Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging
“Diversity is having a seat at the table, Inclusion is having the safety to use your voice, and Belonging is when that voice can be heard. When everyone in this room has the freedom to speak up, make change, and shift culture, that’s where Equity can be.”
Diversity can be defined as the sum of the ways that people are both alike and different. Primary dimensions of diversity include: identity, race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, language, culture, religion, class, mental, neurobiological & physical ability, as well as veteran & immigration status.
Additionally, we recognize how our own and others families of origin, and lived experiences combine to influence, shape, and intersect with aspects of diversity which inform our values, attitudes, and beliefs that are further shaped by the ever-evolving cultural norms within and between the dimensions of diversity.
While diversity itself is not a value-laden term, the way that people react to diversity is driven by implicit and institutional values, attitudes, and beliefs. Full acceptance of diversity is a major principle of social justice. As such, inclusion is a core practice that must be combined with diversity as is the understanding of the roles of power and privilege.
Inclusion involves creating environments that are safe, engaging, and respectful in order to harness the full potential of the system, in ways that are beneficial to all.
Adapted from Advocate Aurora Family Therapy Training Institute, The National Education Association’s Profiles in Diversity Journal, and many students who have added to, over the years.