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Pluralism and Unity

Program Mission & Description

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.

Encompassing all of Macalester’s core values (multiculturalism, internationalism, academic excellence, and civic engagement), the P&U Program is an excellent opportunity to be part of what makes Macalester so special – students, staff, and faculty from many different parts of the world; the varied cultural backgrounds that each person brings; and the college’s location in a major metropolitan area in the United States. Whatever our backgrounds and identities are, we all have important stories to tell and important things to learn from one another.

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, social justice, and intercultural dialogue.  What do past participants think about P&U?

PROGRAM Structure & Format

The P&U Program is designed as a co-curricular program for the 2017-2018 academic year.  Students selected to be a part of the P&U Program will learn about theories and engage in discussions related to social identities, social structures, and communicating across differences.  These intentional dialogues will deepen students’ understanding of how social identity works for them personally, provide perspective on effectively interacting across cultural differences, and encourage students to reflect on their position within community structures and institutions.  In addition, students will also participate in community engagements that will connect their learning to “real world” interactions at Macalester and with the culturally and ethnically diverse neighborhoods and communities that make up the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul.

Past participants’ experiences in P&U have encouraged them to become leaders on campus and in the local community.  Alums of P&U have become outstanding leaders in many campus organizations (i.e., Macalester College Student Government, Caribbean Student Association, Multifaith Council, Queer Union, Adelante!, and Feminists in Action) and have completed internships and off-campus student employment at various local elementary schools, high schools, and nonprofit organizations.

PROGRAM Outcomes

Through participation in the P&U Program, first-year students will:

  • Understand what it means to be a change agent and an actively engaged citizen of the world
  • Learn more about the Twin Cities through visits to nearby neighborhoods
  • Practice skills to build strong and effective relationships with a diverse peer group
  • Develop greater self-awareness of their multiple identities
  • Engage in productive and meaningful dialogues across cultural differences.

If you have questions about the P&U Program, please contact Jason Jackson at