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Pluralism and Unity Program

Please note that the Pluralism and Unity Program is currently suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

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.

Pluralism and Unity Program’s mission is to create a community of first-year students committed to exploring and understanding issues of race, sexuality, gender, leadership, social justice and multiculturalism. The goals of the program are to expand understanding of social identities and social justice, build strong and effective relationships across differences, learn tools for diversity dialogues, and strengthen individual and group capacities to promote positive, social change.

PROGRAM Structure & Format

The P&U Program is designed as a co-curricular dialogue program that borrows from the intergroup dialogue structure.  Students selected to be a part of the P&U Program will create a shared understanding of dialogue; explore aspects of identity, social relations, and conflict; explore social justice issues; consider how to build alliances and coalitions for social change.  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 spaces 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:

  • Develop greater self-awareness of their multiple identities
  • Engage in productive and meaningful dialogues across cultural differences.
  • Build strong and effective relationships with a diverse peer group
  • 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

If you have questions about the P&U Program, please contact the Department of Multicultural Life at