Turning words into actions - NWTC's commitment to DEI
The ongoing demands for more diverse and just systems in the United States affect each of us. NWTC wants to ensure that we are doing our part to make all students and staff feel welcome on our campuses. We realize that conversations around diversity, race, and social justice can be hard to have - even polarizing - but we ask that we give one another grace as we share our stories, experiences, and perspectives. We need to work together to make our campuses more inclusive environments.
One of the College’s eight core values is “everyone has worth,” which ties directly into NWTC’s goal to build an inclusive campus community where all students and staff belong. We realize that it will not happen overnight but will be a journey of continuous conversations at all levels within the College. In this blog, we define some of the terms you will commonly hear when participating in discussions around diversity.
DEI is an acronym that stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Diversity is defined by NWTC as individual values, personal interests, personalities, learning styles, neuro-functioning, and life experiences, as well as group and social differences such as race, ethnicity, social and economic class, gender identity, immigration status, sexual orientation, country/region of origin, and ability, as well as political, religious, spiritual, age, or other cultural values and affiliations.
Equity is meeting all individuals within the College community where they are and removing barriers to success.
Inclusion is a practice of ensuring that students, faculty, and staff belong and are incorporated as valued members of the College community.
Belonging refers to the freedom for students, faculty, and staff to be their genuine and authentic selves while feeling supported and accepted.
Social Justice is the condition in which all members at NWTC have the same basic rights, protections, opportunities, obligations, and social benefits. Tourse, Robbie (et al.) (2018).
We understand that it can be hard to begin having these conversations. Our goal is to help give faculty, staff, and students the necessary tools and language to start and sustain open dialogue. Conversations around race and ethnicity are just the beginning.
To learn more about what NWTC is doing to offer equitable education and create an inclusive campus, check out nwtc.edu/Diversity. To take an even closer look, check out the updated DEI Guide – “The Equity Advantage,” which gives an overview of the College’s goals and initiatives and includes more definitions for commonly used DEI terms.
Next week, the College will be launching a bi-weekly video series led by our Chief Officer of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, talking with campus leadership and staff about the ongoing efforts to make NWTC more welcoming and diverse. Be sure to tune in for all the latest information on DEI.