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Inclusive Language for Your Class Syllabus

Below are several sample diversity statements that may be included in academic syllabi.

Inclusion Statement:

Montana State Universityconsiders the diversity of its students, faculty, and staff to be a strength and critical toits educational mission. MSUexpects every member of the university community to contributeto an inclusive and respectful culture for all in its classrooms, work environments, and at campus events. Dimensions of diversity can include sex, race, age, national origin, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, intellectual and physical ability, sexual orientation, income, faith and non-faith perspectives, creed, socioeconomicstatus,political ideology, education, primary language, family status, military experience, cognitive style, and communication style. The individual intersection of these experiences and characteristics must be valued in our community.If there are aspects of the design, instruction, and/or experiences within this course that result in barriers to your inclusion or accurate assessment of achievement, please notify the instructor as soon as possible and/or contactDisability Services or the Office of Institutional Equity(Adapted from University of Florida).

Diversity Statement:

Respect for Diversity: It is my intent that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives will be well-served by this course, that students' learning needs be addressed both in and out of class, and that the diversity that students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength and benefit. It is my intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity: genderidentity,sexual orientation, disability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race,religion, creed,culture, perspective, and other background characteristics. Your suggestions about how to improve the value of diversity in this course are encouraged and appreciated. Please let me know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students or student groups.

In addition, in scheduling exams, I have attempted to avoid conflicts with major religious holidays. If, however, I have inadvertently scheduled an exam or major deadline that creates a conflict with your religious observances, please let me know as soon as possible so that we can make other arrangements.

(Adapted fromUniversity of Iowa)

Inclusivity Statement:

Isupportan inclusive learning environment where diversity and individual differences are understood, respected, appreciated, and recognized as a source of strength. We expect that students, faculty, administrators and staffat MSUwill respect differences and demonstrate diligence in understanding how other peoples' perspectives, behaviors, and worldviews may be different from their own.

(Adapted from theUniversity of Northern Colorado)

You may also consider including language from MSU's Statement on Diversity or MSU's Non-Discrimination Policy.

Montana State University's Statement on Diversity:

Statement: To acknowledge and honor the tradition of the land-grant university, Montana State University is committed to developing and sustaining a culture of inclusion, social justice and diversity.

Vision: We believe that excellence at Montana State University is best achieved through a culture of intellectual and personal growth that is diverse and inclusive.

Montana State University is located on the homelands of Indigenous peoples and acknowledging this rich history is central to our commitment to learning from the past. We prioritize efforts that create and support diverse working, teaching, learning and research environments and opportunities for the people who make up our community. We create an environment that welcomes, respects and nurtures all students, staff and faculty. We cultivate this inclusive environment by respecting and celebrating the diverse dimensions of people’s identities, particularly as those identities intersect in complex ways. We will continuously promote a culture of intellectual and personal growth for all, attuned to the importance of differences in age, race, ethnicity, national origin, socioeconomic status, sex, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability status, religion and spirituality.

Montana State University's Non-Discrimination Policy:

Montana State University’s campuses are committed to providing an environment that emphasizes the dignity and worth of every member of its community and that is free from harassment and discrimination based upon race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran’s status, sex, age, political ideas, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Such an environment is necessary to a healthy learning, working, and living atmosphere because discrimination and harassment undermine human dignity and the positive connection among all people at our University. Acts of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and retaliation will be addressed consistent with this policy.

Additional Resources

Diversity and Inclusion Framework Report

Best Practices for LGBTQ+ Inclusion

Cornell Center for Teaching Innovation: Classroom Climate

Cornell Center for Teaching Innovation: Inclusive Teaching Strategies

Pronouns: Resources for Educators

MSU Safe Zone Program

Graduate Assistant for LGBTQ+ Student Support

MSU's Online LGBTQ+ Resource Directory

Gender Spectrum

Teaching Tolerance

Trans Student Educational Resources