Definition of Diversity

We understand diversity as integral to excellence in education and thus as central to our educational mission. We commit ourselves to building an exemplary educational community that offers an inclusive and equitable intellectual climate, an understanding and respect for the range of human diversity.

We understand diversity to refer to the multitude of differences between individuals and groups where those differences possess social meanings that are relative to specific historical contexts. Thus, a commitment to diversity in our historical context in which some individuals and groups have been systematically marginalized or excluded compels special attention to the categories of race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, national origin, sexual orientation, ability, age, and religion. Valuing diversity demands a commitment to the inclusion and equitable treatment of all, but in our historical context with special focus on members of these marginalized and excluded categories.

Diversity must also be understood relative to our specific historical metropolitan, statewide, national, and global contexts. At the University of Louisville, the concern to create an inclusive and equitable educational environment centers on Kentucky's historically underrepresented and marginalized groups, with a special focus on African-Americans. This should not be understood, however, to exclude a concern with other dimensions of diversity found within the University and the metropolitan community.