Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Definitions

The following terms and their meanings can help foster understanding as we work to achieve the goals of the University's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Plan and create a more equitable, inclusive campus culture.

The active process of identifying, challenging, and confronting racism (inequities based on race). This active process requires confronting systems, organizational structures, policies, practices, behaviors, and attitudes. This active process should seek to redistribute power in an effort to foster equitable outcomes (National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, 2021)

Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy
The Sisters of Mercy were founded out of a deep concern for the needs of persons who are poor. Today, we focus our ministry on those needs identified through our “critical concerns.” We address these concerns through prayer; our own communal life as a religious congregation; education; advocacy with legislators and other leaders; and corporate engagement. The five critical concerns include that of: earth, immigration, non-violence, racism, and woman (Sisters of Mercy, 2021)

Cultural Humility
Desire and ability to maintain an other-oriented interpersonal stance in relation to features of cultural identity that are important to others. (Hook et al., 2013)

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). A policy allowing that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 2021)

The presence, recognition and engagement of people with individual differences (e.g., personality, prior knowledge, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations) (Association of American Colleges & Universities, n.d.)

A process of modifying structures and practices that have intentionally or unintentionally advantaged or disadvantaged groups of people; it is a process that responds to unjust structural outcomes to create laws, policies, practices and traditions that support just outcomes for all. (University of Dayton Ohio, n.d.)

A process and practice of active, intentional and sustained engagement of each person in the community that values and respects their perspectives, multiple identities, experiences and contributions. (University of Dayton Ohio, n.d.)

Inclusive Excellence
Recognizes that diversity, equity and inclusion are fundamental to academic and institutional excellence. Inclusive excellence requires a comprehensive, cohesive and collaborative alignment of infrastructure, resources and actions. (Association of American Colleges & Universities, n.d.)

Inclusive-Focused Course
While many courses include diversity, equity, and inclusion topics, an inclusive-focused course has diversity, equity, and inclusion as an overarching theme. This is clearly evident in the course description and learning objectives of the course.

Engagement, cooperation and/or dialogue across religious or worldviews differences that involves forming relationships, fostering positive attitudes and developing appreciative knowledge among people (Adapted from University of Dayton Ohio)

A framework for conceptualizing interlocking oppressions based on the interconnected nature of historically and systemically oppressed, underrepresented and minoritized groups. As identities do not exist independently of each other, intersectionality makes visible the complex convergence of overlapping and interdependent systems of privilege and oppression. (University of Dayton Ohio, n.d.)

Invisible Labor
The unrecognized work underrepresented faculty and staff members are called on to do by virtue of that status: mentoring students who see aspects of themselves in their professors, for example, or otherwise engaging in inclusion and diversity work. (Adapted from Flaherty, 2019) 

Refers to members of the student body, faculty, staff, administration, parents, trustees, alumni and guests who endure mistreatment, and face prejudices that are enforced upon them because of situations and characteristics outside of their control. These may include race, religion/spirituality/ faith, ethnicity, ability, national origin, immigration status, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, social class/socioeconomic status and language. (This list is not exhaustive.)

Names the advantages, favors and benefits conferred on members of dominant groups at the expense of members of marginalized, underrepresented or minoritized groups. It operates and conveys power on personal, interpersonal, cultural and institutional levels. The scope and depth are largely invisible to those who have it. (University of Dayton Ohio, n.d.)

Racism is the process by which systems and policies, actions and attitudes create inequitable opportunities and outcomes for people based on race. (Australian Human Rights Commission, n.d.)

Sisters of Mercy on Racism: We work to become an anti-racist community—committed to eliminating personal and institutional racism and dismantling oppressive structures, policies and processes.

Radical Mercy
An assertive disposition that places Respect, Integrity, Service, and Social Justice in a Diverse World as central to one’s lifestyle and choices, especially as related to members of the GMercyU Community.

Social Justice
The work to eliminate historic and systemic oppression and to build systems and cultures of human dignity where rights, accountability, equity, inclusion and access to the common good create conditions for people and communities to realize their full potential. (University of Dayton Ohio, n.d.)

Underrepresented Population
Describes the extent to which the proportion of certain U.S. racial/ ethnic groups relative to the total campus population fails to mirror their proportion in the broader U.S. population. For our purposes, the term underrepresented populations refers to members of the student body, faculty, staff, administration, parents, trustees, alumni and guests who self-identify with real and socially constructed human dimensions of race and ethnicity, including American/ Alaskan Native, Black/African American, Latinx/ Hispanic/Chicanx, Asian American, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander American, biracial or multiracial, and gender identification. (University of Dayton Ohio, n.d.) 

Tatiana Diaz, AVP of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
215-646-7300, ext. 21073