"There is a misconception about belonging. That in order to belong, you have to sort of fit in, assimilate or acculturate... I think that sense of belonging requires us to be alike enough, to share enough in common to find community. But in fact to celebrate the fact that we are different. And those differences are not seen as deficiencies, but in fact celebrated as actual contribution to this beautiful community that we create today..."
Terrell L. Strayhorn is Professor and Director of the Center for Higher Education Enterprise (CHEE) at The Ohio State University. He maintains an active and highly visible research agenda focusing on major policy issues in education: student access and achievement, equity and diversity, impact of college on students, and student learning and development. His research has particular accent on issues of race, class and gender and the experiences of racial/ethnic minorities, college men, economically disadvantaged individuals and other marginalized groups in education.
In this heartfelt presentation Terrell talks about a fundamental need of the student, which isn't tied so much to good grades or money, the sense of belonging.
"The success of this country depends on our ability to prepare citizens for active participation in democracy, and part of that depends on our success in educating current and future generations of students. And their success, their educational success, depends in part on the extent to which we create environments in the home, in the school, in the community where they fit in and they belong."