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Learn & Unlearn: Anti-racism Resource Guide

Lesson 3: Identity, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

Original post on @saic.maffairs posted 8/14/2020.

Foundation: Identity, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

What is Identity? Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are often grouped together, but do you know the difference? 

Identity is the compilation of identifying labels anyone uses to represent themselves; Also a system of identifying labels ascribed to social groups; gives a sense of belonging to the social world based on sameness to groups. Sex, gender, ethnicity, race, nationality, ability, religion, spirituality, age, socio-economic status, language, political leanings, etc. are some examples.1

Diversity is the presence of difference; in groups is the presence of variety in identities, thought, personality, working style, backgrounds, life experiences. Diversity is the representation of identities throughout a spectrum.2 A group can be diverse, and still have a presence of racism, prejudice, and bias. Sometimes Diversity is incorrectly perceived only as the presence of historical minority groups within a group. That’s actually a matter of inclusion and equity.

Inclusion is how people from historically underrepresented identities, feel a sense of belonging, are valued, depended upon, and matter. Inclusion asks who has a seat at the table? 

Equity is everyone having the same access to opportunities, supported and enforced by group policy and culture. Equity accounts for imbalances, unequal starting points, and unfair treatment.3,4


“Diversity is being asked to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance,” - Verna Myers5
Think about: How would you alter this metaphor to include equity? (then read Inclusion isn't "being asked to dance."‚Äč by Daniel Juday, 2017)

To Read

A Note for Getting Library Books - Fall 2020
Flaxman Library Materials - May take up to 3 days from request to pickup. Instructions are available here.
I-Share Books - May take up to 10 days from request to pickup. Instructions are available here.

To Research

To Listen

To Watch

Little White Lie, The Film: A Personal Documentary About The Power of Telling the Truth [Film]

To Follow

Edinah @wildlogic
Laci Jordan @solaclike
Charlot Kristensen @zolwia - Graphic novel, We Don’t Talk About, is for sale! 
Danielle Coke @ohhappydani
Shirien Damra @shirien.creates - Chicago freelance artist
Natasha Cunningham @aboutnatlife

To Reflect

Complete this Social Identity Worksheet
What do you think about most? Least often? Does that change?
What do you appreciate about each identity? What is the most difficult?

To Act

Support Black, Indigenous, and other POC artists. Support on Patreon, from Etsy, buy books/zines.
Follow these artists, Like, and Repost to help spread the power of their work.
Reject the practice of asking Black people, Indigenous, and other People of Color to describe their lived experiences for you. Use the resources here, and other resources made by BIPOC to learn from.


Works Cited

  1. David Buckingham, "Introducing Identity," in Youth, Identity, and Digital Media, ed. David Buckingham (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2008), 1-24.
  2. "How Would You Define Diversity?: Open-ended Responses From Student-Conducted Survey", April 28 2010.
  3. Krys Burnette (@krysburnette), "Belonging: A Conversation about Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion," Medium, January 21 2019.
  4. "The Problem With that Equity vs. Equality Graphic You’re Using," Cultural Organizing, November 1 2016.
  5. Verna Myers,

Other Sources