Bastyr University has dedicated the Center for Social Justice and Diversity to former President Daniel Church, PhD, for his 10 years of commitment to the University and his personal involvement with the center’s development.
Before the center had even been conceived of, Dr. Church's deep engagement with these issues was apparent. Of Bastyr's vision for diversity, Dr. Church declared in 2006: “Here is a place of respect for diversity of views. Ours is a precious haven where our own differences can be exposed in safety and confidence. It is my intention to do all in my power to support this nurturing environment, not only for us, but as an example to the larger community that there is no whole without all the parts.”
As the years went on, Dr. Church sought to further illuminate that the health of an individual was inexorably linked with the health of the greater community. When the center was created in fall of 2014, Dr. Church reiterated that “deep in the DNA of the University is the recognition that there are no healthy individuals without healthy communities.”
Safiya McCarter, ND, co-director of the Center for Social Justice and Diversity, says the Center for Social Justice and Diversity will serve to promote conversations between students and faculty, “encourage dialogue,” and work with other departments to “increase the amount of culturally specific coursework.” Dr. Church shares this wish for the center, wanting Bastyr University to “teach cultural competency, encourage advocacy and appreciate diversity.”
Dr. Church was surprised on June 30, 2015, his last official day at the University, with a newly decorated room complete with furniture previously owned by Church that holds sentimental value. The Daniel K. Church Center for Social Justice and Diversity not only cements Dr. Church’s legacy, but is poised to become an important addition to the core values of the University.