It is the little things that make a huge difference.
Dan Allan, National Director of Operations Pacific Southwest Region, recently wrote me about an idea that I thought was really good. He suggested repeating the message in our posters and banners in two or three other languages frequently spoken on our particular campuses.
He got the idea by looking at posters on campuses in California and noticing sometimes five to eight different languages on some bulletin boards.
Dan suggested repeating the messages in the bottom couple inches of our signage. It need not take up that much room, but would have some distinct advantages for us.
- It would remind our involved students that we are mindful of international students and others whose first language is not English.
- It would be welcoming to those students and they might possibly see us a warm, caring option for involvement outside their own community.
- Incoming students might view us as progressive and inclusive of others as they see our information in multiple languages.
Now, we might need to be prepared to meet folks who don’t speak English. But, what a great way to expand our own vision and, possibly, form other contextualized groups and movements on our campuses.
In last week’s Coaching Tip, I referred to Henri Nouwen’s Return of the Prodigal Son. God is calling us to be like the father in the parable, extending grace to others. Using other languages spoken on our campuses in our signage could be one way for us to lead in being a welcoming community.