Equity, Inclusion and Diversity
Your diverse perspectives, life experiences, cultural backgrounds and social identities fuel our shared value of inclusive excellence within the College of Humanities and Sciences (CHS).
Equity, diversity and inclusion are reflected in our coursework and through our commitment to social justice and community engagement. We encourage students to demonstrate their commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion by engaging in behaviors that support a welcoming and affirming environment for all students. Whether diversity is based on perspectives, life experiences, cultural backgrounds, social identities and other unique expressions, it makes for a better place to learn. Equity is also expressed in our commitment to and mutually respectful engagement with our local community that has historically faced social inequities in education, health, employment and housing through engaging in experiential learning and volunteering.
We encourage you to use VCU and CHS resources, such as wellness activities, advising, training and participation in special events. These resources incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion. We also encourage you to engage in activities and with organizations that support your unique culture and social identity. We hope you take advantage of all of the opportunities available to support you in your personal and academic success.
Please share with us your thoughts and your experiences with regard to equity, diversity and inclusion by sending an email to Faye Belgrave, Ph.D., associate dean for equity and community partnerships, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a student at VCU, there are multitudes of opportunities to engage with other people—people with similar interests, people who are completely different, people you’d never meet otherwise.
They’ll make your college experience meaningful and help you be a part of something bigger than yourself.
We invite you to join us in showing your commitment by practicing these values.
Equity is the process of ensuring that procedures and programs are impartial and provide equal possible outcomes for every individual. It ensures everyone has access to the same opportunities and recognizes we don't all start from the same place because some groups have more advantages and others face more barriers. Equity corrects for this imbalance.
The concept and practices of inclusion are about providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might be otherwise excluded or marginalized. It involves treating all individuals with fairness and respect. Inclusion involves powersharing and empowerment, which is honoring and respecting the voices, talents, beliefs, backgrounds and ways of living of everyone.
Diversity refers to practices that involve understanding and appreciating the qualities and experiences of those who differ from us. Diversity recognizes that systematic discrimination creates and maintains privileges for some and disadvantages for others. It, therefore, has as its focus different people working together to eradicate discrimination and social injustice. Diversity includes but is not limited to culture, race/ethnicity, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, immigrant status and socioeconomic class.
Other EID Concepts
- Refers to Black, Indigenous and people of color
- Equity, Inclusion, Diversity and Justice (EIDJ)
- The inclusion of justice in EID
- A term that means to be devalued in society and given less access to its resources. This devaluing encompasses how the group is represented, what degree of access to resources it is granted and how the unequal access is rationalized. Traditionally, a group in this position has been referred to as the minority group. However, this language has been replaced with the term minoritized to capture the active dynamics that create the lower status in society and also to signal that a group's status is not necessarily related to how many or few of them there are in the population at large (see the New Discourses Microaggressions page)
- Underrepresented Minority (URM)
- A U.S. citizen who identifies as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, or American Indian. All other Race/Ethnicity categories or Non-U.S. citizens are considered Non-Underrepresented Minorities (Non-URM).
If you ever need support in matters of equity and inclusion, CHS and VCU offer an abundance of institutional resources, such as:
- Call Me By My Name: VCU makes its commitment to inclusion real by recognizing that individuals have the right to use names other than their legal name, to identify with the gender they know themselves to be and to utilize the pronouns that best fit them
- College of Humanities and Sciences Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee: Highlights, coordinates, promotes and institutes efforts across all units within the College that foster respect, greater understanding, engagement and inclusion of all its members
- VCU Climate Report: A diversity and inclusion campus rating system that provides diversity, inclusion and engagement scores for each major unit on campus
- VCU Division for Inclusive Excellence: Leads the university’s efforts to strengthen our core mission and culture of inclusion and diversity
- VCU Iexcel Education: A course and program compendium that is invested in cultivating a university environment that is empowering, fair and supportive for all
- VCU Office of Multicultural Student Affairs: Promotes an appreciation of diversity through events, forums, scholarships and more
- VCU Office of Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity: Provides accommodations to eligible students with disabilities
- VCU Office of the Ombudsperson: An independent dispute resolution practitioner for faculty, staff and students
- VCU policy on preventing and responding to discrimination
- VCU Safe Zone: Workshops to reduce homophobia, transphobia, biphobia and heterosexism at VCU
- Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities: A partnership which facilitates programming and workshops to achieve success through inclusion
Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Highlights
Sept. 20, 2023
Citizenship class at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture helps forge a path to this year’s ceremony at the Siegel Center.
Sept. 18, 2023
Renowned psychology professor and equity advocate, who joined VCU in 1997, is elevated to new role on Oct 23.
Aug. 31, 2023
Combining her background in teaching and museum work, 2008 history graduate broadens access for youths to immerse themselves in life-changing learning.
Equity and inclusion: our core values
Within the College of Humanities and Sciences, inclusion and diverse representation are vital for the continued forward progression of the university. I see these values exemplified through the mentorship I receive from BIPOC faculty with identities salient to my own, diverse representation of students within my program, as well as through the growing recognition of and increasing value placed on community engaged work within my department.