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For reference, below are definitions that the Landscape Partnership currently uses to understand and conceptualize different terms associated with equity and inclusion. Different resources shared on this page may use different definitions.


Equity is the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals and underserved communities who have been denied such treatment, such as Black, Latino, Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality. Equity is fairness in terms of accessing resources, bearing burdens, and participating in decision-making. (Definitions from the White House)


Inclusion is a state of being valued, respected, and supported. Inclusion can be reflected in an organization’s culture, practices, and relationships that are in place to support a diverse workforce and conduct work with stakeholders and communities. Inclusion is the process of recognizing, appreciating, and effectively utilizing everyone's diverse skills, experiences, and perspectives. Inclusion encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness. (Definition borrowed, in part, from and the White House)


Diversity is the many different communities, identities, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities, cultures, and beliefs that a given individual or community may have or experience. 

Underserved Communities

Underserved communities refer to populations sharing a particular characteristic, as well as geographic communities, that have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life. (Definition from the White House)

Environmental Justice

Environmental justice (EJ) is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. (Definition from the EPA)

Additional terms such as "Historically Underserved Producers" and "Socially Disadvantaged Persons" are used by the USDA to determine eligibility for assistance programs. Learn more about these terms on the USDA website