Mission & Vision
Damietta Cross-Cultural Center fosters campus-wide, cross-cultural competency in order to advance Siena’s commitment to building a world that is more just, peaceable and humane. Inspired by the legacy of Saint Francis’ encounter with the Sultan Malike al-Kamil at Damietta, the Center provides innovative initiatives that educate, engage and empower students to live and work effectively in culturally diverse environments.
At the heart of the Center’s mission is the acknowledgement that we are all members of the human family regardless of our race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, ability and socio-economic status. Within the Christian tradition, there are duties and responsibilities associated with being a member of the human family. The Gospel challenges its adherents not only to love their neighbors but to love their enemies as well. St. Francis called all whom he met his brother and sister, thereby expressing two convictions. First, we are all related; we are part of one human family. Second, because we are brothers and sisters, we are called to love one another. It is this profoundly relational dynamic that animates the work of the Damietta Center.
The Damietta Center’s programs are based on the best practice of cultural competency research, student development theory and social justice education. The development of cross- cultural competence focuses on addressing the perceptions, attitudes and behaviors of individuals. We provide experiences of the effects of prejudice and inequality in our world, and lead students to become agents of social justice. The Center’s cognitive and affective co-curricular programs, at times in conjunction with in-class learning, foster a campus-wide environment that encourages our students to engage, respect and love all people as brothers and sisters.