WorldView: A Language Blog

WorldView is a place for leaders in the fields of language education, global citizenship, immersion learning and other topics central to the Concordia Language Villages mission to address issues important to their fields.

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A Mission that Guides

By Mary Maus Kosir, Executive Director | Published: January 13, 2021

It is difficult, indeed, to find the words to fully describe the outrage and pain that we felt on January 6 as we watched the horrible events in Washington D.C. unfold before our eyes on television, and on channels around the globe. At moments like this, you turn, if you are able, to a mission that guides and informs your daily work. And at Concordia Language Villages, we are fortunate to have a mission that identifies our purpose—both in understanding our goals and in understanding our future.

Concordia Language Villages is built on the foundation of courage, education, inspiration and development of global citizens. We are working across our entire organization and in our individual language communities toward changes that are more inclusive, equitable, diverse and pro-actively anti-racist. White supremacy, in any of the forms we have seen it emerge historically or across the nation this past year, has no place in our organization, society or democracy. We have asked for the partnership and support of all members of our community as we work on this structural change—not just in name, but in the depths of our organization as a whole, and beyond. The work we do within Concordia Language Villages is vital—in every corner and crevice—now more than ever.

Unfortunately, the violence and apparent white supremacist activity on Capitol Hill provides yet another powerful reminder of the vital work we must do at Concordia Language Villages, and in other community and societal entities where we work, participate or volunteer. In the words of our Anti-Racism Task Force, we must “make anti-racism central to the everyday life of the organization and to our mission of inspiring courageous global citizens.”

On a day-to-day basis, it is easy to question the impact we can make and how we can move the needle forward. After almost three months in my new role as executive director of the Language Villages, I have witnessed the tremendous passion and commitment of our staff, families and alumni to the values that define the Language Villages. We can harness our collective dedication to these noble goals to move forward with fierce determination. What we do matters, at the Villages and in our respective communities. We must treat each other with kindness and respect. Together, we must work to ensure that every virtual and residential educational space is a safe space—both physically and in mental health and well-being. And we must work to advance a more just, peaceful and sustainable world for all.

About the Author

Mary Maus Kosir has extensive experience in educational administration, international program development and entrepreneurialism. She speaks English and German. Mary served for over 20 years at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, first as head of International Programs and then as Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs. She also co-founded WholeMe, LLC, a grain-free, whole-food company based in Plymouth, Minnesota. Mary is originally from Bemidji, Minnesota and now resides in St. Paul.

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