Skip to content

V3I3: What Exactly is Equity-Mindedness?

In our efforts to close equity gaps tied to student success in our various institutions, the term equity-mindedness has been mentioned repeatedly as a mindset that reflect an institution’s commitment to addressing such gaps. But what exactly is equity-mindedness?


This is partially based on the Council on Social Work Education’s What is equity-minded competence?

According to the Center for Urban Education (CUE), equity-mindedness is “the perspective or mode of thinking exhibited by practitioners who call attention to patterns of inequity in student outcomes. These practitioners are willing to take personal and institutional responsibility for the success of their students, and critically reassess their own practices. It also requires that practitioners are race-conscious and aware of the social and historical context of exclusionary practices in American Higher Education.” Rooted in the understanding that equity involves both equal access and equal outcomes, this race-explicit consciousness is demonstrated in actions that recognize and address racialized structures, policies, and practices that create and sustain these racial inequities.

Equity-minded Indicators

CUE has produced twelve equity minded indicators for developing equity-mindedness. One example is asking if an institution routinely reports racial/ethnic participation in honors programs, scholarships, and student surveys among other things. Another indicator asks about evaluation of faculty, administrator, and staff based on racial equity goals. CUE describes a total of twelve indicators that demonstrate a practice of equity-mindedness. The full list is available in the NWCCU Equity Resource Library.

Equity-minded Competence

In the practice of equity-mindedness, competence can be developed if an individual practices these indicators and demonstrates the following actions:

  1. Become aware of racial identity
  2. Use disaggregated data to identify inequitable racial and ethnic outcomes
  3. Reflect on racial and ethnic consequences of practices
  4. Exercise agency to produce racial and ethnic equity
  5. View the classroom as a racialized space and self-monitor interactions with students of color

For more on equity-mindedness, please visit the Equity & Equity Mindedness section of the NWCCU Equity Resource Library. Scroll to the section on Guides and Fact Sheets and look for the links discussed in this article: Understanding Equity Mindedness, Equity-Minded Indicators, and Equity-Minded Competence.


We invite you to explore the Equity Resource Library:



Sign up for our Newsletter

Explore the latest issue of NWCCU’s quarterly newsletter, The Beacon, and discover educational resources, innovations, and events happening in the Northwest.