NAFSA’s Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Approved by the Board of Directors on December 2023. This update builds upon and expands our previous Diversity and Inclusion Statement from 2015.

NAFSA: Association of International Educators believes that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are not just words but essential principles that drive our mission and define our global identity.

NAFSA fosters understanding and respect among people of diverse backgrounds and identities and aspires to uphold the principles of Social Justice in every endeavor. In the work of our association, we affirm the value of including and learning from diverse lived experiences and perspectives.

International education is perhaps the greatest driver of global peace. It builds mutual understanding across global communities through exchange, which allows us to recognize humanity in others and cultivate a culture of belonging.

Our Commitment:
NAFSA is dedicated to fostering a culture of respect, empathy, and understanding.

We invite the international education community to commit to various forms of action, as follows:

  1. The practice of inclusivity in association policy and practice and the maintenance of an environment that respects principles of equity and justice.
  2. Pledge to review and enhance policies, practices, and processes to identify and eliminate biases and barriers that might hinder the advancement of any individual or group.
  3. Increase representation of historically marginalized communities across staff, volunteer leadership, and Board of Directors positions. 
  4. Establish clear metrics and goals to measure progress toward DEI.
  5. Review and update the DEI statement on a more frequent cadence, in concert with strategic planning exercises, to ensure it remains relevant and inclusive.

Our core values call on international educators to include people from different cultures and identities and actively challenge systems and structures that perpetuate discrimination and oppression. As a membership association, we implore international educators, institutions, and organizations to embrace these principles as well. It is only by fostering and promoting diversity and inclusion that we as a community will achieve excellence in advancing international education.

By working together, we can create a more equitable and just world for all.

A Note about Terminology: Language reflects societal changes, advancements in understanding, and shifts in how people think about and address various issues. This evolution can encompass terminology related to diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, access, and accessibility. Context also plays a key role— for example, JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion), EDI (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion), DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access), and DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) reflect various geographic and institutional priorities. Learn more about NAFSA's DEI Terminology.