" Our team found that people don’t always agree on the definitions of equity, inclusion, and diversity. In order to move forward with equity and inclusion work, we need to be reading from the same sheet of music. Our glossary of terms is here to help you do just that”

Equity

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Everyone gets what they need to succeed. When we focus on equity, our ultimate goal is justice. The guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all while striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. The principle of equity acknowledges that there are historically under-served and under-represented populations and that fairness regarding these unbalanced conditions is needed to assist equality in the provision of effective opportunities to all groups. – Karen Armstrong.

Diversity

Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, and it encompasses all the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. It is all-inclusive and recognizes everyone and every group as part of the diversity that should be valued. A broad definition includes not only race, ethnicity, and gender—the groups that most often come to mind when the term "diversity" is used—but also age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, and physical appearance. It also involves different ideas, perspectives, and values.

Inclusion

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Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, and decision/policymaking in a way that shares power. Each member, no matter their background, feels welcomed and valued within the group

Justice

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The quality of being just, impartial, or fair.

Race

For many people, it comes as a surprise that racial categorization schemes were invented by scientists to support worldviews that viewed some groups of people as superior and some as inferior. There are three important concepts linked to this fact:

  1. Race is a made-up social construct, and not an actual biological fact.

  2. Race designations have changed over time. Some groups that are considered “white” in the United States today were considered “non-white” in previous eras, in U.S. Census data and in mass media and popular culture (for example, Irish, Italian, and Jewish people).

  3. The way in which racial categorizations are enforced (the shape of racism) has also changed over time. For example, the racial designation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders changed four times in the 19th century. That is, they were defined at times as white and at other times as not white. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, as designated groups, have been used by whites at different times in history to compete with African American labor

Racism

Racism is race prejudice along with social and institutional power, a system of advantage and oppression, and a white supremacy system.

Racism is different from racial prejudice, hatred, or discrimination. Racism involves one group having the power to carry out systematic discrimination through the institutional policies and practices of the society and by shaping the cultural beliefs and values that support those racist policies and practices.

Privilege

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Unearned social power accorded by the formal and informal institutions of society to ALL members of a dominant group (e.g. white privilege, male privilege, etc.). Privilege is usually invisible to those who have it because we’re taught not to see it, but nevertheless, it puts them at an advantage over those who do not have it.

Tokenism

The practice of doing something (such as hiring a person who belongs to a minority group) only to prevent criticism and give the appearance that people are being treated fairly. - Merriam Webster. 

Ex. “employees may be called upon to be the lone representative for their entire group.”

Anti-Racism

Anti-Racism is defined as the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. Anti-racism tends to be an individualized approach, and set up in opposition to individual racist behaviors and impacts.

Representation

The fact of including different types of people, for example in movies, politics, or sports, so that all different groups are represented.

Accountability

In the context of racial equity work, accountability refers to the ways in which individuals and communities hold themselves to their goals and actions, and acknowledge the values and groups to which they are responsible. To be accountable, one must be visible, with a transparent agenda and process. Invisibility defies examination; it is, in fact, employed in order to avoid detection and examination. Accountability demands commitment. It might be defined as “what kicks in when convenience runs out.” Accountability requires some sense of urgency and becoming a true stakeholder in the outcome.

Responsibility

The state or fact of being responsible, answerable, or accountable for something within one's power, control, or management.

Systemic

Systemic describes what relates to or affects an entire system.

Systemic racism describes how discriminatory actions show up in the American educational system, the economic system, the health care system, the criminal justice system, and more. It's when individual attitudes of prejudice and bigotry are baked into the operations of cultural institutions.

Impact

A powerful effect that something, especially something new, has on a situation or person. to have an influence on something.

Ally

Someone who makes the commitment and effort to recognize their privilege (based on gender, class, race, sexual identity, etc.) and work in solidarity with oppressed groups in the struggle for justice. Allies understand that it is in their own interest to end all forms of oppression, even those from which they may benefit in concrete ways. Allies commit to reducing their own complicity or collusion in the oppression of those groups and invest in strengthening their own knowledge and awareness of oppression.

Performative Activism

A form of activism used to increase one's social capital or personal gain rather than genuine support towards a movement, issues, or causes.