Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Definitions

The following are definitions of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for Seattle Colleges:  

Equity

"Historically, equity refers to the process of creating equivalent outcomes for members of historically underrepresented and oppressed individuals and groups. Equity is about ending systematic discrimination against people based on their identity or background." (Williams and Wade-Golden, 2008)3

Seattle Colleges leads with racial equity because we acknowledge the history and impact that intergenerational and institutional barriers have had on students of color, who make up 44% of our student body (or nearly 60% of students who identify by race on their applications), while our faculty and staff do not yet reflect these same demographics.

 

Diversity

As an open access institution, Seattle Colleges holds diversity as an ongoing discovery of the intersections of identities and "diversity refers to all of the ways in which people differ, including primary characteristics, such as age, race, gender, ethnicity, mental and physical abilities, and sexual orientation, and secondary characteristics, such as education, income, religion, work experience, language skills, geographic location, and family status. Put simply, diversity refers to all of the characteristics that make individuals different from each other and in its most basic form refers to heterogeneity." (Williams and Wade-Golden, 2008)

 

Inclusion

This work matters because students and employees thrive where they feel they belong, especially in a climate of political divisiveness. "Inclusion exists when traditionally marginalized individuals and groups feel a sense of belonging and are empowered to participate in majority culture as full and valued members of the community, shaping and redefining that culture in different ways." (Williams and Wade-Golden, 2008) It is important to note that inclusion, by itself, is not enough. The pursuit of inclusion without discernment of the impact of providing commensurate access to majoritarian actions and practices can actually undermine the original purpose of empowering minoritized communities.