WSU Vancouver has formalized campus definitions for equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging, and justice to expand ways of thinking and decision-making, sharing language and meaningful exchanges across contexts, identifying priorities and what matters, enacting visions of institutional aspirations, and infusing these values throughout the campus fabric.
Individually, each definition is action oriented, galvanizing students, staff, faculty, and external partners to become advocates and change agents for equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging, and justice. Collectively, the campus definitions assist in dismantling the status quo of systemic oppression and reinforce the intentional commitment to realize a campus community of equity-mindedness, cultural responsiveness, and inclusive excellence across policies, processes, practices, and pedagogies at WSU Vancouver.
Equity is a process, product, and practice. As a process, enacting equity illuminates ways in which individuals are privileged within a system of institutional and structural oppression. As a product, equity results from a dissolution of oppressive institutional structures within any system, leading to a balance of opportunity and outcomes for all. Equity is practiced when individuals and institutions regularly call attention to systemic oppression and racial inequities, take institutional responsibility to dismantle these inequities, and commit to change agency to advance equity across institutional policies.
Diversity recognizes the unique lived experiences, perspectives, social identities (e.g., ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, etc.) and cultural wealth of students, staff, faculty, alumni, and campus partners. Diversity values everyone and disrupts social hierarchies of power and privilege.
An inclusive campus is one in which racially minoritized, historically marginalized and underrepresented individuals and groups participate in processes, practices, and decision- and policymaking in a way that dismantles the status quo of systemic oppression, including racism, and redistributes power to eliminate minoritization and marginalization in all aspects of campus life.
A campus of belonging promotes safety, encouragement, mattering and support to be one’s authentic self. Belonging is realized when students, staff, faculty, alumni, and campus partners feel respected, accepted, included, and connected to the campus community, including its members and spaces (e.g., classrooms). A sense of belonging is fostered by an intentional community where one may become self-actualized and thrive.
Justice is the presence of deliberate systems and supports to achieve and sustain racial equity through proactive and preventative measures and the absence of discrimination and inequities. Justice proactively establishes and reinforces systemic and systematic policies, practices, attitudes, and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts, and outcomes.