Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives

Student Involvement has launched a new initiative to help you improve your organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI. In alignment with our values, We value diversity, community, leadership, and integrity. Inclusiveness and respect unite and strengthen our community. The diverse co-curricular opportunities within Student Involvement intentionally foster leadership development. We will be truthful with each other and ourselves because our collective success depends upon it.” 

As an institution, state, and country, we recognize that we always have room to grow, and we want to show you our commitment to supporting your growth. We hope these resources will be helpful in starting discussions and creating action steps for individual and organizational growth. Within Student Involvement, we believe leadership is for everyone and hope to see that carry into our organizations. 

We welcome and encourage suggestions or feedback from anyone with a vested interest in our work. You can email us at involve@auburn.edu or submit anonymous feedback at aub.ie/sifeedback.

Please see below for resources, workshops, and ongoing opportunities for you to engage.

Be in the know about what resources are available throughout campus.

There are ongoing opportunities to engage with areas of learning and events. To get you started, here are a few resources and areas to stay engaged with:  AUinvolve, Office of Inclusion & Diversity, Cross Cultural Center for Excellence. 

Whether you consider yourself well-educated on topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion or feel like you are just beginning the conversation, this is for you. Through these sections of development, we hope you find spaces to reflect, be challenged, think differently, and engage in conversation with others about how to develop your spheres of influence. 

Student Involvement as an office is committed to our values statement, “we value diversity, community, leadership, and integrity. Inclusiveness and respect unite and strengthen our community. The diverse co-curricular opportunities within Student Involvement intentionally foster leadership development. We will be truthful with each other and ourselves because our collective success depends upon it.” 


Accomplice: all accomplices are allies, but not all allies are accomplices. While an ally is willing to stand in support of a marginalized voice, risk is rarely involved. An accomplice uses the power and privilege they possess to challenge the status quo, often risking their physical and social well-being in the process.

Ally/Advocate: leveraging personal positions of power and privilege to fight oppression by respecting, working with, and empowering marginalized voices and communities; using one’s own voice to project others,’ less represented, voices. This is not something you achieve that is permanent it is fluid to how you are perceived by others.

Anti-Racism: Anti-Racism is defined as the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. Anti-racism tends to be an individualized approach and set up in opposition to individual racist behaviors and impacts.

Bias: the automatically activated evaluations or stereotypes that affect an individual’s understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner

Bigotry: intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself

BIPOC: The acronym stands for “Black, Indigenous and people of color.”

Change Agent: a person who has a sense of accountability in creating and maintaining positive change in their community.

Cognitive Dissonance: the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values

Colorism: prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.

Cultural Humility: a process of reflection and lifelong inquiry, involving self-awareness of our personal and cultural biases as well as awareness and sensitivity to the significant cultural issues of others. Core to the process of cultural humility is the individual’s deliberate reflection of their values and biases.

Discrimination: an action; to discriminate against someone means to give someone different or undesirable treatment based on a prejudice against them, especially on the basis of some aspect of their identity

Diversity: the ways in which people differ, encompassing the different characteristics and identities that make one individual or group different from another

Dominant Narrative: an explanation or story that is told in service of the dominant social group’s interests and ideologies (perpetuated by repetition, authority, and silencing)

Empathy: understanding and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and emotions of others 

Equality: treating everyone the same and giving everyone access to the same opportunities 

Equity: the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups 

Gaslighting: an intentional or unintentional manipulation tactic in which a person gains power by making a victim question their own reality or sanity. Examples include but are not limited to: 

  • “I don’t see color.” 
  • “You should’ve worn something less revealing.” 
  • “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.” 
  • “Why can’t they be peaceful? MLK was peaceful.” 
  • “Don’t be so sensitive.” 
  • “Why so defensive all the time?” 
  • “How can there be racism if we had a Black President?” 
  • “Bisexual? This must just be a phase.” 

Inclusion: the act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate 

Intersectionality: the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender, which create overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage 

Institutional Power: The ability or official authority to decide what is best for others. The ability to decide who will have access to resources. The capacity to exercise control over others. 

Invisible Identities: identities that cannot be seen by looking at a person 

Justice: where societal barriers are removed, and everyone has equal access 

Land Acknowledgement: a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories. Learn more about Land Acknowledgements in the Promising Practices section of this document. 

To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and a way of honoring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long-standing history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land Acknowledgements  do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation. It is also worth noting that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol. Read this guide to Indigenous Land Acknowledgements for more information. 


  • Lesbian
  • Gay
  • Bisexual
  • Transgender
  • Queer; can also stand for Questioning
  • +- represents those who are part of the community, but for whom LGBTQ does not capture or reflect their identity
  • For more resources please visit the Office of Inclusion and Diversity LGBTQ+ Initiatives website page.

Microaggression: everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.  

Mindfulness: living in a state of full conscious awareness of one’s whole self, other people, and the context in which we live and work 

Oppression: a system; oppression is a systematic series of interlocking barriers that hinders or prevents some people from attaining the same successes at others, especially on the basis of certain identities 

Organizational Culture: the shared values and beliefs set by leaders and shared by members of a company, team, or group 

Personal Values: guiding principles and underlying beliefs that determine people’s actions 

Prejudice: a belief; holding prejudice means carrying a non-factual preconceived opinion of a person or group 

Privilege: a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor. 

Salient Identities: identities that more deeply affect our thoughts and experiences 

Solidarity: unity (as of a group or class) that produces or is based on community of interests, objectives, and standards 

Social Identities: are aspects of ourselves that shape our perspectives, experiences, and the way we interact in the world 

Stereotype: stereotype: an attitude, belief, feeling, or assumption about a person or group of people that are widespread and socially sanctioned; though stereotypes can be positive and negative, they all have negative effects because they support institutionalized oppression by validating oversimplified beliefs that are often not based on facts. 

Sympathy: a shared feeling, usually of sorrow, pity or compassion for another person 

Visible Identities: identities which can be more or less seen by looking at a person 

Videos and Worksheets

To utilize for yourself and/or your organization, click on the button below of the corresponding downloadable video and worksheet to follow along and complete.

Last modified: May 17, 2022