Working DEI Definitions


Diversity represents our varied collective and individual identities and differences. Diversity is expressed in myriad forms. We appreciate the wide array of perspectives, abilities, experiences, and personalities that each individual brings, respecting, and appreciating what makes them unique in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religious commitments, language, socio-economic status, political perspective, background, mental and physical ability, sexual orientation, and national origin. We affirm our similarities and value our differences. We uphold that to truly be excellent, an academic institution must strive for and support diversity.


Equity means recognizing and acknowledging that we do not all start from the same place and must actively strive to identify and eliminate barriers that prevent the full participation of some groups. Equity refers to the principle of fairness and includes the elimination of policies, practices, attitudes, and cultural messages that reinforce differential outcomes or fail to eliminate them. Inequities occur when biased or unfair policies, programs, practices, or situations contribute to a lack of equality in educational performance, results, and outcomes. Equity is achieved in an environment built on respect and dignity that acknowledges historic and contemporary social inequities, while intentionally and actively redressing barriers as well as challenging discrimination and bias. We will ensure that people from marginalized communities are able to thrive in our school as faculty, staff, students, and alumni, and as community members connected to our research, education, and community engagement.


Inclusion implies a cultural and environmental feeling of belonging and a sense of uniqueness. It represents the extent to which all stakeholders feel respected and valued for their unique voice and abilities, encouraged to fully participate, comfortable to express their ideas, and empowered to be their authentic selves. As a school, we must strive to hear the voices and experiences of people who are often marginalized and authentically bring them into processes, activities, and decision/policymaking in a way that shares power.

Disclaimer: These working definitions were created from a composite of existing definitions and are meant to be updated and edited as needed to better support the communities we serve.