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Definition of Core Terms and Framework

Defining core terms and framework of diversity, equity and inclusion work is a vital step to ensure a community has a shared understanding. Select a term to see its definition:

Educational Equity

Educational Equity (as defined in the Shaker Heights Schools 2020-2025 Strategic Plan) means an intentional distribution of District resources amongst schools, students and staff based on what each needs to achieve universal goals.


Diversity is the presence, recognition and engagement of people's social, political and organizational identities from the wide range of human experiences, and the complex ways these identities intersect and are expressed.


Equity names a process of modifying structures and practices that have intentionally or unintentionally advantaged or disadvantaged groups of people. Equity is a process that responds to unjust structural outcomes to create laws, policies, practices and traditions that support just outcomes for all.


Inclusion is a process and practice of active, intentional and sustained engagement of each person in the community that values and respects their perspectives, multiple identities, experiences and contributions.

Inclusive Excellence

The term inclusive excellence is synonymous with academic and institutional excellence. It's a recognition that an organization's ability to successfully advance its mission is dependent on the organization's ability to align its infrastructure with its stated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as a strategic imperative.

A purposeful development and utilization of an organization's resources to enhance professional learning and the development and execution of its mission. Organizationally, it means establishing an environment that challenges each member of the organization to contribute to learning and knowledge development for the purpose of advancing its mission.

DEI Resources for Teachers, Families and Students

A comprehensive list of resources for teachers, families and students can be found here. This list includes resources on a variety of topics broken down by age group.