Affirmation of inclusion, tolerance, social justice

On March 1, 2017, staff of several departments sent a letter affirming the support by their offices of the principles of inclusion, tolerance, and social justice. Read the letter from Joanne K. Reeck, Chief Diversity Officer; Sonja Hagander, College Pastor; and Michael Grewe, Director of LGBTQIA Services.

Text of Letter to Augsburg Community

Dear Augsburg Community,

In Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow’s January statement in response to the Presidential Executive Orders on immigration, he wrote to affirm Augsburg’s “commitment to provide a safe learning and working environment with equitable access to education for all members of our campus community.” Today, we ask the Augsburg community to remember this and take heart in the knowledge that we have not and will not abandon this commitment.

Recently there have been several disturbing events that have taken place across our nation and locally in our own backyard, and as a College, we wish to address them.

First, last week, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice withdrew their support of transgender protections under Title IX, which covers sex non-discrimination in higher education. This decision does not impact or affect Augsburg’s steadfast commitment to providing transgender and gender non-conforming students, staff, faculty, and community members a welcoming, inclusive, equitable, and safe environment to live, learn, and work. A list of our commitments and progress can be found on the letter published last week by Michael Grewe, Director of LGBTQIA Student Services.

Second, there has been an increase in widespread religious violence, including anti-Semitic violence terrorizing Jewish community centers through bomb threats, the destruction of tombstones in Jewish cemeteries, the displaying of offensive imagery, and other hate-motivated actions; and the heightened Islamophobia the Muslim community is experiencing through attacks on mosques, physical assaults, and incidents of harassment and intimidation. Augsburg College values all members of our community and will not tolerate harassment or discrimination of any kind. We will continue to work and strive for an inclusive and equitable institution.


  • Joanne K. Reeck, Chief Diversity Officer,on behalf of the Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Committee
  • Sonja Hagander, College Pastor, on behalf of Campus Ministries
  • Michael Grewe, Director, on behalf of LGBTQIA Student Services