Inclusion builds a culture of belonging through active engagement and dialogue. We believe every person adds value, and that by welcoming and including all voices we create a sense of shared ownership of our community. In an inclusive community, diverse individuals participate in all aspects of our organizational work, including decision-making. We understand that no one individual can or should be called upon to represent an entire diverse group. They help present some of the many perspectives that exist for consideration.
Diversity is the myriad of ways we are different (no two individuals are the same), while also recognizing the strong commonalities that exist between all humans. Diversity has many dimensions, including ethnicity, race, gender, age, nationality, socio-economic status, religion, sexuality, and abilities, as well as different ways of expressing, communicating, and doing things. Diversity cannot always be seen and is often unseen, for example, neurodivergence. The presence of each difference brings value into the mix and thus, makes the group more powerful.
Equity is built on the understanding that individuals possess different levels of privilege based on a variety of factors, including race and class. Equity seeks to level the playing field by going above and beyond to ensure fairness in treatment, opportunity, and access to information and resources. Equity strives to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Equity requires ongoing action and assessment and an unwavering commitment to respect for all. (Equity is not the same as equality. Equality means giving everyone the same treatment, opportunity, and access, regardless of where they are starting from.)
Accessibility celebrates and respects everyone along the continuum of human ability and experience. Accessibility examines the ease of access for those who need accommodations and looks to design systems and methods to optimize access. Accessibility makes it possible for everyone to have equal opportunity to learn, understand, participate, and interact to the full extent of their abilities.