About AU's Strategic Plan
Opened in Fall 2012, The Center for Diversity & Inclusion was created as a part of AU's 2008 Strategic Plan. Specifically, the Center works to achieve Transformational Goal #5, which states that "American University embraces diversity in its broadest sense, including diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, nationality, disability, socioeconomic standing, and intellectual viewpoint. The university views diversity as an essential component of the educational experience of our students and an important indicator of our success in adapting to the dramatic demographic shifts that will occur in the decades ahead." Read the President's Council of Diversity & Inclusion.
How does the Center for Diversity & Inclusion define "diversity" and "inclusion?"
Currently, we use the definition that the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) created to describe diversity.
- According to the AAC&U, diversity is defined as "individual differences (e.g., personality, learning styles, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations)."
- The AAC&U defines inclusion as "the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity-in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect-in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions."
The Center for Diversity & Inclusion will initiate conversations and implement programming in the spirit of these definitions in order to promote a supportive environment where all students are celebrated and valued.