Defining Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The below definitions were drafted by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group, and serve as foundational terms for our efforts.

Diversity – Representation, or Who is Here?

Individual differences (e.g., family circumstances (e.g., parents, caregivers), language, learning styles and life experiences) and group-social differences (e.g., race, ethnicity, class or socio-economic status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual identity, country of origin, immigration status, and ability status, as well as cultural, political, religious or other affiliations, viewpoints, or statuses, e.g., as veterans, first-generation students) that impact opportunity or can be engaged in the service of learning.

Equity – Opportunity, or Who Has the Chance to Succeed?

The creation of an institution in which all community members are expected to excel and flourish, and an environment that provides all a full and equal opportunity in which to do so.

Inclusion – Belonging, or Who Feels Welcome?

The creation of a positive, welcoming, and supportive environment that values and constructively engages with diversity in ways that increase community members’ awareness, facility in, and experiences of respectful modes of interacting within systems and institutions (as well as ways of changing them), while fully respecting academic freedom and freedom of thought and expression.

Cultural Competence – Understanding, or Are We Able to Connect?

The state of having and applying knowledge and skill in four areas: awareness of one’s own cultural worldview; recognition of one’s attitudes toward cultural differences; realization of different cultural practices and worldviews; and empathy in cross-cultural interaction.