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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resources


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 in society 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.


When developing the DEI Plan, consider:

Participation: For underserved communities being impacted and/or receiving benefits from the project, are they involved in planning and implementing the project? How well are underrepresented groups supported in terms of mentorship, training, and other opportunities?

Benefit: Are direct/tangible benefits being conferred to underserved communities? Will the benefits increase quality of life (e.g. health, wealth)? Are they indirect benefits? Are the benefits being adequately measured? How are these benefits being distributed? Are they being communicated?

Impact: What are the social and environmental impacts on underserved communities? Are these impacts being adequately monitored and evaluated? What steps are taken to mitigate risks/harms and optimize benefits?

Review criterion involves consideration of the following factors:

• The quality and way the measures incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion goals in the project; and

• Extent to which the project benefits underserved communities.

Geographic communities which are: 

• economically distressed communities identified by the Internal Revenue Service as Qualified Opportunity Zones;

• communities identified as disadvantaged or underserved communities by their respective States;

• communities identified on the Index of Deep Disadvantage referenced at, and

• communities that otherwise meet the definition of “underserved communities” stated above.

• Underrepresented groups in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields that drive the energy sector include women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minority groups—blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, and American Indians or Alaska Natives. Source:



NIH encourages conference grant applicants to enhance diversity by increasing the participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups, in the planning, implementation, and participation in the proposed conference. Underrepresented groups include individuals from nationally underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, and women (see NIH Notice of Interest in Diversity, NOT-OD-20-031, for additional details).

Conference grant applicants (R13/U13) must include plans to enhance diversity during the selection of organizing committees, speakers, other invited participants, such as session chairs and panel discussants, and attendees. Plans to enhance diversity will be assessed during the scientific and technical merit review of the application. Though the proposed plans will not be scored individually, they will be considered in the overall impact score.

NIH conference organizers are also expected to take steps to maintain a safe and respectful environment for conference attendees that is free from discrimination and harassment, sexual or otherwise.

Conference grant awardees will be required to report on the effectiveness of plans to enhance diversity of underrepresented groups in annual Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) and the Final-RPPR.

In this NIH All About Grants episode (MP3 / Transcript), Dr. Paula Goodwin with the NIH Office of Extramural Research discusses the Diversity Plan, why it is required for conference grant applications, some things to consider when putting a plan together, how reviewers will assess it, and more.

*NOTE: Hyperlinks will need to be removed from the below template prior to submission. They are included to provide the opportunity for more in-depth research into the topics.


Applicants are required to submit a DEI Plan that describes the actions the applicant will take to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment, support people from underrepresented groups in STEM, advance equity, and encourage the inclusion of individuals from these groups in the project; and the extent the project activities will be located in or benefit underserved communities.

The DEI Plan should contain the following information:

• Equity Impacts: the impacts of the proposed project on underserved communities, including social and environmental impacts.

• Benefits: The overall benefits of the proposed project, if funded, to underserved communities; and

• How diversity, equity, and inclusion objectives will be incorporated in the project.


Georgia Southern University is committed to a culture of diversity and inclusion. Some ways we accomplish this are:

  1. Meetings/workshops/lectures/seminars that inform individuals about various dimensions of diversity and inclusion.
  2. Diversity-focused presentations/modules/courses/trainings/dialogues that inform individuals about various dimensions of diversity and inclusion.
  3. Opportunities for students to participate in professional development and leadership opportunities, serve as University ambassadors and complete their degree.
  4. Events and resources that honor individuals and organizations who have positively impacted diversity and inclusion in the campus community.
  5. Resources and events focused on health, wellness, and work/life engagement.

Georgia Southern University is committed to the success of Inclusive Excellence across all campuses. See the descriptions and potential tactics for the seven recommendations to achieve these goals.

View the university’s Inclusive Excellence Action Plan

We will utilize all available resources to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in all phases of our project. Below are programs we employ: 

Allyship Development Program

Campus Climate Survey

Eagle Talks

Employee Resource Groups

Inclusive Excellence Faculty and Staff Fellows

Inclusive Excellence Library

Office of Multicultural Affairs

President’s Diversity Advisory Council (PDAC)

President’s Student Advisory Committee (PSAC)


The Georgia Southern University Office of Inclusive Excellence

Inclusive Excellence Resources

Institutional Member of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), a nationally recognized, independent organization providing online career development and mentoring resources as well as a variety of virtual programs and resources for faculty, staff, post-docs and graduate students.

Diversity Program Consortium is a network of institutions, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to improve training and mentoring and to enhance individuals’ success in biomedical research careers.

Last updated: 8/25/2021