Diversity, equity, and inclusion are terms that are often confused and interchanged, but that have distinct definitions that must be kept in mind.

Here is how DEAL defines these terms, including drawing upon the definitions from Wheaton’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan:

  • Diversity: The variety and heterogeneity among students, faculty, and staff based on a number of demographic factors, including, and not limited to: age, ethnicity, gender, gender orientation, ability, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, and social class.
  • Equity: Our community understands that students, staff, and faculty have differing needs to thrive; accepts and addresses these differing needs; and creates institutional practices and policies that provide students, staff, and faculty with the support and tools to succeed.
  • Inclusion: When faculty, staff and students from all backgrounds feel welcomed, acknowledged, embraced and engaged in the Wheaton experience. It means creating a learning environment that fosters respect for all perspectives, ideas, ways of being and life experiences no matter how unique or different.