When I was accepted by Cedarville, I was scared. Not for the reasons that one would assume a freshman would be fearful of. I wasn’t worried about finding my classrooms, maneuvering through Chuck’s Sunday rush hour, or even passing all my courses. I was confident in all of those areas, all except one: would the community at Cedarville make me feel welcomed, would I be wanted there?
I come from a culturally diverse home. My mom is from the Central American country of Honduras while my dad was raised in New York. Having two parents from opposite ends of the world (and them being amazing, loving, and Christ-like parents who embraced our roots) helped me become the person I am today: a lover of midnight tacos and Reggeaton, a little fiery and very empathetic for other students coming from cultural backgrounds like my own.
I’m not going to lie, growing up in New York where I was one of the few people-of-color in my school and my entire hometown wasn’t always easy. The feelings of being left out, treated differently because of my skin color, and the blatantly racist ‘jokes’ and ridicule became a norm throughout highschool. Once I was accepted to Cedarville, I shakily Google searched the ethnic demographics of the area I would be moving to:
…Ethnic groups in Cedarville, OH are White (Non-Hispanic)(82.4%), Black or African American (Non-Hispanic)(10.2%), Asian (Non-Hispanic)(1.88%) … and Some other race (Hispanic)(1.51%)
Even though I was physically ‘accepted’ to study at CU, I worried I would not be accepted by my peers, faculty, and the surrounding community. I’m here to reassure and encourage students-of-color that Cedarville’s stance on diversity isn’t some social bandaid slapped on in an effort to give CU a ‘better public image’ during racial unrest that stain headlines. No, Cedarville’s commitment to Kingdom Diversity is clear:
“THERE IS NO ROOM FOR RACISM, BIGOTRY, PRIDEFUL THINKING, ARROGANCE, HURTFUL WORDS, OR INTOLERANT THOUGHTS ON THE CAMPUS OF CEDARVILLE UNIVERSITY. WE ARE ALL ON LEVEL GROUND AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS”
– Dr. Thomas White, President
Cedarville University has created an environment where students — regardless of ethnicity — feel they are loved and welcomed as brothers and sisters in Christ. CU offers a unique community that advocates for diversity of the student body, encouraging us to be informed and grow together in unity, despite a world that is constantly afflicted by division. I have made friends who are not only Hispanic and familiar with being raised from a similar cultural background, but students and faculty who are fascinated by my culture, wanting to learn more instead of ostracizing me as I was so fearful of. From tutoring students taking Spanish 1 to sharing the socio-economic status of Honduras in a class, the people here never cease to amaze me in their willingness to educate themselves and their sincerity in care.
Here are a few of many opportunities to be involved and explore how Cedarville is bringing unity, not uniformity, to it’s campus and community.
*Due to COVID-19, travel/group gathering restrictions due apply and affect certain topics below, please see Cedarville’s Caring Well, Staying Well guidelines and be on the lookout for updates pertaining to restrictions in the future*
- Our Global Outreach ministry teams allow students to travel abroad, some even returning to their home countries, to share the gospel.
- Some countries include Honduras, Ethiopia, the Dominican Republic, South Asia, the Philippines, and Guatemala.
- This annual trip allows faculty members and students an opportunity to tour historical sites related to the Civil Rights Movement
- Students are able to “broaden their perspective on issues pertaining to race relations in America and the role of the church.”
MISO and Mukappa
- “MISO”, which stands for Multicultural International Student Organization provides and maintains an international community on campus through an upstanding welcoming committee, events/activities that aim to celebrate diverse cultures and by embracing the beauty of cultural differences.
- Mukappa, which promotes a similar mission as MISO, focuses on building intentional community on campus for international and multicultural students
My experience at Cedarville has been amazing! I have been welcomed into CU’s community with open arms from both my peers and professors. I’m able to incorporate my life experiences and culture into my courses like intercultural communication, speech, and communication theory. I’m beyond thankful for my friends who value me and see me as their equal, who continually strive to embrace our diverse backgrounds. Having friends who paint the Rock with me on ‘El Dia de la Independencia de Honduras’, go to Lola’s Mexican Restaurant when I’m missing empanadas, or watch Disney’s Coco for the fifteenth time is something I’ve only found at CU. And for that, I”m forever grateful!
“Cedarville, OH.” Data USA, datausa.io/profile/geo/cedarville-oh#:~:text=The 5 largest ethnic groups,(Hispanic) (1.51%).
Majoring in Strategic Communications, Class of 2021
Favorite Song: ‘Dirt’ by Collection
Food That Reminds Me of Home: Condado Tacos in Columbus
Favorite Book: Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado
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