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Inclusion

Inclusion is the intentional recognition of diversity in service of equity and justice.  Diversity in this context means difference within a community, whether racial identity, ethnicity, national origin, language, age, religion/spirituality, socioeconomic background, gender identity, sexual orientation, or different abilities, skills, customs, values, beliefs, and behavioral styles. In an inclusive environment, all persons are valued, respected, and supported.  Inclusive institutions promote culture, practices, and relationships that support diversity and openness in communications.  Inclusive institutions intentionally act to ensure that historically underrepresented, marginalized, or excluded persons share power at all levels and are able to contribute their experiences, knowledge, and perspectives.  In an inclusive community, minority members should not be expected to assimilate to an existing culture.  Rather, all members should work to transform historically discriminatory systems, adapting values, policies, and practices that integrate traditionally minoritized perspectives.