The Bulletin

Understanding the Nuances of Pluralism…

Monday, February 2011

Pluralism & Multiculturalism: What Does it Mean for Our School?

The Diversity Committee invited Lusanda Mayikana, Dean of Pluralism and Multicultural Affairs and a member of the English Department at Lake Forest Academy to present and lead a roundtable discussion regarding issues of diversity at our school. Dean Mayikana spoke and facilitated a broad discussion on January 20, first dialoguing with the Faculty and Staff at their weekly meeting, then returning to speak to the larger community that evening. The discussion centered on exploring and analyzing the topics of pluralism and multiculturalism, appreciating their importance in our children’s education and learning how to incorporate a comprehensive and open-minded perspective to issues of difference in our community. Definitions of stasis and “tolerance” were identified as commonplace but unproductive relationships. In a memorable phrase from the discussion, it was commented upon that our community would benefit from a stance of “being comfortable with being uncomfortable” in our efforts to make connections that may put us outside of the comfort zones that are pre-established in the status-quo tolerance of multi-culturalism.

Please contact Jennifer Zielinski, Chair of the Diversity Committee, at jzielinski@chicagowaldorf.org or 773.828.8468 if you would like to join future meetings and discussions regarding these issues.

Lusanda Mayikana is the Dean of Pluralism and Multicultural Affairs and a member of the English Department at Lake Forest Academy. She holds an MA in English Education from the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) and an MA in English from Middlebury College. She earned her BA, BEd and a Higher Education Diploma (Postgraduate) from the University of South Africa. Before coming to LFA, Ms. Mayikana was a fellow in the African American Studies and the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.