Continued Focus on Social Change
When Bernie and Rita Turner founded Walden University, they wanted to do more than provide working professionals with the opportunity to earn a degree. They wanted to empower those students to work for the greater good. Fifty years later, that passion for social change remains at the heart of our mission, and it’s driving our decision-making about the future.
Setting Goals for the Years Ahead
In 1984, Walden made social change an official part of our curriculum. Since then, we’ve integrated social change into everything we do and are working to make it an even bigger part of who we are. Our biggest goals for the immediate future include:
Leveraging Walden research capacities, expertise, networks, and curricula to serve external organizations and communities in the application of social change.
Strengthening the impact of Walden curricula to educate agents of social change across all of our programs.
Raising the social change consciousness, skills, and knowledge of Walden’s internal communities.
Continuing to improve how we support ongoing social change initiatives that engage current students, faculty, alumni, and our partner communities.
Supporting Social Change
Established in 2017, the Walden University Center for Social Change will play a major role in our social change efforts during the 2020s and beyond. The center is already a connective hub that is promoting, facilitating, and supporting a wide range of social change initiatives from research to direct action. The center even awards social change grants to help faculty, students, and external stakeholders make a bigger difference in their communities and the world at large.
Driving Community Action
Every year, Walden’s Global Days of Service brings together thousands of Walden students, alumni, faculty, and staff in a worldwide volunteer initiative. Members of the Walden community all over the world work on projects as diverse as beautifying schools, packaging food for the hungry, and participating in 5K races that benefit those in need. These efforts make a real difference in people’s lives. In the years ahead, we plan to expand our Global Days of Service into new communities so we can make an even bigger difference. Likewise, we plan on expanding the Walden Change Action Network. Established as part of the Center for Social Change, the Change Action Network is an online platform where members of the Walden community can come together to plan social change efforts and find others who want to participate. It’s a rich and growing resource that is empowering the greater good in communities large and small.
Embracing Diversity and Inclusion
In June 2019, Walden hired Dr. Denise Boston for its new Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity position. This was part of an ongoing effort to broaden the university’s diversity and inclusion efforts and lays the groundwork for a vibrant future. In the announcement of her hiring, Dr. Boston said, “Walden University has such a vibrant, diverse community of learners, faculty, and staff that I'm excited to work with to help ensure their unique perspectives, voices, and experiences are heard and respected.” At Walden, everyone is welcome and heard. And, like our commitment to social change, we’re ensuring our commitment to diversity continues far into the future.