AASHE is committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in who we are and what we do in ways that align with our mission to inspire and catalyze higher education to lead the global sustainability transformation.
We welcome and value diversity in its broadest possible view, going beyond visible differences to affirm the essence that makes each person who they are and encourage an organizational culture that can be an example to the higher education community that we serve.
We believe that our greatest asset lies in our understanding of the broad range of members, partners and stakeholders we represent. By modeling diversity, equity, and inclusion, AASHE serves the unique needs of our members to accomplish our mission, vision and goals.
Diversity, equity and inclusion complement our other organizational values of transparency, collaboration, hope, stewardship, innovation, courage and accountability, and also encompass the way we work, the work environment, and respect for all people and their ideas.
AASHE respects, values and celebrates the unique attributes, characteristics, and perspectives that make each person who they are. We actively seek out diversity of participation, thought and action. It is our aim, therefore, that our members, partners, stakeholders and vendors reflect and embrace these core values.
AASHE defines diversity as the quality of being different or unique at the individual or group level. This includes age; ethnicity; gender; gender identity; language differences; nationality; parental status; physical, mental and developmental abilities; race; religion; sexual orientation; skin color; socioeconomic status; education; work and behavioral styles; the perspectives of each individual shaped by their nation, experiences and culture; and more.
AASHE believes in equal, fair and just distribution of power and resources. Equity transcends fairness, creating an environment that ensures equal access and opportunity for everyone – especially those who have suffered the most from pollution, environmental degradation and systemic oppression.
Improving equity is to promote justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems. It means sharing power, influence, resources and a commitment to the eradication of all forms of social oppression. Achieving equity requires both an understanding of existing disparities and their root causes, and thoughtful action to break down barriers, share power and resources, and address imbalances.
AASHE recognizes that the historical legacy and persistence of discrimination based on race, gender, class and other differences makes a proactive approach to promoting a culture of inclusiveness an important component of creating an equitable society.
Inclusion puts the concept and practice of diversity into action by creating spaces that support equal and active participation, and mutual respect and connection.
- Foster diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace, in governance, and in the broader campus sustainability movement.
- Maintain an open, safe and welcoming atmosphere for everyone.
- Make our programs and services accessible and affordable to underrepresented groups and vulnerable populations within higher education.
- Equalize power and create spaces where all are encouraged to actively engage, listen, speak and act with respect.
- Listen to, learn from and amplify the voices of historically marginalized, underrepresented and oppressed people.
- Build equitable relationships with a broad base of stakeholders across social, economic and political divides.
- Take public positions against oppression and help build broad-based movements for environmental, social and economic justice.
- Continue to evolve and evaluate our thinking, practices and policies around DEI.
We’d like to acknowledge there were many organizations that inspired the development of this statement, including D5, Equal Measure, Friends of the Earth, National Equity Project, Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN), Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and Sierra Club.