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Defining Diversity, Equity, and Equality

Defining Diversity, Equity, and Equality


Diversity is often defined as the differences that we all have. These differences can range from physical characteristics such as wearing glasses 🤓 to socioeconomic status such as finances 💵. Diversity exists everywhere, and it's essential to acknowledge its existence and embrace these differences rather than alienating them.

Equality vs Equity ⍯

Equality is often viewed as fairness and sameness. However, it is based on the misconception that we all have the same needs, and the same solution will work for everyone. Equity, on the other hand, recognizes that each person has different advantages and disadvantages and thus requires different solutions to attain access and opportunity. We can use the following analogy to better understand the difference between equity and equality. Imagine three individuals trying to watch a baseball game behind a fence. One individual is tall, one is short, and the third is in a wheelchair. With equality, each person would be given a box to stand on to watch the game. However, this solution does not account for their different needs. The tall person doesn't need the box, the short person needs two boxes, and the person in the wheelchair cannot use the box at all. With equity, each person would be given what they need to see the game comfortably. The person in the wheelchair would be given a ramp to see the full game, the shorter person would have two boxes to comfortably watch, and the tall person would not need any extra assistance.

Final Thoughts 🤔

Equity is a continuous process that requires resources and social responsibility to work hand in hand to change structures and provide opportunities for those who were institutionally left out. Marginalized or oppressed equity is difficult to address, but it's essential to make changes in the lives of those who have been historically depicted as less than. To achieve true progressive equity, we must seek out opportunities to have authentic conversations with those who are different than us. Finding out what makes them unique and what brings them joy, and then sharing our own stories is a way to build a strong system. With community, we have power. Remember, "WE" as a strong system is always going to be greater than you or me alone." 👊🏿👊🏾👊🏽👊🏼👊🏻

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