We promote diversity, inclusion and equity through educational, social, and service initiatives.

Office of Social Justice & Activism

The mission of the Office of Social Justice & Activism at Otterbein University is to foster a diverse and inclusive community while promoting the values of respect, open-mindedness, and personal and civic responsibility. We believe that participation in our program supports the academic, cultural and social needs of all populations. We strive to resolve systemic inequities for all members of the campus community through engaged research and education, expanding pathways for access and success, as well as promoting a healthy and engaging campus climate. By providing these opportunities for personal and professional growth, we seek to create a welcoming environment where students, faculty and staff can succeed, thrive and build meaningful relationships.

Annual Events & Programs

NEST Early Arrival Program

The primary mission of the NEST (Nurturing Educational Success & Transitions) Program is to support the transition of incoming first-year students that identify as first generation, transfer and/or students of color, to Otterbein University so that they may succeed personally, socially, and academically. Additionally, the program helps each new student connect with other peers, a mentor, and ultimately, the institution as a whole. Participants can expect to do fun social activities, service projects, and educational exploration!

Nest 2019 Group Photo

International Night

International Night is a popular annual event organized by the Office of Social Justice & Activism and the International Student Association (ISA). It features international cuisine, exciting music, costumes, and talent from many cultures. Recipes for the dinner are submitted by international members of the Otterbein community, and prepared by our dining service. Students, faculty, staff, host families of international students, alumni, and the community at large come together to enjoy a great evening!

Otterbein International Night

Noble Transitions

Noble Transitions is a traditional event sponsored each year by the Office of Diversity and the African American Student Union (AASU), which recognizes the academic achievements and contributions of graduating all students of underrepresented populations, both undergraduate and graduate, at Otterbein University. Parents, relatives, and friends are invited to the celebration. Each graduate that participates in Noble Transitions receives an African kente cloth with the graduation year on it to be worn during the official graduation ceremonies.

Under the Lights: Diversity in Sports Series

Under the Lights is an award-winning program that helps participants learn equity and inclusion topics using sports as the lens. Throughout the series, participants will hear stories that challenge their understanding of people and the world around them​, engage in genuine conversations about social justice​, explore aspects of identity and privilege​, and develop skills to initiate and sustain tough conversations.

More Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Events at Otterbein (#CardsStandTogether)

Typically, #CardsStandTogether events address issues of power, privilege and difference in terms of identities such as race, ethnicity, social class, gender, and sexual identity. For more information about the #CardsStandTogether program, visit our Equity & Inclusion page.