NYU Wagner EDI Mission & Plan

Mission

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Mission Statement

NYU Wagner is committed to promoting the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in public service and to bringing an EDI lens to the various domains that shape our institutional culture and help advance our mission. We know that markers of difference shape the way we see the world, the way resources are distributed, the way policies are made, the way boundaries are drawn, and the way institutions are managed. We value the multiple perspectives that a diverse community brings to policy discussions, and we emphasize the importance of including a wide range of opinions, perspectives, and experiences to address issues of public importance.

Most academic institutions acknowledge that aspects of social identity—whether race or gender, religion or sexual orientation, national origin, social class, disability, or ideology—shape our experiences on an individual and institutional level. NYU Wagner grapples with issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion in what we do as students, faculty, staff, and alumni. This immersion ensures that as future and practicing public service leaders and researchers, we grasp how these issues both affect public policy and are shaped by them.

We have a deep and long-standing commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. As a school of public service, we embody these values in five distinct ways:

  • Differences Matter:  NYU Wagner is a community that prizes difference. We gain strength from the diversity of nationalities, viewpoints, backgrounds, scholarly traditions, and identities represented among us. We encourage respectful debate and openness of thought in and outside of our classrooms.

  • Scholarship Matters: Diverse perspectives add rigor to NYU Wagner’s scholarly pursuits. As a comprehensive school, we draw on diverse viewpoints and traditions to do research and teach an inclusive range of subjects across the public service domain. Choosing a multidisciplinary academic home, and drawing from diverse disciplines—public policy, management, urban planning, economics, law, medicine, business, sociology, organizational psychology—our faculty fosters a respectful learning environment and encourages active engagement in rigorous inquiry and dialogue across perspectives.

  • Context Matters: One size does not fit all. The world is too complex, messy, and interconnected. The EDI lens respects this premise, adding intersectionality to a complex understanding of systemic injustice and inequality.  

  • Skills Matter: Public service leaders must understand how equity, diversity, and inclusion are shaped by and affect policy decisions, implementation, and outcomes. Skills and capabilities, based on EDI frameworks and contextual sensitivity, enable our students to effectively work with and within diverse organizations and communities.

  • Location Matters: Cosmopolitan, dynamic, and culturally rich, New York City is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse urban areas in the world. Embedded in its streets, and taking advantage of its global reach, we claim NYC as our classroom, our laboratory, and our home.

Defining EDI

The definitions below integrate ideas from scholarly and public sources to offer a platform for dialogue and to inform the goals and indicators of NYU Wagner’s Diversity Plan. They also aim to reflect an overarching understanding that a commitment to address systemic barriers to equity, diversity, and inclusion in public service represents a life-long and worthwhile endeavor.

 

Defining EDI

Equity 

Refers to fairness and justice in the distribution of resources to attain well-being when striving to achieve the most appropriate outcomes for members of a given group, taking into consideration their challenges, needs, and histories. Systemic equity refers to the aspiration of systems and processes designed intentionally to support fair and just outcomes.

Diversity

Refers to aspects of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, social class, national origin, religion, physical ability or attributes, age, veteran status, and political ideology. It is a quality of groups and communities, not individuals, and refers to the representation of different social identity groups within a collective.  

Inclusion

Refers to the experiences of individuals and groups—and their compounded effect on institutional climate—around being included within a collective, enabling one to bring the whole self into it. It involves both a sense of belonging, feeling safe, valued, and engaged in the collective, as well as seeing opportunities for empowered participation, voice, personal growth, and access to resources to contribute effectively.

For additional terminology, we've identified a few comprehensive glossaries of terms from:

Racial Equity Tools

The Sierra Club

Virginia Commonwealth University, Division for Inclusive Excellence

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

University of Massachusetts, Lowell

The NYU Wagner Diversity Plan

Our Diversity Plan is divided into four Domains:

Institutional Practice

This domain considers opportunities intended to foster Wagner’s faculty, staff, and students’ explicit commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion and continually develop our capacity to enact and embrace that commitment. As a graduate school that prepares future leaders to make an impact by working with multiple diverse populations, we continue to reflect on our own practices, so that we are intentional in an understanding and appreciation of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The Educational Experience

This domain considers opportunities in Wagner’s educational experience to offer students the frameworks and capabilities to tackle equity, diversity, and inclusion in professional settings. We believe this will enable them to thrive in a complex and diverse world of public service as leaders, employees, and citizens; and to respectfully engage in discussion about policy and management issues related to EDI with rigor, candor, and sensitivity.

A Diverse Community

As a way to strengthen our community, this domain considers opportunities to ensure that the Wagner school attracts, recruits, retains, and engages individuals—faculty, students, staff—who bring sufficient diversity in their backgrounds and life experiences, social identities, and worldviews so that we reflect and represent the communities where the School is embedded and which it aspires to impact.

Wagner in the World

If the prior three domains have an internal focus, this one considers opportunities for external impact, to advance the equity, diversity, and inclusion agenda and influence diverse publics and populations. It identifies areas of opportunity to attain Wagner’s aspiration to contribute to the broad diversity conversation in public service through our research and convening, and it offers opportunities to highlight the work of our alumni in this arena.