Defining Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
FIU is a student-centered public research university strongly focused on education, 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 a 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.
Florida International University values diversity, equity, and inclusion as integral to our mission as a student-centered public research university strongly focused on learning, research, entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity so that its graduates are prepared to succeed in a global market. FIU embraces and strives to ensure that a diversity of cultures, races and ethnicities, genders, political and religious beliefs, physical and learning differences, sexual orientations and identities is thriving on our campus and within our community.
We recognize our responsibility to foster an open, welcoming, and inclusion environment of belonging. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and our community of all backgrounds should be able to collaboratively learn and work. Diversity enriches our university community and is a driving force instrumental to our institutional success.
FIU has a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are committed to ensuring our faculty and staff reflect the diversity of our local community and our student body. We commit to engaging in an ongoing and thoughtful dialogue about the changing realities of our increasingly interconnected world. We will continually strive to work together to address the challenges of the future in a way that removes barriers to success and promotes a culture of inclusivity, compassion, and mutual respect within the classroom, workplace, and in all aspect of life.
The Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) serves as a strategic campus partner to support the increasing needs of a diverse community. We lead strategic and campus-wide efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. By emphasizing access, diversity education, and outreach to promote personal and professional growth to foster a climate of inclusion within a diverse community, and establishing partnerships to support coordination with existing campus diversity efforts.
We commit to affirm explicitly and in united solidarity our identity as an anti-racist academic institution.
We commit to personal and institutional exploration and examination of implicit bias and systemic advantage/oppression such that our anti-racism commitment be reflected in the life and culture of university through our policies, programs, and practices as we continue to learn about racism and ethnic oppression.
We commit to the development and implementation of strategies and best-practices that dismantle systemic racism and ethnic oppression within all aspects of our university, community and society.
Florida International University affirms its commitment to recognizing, addressing and eradicating all forms of racism and ethnic oppression. Our focus is to engage, collaborate, teach, serve, and create scholarship that challenges longstanding oppressive and racially prejudiced forces. We are committed to reducing racial injustices within the academy and beyond. FIU is united in its pursuit to end racial and ethnic bias and to empower our students, faculty, and staff towards this collective goal.
Recognizing that bias can be unconscious or unintentional and that racism is the combination of social privilege, coupled with institutional power and racial prejudice, we are committed to optimizing opportunities to educate and inform while we expose and challenge behaviors that do not align with equitable practices of inclusion and belonging.
Engaging in meaningful conversations on systemic racism, oppression, and the origins of privileged mindsets, requires courage, respect and empathy. Such conversations may not always be comfortable. We are committed to having the uncomfortable conversations to identify, discuss and challenge issues of race, color, ethnicity and the impact(s) they have on students, faculty, and staff members.
"No one is born a racist or antiracist; these result from the Choices we make. Being antiracist results from a conscious decision to make frequent, consistent, equitable choices daily. These choices require ongoing self-awareness and self-reflection as we move through life. In the absence of making antiracist choices, we (un) consciously uphold aspects of white supremacy, white-domain culture, and unequal institutions and society. Being racist or antiracist is not about who you are; it is about what you do."
-National Museum of African American History & Culture
Florida International University affirms its commitment to ensure that each member of the University community shall be permitted to work or study in an environment free from any form of illegal discrimination, including race, color, sex, pregnancy, religion, age, disability, national origin, marital status, and veteran status.
The University recognizes its obligation to work towards a community in which diversity is valued and opportunity is equalized. FIU has two policies – FIU-105 Sexual Harassment (Title IX) and Sexual Misconduct and FIU-106 Nondiscrimination, Harassment and Retaliation (Title VI) that communicate standards of workplace and educational equity, expectations of collegiality and respect, and the grievance process for behaviors that may be in violation of either of these regulations.
Applicant pools for faculty, staff, administrative, and temporary positions across the University are reviewed to ensure that they represent the diversity of the University community. The University charges each search committee to conduct their proceedings in a fair manner that reduces implicit bias and promotes diversity in the recruitment and selection of full-time faculty and senior-level staff positions.
Training and support are provided to business units, departments, and colleges on a consistent basis to supplement the University’s values of diversity and inclusion.
"We acknowledge that our university is located on the ancestral homelands of sovereign Native nations, including the Tequesta, the Calusa, and today, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida. We pay our respects to the traditional custodians, the Elders past and present, by fully recognizing Indigenous sovereignty as well as the historical and contemporary relationship between Indigenous peoples and their traditional homelands. It is within our responsibility as an academic institution to uphold knowledge about the history of our institution with the original stewards of this land that we live, learn, and work on. We encourage our University community to read and learn about ways to support our local Indigenous communities in their efforts to preserve Seminole and Miccosukee land and water rights, cultural practices, and the conservation of the environment.
Consistent with our University's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, FIU is working towards creating an academic environment that is inclusive of Indigenous students, faculty, and staff who have often been rendered invisible due to structural discriminatory practices. At FIU, we hold ourselves accountable to serving local, regional and worldwide Indigenous communities through academic policy-oriented research, education, partnerships, community service, as well as enrollment initiatives to overcome the effects of Indigenous exclusion and erasure in our own academic institution. It is our hope that acknowledging the land helps us to better understand that harm has been done and address the legacies of violence in our communities in order to create a pathway to true healing."
For more information of land acknowledgments, visit FIU’s Global Indigenous Forum’s website.