College of Education & Professional Studies

College of Education and Professional Studies Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement

We in the College of Education and Professional studies (COEPS) believe in equitable, diverse, and inclusive practices as universal human rightsDignities, rights, and freedoms, that all persons are entitled to regardless of race, ethnicity, disability, sex, language, religion, political affiliation, nationality, gender, birth order or other status. For further information on Universal Human Rights please to this link- We believe equity All people having impartial access to fair and just treatment and opportunities for advancement. means increasing opportunities for academic, professional, and personal success, to those who need them because of their unique needs, individualities, and abilities. We understand that diversity The presence of different and multiple characteristics that make up individual and collective identities, and efforts to increase representation of a wide range of social identity groups. is a multifaceted construct that includes intersectionalities of all visible and non-visible identitiesAge, genetic disposition/carrier status, neurotype, disability, ethnicity, nationality, race, sex, gender identity/expression, sexual/romantic orientation, size, political belief/affiliation, creed/religious affiliation, marital status, ancestry, nationality, ethnicity, race, language, size, ability/disability, socioeconomic status/class, religion, spirituality, political affiliations, military/veteran status, immigration status (list is not exhaustive).. We strive to create an inclusive The creation of physical environments and/or social-emotional climates in which every individual or group feels welcomed, accepted, respected, embraced, supported, and valued as fully participating and contributing member(s) of a community. community where all students, staff, and faculty across the spectrum of multiple identities and socio-political beliefs An individual's beliefs about social and political issues. feel seenA sense of being noticed, acknowledged, and addressed., heardA sense of having the space, time, opportunity, or invitation to speak, be listened to, and attended to., safeA sense of physical, social, and emotional security, where one and all are free and protected from danger, risk, hurt, or injury., valuedA sense of having relative worth, merit, or importance., respectedA sense of being recognized, considered, and esteemed for abilities, qualities, or achievements based on one's humanity, social identities, status, and appraisal., and enabled to thrivaeA sense of having a fair and equal opportunity to grow, develop, prosper, be successful, and flourish, both personally and professionally..

We seek to honor the sacredness An acknowledgement of the specialness and history, so as not to take them for granted. of the lands, airways, and waterways where this college exists, in recognition that Indigenous people Native American Indians and other ethnic groups who were the earliest inhabitants of these lands prior to colonization by European settlers. have been stewards Managers who attend to, protect, and maintain the well-being of something valuable as an act of service. of these lands for generations. We also acknowledge the historic and current systems of oppressionSocially formulated or constructed arrangements, plans, and/or methods of procedure either intentionally or unintentionally designed to benefit dominant groups, and maintained through the unfair and unjust treatment of non-dominant marginalized groups., discriminationPrejudiced, unequal, and unfair treatment of a person or group based on preconceived beliefs, opinions, false assumptions, and judgements (i.e., biases and stereotypes), which usually favor one person or group over others on differences related to any category of identity., powerUse of authority over others to ensure greater advantage, access to, and control of available resources., privilegeA set of unearned and sustained advantages and benefits afforded or given to certain individuals or groups based on specific dominant social identities (e.g., race, class, sex, and gender), which may grant feelings of power and/or superiority over others., and marginalization The process that occurs when members of dominant groups move non-dominant groups to the edge of society for the purpose of maintaining power by not allowing them an identity, active voice, place, or access to resources. that pervade society, including institutions of higher educationSchools, colleges, or universities of higher learning offering advanced instruction that leads to accredited degrees (e.g., predominantly White Institutions (PWIs), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Tribal Colleges and Universities serving largely Indigenous populations., and subtly undermine the practice of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We believe that these systems should be understood by all students, staff, and faculty. Guided by this belief, we aspire and actively work to reduce the academic, professional, and personal disparities Preventable, unequal, and/or inequitable differences in personal, social, professional, and financial status or opportunities. created by these systems through meaningful interactions, honest dialogue, radical listeningThe act of listening without judgment, while keeping silent, giving full attention to the speaker, and tuning into the voices of others without projecting one's own identity, ideas, thoughts, or opinions into the conversation., critical discussionActive, constructive, and positive dialogue that intentionally takes into account different ideas, issues, viewpoints, opinions, pros/strengths, and cons/limitations of multiple sides or positions of a topic(s)., and professional development opportunities. We have an ongoing commitment to recruit, retain, support, and educate a diverse body of students, staff, and faculty. Finally, we practice culturally relevant and sustaining pedagogyTeaching principles and practices that focus on, accept, affirm, and support the multiple cultural identities, backgrounds, experiences, competencies, and aspects of diverse student learning and achievement in the classroom; and the school is seen as a place where cultural diversity is kept, upheld, and continued overtime, rather than eradicated., as we teach our students to value the strength of diversity, the importance of inclusivity, and how to grow in cultural humilityThe ability to be intellectually humble and open to others in relation to aspects of their cultural identities, communities, and experiences, while recognizing the limitations of one's own cultural competence, and being driven to approach learning about other cultural identities as a lifelong process and goal., competence, and responsiveness A range of learned or obtained cognitive, affective, and behavioral skills that must be maintained to enable a person or organization to function and communicate effectively, appropriately, and empathetically with different cultural identities. It also entails an understanding of how inequity has been and can be maintained through socialized norms and behaviors and use of that knowledge to disrupt inequitable practices. in their academic and professional endeavors.