EDI Definitions

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Definitions


Race is not a legitimate biological concern but rather a socially constructed system of categorizing humans largely based on arbitrary observable physical features (phenotypes), such as skin color, hair texture, facial features and shape, and eye shape. There is no scientific basis for or discernible distinction between racial categories. The ideology of race had had a significant negative impact on our society since it has become embedded in our identities, institutions and cultures and is used as a basis for discrimination and domination. (This definition is derived in part from an Annie Casey Foundation definition. For more information on this definition, visit Racial Equity Tools and Race, The Power of an Illusion.


Equity aims to identify and eliminate barriers that prevent some groups or individuals from achieving their full potential/identified goals. Promoting equity requires an understanding of the causes of outcome disparities within our society. Equity provides different levels of support based on an individual’s or group’s needs in order to achieve fairness in outcomes. Working to achieve equity acknowledges unequal starting places and the need to correct the imbalance. (This definition is derived in part from Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance and Center for the Study of Social Policy definitions.

Racial Equity

Racial equity is the elimination of systemic barriers so that an individual’s ability to achieve their full potential/identified goals is no longer limited because of their perceived race. Racial equity is established by implementing deliberate policies and practices, transforming cultural structures that account for disparities in marginalized communities and ensuring the receipt of necessary support. In a more just, equitable system, all people have access to resources, advancement and opportunity for a fair chance to achieve their full potential/identified goals.

In collaboration with the Office of Professional Education and Workplace Learning Racial Equity Committee (REC).

Rev: 5/26/21