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Esther Madríz Diversity Scholars live together in Phelan Hall. The community is open to second-year students.
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Community Members

EMDS attracts students who are passionate about social justice and activism. We have been fortunate to have a community of student scholars ranging from ten to twenty members. Men and women come together to strengthen this program and offer various insights and lenses to our work. Below are a few comments shared by past participants.

Three Students Reflect on their EMDS Experience:

This retreat in itself came as a surprise to me. I didn’t realize how much I’d get out of it. I just simply thought it would be a lot of sharing, talking, but it was more. We found the definition to what and who we are as a community under Esther Madriz really is. It is more than just a living-learning community — we represent all that Esther lived for. She was a woman of justice, peace, and love, a servant to mankind. She was not afraid to accept differences in people. The legacy I hope to leave behind for future communities is the attitude of openness. I want people after us to know we did good. WE as a community represented unity amongst a world of diversity and culture. We were the ones to empower generations after us.


It felt good putting on an event that could change the way some USF students view sexuality and gender. The best word I can think of to describe how I feel about the project is accomplished. I feel like I not only did a project for a grade but for, hopefully, the greater good.

Being a part of EMDS community was something that made myself step outside of my comfort zone, my box. I believe that joining it has made me a stronger person. I think that if I had not joined I would not be as open minded as I am today. Being in this community has really made a great impact in my life.