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Supporting Conversations on Equity and Inclusion: Home

Thanks to Teresa Ashley, Austin Community College Library Services, for the use of as a template.

What Is Equity?

Equity: Boys standing on boxes to see over a fence with taller boxes for shorter boys

In terms of student success, it is often necessary to address equity issues--such as access to specific technology--that may be related to socioeconomic status and other factors.  At many educational institutions course schedules have not been printed for years; students must register and enroll in courses online. Final grades, financial aid accounts, and college announcements may be provided exclusively online. A considerable portion of a library's collection may be digital  and require access to online databases, including the library catalog, to complete research assignments.

Image from Mann, Blair. (2014, March 12). Equity and equality are not equal. The Education Trust. Retrieved from

What Is Inclusion?

"Inclusion refers to how diversity is leveraged to create a fair, equitable, healthy, and high-performing organization or community where all individuals are respected, feel engaged and motivated, and their contributions toward meeting organizational and societal goals are valued."  This definition comes from Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks: Standards for Organizations Around the World by Julie O'Mara, Alan Richter, and 80 expert panelists, sponsored by The Diversity Collegium, 2014. 

 circles illustration inclusion, exclusion, segregation, and integration.  Inclusion shows all the differently colored balls in one circle

Image from Special Education Degrees: Your Guide to a Career in Special Education

What Are Microaggressions?

Microaggressions have been defined as "brief and commonplace daily verbal or behavioral indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults that potentially have a harmful or unpleasant psychological impact on the target group."  (Sue, et al. (2008). Racial microaggressions against Black Americans: Implications for counseling. Journal of Counseling & Development, 86, 330–338. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6678.2008. tb00517.x)

Lipscomb University professor Dr. Chris Gonzalez offers the following regarding the psychological and social aspects of micro-aggressions:

-Microaggressions are subtle insult directed at a group, often people of color. 
-The cumulative effect of micro-aggressions can create injury
-The social process of shared obliviousness allows micro-aggressions to persist in a social system


Conflict Management Tools

Professor Phyllis Hildreth suggests the following conflict management principles as faculty at Lipscomb seek to:

  • Affirm our shared identity as a Christ-centered community of learners.
  • Clarify our roles as guardians of the safety of our courses, classrooms, and students.
  • Expand our understanding of factors undergirding the diverse perspectives each of us bring to our shared community.


We cannot manage conflicts we have not been invited into; we can manage conflicts that arise in our classrooms.


Distinguish between positions, interests, and needs - see beyond the obvious and seek to understand what matters to members of our community of concern.


We cannot change the thoughts and feelings of others, but we can manage behaviors to reduce conflict by deciding which conversations to have and which to avoid, defer, or refer to others.


How one university went all-in on restorative justice - contact your friendly Beaman Librarian for Chronicle of Higher Education login.

Guidelines for discussing difficult topics from the University of Michigan Center for Research on Learning and Teaching.

Getting to yes : negotiating agreement without giving in by Roger Fisher. Penguin, 2011. 

*on order for Beaman Library



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Britt Mountford