NYU Wagner IDBEA Mission & Plan

Mission

INCLUSION, DIVERSITY, BELONGING, EQUITY, AND ACCESS MISSION STATEMENT

NYU Wagner is committed to promoting the values of inclusion, diversity, belonging, equity, and access (IDBEA) in public service and to bringing an IDBE 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. At NYU Wagner, we know how important issues of inclusion, diversity, belonging, and equity 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 strive to 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 IDBE lens respects this premise, adding intersectionality to a complex understanding of systemic injustice and inequality.  

  • Skills Matter: Public service leaders must understand how inclusion, diversity, belonging, and equity are shaped by and affect policy decisions, implementation, and outcomes. Skills and capabilities, based on IDBE 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 IDBEA

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 inclusion, diversity, belonging, and equity in public service represents a life-long and worthwhile endeavor.

 

Defining EDI

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.

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

Belonging

Refers to feeling psychologically safe and valued in the collective. It allows individuals to bring their whole selves to the community, and it supports opportunities for empowered participation, voice, personal growth, and access to resources to contribute effectively. 

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.

Access 

Refers to providing equal opportunity, participation, accommodations, and services for community members of all abilities.

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 IDBEA PLAN

NYU Wagner's IDBEA Plan includes an articulation of Wagner's commitment through four goals; an annual process; and annual priorities. This is how we got here.

The History of Wagner's IDBEA Plan

NYU Wagner has a long history of promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion.

  • Three EDI related events marked academic years 2014-16: student-led conversation regarding EDI concerns with the Dean;  the creation of an ad-hoc Faculty Diversity Committee; the creation of a Wagner Diversity Working Group (WDWG) with faculty, staff and student representatives.
  • The Dean started the 2016-17 academic year with a formal diversity mandate (co-created with the School’s leadership team). She charged its implementation to the Wagner Faculty Diversity Committee, under the co-leadership of its Chair and the Associate Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs. The Faculty Diversity Committee and co-chairs agreed to develop a Diversity Plan and the WDWG agreed to devote the group’s work to support this process. This plan was intended to act as a guide and a reminder of our commitment to this work for three years, with a formal revision process to take place in the 2019-2020 academic year. The data used to create the original plan came from a variety of sources, including: best practices research; student survey responses; focus groups with a variety of stakeholders; and a school-wide diversity visioning event attended by more than 80 students, faculty, and staff. 
  • Formal revisions to the 2016-2017 plan commenced in the 2019-2020 academic year by the Staff Diversity Committee which did extensive peer school research.
  • In 2021-2022 a “core group” was formed made up of the Dean, the Chief of Staff, the Chair of the Faculty Diversity Committee, the Director of HR / Diversity and Inclusion Officer, and the Assistant Director of Student Activities and Engagement. This core group picked-up where the Staff Diversity Committee left off and revised and restructured the plan: refining the four goals and adding new sections regarding annual processes and setting annual IDBEA priorities.

 

NYU Wagner's Commitment: Our Four Goals

NYU Wagner’s Commitment to IDBEA manifests itself into four goals: (1) Ensuring IDBEA in the education experience; (2) creating a diverse community; (3) promoting equity, inclusion, and belonging; and (4) fostering IDBEA practices in the world.

NYU Wagner's Four Goals

 

 

Annual Process

To fully incorporate our IDBEA values into all facets of the Wagner community and to facilitate our continuous work on our Four Goals, NYU Wagner will undertake the following action every year:

IDBEA Annual Process

 

2022-2023 Priorities

  1. Determine and make it clear to the entire Wagner community (students, faculty, staff) “who to go to” for IDBEA-related issues.
  2. Investigating student success: determining what the actual problems are and how to address them.
  3. Refine IDBEA Annual Data reporting - what do we need; what is the most meaningful data to receive and use. 
  4. The Faculty Diversity Committee will be responsible for:
    1. Ensuring that the TIPS series takes place;
    2. Undertaking some curricular maintenance in the core and specialization requirements; and
    3. Exploring what else is missing (like a course) and what's the most efficient way of getting it done.