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Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression: Equity

College of DuPage Equity Statement

Student access and success in higher education continue to be impacted by the effects of systemic inequities.
College of DuPage believes in the right to a high-quality education in an equitable and inclusive environment.
Through intentional design, the College will ensure that each student receives the information, resources, and supports necessary to achieve their educational goals.

Read the College of DuPage Equity Plan

Equity in Higher Education

equality vs. equityEquality is about sameness; it focuses on making sure everyone gets the same thing. Equity is about fairness; it ensures that each person gets what he or she needs. This distinction is especially important in education, where there are visible gaps in opportunities and outcomes for large numbers of students. Historically, low-income students and students of color have been excluded from too many opportunities in higher education, and today’s policies, expectations, and unspoken rules perpetuate the problem. To effectively educate today’s students, higher education must focus on both equity and equality—to make the most empowering forms of college learning available to all students. 

-- From "Step Up and Lead for Equity," AAC&U

Learn More


Malcom-Piqueux, Lindsey, and Estela Mara Bensimon. "Taking equity-minded action to close equity gaps." Peer Review 19, no. 2 (2017): 5.


McNair, Tia. "A Vision for Equity: Campus-Based Strategies for Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence.” Webinar, AAC&U, April 19, 2018.


Zamani-Gallaher, Eboni, and Paul Gorski. "Advancing Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Education." Podcast, Democracy's College, February 3, 2020.

Dig Deeper

Bensimon, Estela Mara. "Reclaiming racial justice in equity." Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning 50, no. 3-4 (2018): 95-98. [PDF]

"As it stands, the racial justice project represented by the term equity faces two threats. One is the total omission of race and whiteness in national higher education reforms that endeavor to move the college completion needle higher— towards some definition of success that is defined primarily by graduation rates. The second threat is the co-optation of equity and the erosion of its racial justice agenda. In a 1997 article published here in Change, Cliff Adelman warned, in a typical Adelmanian tone, that “we have pounded and bleached the word diversity into nothingness.” I think that “equity” runs the same risk."

Fenderson, Jaye, and Adam Fenderson, dirs. Unlikely. 2019. Three Frame Media. Available in Cornerstone.

Set in the cities of Akron, Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles, the film investigates America's college dropout crisis through the lives of students navigating the broken higher education system and the innovators working to close the opportunity divide.

Stead, Virginia, ed. RIP Jim Crow: Fighting Racism through Higher Education Policy, Curriculum, and Cultural Interventions. Equity in Higher Education Theory, Policy, & Praxis, Vol. 6. New York: Peter Lang, 2016.

This book shouts out ways that we can and must respond to the sickening accumulation of racially inspired and systemically sanctioned deaths. Today, we remember the passing of young, Black Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In responding to this event, we are determined to dismantle the alexithymia (indifference to the suffering of others) that pervades our campuses. It is nothing less than a by-product of racism protected by the illusion of democracy.

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