Diversity, equity, and inclusion operations within higher education are critical to fostering an environment that dismantles structural racism and intentionally develops solutions to challenges faced by marginalized and non-marginalized populations. Diversity recognizes multiple identities, visible or invisible, occupying a shared space; inclusion acknowledges those various identities and recognizes the importance of their contributions. In the book, From Equity Talk to Equity Walk, the authors defined equity as “understanding students’ needs and addressing those needs by providing necessary academic and social support services to help level the playing field (McNair, Bensimon, & Malcolm-Piqueux, 2020, p. 2).” Higher Education institutions must center racial equity in the institutional planning, data collection, evaluation, and learning experiences. Due to the pandemic and a transition to online and remote modalities for learning, Higher Education institutions have a unique opportunity to strengthen Professional learning intentionally designed with a DEIA lens. Equitable online learning experiences sustained over time can create the conditions to support student success. This essay will explore why Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism are critical to the sustainability of higher education institutions. The article will review key terminology and explore how DEI intersects with students, instruction, and professional learning. Finally, it will explore strategies for designing equitable online courses to support student success.
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