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Revisiting: The Problem with Diversity, Inclusion and Equity

We're in danger of placing emphasis on the wrong efforts

Editor’s Note: Recent years have seen some progress in the scholarly communications community toward recognizing how much work we have ahead of us in making our organizations and personal behaviors live up to the standards of diversity, equity, and inclusion to which we aspire. As we continue along this journey, I thought it a good time to revisit a post that had an enormous impact on my own thinking (and that is among the all-time most-read posts here at The Scholarly Kitchen). Written by Geraldine Cochran, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Office of STEM Education at Rutgers University, the post below makes clear that “diversity, inclusion and equity” are not simple, interchangeable terms and talks about how they are both separate and connected. If you haven’t read the post since it came out in 2018, it’s time for a refresher.

It goes without saying that "Diversity, Inclusion and Equity" make for an awful acronym: DIE. More importantly, these three words are strung together so often that some think that these words are synonymous and use them interchangeably, leading to a number of people writing about the differences between these three words. Try a quick Google search of “diversity vs inclusion vs. equity” and you’ll find several days worth of reading material.  I particularly like Dafina-Lazarus Stewart’s” Language of Appeasement” in Insider Higher ED. If we are not attentive to the differences between these words as ideas, approaches or initiatives, we are in danger of placing emphasis on the wrong efforts and suffering the consequences.

Diversity without inclusive environments

Although diversity efforts are concerned with representation and who is included, diversity efforts should not be confused with creating an inclusive environment. An inclusive environment does not simply mean that people from various groups are included, it is concerned with what their inclusion in that organization or environment means.

Please select this link to read the complete article from The Scholarly Kitchen.

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