What is DEI and why does it matter?

An illustration of two women leaning on one another. The woman on the left has a light pink, speckled shirt with long, curly, dark hair. The woman on the right has turquoise hair and is wearing a light green shirt with a rainbow printed on it.

DEI, which stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, is a term that encompasses any practice that seeks to better the relationships between different groups of people in a community. These resources will show you the positive influence DEI implementation will have on the Holt learning environment.


Inclusive Teaching Practices Toolkit

A set of videos created by teachers that provide tips for teaching in a way that makes students feel comfortable and accepted

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Benefits of Inclusion and Diversity in the Classroom

An article that emphasizes the importance of good DEI practices in the classroom

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DEI and Empowering Students

An article that details the positive effects of making students feel heard and seen in the classroom

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Disrupting Your Texts: Why Simply Including Diverse Voices Is Not Enough

Steps for teachers to take to adapt their classrooms and curricula to help students of all backgrounds feel more included

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Inclusive Pedagogy Toolkit

A chart that explains the significance of inclusive pedagogy and suggests how teachers might implement good practices

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Harvard Implicit Bias Quiz

A quiz, created by Harvard professors, that allows you to discover any preconceived notions you may have about different groups of people

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Our words matter. Below is a table if appropriate and inclusive language to use.

Outdated/Inappropriate Language Appropriate Language to Use Instead
“Committed suicide/killed themselves” “Died by suicide”
“Failed suicide” and “successful suicide” “Attempted suicide” and “Completed suicide”
“Patient/Client” “Individual/Person”
“Disorder/Disease/Illness” “Diagnosis/Condition”
“Suffering from mental illness” “Living with/experiencing a mental health condition”
“He is bipolar/She has bipolar” “They are a person living with bipolar”
“LGBT students and staff” “Individuals who identify as LGBTQ+”
“Those school of choice kids” and “Those kids from Lansing” Discourage the use of this kind of language, as using it is a racist microaggression
“Asians” or “Blacks” “Asian people” or “Black people
“An autistic” “An autistic person” or “they have autism”
“Mental retardation” or “retarded” “Intellectual disability” or “someone afflicted with an intellectual disability”
“Confined to a wheelchair” or “Wheelchair-bound” “Uses a wheelchair”
“Ladies and gentlemen” or “guys and gals” “Colleagues, team, people”
Maternity or paternity leave Parental leave/Parental time off
Husband, wife boyfriend, girlfriend Partner, spouse
“What are your preferred pronouns?” “What pronouns do you use?”
Ms., Mr., Mrs. People’s first names, non-gender specific titles like Mx. or M
Mailman, Chairman, Policeman Mail clerk, chairperson, police officer
Sexual preference Sexual orientation