Frequently Asked Questions

What is diversity?

Diversity in its most simple form can be defined as “all the similarities and differences among people.” In other words, it’s a combination of all the characteristics that make us individuals such as age, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, disability, military experience, and socio-economic background; ideas, attitudes, beliefs, educational background, perspectives, values, and so on. A culture of diversity embodies understanding ourselves and each other, moving beyond tolerance to acceptance, and wholly embracing the richness of each individual.

Isn’t diversity just another fancy name for Affirmative Action or Equal Employment Opportunity?

No. Affirmative Action is a legally driven mandate that government contractors take positive steps (affirmative action) to ensure the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans, as in education and employment. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is employment practices that ensure nondiscrimination, fairness, and equity in the workplace.

What is inclusion?

Inclusion is the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity-both within and outside the city hall, and in Beverly communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) where which individuals might connect in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathetic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and units.

What is the difference between equity and equality?

  • Equality is about sameness or uniformity while equity addresses universal fairness. When systems are built on equality, they assume that everyone is starting from the same point. Equity assures conditions for optimal access and opportunity for all people, with particular focus on promoting policies, practices and procedures that do not advantage one group of people over others. Equality is access to distribution and the availability of resources and opportunities to all. Equity is the flexibility needed in allocation to reach equity.

What is anti-racism?

Anti-racism is an ongoing, conscious effort: an actionable commitment that intentionally looks at systemic levels of oppression and challenges the paradigms, ideas, languages, and behaviors resulting from White supremacy. Anti-racism addresses history and how it ties to the present, while recognizing that creating comfort for the privileged is not more important than seeking and speaking to justice for the oppressed. Anti-racism is driven to examine and, when necessary, redistribute power and resources. Finally, Anti-racism is about healing-both the brokenness caused by historical and present trauma, and the belief that growth is possible and that people can change.

What is inclusive excellence?

Inclusive excellence recognizes that a community or institution's success is dependent on how well it values, engages and includes the rich diversity of residents, students, staff, department heads, and businesses. The City of Beverly’s Inclusive Excellence Plan is designed to help government, schools and other units integrate diversity, equity, and educational quality efforts into their missions and institutional operations.

How can I contribute (make a positive impact) via the City of Beverly Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging office or underserved communities?

  1. You can contribute by building collaborative and mutually beneficial working relationships with people of different backgrounds, and by referring qualified diverse job candidates to support the goal of enhancing our diversity in our city.


  • Speak up against insensitive comments. If someone you know makes an insensitive comment about a person's gender, race or sexual orientation, call attention to the comment and explain how it does not promote inclusion. ...
  • Give everyone a voice.
  • Learn to listen.

  2. You can increase your own and others' awareness and acceptance of cultural differences by getting involved with city wide diversity initiatives.


  • Community conversations
  • Join available Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) working groups, committees and volunteer opportunities
  • Participate in our website resident voice corner
  • Look at the Racial equity audit
  • Bring in partners to community events

What are Microaggressions?

The everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.


  • Ascription of intelligence. e.g. Asking an Asian person to help with a Math or Science problem.
  • Color blindness. Denying a person of color’s racial /ethnic experiences. Assimilate / acculturate to the dominant culture. Denying the individual as a racial /cultural being.
  • Alien on their own land. Assume to be foreign.
  • Criminality- Assumption of criminal status
  • Myth of meritocracy. Statements which assert that race does not play a role in life success. Denial of individual racism
  • A statement made when one denies their racial biases