Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

The Jepson School is committed to teaching students to think critically about leadership as it was, as it is, and as it should be. Our students confront a world marked by pervasive inequities reflecting deep legacies of racism, sexism, and colonialism as well continuing and growing inequalities of wealth and power.

A fundamental leadership challenge and opportunity for the next generation is to imagine, create, lead, and sustain new solutions and practices that correct and heal these inequities, in every sector of society. Consequently, our curriculum should prepare students to think critically and creatively about how leaders can promote the values of equity and inclusion more effectively and ethically.

Likewise, our community should model the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging that we discuss in our academic curriculum. A diverse community is one in which many forms of difference are present, represented, and acknowledged. An equitable community is one that allows historically marginalized populations to achieve results consistent with full participation. Such a community anticipates and seeks to correct for disadvantages in resources, connections, life pressures, and other circumstances that may inhibit members of certain groups from fully participating in and benefitting from the educational experiences our community offers. An inclusive community is one in which all community members, whatever their identity, background, or institutional position:

  • feel a sense of belonging
  • have equitable access to opportunities for growth and success
  • can participate fully in the institutional life of the group. Members should be able to engage in institutional activities in a way that both helps them realize their own potential and contributes to the thriving of others

Committing to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging does not mean asking members of historically oppressed and marginalized groups to assimilate to the dominant culture. Rather, it means transforming University culture to create an inclusive, diverse community of learning in which all students engage in the challenge of learning about experiences other than their own and of building a community in which each person is valued and respected. 

In alignment with the University of Richmond's Strategic Plan, the Jepson School aspires to cultivate a compassionate, caring, and welcoming University community — one where each of us matters and where every Spider feels and is seen, heard, and valued, and has someone they can look to for support. We recognize that all Spiders can play a role in fostering belonging and community.