When you begin any type of social justice work, activism or diversity training, you have to understand how often these words will come up! You have to understand that inclusion, equality and equity are going to mean different things to different people! As cliched as that sounds, you have to understand this. If you do no, if you choose not to, everything you are working for will be for you–and not the betterment of other people.
Let’s start with inclusion. Think of inclusion as a house that everyone can get into, know about, and can crash at. Inclusion is having the right to be heard or seen in a space–and be valued in it. Everyone whom is of a minority designation needs access to this house! The house is big enough, has enough rooms, and is centrally located! Even if we can’t all be in it at the same time, we still need access and to know where it is.
If inclusion is our house, then equality is the right to stay in it. To move in. To have right to be there without being asked why you are there! Equality is having the same access that everyone else will, does, and takes advantage of! Inclusion is the address of the house, and equality is the map and key to it!
Since inclusion is our house, equality is the key and lease, then equity says no matter where you move on that street that you will have a similar experience. You will not be accosted, shown something less nice if you decide to move, and you will only be treated with respect.
These things are interdependent–they cannot exist without the other. They will not exist without the other! They cannot. You cannot have equity and equality without inclusion. You cannot have inclusion and equity without equality. Inclusion depends of on equality so that access can be given to all that need it–which is the purpose of equity.
Check the houses you build. No one wants to build a graveyard.