Hamline's Diversity Definition Developed By The Cultural Diversity Committee, March 2002 The Cultural Diversity Committee was asked to provide a definition of "diversity." We offer the following as a provisional definition-in-process, meant to serve as the starting point for discussions throughout the university. This definition comes from our initial discussions within and outside of the committee, and draws from Hamline's own existing policies as well as the definition used at the University of Central Florida. Diversity refers to the variety of backgrounds and characteristics found among humankind; thus, it encompasses all aspects of human similarities and differences. Yet, we recognize that various preconceived notions, especially about our differences, have often resulted in inequitable treatment and discriminatory practices. While we support diversity as an inclusive concept, reality compels us to focus considerable attention to addressing issues related to those individuals and groups that have historically been excluded or treated unfairly. Attention to diversity must include attention to the categories of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, marital status, creed, status with regard to public assistance, and socioeconomic class. Hamline's stated vision calls for us to become a truly welcoming and inclusive community of learners. This vision requires a commitment not only to recruitment and retention, but also to such issues as climate, pedagogy, and curriculum.