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 is hosting a virtual training for Minnesota State to begin undertaking this work on their campuses. Subsequent training opportunities will take place in Fall 2020, with additional details forthcoming.

Institutions participating in the June 2020 launch include:

  • Minnesota State System Office
  • Alexandria Technical & Community College
  • Anoka Ramsey Community College
  • Anoka Technical College
  • Bemidji State Universit
  • Central Lake College
  • Dakota County Technical College
  • Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College
  • Hennepin Technical College
  • Hibbing Community College
  • Inver Hills Community College
  • Lake Superior College
  • Metro State University
  • Minneapolis College
  • Minnesota State College Southeast
  • Minnesota State University Mankato
  • Minnesota State University Moorhead
  • Minnesota West Community & Technical College
  • Normandale Community College
  • North Hennepin Community College
  • Northeast Higher Education District
  • Northland Community & Technical College
  • Northwest Technical College
  • Pine Technical and Community College
  • Rainy River Community College
  • Ridgewater College
  • Riverland Community College
  • Rochester Community &Technical College
  • Saint Paul College
  • South Central College
  • St. Cloud State University
  • St. Cloud Technical & Community College
  • Vermillion Community College


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 professional development opportunities posted on our website under the Professional Development Page.

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.


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).