Students orchestra performance

Diversity in Body

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."

Much has changed in the American landscape since George Pepperdine founded his prized college nearly 80 years ago. The population of the United States is around two and a half times the size it was in 1937, enriched in each passing decade with exponential growth in cultural and ethnic diversity.

Today our student body is representative of that diversity, creating a variegated mosaic that reflects the world around us. Our students come from dozens of countries and represent nearly every race, ethnicity, religion, and creed.

At Pepperdine, we believe that all people—regardless of who they are or where they come from—are worthy endeavors equipped with limitless potential, unleashed by the shared strength found in our differences. We embrace not only the necessity of diversity, both in thought and the background of our campus and global communities, but also the alacritous celebration of that diversity. True diversity—found in the bodies of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff—fosters a rich environment of open dialogue, dual-minded perspective, empathy, and increased understanding.

As a community dedicated each day to the integration of faith and learning, we welcome the diversity of opinion that cultivates mutual respect, charity, and humility. We believe we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves and to live peaceably among one another. And as we remember to treat others with dignity and kindness, we seek to maintain a diverse environment where all are accepted and none are left behind.

Stories

Sukhsimranjit Singh

A practicing Sikh, Sukhsimranjit Singh grew up in Punjab, India—a land known for its distinct spiritual and cultural values. A recognized expert in cross-cultural dispute resolution, Singh recently joined the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution as its new associate director and serves as assistant professor of law and practice at the School of Law, where he is also director of the LLM program.

"Lawyers need to be mindful of their worldviews to be better counsel to others and to be effective leaders," says Singh, who has trained lawyers and law students in mediation in 17 countries and more than 30 U.S. states.

"It is a privilege to have a platform where we can share and expand on our existing ideas. I hope to bring to Pepperdine an international dialogue on what culture is, how culture impacts us, how each one of us views cultures, and how we can contribute to creating cross-cultural understandings. My impact, if any, will be answering the question, "How can we all work together towards creating future leaders that preserve the very essence of human intelligence: harmony, growth, and peace?"

The Eden Project

Each year the Pepperdine Volunteer Center brings the campus together in a united call to advocacy, justice, and service by participating in the National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. With panel discussions, film screenings, and group activities throughout the four-day long program, students are encouraged to participate in activities that are designed to educate, inspire continued acts of service, and bring a greater awareness to the social needs of greater Los Angeles and the world around us.

Following a day of activities, students are invited to the Hunger Banquet, a world hunger simulation where they are assigned a socioeconomic class and experience a meal typically had by their designated group. Students in the high-income group are served a full meal at a lavishly set table. The middle-income group serves themselves a simple meal of rice, beans, and water while seated at a table and are provided silverware. The low-income group, made up of the majority of students, sits on the floor and receives rice and water in a bowl without silverware.

Luisa Blanco

School of Public Policy associate professor Luisa Blanco has been utilizing data from the HRS to investigate the economic, cultural, and psychological barriers against financial inclusion facing older minorities, particularly Latinos and African Americans. She is currently also conducting a first-of-its-kind study to design and pilot test an educational intervention to promote financial planning and saving for retirement among low and middle income Spanish-speaking Hispanics. All this work is funded by the NIH‑NIA.

The Next Wave in Entertainment: Diversity Work$

In November the Institute for Entertainment, Media, and Culture hosted Diversity Work$, a series of lively and evocative panel discussions about the evolution of the entertainment industry. As diverse perspectives rise within entertainment, new stories and voices are beginning to transform the media landscape. This shift—an increasingly important topic for students seeking degrees in fields of entertainment—is impacting a wide variety of current and popular topics like Black Lives Matter, gender bias, social and political intergenerational gaps, and disability awareness campaigns.