For diversity efforts to succeed, we need greater specificity about the meaning of these efforts and the strategies we might use to achieve these outcomes.
In our work, we categorize these efforts into three approaches: building representational diversity (what we can see and count), fostering interactional diversity (the capacity to engage diversity effectively), and committing to structural diversity (how an organization or institution enacts this commitment). This framework is developed in collaboration with Dr. Mark Chesler based on concepts described by Dr. Patricia Gurin and others.
The bulk of current broadening participation efforts focus on a limited form of structural diversity that is focused on achieving representational diversity. This is important work, but it is insufficient to the goal of realizing the benefits of diversity.
We believe that colleges and universities must define and develop interactional diversity as the leading edge of diversity efforts. Through this commitment we can move beyond access to retention and actualize the mutually beneficial, transformative, and multi-faceted nature of being a diverse society. Read more about the educational case for diversity and inclusion in this blog post.
Bring a more diverse set of people.
- Invite and include
- Engage and invest
- Educate and train
- Engage and discuss
- Empower and ally
- Provide focused programming and initiatives
- Share power
- Infuse DEI everywhere
- Evaluate efforts
- Reward and incentivize
- Invest in long term and interconnected ways