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We hear the words diversity and inclusion used quite frequently these days in the wellness industry. While they are often paired together and often used interchangeably, they are two very different things.

Diversity—the range of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, national origin, intellectual or physical ability or attributes, economic, religious, or ethical values system, and political beliefs, according to the Ferris State University (FSU) Diversity Office—is only the first step in creating environments that are welcoming to individuals from all backgrounds.

Moving beyond diversity is inclusion, which is defined as involvement and empowerment where the inherent worth and dignity of all people are recognized. An inclusive environment promotes and sustains a sense of belonging; it values and practices respect for the talents, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of living of its members, according to FSU.