Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion for Labor Unions

Every working person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect on the job

But we know that doesn't happen for everyone. Here at MSU's Labor Education Program, we developed this website especially for labor union members and leaders. And we welcome others who are looking to learn more about how to make their work organizations more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. We invite you to use this site to:

  • Learn about the work experiences of people who are like you, and people who are different from you

  • Understand the data that captures a range of diversity issues

  • Learn about the issues from academic research that analyzes the problems and promotes solutions

  • Find tools to start making a difference

  • Get the latest updates

As we continue to build the site, we'll be asking you to share your experiences as well.

In solidarity, we can build better work organizations.


What's the difference between Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

Sometimes, people use these terms interchangeably; however, there are some differences. Here's how we think about them. Please note that others may use them differently:

  • Diversity
    Diversity is about whether people from underrepresented groups are included in a work organization, and especially whether they are included in leadership. Questions related to diversity include the following: What percentage of union leaders or corporate CEOs are women? What percent are people of color?
  • Equity
    Equity is about objectively fair treatment. From the union perspective, equal pay is at the top of the list of equity concerns. When exploring equity, we ask if women and men, or white people and people of color, are paid the same in work organizations.
  • Inclusion
    Inclusion is for us, more of a psychological concept. Does everyone feel welcome, like part of the team? Or does the dominant group make underrepresented groups feel like outsiders? Topics that are about inclusion include microaggression, restorative justice, and how to have difficult conversations.

Want to learn more about labor education training opportunities for you and/or your Union?

Contact Us


LEP DEI website created and maintained by Michelle Kaminski in collaboration with Melanie Zaremba - design, and Derek Moy - web.