MICAH 6:8 | DO JUSTICE, LOVE MERCY, WALK HUMBLY
Our Commitment to Diversity
"Each generation must find its way to bring salt and light to the world." - RUTH KERR
Westmont College has long had a deep commitment to diversity and global engagement. Mrs Ruth Kerr had a vision for a college that would educate the whole person, transforming students for a lifetime of service in a variety of careers worldwide, equipping them with the knowledge, skills and heart to meet the great and pressing needs of our time. In 1945 Westmont received a negative decision for re-zoning in Altadena, CA in part because the college would attract students of all classes, races and creeds. The all white suburb community outside of Pasadena was not in favor of diverse students coming into their community. As a result, Mrs. Kerr and college officials sought for another property and purchased Rancho El Tejado, the college’s current property in Montecito. Students from all over the country and the world come to study at Westmont in the beautiful Santa Ynez Mountains, making it their college home.
Westmont’s commitments include diversification of our student body, faculty and staff; justice as demonstrated by righteousness and equity in our programs and community, becoming a more reconciling and unified community.
On this site we have placed information and links to our intercultural and global commitments, descriptions of programs, initiatives, activities and our aspirations for justice, reconciliation and diversity throughout the college. This “Micah site” is a work in progress, constantly evolving to include updated information and stronger articulation of our experiences and our pursuit of intercultural engagement.
Dr. Carmel Saad
Westmont has named Dr. Carmel Saad, a psychology professor at the college since 2012, as the inaugural director of the Carol Houston Center for Justice, Reconciliation and Diversity and Westmont’s first chief diversity officer.
“Carmel will play a vital role at Westmont,” says President Gayle D. Beebe. “In our current social and economic climate, we see a growing need for broader conversations and initiatives that lead to deeper awareness and understanding. Healthy institutions are learning how to embrace the diversity of its members as part of our core competency as Christians and citizens. Research demonstrates that including diverse viewpoints leads to richer discussions, more innovative products, more creative ideas, better decisions and stronger, healthier organizations."
Why Did We Choose Micah 6:8?
Micah 6:8 is a verse commonly cited to compel people to act in times of injustice: “Do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.” This is why Westmont chose this verse as the name of our site that references our work of justice, reconciliation and diversity. Our objective? Ongoing growth as we seek to become a more reconciling community.
These pages on Westmont’s Micah 6:8 site describe our work around justice, reconciliation, and diversity. Each section carries information that is important to us as an institution. Yet our work is unfinished. We continue to strive to be a more reconciling community, to better understand how we could do better, to listen to each other and the Lord, and to be responsive in our thoughts, words, and actions. May He give us strength to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him.
Westmont has become an Emerging Hispanic Serving Institution with more than 23% of students identifying as Latino or Hispanic. The designation is a result of local partnerships, improved outreach efforts and the addition of several key college employees.
First Generation Students are vibrant and strong members of the Westmont community. Approximately 20% of our students identify as “first gen,” meaning that they have not had a parent or guardian graduate from a four year college in the United States. Each year, Westmont hosts a pre-orientation event for first-generation and international students.
You Belong Here
Finding New Villages Away from Home
When I left my village as I flew away, I knew that God was going to give me new villages. I just didn’t know how. You would not believe how big my village has become, how many people came together to make sure that I had all I needed to thrive...
From Cuba to California
“A lot of times we felt we couldn’t go on,” Rosario says. “When we lost hope, we prayed and prayed, and sometimes we gained hope. That’s why we’re here. Have faith. You can do it if we can do it.”
Breaking Barriers for Latino Youth
Although retired, Salvador Güereña ’75, a leading scholar in ethnic studies archives, still lives out his passion for supporting underserved California Latino communities.