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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice

A guide to highlight the resources at NECC on diversity, inclusion, equity, social justice, race, diverse functionality, gender, multiculturalism, LGBTTQI+, and anti-oppression..

Land Acknowledgment

Northern Essex Community College resides on the ancestral lands of the Pennacook communities, the original land of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribes. We acknowledge that the Pennacoock were removed from their land through hegemonic and colonial processes that caused pain and displacement. It is by acknowledging the connection of this land and its first inhabitants, we seek to show "respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth" (U.S. Department of Arts & Culture, n.d.). We also acknowledge the history of Caribbean, Latinx, Black American, Asian settlers, and guests, whose history has also been marked by colonialism, violence, and loss. We work to acknowledge and put forth the history of those who have been silenced and whose history has been subject to erasure as the result of systemic oppression.

Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Anti-Oppression

What are Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) principles and statements upheld by NECC and its libraries. These principles are backed by actions that ensure that students, faculty, staff, and the community are represented and welcome in an inclusive space. Each of the services provided by the NECC libraries is equitable to our community. Within DEI principles, there is also a commitment to serve justly diverse community members.

The American Library Association (2017) defines DEI as:

  • Diversity is "the sum of the ways that people are both alike and different. When we recognize, value, and embrace diversity, we are recognizing, valuing, and embracing the uniqueness of each individual."
  • Equity "takes difference into account to ensure a fair process and, ultimately, a fair outcome. Equity recognizes that some groups were (and are) disadvantaged in accessing educational and employment opportunities and are, therefore, underrepresented or marginalized in many organizations and institutions. Equity, therefore, means increasing diversity by ameliorating conditions of disadvantaged groups."
  • Inclusion "means an environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully; are valued for their distinctive skills, experiences, and perspectives; have equal access to resources and opportunities; and can contribute fully to the organization’s success."

Each of these terms and principles takes into account accessibility. The definition for accessibility contemplates “when a person with a disability is allowed to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally integrated and equally effective manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use” (OCR, 2013). Accessibility also takes into consideration access for people that are socio-economically disadvantaged, as well as historically underrepresented and marginalized groups.

Why talk about anti-oppression when discussing DEI?

Anti-oppression is the principle that seeks to liberate groups from prejudice, inequality, and dominance. Anti-oppression praxis seeks to challenge systems that perpetuate systemic prejudice. Anti-oppression praxis is not the same as DEI. However, DEI principles go hand-in-hand with anti-oppression strategies, actions, and practices. Some of the actions and practices that are done through anti-oppression strategies are the acknowledgment of power structures and privilege that highlights dominant narratives, critical evaluation of language, and the recognition of intersectional factors that shape people's lives.

To cite this LibGuide use the following templates:

APA: Northern Essex Community College Library. (Date updated). Title of page. Title of LibGuide. URL

MLA: Northern Essex Community College Library. "Title of Page." Title of LibGuide, Date updated, URL.