Pluralism and Unity Program


The Pluralism & Unity Program (P&U) is a unique program that provides first-year students an opportunity to build strong and effective relationships within and across racial, ethnic, national and cultural backgrounds. The mission of P&U is to create a community of first-year students who are committed to exploring and understanding issues of race, culture, identity, multiculturalism, and social justice. We ask the questions:

· Why do identities matter?
· What is multiculturalism?
· What is social justice?


Students in the P&U Program students meet twice a month with faculty and staff facilitators to engage in personal and intellectual activities to increase their abilities to learn from and about people from many different identities. In addition, the group participates in off-campus community engagements to visit culturally and ethnically diverse neighborhoods and community organizations in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Many students find that this is an important way to advance their understanding of themselves and their ability to affect positive change in the world. Participants’ experiences in P&U have encouraged them to become leaders on campus, and alums of P&U have become outstanding leaders in many campus organizations, including the Macalester College Student Government, Asian Student Alliance, Multifaith Council, Caribbean Student Association, Queer Union, Black Liberation Affairs Committee, Macalester International Organization, Adelante!, and Feminists in Action.


1) Create a purposeful and guided out-of-classroom experience related to multiculturalism and identity exploration.

  • Students will begin the journey to be a change agent and an actively engaged citizen of the world
  • Students will learn more about the Twin Cities through visits to nearby neighborhoods

2) Build strong and effective relationships with a diverse peer group

  • Self exploration (Who am I? What are my identities?)
  • Discuss and learn from peers about their identities

3) Develop a cluster of students with an understanding of socially pertinent issues and the ability to engage in productive and meaningful dialogues across cultural differences.

If you have questions about the P&U Program, please contact Karla Benson Rutten at