Diversity Awareness

What is diversity, equity, and inclusion?

In addition to race, creed, color, religion, gender, disability, and national origin, there are a multitude of differences (language origin, regional and geographic background, economic class, education, learning and communication styles, sexual orientation and personal lifestyle) that individuals bring to the college community.

Diversity initiatives ensure that ALL individuals, whether from traditional or emerging groups, feel that they are recognized, valued and, in all ways, included, in the college community.

The goal of inclusion:

  • is not to provide a means for all those who are somehow different to assimilate in order to succeed in the dominant culture, or in the traditional workforce;
  • does not mean conformity;
  • does not mean recognizing a collection of isolated groups;
  • is to enlarge our definition of who "we" are in order to encompass everyone.

Types of Diversity

  • Human diversity is characterized by a person's physical differences, personal preferences or life experiences.
  • Cultural diversity is characterized by embracing differing beliefs, values and personal characteristics.
  • Systems diversity is characterized by the organizational structure and management systems.

Working definitions

Cultural diversity is the recognition that we live in a multicultural society, that each constituent contributes to the development of our society and should have equal opportunities, and that culture determines, consciously or unconsciously, much of our perceptions and behaviors.

Culture includes nationality, race, and ethnicity, as well as other variables, and is manifested in customary beliefs, cultural assumptions and values, patterns of thinking, and communicative style.

Race is a concept which signifies and symbolizes social conflicts and interests by referring to different types of human bodies.