Applying the principles of intentionality, accountability, reflective practice are essential to achieving inclusive excellence.
Our minds preference similarity, what we already know, and how we normally do things. If we aren’t intentional in creating a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and welcoming environment, it won’t happen. Inclusivity requires us to recognize and value difference, to think outside of what we already know, and to do things differently. To see inside our blinds spots requires intentional effort. For example, achieving a deep and diverse applicant pool for a faculty or staff position requires an intentional effort to write the position announcement in a way that appeals to groups that aren’t normally in the applicant pool, and to advertise in places that will attract those candidates. It also requires that search committee members are intentional about recognizing implicit bias and unpacking it when it is present. If they aren’t intentional about this, these biases won’t be recognized for what they are, and decisions will be informed by implicit bias.
Being accountable means both that we will act and that we are willing to allow our actions to be measured against a standard. Because inclusive excellence is the standard for everyone, everyone should be held accountable for what they do and say to contribute or not contribute to an inclusive and welcoming environment. This is particularly important for leaders in the Institute. For this reason, the senior leaders of the Institute have signed the CEO Action Pledge for Diversity and Inclusion indicating that they will actively work to achieve diversity and inclusion in the Institute. Progress is measured through regular diversity audits, and leaders are evaluated annually and prior to reappointment.
What good is being intentional and accountable if we aren’t willing to reflect on what we do. We are being reflective when we ask ourselves questions such as, “how are we doing?”, “is what we are doing (or saying) helping people feel welcomed and like their contributions are valued?”, “is how we are presenting ourselves demonstrating the value that we place on diversity?”, “are we appropriately providing opportunities to those who wouldn’t normally have opportunity?”, and “is what I am saying (or doing) revealing implicit bias?”. We are engaging in reflective practice when our responses to these questions changes our behavior.