all students and graduates to participate in our democratic process, regardless of legal status. Please join me in celebrating this success.