These terms are used frequently in this strategic plan. and so we offer the following definitions adapted from the Gopher Equity Project:

BIPOC: There is great diversity of experience among people of color. The term BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) is used to highlight some of these differences in history and experience and other identities, including African Americans.

Diversity: Diversity is about understanding and honoring the ways people are unique. It includes the incredible variety that exists from one person to another. This variety can come from traits like ability, age, color, gender identity, race, sex/gender, and sexual orientation. Things like appearance, body size, culture, economic background, education, language, national origin, and religion also play a key role in informing who we are and how we think.

Equity: Equity means fairness, which is about giving everyone what they need to be successful. This includes a guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all individuals while working to identify and eliminate barriers to full participation.

Inclusion: Inclusion is about welcoming all people and ensuring they have equitable access to opportunities, benefits, and services by creating environments of mutual respect where everyone is valued and supported.

Marginalized: “Marginalized populations are groups and communities that experience discrimination and exclusion (social, political and economic) because of unequal power relationships across economic, political, social and cultural dimensions,” (The National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health) including, but are not limited to:

  • African American, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
  • Immigration status
  • People with both visible and hidden disabilities
  • People of all sexualities, gender identities, and expressions
  • First-generation college students
  • Nontraditional college students

We also recognize issues of access and climate for individuals who might encounter barriers based on their religious expression, age, language, national origin, ethnicity, or veteran status.