Common language

To achieve our DEI goals, we must all be on the same page. Our guiding language defines who we are, what we believe and what we do here at Nebraska Medicine and UNMC.

Diversity: Diversity includes many aspects of our individual identities. When we say “diversity” for UNMC/Nebraska Medicine, we are referring to the internal, external and organizational factors that contribute to how we, as individuals, experience the world.

Equity: Unlike equality, equity considers an individual’s life experiences and/or circumstances and requires new, innovative approaches to create policies and practices that offer historically underserved and/or marginalized populations the opportunity to have equal access to and full participation in every aspect of our organization.

Equity represents the creation of policies and practices. In the context of health care, equity requires that we take a critical look at how our current policies and practices impact our patients and their families, our learners, our colleagues and our community, and taking the necessary steps to address any barriers.

Inclusion: Active engagement across forms of difference.

Diversity wheel    DEI interlocking circles

Cultural competence/intelligence: The continuous cultivation of the knowledge, behaviors, skills, understandings and sensitivities that enable effective intercultural performance.

Cultural humility: The process of self-reflection and awareness that allows us to develop meaningful and authentic relationships.

Implicit bias: Unconscious attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions and decisions. These shortcuts are prevalent when individuals have: (1) ambiguous or incomplete information, (2) time constraints or (3) compromised cognitive control (e.g., fatigue).

Inclusive integrity: The outward and unapologetic demonstration of a commitment to equity. Inclusive integrity requires the removal of self-interest, a commitment to perpetual learning and an applied understanding of empathy and compassion.

Microaggressions: Brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative racial slights and insults toward marginalized communities. Offenders of microaggressions are often unaware that they engage in such communications.

Motivated awareness: The active engagement with uncomfortable topics and discussions that allow us to grow individually and collectively. Motivated awareness balances cultural humility with personal action.