Appendix A: Defining Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Template

Diversity, equity and inclusion across our multiple social identities benefit our entire community.

Faculty, staff, and students who engage in diversity, equity and inclusion work are actively enacting multisystemic social justice and change.

Inequality is a naturalized condition: we have learned to accept inequality as a natural part of the human condition, but it is not. We cannot build the community we seek if we use shame, blame or other marginalizing behaviors. Mutuality, collaboration, authenticity and kindness will be the tools of our work.


The term “Diversity” typically refers to the current and aspirational composition of our campus populations. Thus, a focus on diversity entails seeking to increase the numbers of underrepresented populations and retain them once they are a part of the campus community. It asks questions like: Of those who seek to be at Brandeis, who is actually selected to be here? How do various groups fare through every step of our admissions and search processes? Which criteria, formal and informal, determine who gains entry to Brandeis? Who opts not to even try to be here, and why might that be?

Diversity Examples


The term “Equity” typically refers to those systems, structures, policies, and processes that ensure each individual experiences a “fair” environment where they can succeed and thrive, free from harassment or discrimination. An equity focus seeks to ensure that underrepresented groups “move” through the organization as freely as those who are proportionally/over-represented. It asks questions like: How do we know that everyone is treated fairly? What skills or behaviors would managers need to adopt to be prepared to supervise or engage their employees? Do our systems of justice or conflict resolution treat everyone with equal dignity and respect? What systems track these interactions, and how often are they reviewed?

Equity Examples


The term “Inclusion” typically refers to those environmental factors that signal a sense of welcome and meaningful participation to underrepresented groups. An inclusion focus seeks to understand the campus environment with an emphasis on how underrepresented groups experience other people and the spaces they inhabit. It asks questions like: What visual cues do our campus spaces convey about who “belongs” here? Where, how, and with whom is informal knowledge shared? What does our organization assume about a community member’s home life with respect to housing, transportation, child care, technology, etc.? Which people, including which groups of people, are given deference, authority over others, or the “benefit of the doubt?”

Inclusion Examples