Frequently Asked Questions

Diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It is understanding that each individual is unique, and our individual differences need to be recognized. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical/mental ability, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.

Inclusion promotes broad engagement, shared participation and advances authentic sense of belonging through safe, positive, and nurturing environments. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to accepting and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual. Inclusion is key to eliminating systemic inequality.

Equity is the proportional distribution of desirable outcomes across groups. Sometimes confused with equality, equity refers to outcomes while equality connotes equal treatment. Where individuals or groups are dissimilarly situated, equal treatment may be insufficient for, or even detrimental to, equitable outcomes.

EQUITY = parity in outcomes. It is the proportional representation of
historically marginalized groups in outcomes.

Equity-mindedness refers to "the mode of thinking exhibited by practitioners who are willing to assess their own racialized assumptions, to acknowledge their lack of knowledge in the history if race and racism, to take responsibility for the success of historically underserved and underrepresented student groups, and to critically assess racialization in their own practices as educators and/or administrators". (McNair et al., 2020)

Deficit thinking or deficit-minded language often places the responsibility for “deficits” on the group in question. “If institutional leaders and practitioners use deficit-minded language when discussing equity challenges, access to data will do no good for advancing equity because such language communicates the expectation that students are expected to create equity for themselves.” (McNair et al., 2020)