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Kalamazoo College

Definitions Informing Our Approach

The leadership team has developed these working definitions for diversity and inclusion* :

Representational Diversity: The degree to which the campus attracts, retains, and develops students, faculty, and staff of varied cultural, economic, gender, geographic, racial/ethnic, and religious identities. Increased representational diversity on a campus is a necessary (though not sufficient) condition to promote diversity and inclusion.

Diversity: recognizing, acknowledging, valuing and appreciating individual and group differences and similarities.

Inclusion: Creating and sustaining an educational environment that maximizes the potential of all participants and that also fosters the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity in all aspects of the educational process with the goals of increasing awareness, knowledge, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact with each other and within systems and institutions.


* We have adopted the policy of “sufficient,” meaning these definitions, while not perfect, provide a framework sufficient to enable us to be clear about our goals, to initiate our work and monitor our progress. This “sufficient” strategy allows us to devote our time to the work that needs to be accomplished rather than to developing the “perfect” all encompassing nomenclature.