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7 Ways to Prioritize Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (& Questions to Assess How You’re Doing)

In the 6th edition of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad (2020), The Forum added guiding principles for institutions and organizations to consider when prioritizing equity, diversity, and inclusion during their education abroad experiences.

Why? Because The Forum is committed to advancing justice equitydiversity, and inclusion and eliminating structural racism and inequities within our organization, the field of education abroad, and our communities. (Learn more about our core beliefs.)

“The Forum has a responsibility to actively inform and engage the field of education abroad in a way that fosters inclusion, promotes equity, and combats structural racism systemically and sustainably,” said Melissa Torres, President & CEO of The Forum on Education Abroad. “By engaging in dialogue, collaboration, sharing best practices, research and innovation, and professional development, The Forum strives to address and provide critical resources and a forum for discussion for the field, with particular consideration of groups who have been historically excluded or marginalized impacting access to education abroad. We are actively engaged in centering justice in education abroad and strive to model the type of organizational leadership that will lead to a more just and peaceful world.”

As a minimum requirement, you shall:

  • Establish equitable and inclusive policies and procedures.
  • Establish meaningful contacts and connections with diverse partners, employ and enroll diverse participants, and foster inclusive communities.

We recommend that you should:

  • Emphasize equity, diversity, and inclusion in program design, implementation, goals, objectives, and outcomes.
  • Develop structures to examine, identify, and address systemic biases and deficiencies in its policies, practices, and programs.
  • Ensure equitable access to education abroad.
  • Design its programs to provide opportunities for students to interact with broadly diverse peers, personnel, and members of local communities.
  • Assess student learning related to portfolio and program learning goals and disaggregate data by student demographics such as gender, socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity to check for equitable outcomes for all students.

Now that you know The Forum’s Standards for ED&I, here are a few questions to assess where you and your institution/organization are at on your journey to achieving these standards:

  1. How do students hear about education abroad and learn about how program offerings can support their goals and benefits their future?
  2. What are the different patterns of participation in your education abroad programs based on race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender identity, sexual orientation or physical/mental ability?
  3. How do advising materials and resources intentionally address the needs and concerns related to the identities of historically underrepresented and historically underserved students?
  4. How do orientations and the experience on-site include discussions of diversity, equity, and inclusion/exclusion?
  5. How do the curricular and co-curricular programming, including assigned readings, excursions, and guest speakers include diverse perspectives and practice inclusive pedagogy?

For more questions like these, visit our Prompts for Self-Assessment, Section 4.4. Guiding Principles: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

We encourage you to actively pursue anti-racist activities in your work. Enroll now in The Forum’s Digital Badge Program in conjunction with our When We Do See Color: Ending Global Racism webinar series.

Authored by Stephanie King.