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American Commitments: Diversity, Democracy, and Liberal Learning

American Commitments, an ambitious, multi-project initiative from 1993-2001, set out to address fundamental questions about higher education in a diverse democracy and to provide resources for colleges and universities willing to engage those questions as dimensions of institutional mission, campus climate, and curricular focus.

What distinguished AAC&U's leadership on diversity was the conviction that democracy could not fulfill its aspirations without acknowledging diversity and that diversity finds a moral compass in democratic values and principles.

Higher education, we believe, can nurture Americans' commitment and capacity to create a society in which democratic aspirations become democratic justice. Diversity proves a means of forging a deeper civic unity.

The American Commitments initiative juxtaposed the egalitarian creeds and aspirations of democracy with the persistent and structural inequalities experienced by people of color and other marginalized groups in the United States.

Against this background the initiative emphasized the need for greater justice and new forms of intercultural community throughout all of United States society. Through their public leadership, concern for campus life, and, commitment to excellence in undergraduate learning, educators were challenged to foster the human capacities needed to build and sustain an egalitarian, multicultural democracy.

American Commitments passed through many phases and projects throughout its duration. Through this initiative, AAC&U established a national network of colleges and universities seeking to increase diversity on their campuses and in their curricula and to connect with a broader community.

Over 160 institutions were involved with the American Commitments initiative. It supported faculty learning about cultural diversity and democratic pluralism. A primary goal of American Commitments was to graduate students who were prepared and inspired to contribute to the success of a just and diverse democracy.

The initiative was made possible by generous grants from the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Hewlett Foundation.

The institutions represented in the several projects and conferences that make up the American Commitments initiative are listed here alphabetically by Carnegie type: associate and tribal (24), baccalaureate (47), masters (48), doctoral (15), and research (29) and other (2)

Associate (24)

Bacone College
Bergen Community College
Brookdale Community College
Community College of Denver
Community College of Philadelphia
County College of Morris
Essex Community College
Fergus Falls Community College
Kellogg Community College
Los Angeles Southwest College
Miami-Dade Community College
Middlesex Community College
Minneapolis Community-Technical College
Montgomery College
North Seattle Community College
Onondaga Community College
Pasadena City College
Saint Louis Community College
Santa Ana College
Seattle Central Community College
Shoreline Community College
Westchester Community College
William Rainey Harper College
Worthington Community College

Tribal (1)
Blackfeet Community College

Baccalaureate (47)

Albion College
Antioch College
Antioch University - Seattle
Augsburg College
Augustana College (Illinois)
Bates College
Bethune-Cookman College
Bloomfield College
Carlow College
Carleton College
Coker College
Colby-Sawyer College
Columbia College (Illinois)
Denison University
The Evergreen State College
Florida Memorial College
Hartwick College
Hiram College
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Illinois Wesleyan University
Lawrence Tech University
LeMoyne-Owen College
Lock Haven University
Luther College
McGregor School of Antioch University
Marymount College
Marymount Manhattan College
Millikin University
Morehouse College
Mount Union College
National Hispanic University
Nebraska Wesleyan University
Oberlin College
Occidental College
Olivet College
Palm Beach Atlantic College
Pitzer College
Ramapo College of New Jersey
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Saint Lawrence University
Saint Leo College
Skidmore College
Spelman College
Stillman College
Susquehanna University
Trinity College (Vermont)
Wesleyan University

Masters (48)

Arizona State University West
Avila College
Baldwin-Wallace College
Barry University
Bowie State University
California State Polytechnic University - Pomona
California State University - Long Beach
California State University - Los Angeles
Chapman University
City University of New York - Brooklyn College
City University of New York - City College
College of Charleston
College Misericordia
Eastern Nazarene College
Eastern New Mexico University
Fairfield University
Ferris State University
Fort Hays State University
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne
Indiana University-Kokomo
Indiana University-South Bend
Keene State College
Lincoln University (Missouri)
Marywood College
Morehead State University
Mount Saint Mary's College (California)
Pacific University
Rowan University
Saint Edward's University
Saint Francis College (Pennsylvania)
Saint Micheal's College
Saint Thomas University
San Francisco State University
Simmons College
Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville
Southwest Texas State University
State University of New York College at Buffalo
State University of New York College at Cortland
State University of New York College at New Paltz
State University of New York College at Potsdam
Trinity College
University of Massachusetts - Boston
University of Northern Iowa
University of Scranton
Valparaiso University
Wagner College
Wilkes University
Youngstown State University

Doctoral (15)

Baylor University
Bowling Green State University
Florida International University
Indiana State University
North Dakota State University
Nova Southeastern University
Pace University
Seattle University
University of Central Florida
University of Detroit-Mercy
University of Maine
University of Massachusetts - Lowell
University of North Carolina - Greensboro
University of Texas - Arlington
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

Research (29)

Arizona State University
Brown University
Duke University
Emory University
Georgetown University
Iowa State University
Michigan State University
Mississippi State University
New York University
North Carolina State University
Ohio State University
Princeton University
Rutgers University - State University of New Jersey
State University of New York - University at Albany
State University of New York - University at Buffalo
State University of New York Stony Brook
Temple University
University of Arizona
University of California - Berkeley
University of California - Irvine
University of Hawaii at Manoa
University of Houston
University of Maryland
University of Miami
University of Michigan
University of Washington Branch Campuses
University of Washington - Seattle
Washington State University
Yale University

Business (1)

Bentley College

Professional School (1)

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey