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Diversity and Inclusion

face covered in multicolored paint

Welcome to the Sullivan University Library Research Guide on Diversity and Inclusion! This guide is designed to help you access reputable resources on diversity and inclusion. Some resources on this guide will require your Sullivan University login.

This guide serves as an introduction to topics related to diversity and inclusion; it is not an exhaustive listing. If you would like research assistance, please contact library staff.

Defining diversity, equity, and inclusion

Diversity can be defined as the sum of the ways that people are both alike and different. Visible diversity is generally those attributes or characteristics that are external. However, diversity goes beyond the external to internal characteristics that we choose to define as ‘invisible’ diversity. Invisible diversity includes those characteristics and attributes that are not readily seen. When we recognize, value, and embrace diversity, we are recognizing, valuing, and embracing the uniqueness of each individual. 

Equity is not the same as formal equality. Formal equality implies sameness. Equity, on the other hand, assumes difference and takes difference into account to ensure a fair process and, ultimately, a fair (or equitable) outcome. Equity recognizes that some groups were (and are) disadvantaged in accessing educational and employment opportunities and are, therefore, underrepresented or marginalized in many organizations and institutions. The effects of that exclusion often linger systemically within organizational policies, practices, and procedures. Equity, therefore, means increasing diversity by ameliorating conditions of disadvantaged groups.

Inclusion means an environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully; are valued for their distinctive skills, experiences, and perspectives; have equal access to resources and opportunities; and can contribute fully to the organization’s success. 

Retrieved from the American Library Association’s ODLOS Glossary of Terms.