Defining Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

FIU is a student-centered public research university strongly focused on learning, research, entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity. As such, FIU is committed to ensuring that a diversity of cultures, races and ethnicities, genders, political and religious beliefs, physical and learning differences, sexual orientations and identities thrive on our campuses and within our community.

To the extent that ‘diversity’ is defined as “including or involving people from a range of different backgrounds,” our approach is to facilitate that inclusion while ensuring all constituents have a sense of ‘belonging’ within the organization. Our approach recognizes this is no easy feat, as diversity of thought and background factor into one’s socio-cultural responses. We recognize our responsibility to foster an open, welcoming, and inclusive environment of belonging where students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community of all backgrounds can collaboratively learn and work. Diversity enriches our university community and is a driving force that is instrumental to our institutional success and fulfillment of the university’s mission.

To that end, we are committed to educating through brave space dialogues, action-oriented facilitation, programs/workshops, and continual communication campaigns that emphasize a simple concept. 


Diversity refers to all aspects of human difference, social identities, social group differences, protected classes, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, creed, color, sex, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual identity (sexual and romantic orientation), socio-economic status, language, culture, national origin, religion/spirituality, age, (dis)ability, military/veteran status, political perspective, health status, and associational preferences. At FIU, diversity is representation of our varied individual characteristics, identities, and differences.


Equity includes access to opportunity, information, and resources, on a level-playing field for all. Equity is different than equality in that equality implies treating everyone as if their experiences are the same. Equal treatment results in equity only if everyone starts with equal access to opportunities. While embedded in the quality of being fair or impartial. Equity is achieved in an environment built on respect and dignity that both acknowledges and addresses historic structural inequalities as well as contemporary injustices.


Inclusion refers to an embracement within the FIU community where all members are and feel included as well as respected, with welcomed involvement to participate at desired levels with support in achieving to their fullest potential. Although diversity is essential, it does not guarantee inclusion. Intentionality is required to achieve a normalized practice toward creating an inclusive environment for success and sustained transformation.


Belonging is the affirmed sense of security and support when there is authentic acceptance, inclusion, and identity extended to members of all groups. Belonging exists when individuals can bring their authentic selves to class, work, campus, and community. Belonging is a critical factor in improving engagement, performance, retention, and success.