Students laughing and talking outside on the University Commons

Mission

The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (OEDI) provides leadership, vision and accountability on NEIU’s commitments to:

  • foster diversity and inclusive excellence  
  • institutionalize culturally responsive teaching, learning and programming
  • resolve systemic inequities and 
  • create a welcoming, supportive and respectful environment for all.

We hope you will engage with us in this important work and look forward to connecting with you!

Defining Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Equity, diversity and inclusion are critical to advancing academic excellence and the overall success of our students, faculty and staff. We must not only define these words, we must also be vigilant in our commitment to build and sustain a community that embraces these core values. 

After two rounds of community input during the Fall 2021, the following definitions currently serve as NEIU’s shared institutional understanding of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion:

EQUITY is the balance achieved when everyone receives what they need to successfully pursue their goals without having to sacrifice their integrity or well-being. Achieving equity requires a commitment to identify and rectify systemic exploitation, disenfranchisement, disregard, disrespect and exclusion that has institutionalized unequal access to opportunities, networks, resources and support in higher education. 

DIVERSITY is the range of differences that shape who we are, who we are expected to be and become, and the likelihood we will face barriers in pursuit of our goals. Fostering diversity requires a commitment to understand, value and engage differences in backgrounds, identities, abilities, cultures and experiences for their capacity to help us identify and rectify structural inequities.

INCLUSION is the experience of feeling welcomed, respected, valued and supported within a social, educational or professional community. Inclusion requires ensuring that the knowledge systems, perspectives and experiences of all community members inform equitable decision-making processes, policies, practices, social and material infrastructure that govern institutions of higher education. The perspectives and experiences of those historically excluded from and marginalized within higher education and its shared governance processes should be centrally engaged to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the barriers to true inclusion and how best to overcome them.