Diversity is the presence of differences that may include race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis)ability, age, religious commitment, or political perspective. Populations that have been-and remain- underrepresented among practitioners in the field and marginalized in the broader society.
Equity is promoting justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society.
Inclusion is an outcome to ensure those that are diverse actually feel and/or are welcomed. Inclusion outcomes are met when you, your institution, and your program are truly inviting to all. To the degree to which diverse individuals are able to participate fully in the decision-making processes and development opportunities within an organization or group.
At the City of Bainbridge Island, this means:
- Diversity is where everyone is invited to participate in the rule-making process.
- Equity means that everyone gets to contribute their experience and ideas.
- Inclusion means that everyone has the opportunity to see some of their input included in the final result.
This sounds like it should be easy but it’s not. That is why we must have trained staff and standing committees dedicated to achieving these ideals for our island.
Along with our Race Equity Advisory Committee that was created in 2019, our City staff, council, committee and task force members should all have a baseline in diversity, equity and inclusion training if they are going to be tasked with representing our diverse community.
Welcome signs are not enough. We need to infuse the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into the very fabric of our city. It’s who we are at our core, let’s celebrate what makes us great.
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