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Inclusive Excellence

Inclusive Excellence is the recognition that an organization’s success is dependent on, and tied directly to, how well it values, engages and includes the rich diversity of its community members, including its students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and affiliates.


Diversity refers to all aspects of human difference, social identities, and social group differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, creed, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual identity, socio-economic status, language, culture, national origin, religion/spirituality, age, (dis)ability, military/veteran status, political perspective, and associational preferences.


Equity refers to fair and just practices and policies that ensure all campus community members can thrive. Equity is different than equality in that equality implies treating everyone as if their experiences are the same. Being equitable means acknowledging and addressing structural inequalities — historic and current — that advantage some and disadvantage others. Equal treatment results in equity only if everyone starts with equal access to opportunities.


Inclusion refers to a campus community where all members are and feel respected, have a sense of belonging, and can participate and achieve to their potential. While diversity is essential, it is not enough. An institution can be both diverse and non-inclusive at the same time, thus a sustained practice of creating inclusive environments is necessary for success.

Ambient Belonging

Feeling comfortable, accepted, valued and included in spaces.

Implicit Bias

Refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases, which encompass both favorable and unfavorable assessments, are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control.

Historically Underrepresented Groups

This term refers to groups who have been denied access and/or suffered past institutional discrimination in the United States and, according to the Census and other federal measuring tools, includes African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics or Chicanos/Latinos, and Native Americans. This is revealed by an imbalance in the representation of different groups in common pursuits such as education, jobs, and housing, resulting in marginalization for some groups and individuals and not for others, relative to the number of individuals who are members of the population involved. Other groups in the United States have been marginalized and are currently underrepresented. These groups may include but are not limited to: other ethnicities, adult learners, veterans, people with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, different religious groups, and different economic backgrounds.

Underrepresented Minority Groups

Defined as a group whose percentage of the population in a given group is lower than their percentage of the population in the country. At Georgia Southern University, our working definition of a URM is someone whose racial, multiracial or ethnic makeup is from one of the following: African American/Black African/Black, Hispanic or Latinx, Native American/ Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

Cultural Taxation

A term coined by Amado Padilla in 1994 as a way of describing the unique burden placed on ethnic minority faculty in carrying out their responsibility to service the university. He defined “cultural taxation” as the obligation to show good citizenship towards the institution by serving its needs for ethnic representation on committees, or to demonstrate knowledge and commitment to a cultural group. Often, employees who identify as underrepresented minorities sit on many more committees than is required of them and this extra service and increased workload goes unrecognized.

Racial Battle Fatigue

The result of constant physiological, psychological, cultural, and emotional coping with racial microaggressions in less-than-ideal and racially hostile or unsupportive environments.


A freedom or ability to obtain or make use of something.


Allyship is an active, consistent, and arduous practice of learning, unlearning and re-evaluating, in which a person holding systemic power seeks to end oppressions in solidarity with a group of people who are systemically disempowered.


Any unearned benefit, right or advantage one receives insociety by nature of their identities.

Social Justice

Justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.


A feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, valued and should be treated in a dignified way.

Last updated: 2/10/2021