Key Terms Related to Inclusive Excellence

“Making excellence inclusive is an active process through which colleges and universities achieve excellence in learning, teaching, student development, institutional functioning, and engagement in local and global communities.  A high-quality, practical liberal education should be the standard of excellence for all students.”

Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U)

Diversity: Individual differences (e.g., personality, prior knowledge, and life experiences) and group/social/cultural differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations).

Inclusion: The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive complexity, leadership, cultural competence, and humility leading to an empathetic understanding of the ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.

Equity: The creation of opportunities for historically underrepresented populations to have equal access to and participation in programs in ways that close the gaps in opportunity and achievement for these marginalized groups.  Statistically speaking, equity is about (at least) proportional representation and equal success.

Equity-mindedness: An understanding of issues affecting equal access to and outcomes for programs offered by an organization and, most importantly, being committed to take action to provide equal access to and outcomes for all who can contribute to and benefit from these programs.

Adapted from the AAC&U, “Making Excellence Inclusive"

Social justice is a concept of fair and just relations between the individual and society. This is measured by the explicit and tacit terms for the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activity, and social privileges. In Western as well as in older Asian cultures, the concept of social justice has often referred to the process of ensuring that individuals fulfill their societal roles and receive what was their due from society. In the current global grassroots movements for social justice, the emphasis has been on the breaking of barriers for social mobility, the creation of safety nets and economic justice. (Wikipedia)