Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

UW–Madison’s Commitment to Diversity

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW–Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals. The University of Wisconsin–Madison fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background — people who as students, faculty, and staff serve Wisconsin and the world.

Our Approach

University Relations is dedicated to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). Our division is actively committed to:

  • Allocating dedicated resources to DEIB
  • Inviting all employees in our DEIB advancement efforts
  • Incorporating DEIB into various aspects of our work
  • Building equitable foundations and improving recruitment and retention practices
  • Growing employee cultural competencies and providing employees with effective DEIB training opportunities

DEIB Resources for University Relations Employees

Resources and Services

Find recruitment, retention, team development, and employee well-being resources.

Access resources

Events and Development Opportunities

Explore various DEIB events, trainings, programs, and conferences.

Find an event


We want to hear from you! Reach out if you need support, have ideas, or want to share feedback.

Contact DEIB staff

“At University Relations, we believe it will take all of us to achieve workplace equity, and we invite all employees to get involved in this very important work. We are actively working to create an intentional culture of belonging and thriving for all. I am proud to say that our DEIB progress is a product of internal and external collaborations where all voices matter and play an integral role in our success.”

Charles Hoslet, Vice Chancellor for University Relations

Key Terms

To support a shared understanding of language, definitions of key terms are available below.

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The range of human qualities that affect how people think, feel, and behave in the world, in addition to how others perceive them. These qualities include, but are not limited to, age, gender, race, ethnicity, color, physical attributes, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, marital status, national origin, education, and work-related values.

(From HR Design, UW–Madison)


The fair treatment, access, opportunity and advancement for all people within an organization or system. It reflects processes and practices that acknowledge that we live in a world where everyone has not been afforded the same resources and treatment, while also working to remedy this fact. “Equity” is often incorrectly conflated with the term “equality,”’ which means sameness; this conflation incorrectly assumes that we all have equal access, and experience equal treatment and outcomes. Equity implies that individuals or groups may need to experience or receive something different (not equal) to maintain fairness and access.

(Adapted from Brandeis University, Social Justice Definitions)


The external conditions (policies, environments, interactions), which are created and cultivated, that result in an individual’s sense of belonging. It means being respected and valued as a contributing and engaged member of the team, work group or organization. An inclusive culture is one in which barriers to contribution and negative biases are eliminated, and people are respected and able to give their personal best.

(Adapted from HR Design, UW-Madison)


The human need and feeling of support from and connectedness to a larger community.

Belonging is the capacity to see the humanity in those that are not like us and to recognize that the same elements that exist within them also exist within us.

(From Four Pivots by Shawn Ginwright, p. 15)

Additional Definitions

More definitions can be found on the Equity, Inclusion and Employee Well-Being website.

Our Shared Future

UW–Madison occupies ancestral Ho-Chunk land, a place their nation has called Teejop (day-JOPE) since time immemorial. In an 1832 treaty, the Ho-Chunk were forced to cede this territory. Decades of ethnic cleansing followed when both the federal and state government repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, sought to forcibly remove the Ho-Chunk from Wisconsin.

We acknowledge the circumstances that led to the forced removal of the Ho-Chunk people, and honor their legacy of resistance and resilience. This history of colonization informs our work and vision for a collaborative future. We recognize and respect the inherent sovereignty of the Ho-Chunk Nation and the other 11 Native Nations within the boundaries of the state of Wisconsin.

Learn more about Our Shared Future.

Photo by Althea Dotzour / UW–Madison