Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Team
Welcome to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team (DEIT) page!
Great Falls College Montana State University recognizes that there are myriad dimensions of diversity, including sex, race, age, national origin, ethnicity, tribal affiliation, gender identity and expression, intellectual and physical ability, sexual orientation, faith and non-faith perspectives, socioeconomic status, political ideology, education, primary language, family status, military experience, cognitive style, and communication style. The College views the individual intersection of these experiences and characteristics as a resource, strength, and benefit to the Great Falls College Montana State University campus community.
The Diversity Equity, and Inclusion Team is an Executive Team-appointed group of faculty and staff working to identify diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) needs and make recommendations institution-wide through input from students, faculty, and staff.
The Diversity Equity and Inclusion Team is an Executive Team-appointed group of faculty and staff that serves to observe campus climate, identify gaps, and recommend or initiate programs and processes in coordination with campus leadership to promote a campus culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion for all students and employees at GFC MSU.
What does diversity, equity, and inclusion mean?
"Diversity" means more than just acknowledging and/or tolerating difference. Diversity is a set of conscious practices that involve:
- Understanding and appreciating interdependence of humanity, cultures, and the natural environment.
- Practicing mutual respect for qualities and experiences that are different from our own.
- Understanding that diversity includes not only ways of being but also ways of knowing;
- Recognizing that personal, cultural and institutionalized discrimination creates and sustains privileges for some while creating and sustaining disadvantages for others;
- Building alliances across differences so that we can work together to eradicate all forms of discrimination. (https://www.qcc.cuny.edu/diversity/definition.html)
The term “equity” refers to fairness and justice and is distinguished from equality: Whereas equality means providing the same to all, equity means recognizing that we do not all start from the same place and must acknowledge and make adjustments to imbalances. The process is ongoing, requiring us to identify and overcome intentional and unintentional barriers arising from bias or systemic structures. (https://www.naceweb.org/about-us/equity-definition/)
Inclusion is an organizational effort and practices in which different groups or individuals having different backgrounds are culturally and socially accepted and welcomed, and equally treated. These differences could be self-evident, such as national origin, age, race and ethnicity, religion/belief, gender, marital status and socioeconomic status or they could be more inherent, such as educational background, training, sector experience, organizational tenure, even personality, such as introverts and extroverts. (https://globaldiversitypractice.com/what-is-diversity-inclusion/
- On a campus, inclusion means having a valued voice, seeing others like you represented around you and in the curriculum, and knowing that you belong and matter based on how you experience the environment and your interactions with others. (“Refocusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion During the Pandemic and Beyond: Lessons From a Community of Practice” by Taffye Benson Clayton, January 13, 2021, HigherEducationToday.org)
Current DEI Team Members:
Joshua Archey, Office of Student Engagement
Brenda Canine, Biology Faculty
Katherine Meier, Disability Services
Leigh Ann Ruggiero, Writing Faculty
Julie Barnwell, Dental Hygiene Program Director
Heidi Pasek, Social Science Faculty
Elyssa Wassmann, Advisor
If you’re interested in finding out more information about the DEI Team or contributing as a member, email email@example.com.
Is there something you’ve seen, heard, read, experienced etc. on our campus related to diversity, equity, or inclusion (as defined above) that you’d like to bring to the attention of the DEI Team? Fill out the DEI Virtual Suggestion Box.
Examples might include barriers to your success; exclusive language, practices, or procedures in the classroom or on campus; lack of understanding of a particular perspective.