Affirming Our Mission

13 Feb Affirming Our Mission

This past Friday, we learned of an article by Dr. Vincent Lloyd, a faculty member at one of our 2022 Telluride Association Summer Seminars, expressing his dissatisfaction with his teaching experience. We greatly respect Dr. Lloyd’s academic expertise and his contribution to our summer seminars. We take his concerns seriously, and we are undertaking an internal review to evaluate them. While we disagree with his characterization of the program and the values and principles guiding our educational work, we respect his perspective and acknowledge the challenging and sometimes uncomfortable nature of self-governing communities. 

Telluride Association’s mission is to provide students with educational experiences in critical thinking and democratic community. Since 1954, we have offered six-week summer programs to high-school students on a range of topics in the humanities, social sciences, and, since 1993, Black Studies. These seminar-based living-learning communities give students the chance to learn from each other and from expert college faculty in a close-knit, democratic environment. 

In our programs, we ask students to self-govern and take an unusual level of responsibility for their own education. We stand behind our staff team, who are asked to facilitate students’ self-governance. Though the process can sometimes be difficult, we believe the experience of democracy is valuable even when it is challenging. 

As we prepare for our 2023 summer programs, we look forward to welcoming a new class of thoughtful, curious, self-motivated, and community-minded students to benefit from the programs’ rigorous academic and democratic education. We feel confident that the experience will prepare them to lead and serve in their communities, as it has done for so many students before.

About Telluride Association

Founded in 1911, Telluride Association’s mission is to prepare and inspire promising students to lead and serve through free, transformative educational experiences rooted in critical thinking and democratic community. Telluride Association offers residential scholarships for university students and residential summer programs for high school students. Telluride Association’s alumni include notable scholars, public servants, and leaders in all walks of life. 

In recent years, Telluride Association has responded to calls from its Black members to recharter our summer programs to take a more explicitly anti-racist and anti-oppressive approach. The new programs help students understand and analyze structures of power, such as race, gender, and class, in both academic seminars and through the same democratic community experience Telluride has offered for nearly 70 years.

For more information about the Association’s history and programs, see our website at For questions, please contact Amina Omari at

Update – 2/22/23

Please see our follow-up post for answers to questions we’ve received about Dr. Lloyd’s article: FAQ on 2022 Summer Seminars.

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