Guiding Principles for Equity-Minded Practice

The Guiding Principles for Equity-Minded Practice contribute to the University of Richmond’s mission to educate in an academically challenging, intellectually vibrant, and collaborative community dedicated to the holistic development of students and the production of scholarly and creative work. A Richmond education prepares students for lives of purpose, thoughtful inquiry, and responsible leadership in a diverse world. The Principles are an evolving campus resource intended to help align our efforts to pursue our shared institutional commitments and to foster a skilled intercultural campus community that reflects the rich diversity of our city, region, nation, and the world, and in which all members can fully participate in the life of the institution and experience a sense of belonging. As more members of the campus engage with and practice using the Principles, we will learn together how to improve and supplement them. 


  • notice who is thriving and who is not
    • Who is benefitting from the current situation and who is not?
    • Who might be affected indirectly or unintentionally?
  • notice who is at the table and who is not
    • Whose input is needed to ensure inclusivity and equity?
    • Whose perspectives are represented, especially in decision-making processes?
  • notice whose input has impact and whose doesn't
    • What do you notice about whose voice has the most influence?
    • How will previously under-represented perspectives be more fully included going forward?

Be clear about our institutional goals and continually work toward them

  • design and pursue actions now that contribute to future achievement of the goals
    • How will your actions specifically contribute to our institutional goals?
    • How will your actions address impediments to achieving our institutional goals?
    • How will your actions address causes of inequity, not just symptoms
  • assess both process and progress toward our goals
    • How can you do the work in ways that model the outcomes we hope to achieve?
    • How will you know whether and how your efforts contribute to achieving our goals?
    • What steps can you take to ensure your current efforts have enduring impact?
  • prepare to continually discuss, reflect, and review your actions over time and to revise them as necessary
    • How and when will you reevaluate your efforts based on new insights, new perspectives, and changed circumstances?

Take charge from where you are

  • know your sphere of influence and use that influence
    • How can you utilize the full potential of your role and connections to advance the goals?
    • Within your sphere of influence, what can you do to promote a culture of full participation, reflection, and inquiry?
  • leverage your influence to ensure that under-represented perspectives are understood
    • How can you center the experience and knowledge of under-represented people when developing solutions within your sphere of influence?
    • How will you incorporate the specific insights and interests of under-represented people in strategy, selection, and implementation of new practices?
  • consider the effects of power and hierarchy
    • How are different forms of authority and power affecting efforts to reach the goals?
    • How can those effects be discussed and productively managed in the interest of achieving the goals?
    • What more equitable or inclusive ways of relating could promote a culture of full-participation, reflection, and inquiry?
    • How can you encourage a culture of trust and belonging through risk taking in which it's okay to make mistakes?

Connect to the bigger picture

  • collaborate to reinforce efforts whenever possible
    • What efforts are already underway that you might join? (This is an especially important question to ask before starting something new.)
    • How can you collaborate to meet short-term objectives in ways that strengthen relationships for future efforts?
  • foster mutual accountability through connection
    • How might you deepen and expand your current networks for greater accountability?
    • How might you deepen and expand your connections to strengthen your contributions to the institutional goals?
  • place your efforts in relation to the larger context within UR, the Richmond region, and beyond
    • How might you develop relationships with colleagues at UR and elsewhere that can strengthen the impact of your efforts?
    • How are your efforts and priorities informed by an awareness of issues beyond your immediate sphere of influence, including social patterns of exclusion and discrimination?