Select Page

Equity and Inclusion Definitions

How we use language matters. Below, you will find working definitions adopted from AICAD’s Statement of Principles on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.


Diversity is the range of human differences and means that each individual is equally worthwhile. Not merely acknowledging the existence of differences, it celebrates these differences and recognizes the essential value of diversity in a system. Dimensions of diversity generally cover but are not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic class, physical or cognitive disability, religious or ethical values system, national origin, citizenship, political beliefs, and other ideologies.


Equity is the equal distribution of a system’s benefits and burdens regardless of its members’ differences. In other words, equity would be a reality in which an individual or groups are no more or less likely to experience a system’s benefits or burdens just because of their differences, creating an environment where everyone can succeed and thrive. In our not yet perfect world, a commitment to equity requires the will and action of a system to redistribute opportunities and power.


Inclusion is involvement and empowerment, where the inherent worth and dignity of all people are recognized. An inclusive system promotes and sustains a sense of belonging. It values and practices respect for the talents, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of living of its members. An inclusive system also recognizes that agreement might not always be the end result, but that dialogue and understanding are part of the larger process that allows for inclusivity to be achieved.