About the Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Resilience (JEDI) Quickguide
An intentional focus on equity and inclusion can help promote and sustain resilience in times of crisis. This brief guide provides resources and support around justice, equity, inclusion, and resilience in the academic setting around these six areas:
Definitions of key terms and resources are at the end of this Quickguide.
Maintaining and enhancing justice in our communities begins with understanding and acknowledging that all crises, no matter what type, have elements of profiling and stigma because these are built into our society.
To support justice during and after crises:
- Make an overt commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) in your institution, college, department, program, course, and learning and teaching communities;
- Maintain privacy and confidentiality of those who may be impacted; and
- Review and remediate differential impacts of the crisis.
Times of crisis can challenge our teaching and learning communities’ best efforts to maintain justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI). Racial, ethnic, gender, sexuality, class, national origin, religious profiling and other forms of stigma affect the physical, emotional, and mental health of stigmatized groups and their communities.
Profiled and stigmatized groups may be subjected to:
- Social avoidance or rejection;
- Denial of healthcare, education, housing or employment;
- Physical violence; and
- Emotional and psychological violence and microagressions.
Our histories of collective traumas and relationships to social power hierarchies create diverse positionalities. Intersections between categories such as race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, national or regional origin, ability, health status, and others affect individuals and groups differentially. These effects can be magnified during times of crisis.
To support and recognize diversity:
- Acknowledge, respect, and respond to the differential effects of past collective and personal traumas on current crisis situations;
- Recognize the differential effects of intersectional identity positions in relationship to the crisis;
- Acknowledge diverse communities of health and well-being, as well as differential capacities for responding to crises; and
- Value diversity as an important aspect of building resilience in our community.
Maintaining inclusion when normal institutional systems and operations are disrupted during crises requires careful deliberation and intentional action.
To support inclusivity and belonging:
- Consider and include all members of the community in crisis planning and communications;
- Quickly communicate the lack of risk from associations with stigmatized or profiled products, people, and places;
- Speak out against profiling or stigmatizing behaviors; and
- Make sure that images and language in communications about the crisis emphasize shared vulnerabilities and opportunities for resilience.
Profiling and stigma damage our community members’ sense of belonging and creates a barrier to resilience. Building and supporting resilience begins with knowing and acknowledging the prevalence of profiling and stigma in our society and how these affect crises of all types.
To support and build resilience:
- Raise awareness and share accurate information about the crisis without increasing fear by focusing on problem solving and collective resilience;
- Engage in active listening rather than trying to solve profiling or stigma-related problems in the moment;
- Acknowledge and intentionally create a plan to respond to collective crisis-related trauma;
- Demonstrate long-term commitment to issues of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) to build resiliency following a crisis; and
- Acknowledge, appreciate, and support those working to support others during the crisis.
How an academic institution, faculty, and direct support personnel and communicate during and after a crisis can support justice, equity, diversity and inclusion and promote resilience:
- During a crisis, engage directly with profiled and stigmatized individuals and groups through ongoing communications using a diversity of language;
- Make all communications accessible to people with disabilities by ensuring color contrast, captioning, and navigability with screen readers, among other modes;
- Following a crisis, acknowledge that the effects of overt oppression and microaggressions during the crisis may persist after the crisis has passed;
- Emphasize to the community that the institution and its administration, faculty, staff and students stand up for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion values and work together to build increased resilience through times of crisis.
Key Terms and Resources*
- Racism is enacted in academic institutions in particular ways and requires specific institutional responses and preparation, as described in the article, “ACE Research Report Explores Lessons Learned from University of Missouri Crisis”
- Stigma occurs when people associate a risk with a specific group of people, place, or thing – like a minority population group – and there is no evidence that the risk is greater in that group than in the general population. Stigmatization is especially common in disease outbreaks.
- Resilience is the ability to withstand and recover from stress.
- Mental health is defined by the World Health Organization as a state of well being in which people realize their own abilities, can cope with normal life stresses, can work productively and fruitfully, and are able to make contributions to their communities
*adapted from the Centers for Disease Control “Stigma and Resilience” page.