Skip to main content

Welcome to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at ECU

ECU Logo

East Central University is committed to educating and empowering students to understand how our world works and to transform it into something better. This guide is intended to provide some general information to help ECU community members start exploring ideas related to creating equity and justice. Use the tabs at the top of the page to navigate within the guide.

Feedback and suggestions for the guide are welcome and will be presented to ECU's Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Committee for consideration. No one is immune to the limits and hidden biases of our own privileges and perspectives, including the creators of this guide, and any comments to increase the inclusivity of the guide are greatly appreciated. Voices from marginalized communities are especially welcomed and encouraged to contribute!

Feedback

Definitions

Equity is the effort to provide different levels of support based on an individual’s or group’s needs in order to achieve fairness in outcomes. Working to achieve equity acknowledges unequal starting places and the need to correct the imbalance.

Definition from: CSSP (2019). “Key Equity Terms and Concepts: A Glossary for Shared Understanding.” Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Social Policy. Available at: https://cssp.org/resource/key-equity-terms-concepts/.

Three people of different heights trying to look over a fence. Equality is everyone on the same size block. Equity is everyone on a block tall enough for them to see over the fence.

Image from: Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2014). Race equity and inclusion action guide: 7 steps to advance and embed race equity and inclusion within your organizationhttp://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/AECF_EmbracingEquity7Steps-2014.pdf

Inclusion is a state of belonging, when persons of different backgrounds and identities are valued, integrated, and welcomed equitably as decision-makers and collaborators. Inclusion involves people being given the opportunity to grow and feel/know they belong. Diversity efforts alone do not create inclusive environments. Inclusion involves a sense of coming as you are and being accepted, rather than feeling the need to assimilate.

Definition from: CSSP (2019). “Key Equity Terms and Concepts: A Glossary for Shared Understanding.” Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Social Policy. Available at: https://cssp.org/resource/key-equity-terms-concepts/.

Justice is the process required to move us from an unfair, unequal, or inequitable state to one which is fair, equal, or equitable, depending on the specific content. Justice is a transformative practice that relies on the entire community to respond to past and current harm when it occurs in society. Through justice, we seek a proactive enforcement of policies, practices and attitudes that produce equitable access, opportunities, treatment and outcomes for all regardless of the various identities that one holds.

Definition from: CSSP (2019). “Key Equity Terms and Concepts: A Glossary for Shared Understanding.” Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Social Policy. Available at: https://cssp.org/resource/key-equity-terms-concepts/.

Oppression is a system of supremacy and discrimination for the benefit of a limited dominant class that perpetuates itself through differential treatment, ideological domination, and institutional control. Oppression reflects the inequitable distribution of current and historical structural and institutional power, where a socially constructed binary of a “dominant group” horde power, wealth, and resources at the detriment of the many. This creates a lack of access, opportunity, safety, security, and resources for non-dominant populations.

Definition from: CSSP (2019). “Key Equity Terms and Concepts: A Glossary for Shared Understanding.” Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Social Policy. Available at: https://cssp.org/resource/key-equity-terms-concepts/.

Racism is the systematic subjugation of members of targeted racial groups, who hold less socio-political power and/or are racialized as non-White, as means to uphold White supremacy. Racism differs from prejudice, hatred, or discrimination because it requires one racial group to have systematic power and superiority over other groups in society. Often, racism is supported and maintained, both implicitly and explicitly, by institutional structures and policies, cultural norms and values, and individual behaviors.

Definition from: CSSP (2019). “Key Equity Terms and Concepts: A Glossary for Shared Understanding.” Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Social Policy. Available at: https://cssp.org/resource/key-equity-terms-concepts/.

White Privilege is the unearned power and advantages that benefit people just by virtue of being White or being perceived as White.

White Fragility is a range of defensive (and centering) emotions and behaviors that White people exhibit when confronted with uncomfortable truths about race. This may include outward displays of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate White racial equilibrium.

Definition from: CSSP (2019). “Key Equity Terms and Concepts: A Glossary for Shared Understanding.” Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Social Policy. Available at: https://cssp.org/resource/key-equity-terms-concepts/.

Land Acknowledgement

As we come together upon this land to learn, we first want to acknowledge the original inhabitants of these lands and this region. We honor and extend our respect to the Kitikiti’sh (Wichita), Hasinai (Caddo), Na i sha and Ndee (Apache), Nʉmʉnʉʉ (Comanche) and Cáuigù (Kiowa) peoples and their eventual successors, the Chikashsha (Chickasaw Nation), who have since made various contributions to the success and development of East Central University (ECU) and the larger community. ECU exists because of the foresight of community leaders and the generosity of Chickasaw citizen Daniel Hays. East Central University would like to acknowledge the history of the land and the people that inhabited this place before us.

To express our appreciation and gratitude to the peoples that inhabited and cared for these lands before us and to honor their memory, East Central University acknowledges and respects the diverse historical contributions made by various Indigenous groups to these lands. ECU is fully committed to recognizing and supporting the sovereignty of the 39 tribal nations residing in the state of Oklahoma. This land acknowledgement statement is an extension of ECU’s mission statement and core values to foster a learning environment that prepares students for life in a rapidly changing and culturally diverse world. As an institution founded upon the generosity of Chickasaw citizen Daniel Hays, ECU honors and respects the diverse groups of people and their cultures that form our Tiger community.