Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Diversity is the presence of identity differences and is expressed in various forms, including, but not limited to, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, language, culture, marital status, nationality, political ideology, age, employment position, (dis)ability, or socioeconomic status.
Equity is the fair treatment of all people, including freedom from discrimination, biases, racism, hatred, and other forms of harassment that undermine personal, educational, and professional well-being. Equity includes the elimination of barriers that prevent full participation and equal opportunity, particularly for people who have been marginalized as a byproduct of their identity.
Inclusion is the “bringing in” of individuals who, or groups which, are marginalized and excluded from full and authentic participation within a given setting. Inclusion involves creating an environment in which all groups or individuals are supported, respected, valued, and welcomed irrespective of identity differences.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) create a framework of ideas that are vital to the fair treatment of all stakeholders within a given system. Higher education institutions (HEIs) are focusing on these three interconnected concepts to promote fairness and equality among employee and student populations.
Nonetheless, there is much work to be done if true parity is to be attained among all potential stakeholders who derive from diverse backgrounds and identities. As A.T. Miller, who serves as the chief diversity officer for Central Michigan University, explains, “Many academic institutions are drafting statements that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), but by their nature, these statements are very idealistic and aspirational” (2020, p. 30). Simply put, many HEIs never fulfill the institution's diversity statement.
The purpose of this webpage is to draw attention to DEI and the growing need for HEIs and the employees of these institutions to adopt fair practices that embrace and support all persons irrespective of various identities. Whether you are an experienced educator or new to higher education, I encourage you to visit the links and resources provided on this page to expand your knowledge of DEI and share what you have learned with others. Together we can create meaningful change.
Peter “Tony” Zitko
Miller, A. T. (2020). The All-Inclusive Campus: At Central Michigan University, everyone is part of--and responsible for--carrying out strategic initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. BizEd, 19(2), 30-33.
Note: This page is a work in progress. For access to the DEI Resources page, click the button on the top right of this page. For password, contact Peter "Tony" Zitko at firstname.lastname@example.org.