Inclusion is the advancement and presence of an environment where diverse individuals and groups can fully belong and participate.
This word highlights continued targeted action towards shaping the environment.
This word highlights that elements of “being and doing with,” such as empathy, collaboration, and curiosity define inclusive spaces. Inclusion involves shared culture being present together with differences.
Belong and participate
These two elements complement each other. There is acceptance and appreciation of, and meaningful engagement with difference.
Diversity is the unique identity and lived experience of individuals and groups in our community, and how we prioritize and represent that.
Who has unique identity?
Each of us has a unique, multifaceted identity. However, when talking about diversity, we also pay special focus to affirming and supporting those whose identities have been historically marginalized or underrepresented.
What is lived experience?
This term has been especially used to emphasize the firsthand everyday stories of BIPOC individuals related to marginalization. Lived experience is also an important understanding that as people with multifaceted identities, individuals are not defined by a singular identity. In considering engagement with difference and assessing belonging, the stories and experiences of diverse people must be centered.
How do we prioritize and represent?
For diversity to shape an inclusive environment, it must be more than a descriptor, but an intentionally targeted priority. We prioritize the presence of diverse perspectives and experiences. Representation is the way people see and affirm themselves and connect to others. Our representation of identity, experiences, and knowledge shows what we prioritize and what is normalized.
Equity is the presence of targeted and comprehensive policies, practices, and resources that promote access, full participation, and success of a diverse community at Shenandoah.
There are access and opportunity gaps for groups who have been marginalized through historical inequities and underrepresentation.
The presence of equitable practices creates an environment that benefits everyone, making it more just, accessible, and offers more innovative solutions. We, therefore, approach equity comprehensively.
Who is the diverse community?
In this sense, ‘diverse community’ means everyone, with important consideration for those whose identity and experience have been impacted by historical marginalization or underrepresentation. We are strengthened by our diverse experiences and not merely how environments fit the norm. Equity supports success rooted in the diversity of identity and knowledge.