Equity by Design

Quote by Bensimone, Malcom, Dowd, and Witham

Equity by Design... What is it?

Equity by Design is a methodology that equips higher education leaders to address educational disparities and to move beyond policy and planning to institutional equity-minded practices. The methodology is influenced by the research and literature of Dr. Estela Bensimon at the Center for Urban Education, University of Southern California. This work is:

  • Data-informed

  • Influences organizational development

  • Influences change management strategy

  • Prepares institutions to be student-ready

  • Prioritizes equity in academic outcomes.

Elements of Equity by Design

Elements of Equity by Design Image

Equity by Design Launch

On June 24th - 25th, 2020, the Office of Equity and Inclusion hosted a virtual launch for campuses interested in participating in Equity by Design. Materials from this training are accessible to Minnesota State employees and students on the Minnesota State Equity by Design Microsoft Teams Collaboration Site.  

Equity by Design: IR & Campus Diversity Officer Training

Date: August 12, 2020      Time: 11:00a.m. - 1:00p.m.

Location: via Zoom at https://minnstate.zoom.us/j/98366791996 (Meeting password is required. Email OEI@minnstate.edu to obtain the login password).


  • Campus Diversity Officers
  • Institutional Research / Institutional Effectiveness Personnel

Equity by Design Campus Coalition Training

The Office of Equity & Inclusion is hosting training for campus coalitions in October and November, 2020. Two training opportunities will be provided each month to ensure every member of the campus coalitions has the opportunity to attend, however, campus coalitions should strive to have their entire team present at one time to maximize participation and effectiveness.

Date: October 13, 2020           OR          October 21, 2020
Date: November 18, 2020       OR          November 23. 2020

Additional details for the training seminars will be provided to campus team leaders prior to the training.


Other Training Opportunities

The Office of Equity and Inclusion hosts regular training sessions on a variety of topics, including Equity by Design. You can find recordings of professional development and training opportunities posted on our MediaSpace Page as well as on our website under the Professional Development Page. Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to our MediaSpace channel to find the latest recorded webinars and training opportunities!

Equity by Design Timeline

2017-2019: Equity by Design Pilot conducted across 13 Minnesota State Institutions

January 2020: Convened System-wide Equity by Design Workgroup

June 2020: Equity by Design Launch & Toolkit Publication

August 2020: Equity by Design Training for CDOs and IR Professionals

Fall 2020: Campuses begin implementing Equity by Design analysis at their institution

Fall 2020: Equity by Design Launch Training - Cohort 2

Spring 2021: Equity by Design systemization

Fall 2021: Equity-minded learning communities implemented across all Minnesota State colleges and universities.


This toolkit is a guide for Equity by Design Campus Teams to work and approach the content of addressing inequities in academic outcomes in a manner that is efficient, equity-minded, and moves the efforts forward. Campus leads (Campus Diversity Officers and Senior Academic Affairs Officers) should familiarize themselves with the toolkit, its contents, recommended activities, and supplemental readings as they guide the rest of the campus team in implementing the Equity by Design methodology on their campus.

In addition to the toolkit, the Office of Equity and Inclusion will make available additional trainings to build capacity in the areas of equity-minded data analysis, inquiry-based practices for faculty and staff, and developing equity-minded language. Recorded webinars and professional development training opportunities are available online at https://minnstate.edu/system/equity/prodev.html.

Equity by Design Toolkit

Equity by Design builds on the work of Dr. Estela Bensimon and the Center for Urban Education. For additional context, refer to her publication, "Reclaiming Racial Justice in Equity" (2018).