Diversity

Equity

Inclusion

Action

Defining shared language, helps to foster a deeper understanding of each other and the work at hand.

This glossary serves to define the language and the meanings that exemplify best practices for diversity.

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Ableism

"Discrimination against persons with mental and/or physical disabilities; social structures that favor able-bodied individuals."

 

- The National Multicultural Institute

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Bigotry

"intolerant prejudice which glorifies one’s own group and denigrates members of other groups."

 

- Dismantling Racism Institute

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Chicano/a

"A term adopted by some Mexican Americans to demonstrate pride in their heritage, born out of the national Chicano Movement that was politically aligned with the Civil Rights movement to end racial oppression and social inequalities of Mexican Americans. Chicano pertains to the particular experience of Mexican-descended individuals living in the US, but not all Mexican Americans identify as Chicano."

 

- The National Multicultural Institute

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Denial

"The refusal to acknowledge the societal privileges that are granted or denied based on an individual’s identity components. Those who are in a stage of denial tend to believe, “People are people. We are all alike regardless of the color of our skin.” In this way, the existence of a hierarchical system of privileges based on ethnicity or race are ignored."

 

- Institute for Democratic Renewal & Project Change

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Empowerment

"When target group members refuse to accept the dominant ideology and take actions to redistribute social power more equitably."

 

- Adams, Bell and Griffin

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Feminism

"Theory and practice that advocates for educational and occupational equity between men and women; undermines traditional cultural practices that support the subjugation of women by men and the devaluation of women’s contributions to society."

 

- The National Multicultural Institute

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Gay

"People of the same sex who are attracted sexually and emotionally to each other. More commonly utilized to describe male attraction to other males."

 

- The National Multicultural Institute

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Handicap

"Discrimination against persons with mental and/or physical disabilities; social structures that favor able-bodied individuals."

 

- The National Multicultural Institute

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Identity Group

"A particular group, culture, or community with which an individual identifies or shares a sense of belonging. Individual agency is crucial for identity development; no person should be pressured to identify with any existing group, but instead the freedom to self-identify on their own terms."

 

- The National Multicultural Institute

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Latino/a

"Individual living in the United States originating form, or having a heritage relating to Latin America."

 

- University of Maryland

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Marginalization

"The placement of minority groups and cultures outside mainstream society. All that varies from the norm of the dominant culture is devalued and at times perceived as deviant and regressive."

 

- The National Multicultural Institute

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Neo-Colonialization

"Term for contemporary policies adopted by international and western “1st world” nations and organizations that exert regulation, power and control over “3rd world” nations disguised as humanitarian help or aid. These policies are distinct but related to the “original” period of colonization of Africa, Asia, and the Americas by European nations."

 

- University of Maryland

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Oppression

"the systemic and pervasive nature of social inequality woven throughout social institutions as well as embedded within individual consciousness. Oppression signifies a hierarchical relationship in which dominant or privileged groups benefit, often in unconscious ways, from the disempowerment of subordinated or targeted groups."

 

-Adams, Bell and Griffin

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Pan-Africanism

"Describes the theory relating to the desire to educate all peoples of the African diaspora of their common plight and the connections between them. Some theorists promote linking all African countries across the continent through a common government, language, ideology, or belief.

 

-University of Maryland

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Queer

"- term used to refer to people or culture of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community. A term once perceived as derogatory is now embraced by some members of the LGBTQ community."

 

-The National Multicultural Institute

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Race

"A social construct that artificially divides people into distinct groups based on characteristics such as physical appearance, ancestral heritage, cultural affiliation, cultural history, ethnic classification, and the political needs of a society at a given period of time." 

 

- Adams, Bell and Griffin

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Safe Space

"A space in which an individual or group may remain free of blame, ridicule and persecution, and are in no danger of coming to mental or physical harm."

 

- The National Multicultural Institute

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Tolerance

"Acceptance and open-mindedness to different practices, attitudes, and cultures; does not necessarily mean agreement with the differences." 

 

-University of Maryland

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White Privilege

"Refers to the unquestioned and unearned set of advantages, entitlements, benefits and choices bestowed on people solely because they are White. White people who experience such privilege may or may not be conscious of it."

 

- McIntosh