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Kaleidoscope Residential Learning Community

“We’re all blurry-eyed wanderers of time, and the unfortunance of it all is that we’d probably all go on to do great things if only we searched for what corrected and focused our vision instead of relying on our past – life’s grand kaleidoscope – to help us find our way forward.”  
 A.J. Darkholme, Rise of the Morningstar 

About the RLC

The Kaleidoscope RLC creates an incubator to explore intellectual thought, identities and values through intentional conversations, experiences and programs. These will serve as a foundation for students from diverse backgrounds to develop consensus and identify solutions to complex social problems. Kaleidoscope offers two dedicated TIDES courses, cultural trips, and varied workshops.

Inspired by D. Scott Tharp's theoretical framework, the Kaleidoscope experience is intended to apply a multidimensional model for developing cultural competence (Tharp, 2015). Our goal is to help students become critical thinkers who understand their attitudes, develop knowledge, and acquire skills through a comprehensive analysis of personal experiences, cultural perspectives, social interaction, and institutional systems in our society.

Required Reading

Each semester Kaleidoscope Residents will read a book that explores social issues of the day. 

Kaleidoscope Gatherings

Each month Kaleidoscope residents come together to prepare a meal and recharge for the upcoming week


Kaleidoscope Retreats & Trips

Multicultural Leadership Retreat


Kaleidoscope is teaming up with Changemaker and Get Engaged for an amazing bonding and learning experience, the VISIONS Retreat. During the retreat we will be building relationships and developing skills that we believe are foundational to become catalysts for positive change. The Taylor Center, Center for Public Service, and Carolyn Barber Pierre Center for Intercultural Life have teamed up to bring VISIONS to facilitate this process for us.

The VISIONS mission is...

  • To equip individuals, organizations, and communities with the tools needed to thrive in a diverse world.
  • To remove structural and cultural barriers that prevent full and equitable participation.
  • To help create environments where differences are recognized, understood, appreciated, and utilized for the benefit of all

Please Note: This is a mandatory experience for all Kaleidoscope RLC participants, as it introduces
you to key concepts and tools that will be used throughout the RLC experience.

Alternative Break Opportunities

Legacy Museum & Memorial for Peace and Justice

Past Trips

Studio Be

McKenna Museum of African American Art

Festival Trips


Tharp, D. (2015). Applying a Freirian Lens on Social Justice Education: One Practitioner’s Perspective. Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis, 4 (1). Retrieved from https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/jctp/vol4/iss1