The following definitions provide a common understanding of the meaning of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Globalization at MICA.
These are evolving definitions that will periodically be examined and updated. We acknowledge that there is a plethora of definitions of DEIG that are compelling based on the perspectives of the constituents that are defining the concepts. MICA’s DEIG definitions recognize our own specificity while being consistent with those of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) as articulated by its DEIG Task Force, in order to achieve a suitable degree of unity with our peers.
Diversity is the range of human differences, and means that each individual is unique and equally worthwhile. Not merely acknowledging the existence of differences, diversity implies the valuing and appreciation of, while giving voice to, these differences. Dimensions of diversity generally cover but are not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, cultural identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic background, physical and mental ability or attributes, religious or ethical values system, national origin, citizenship, political beliefs and other ideologies. In an art and design educational environment, the scope of differences necessarily encompasses additional factors such as learning abilities and artistic approaches.
Equity is a fair distribution of a system’s benefits and burdens regardless of its members’ differences. In other words, equity would be a reality in which an individual is no more or less likely to experience a system’s benefits or burdens just because of their differences. It provides each individual the opportunity to succeed and thrive. In our not-yet-perfect world, a commitment to equity requires the will and action of a system to examine inequity, including historical wrong, and redistribute opportunities and power.
Inclusion is involvement, participation and empowerment, where the inherent worth and dignity of all people are honored. An inclusive system promotes and sustains a sense of belonging. It values and practices respect for the differences, talents, beliefs, backgrounds and ways of living of its members. An inclusive system also recognizes that agreement might not always be the end result, but that dialogue and understanding are part of the larger process that allows for inclusivity to be achieved and benefit all members.
Globalization is the infusion of international and comparative-historical perspectives throughout the teaching and learning, career and professional development, research, operation and services at the College. It shapes institutional ethos and values, with equal commitment to international students’ success at MICA’s home campus and American students’ international education. It provides a strategic framework to build equitable, mutually accountable and sustainable partnerships globally. It means the internationalization of the home campus and programs, as well as the activation of MICA as a global education provider.