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Defining Drexel’s Culture of Inclusion

DIVERSITY IS OUR STRENGTH. INCLUSION IS OUR VALUE.
BELONGING FOSTERS OUR INNOVATION.

At Drexel University, we are committed to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment based on integrity, trust and respect. We view the diversity of our students, faculty, professional staff and partners as our strength. As such, we strive to create a culture where everyone can leverage their uniqueness to foster innovation because they feel a sense of belonging.

We define diversity as the individual differences that make us uniquely who we are. This includes both individual (personality, values, attitudes, etc.) and other dimensions of difference including ideological, intellectual, economic, gender, ability, sexual identity, religious, age, racial, cultural, ethnic, visible and invisible disabilities, veteran status, nationality, and all the diversity of our students, faculty, professional staff, alumni, and our other partners.

To maximize the strength that our diversity brings, we center equity, inclusion and belonging, and incorporate an anti-racism approach to our strategic plan, organizational systems, policies, and structures.

Anti-racism

The active process of identifying and ending racism by changing our organizational systems, policies and structures to redistribute power and resources more equitably among all individuals, both at the personal and systemic levels.

Belonging

A sense of psychological safety that affords the ability for each member of the Drexel University community to be their authentic self without fear of judgement, where everyone can perform at their best because they feel accepted, respected, valued and heard.

Equity

The process by which we aim to achieve fairness through reallocation of University resources and opportunities such that policies, structures, and their implementation work to eliminate historical, systemic disadvantage for the benefit of everyone. This requires providing varying levels of support both at the individual and systemic levels.

Inclusion

We adopt Association of American Colleges and Universities' definition of inclusion as: The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity—in the curriculum, in the cocurriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect—in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.

Institutional Racism

Institutional polices, processes and biased practices that favor white people over Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

Racism

Racial prejudice based on unfounded beliefs and irrational fear combined with institutional power. This can be at the individual level (conscious and subconscious beliefs and actions that promote racism), the interpersonal level (racist slurs or actions), and systemic level (in institutions).


Resources consulted to define terms highlighted:

  • Association of American Colleges and Universities
  • Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre
  • Ferdman, B. M. (2017). Paradoxes of Inclusion: Understanding and Managing the Tensions of Diversity and Multiculturalism. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 53(2) 235–263
  • Huntley, R., Moore, R., and Pierce, C. (2017). Journeys of Race, Color and Culture: From Racial Inequality to Equity and Inclusion. New Dynamics Publication. Laconia, NH.
  • Winters, M. (2020). Inclusive conversations. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Oakland, CA