Accessibility

The practice of making facilities, environments, products, services, websites, events, etc. available and usable for all people. Structural designs that ensure that all people (with and without disabilities) are provided access to attend and fully participate in a program.

BIPOC

The acronym stands for Black/Indigenous/People of Color. Using it in lieu of POC increased in popularity in 2020 to highlight the fact that all People of Color do not have a homogeneous experience.

Diversity

Socially constructed differences based on social identity groups such as: race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, among others. In the context of social justice, diversity typically means Representation (which social group memberships are represented in any given space).

Equity

Ensuring that every individual or group has exactly what they need to thrive: resources or access to resources. Equity calls for an intentional and deep inquiry into social systems to identify and remedy unfair/inequitable/unjust systems, policies, and practices.

Implicit/Unconscious Bias

Associations that people unknowingly hold. They are expressed automatically, without conscious awareness. Many studies have indicated that implicit biases affect individuals’ attitudes and actions even unknowingly, thus creating real-world implications that often unintentionally discriminate in favor of majoritized social identity groups, and against minoritized social identity groups. Implicit biases have been shown to eclipse individuals’ stated commitments to equality and fairness, and therefore must be brought to light before mitigation is possible. Harvard University’s Project Implicit offers many Implicit Association Tests (IAT: www.implicit.harvard.edu) to measure implicit biases with regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, and other topics.

Inclusion

A commitment to creating an environment that supports, welcomes, and embraces members of diverse social groups and identities. Inclusion is cultivated through individual and institutional/organizational behaviors, practices, and policies, and can be manifested verbally or non-verbally.

Institutional Racism

the ways in which institutional policies and practices create different outcomes for different racial groups. The institutional policies may never mention any racial group, but their effect is to create advantages for whites, and disadvantages for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other Peoples Of Color) communities.

Intersectionality

As originated by Kimberlé Crenshaw (1989): the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups.

Land Acknowledgement

A statement often at the beginning of an event that offers honor and respect to the original custodians of these colonized territories by remembering our shared tragic history.

Language Justice

Affirms the fundamental rights of individuals and communities to language, culture, self-expression, and equal participation.

LGBTQ+

This acronym stands for Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer/Questioning, and other expressions of gender and sexual identities. It is not all-inclusive as there are many more ways of describing different identities. This acronym has become most commonly used to differentiate between heterosexual/heteronormative social identities and having gender and/or sexual identities that differ from hetero.

Pronouns

Recently, more people are identifying their pronouns (typically in introducing themselves and/or in their signature block) to highlight and in some cases, to challenge the assumption of a person’s gender and/or gender expression. Given that the English language (and other romance languages) have traditionally embraced a gender binary (she or he), stating one’s pronouns highlights the socially constructed nature of gender, and provides opportunities to construct it differently with different language (e.g., they/their, zhe/hir, among others)

Social Identities

Refers to one’s status in society based on social group memberships such as: race, ethnicity, gender, social class, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, among many others.

Social Privilege

Based on social, political and economic systems of inequality that exist, majoritized social identity groups more often than not receive goods, services, trust, and benefits made unavailable to minoritized social identity groups. Social privilege is a theory of special advantage or entitlement that advantages and includes some at the expense of others. Advantages can be based on: social class, age, nationality, disability, ethnic or racial category, gender, gender identity, neurology, sexual orientation, religion, among others.

Social Justice

Working towards equity for all; wherein everyone has access to economic, political, and social opportunities, rights, and participation.

White Supremacy

The belief that people with lighter skin tone (typically descendants of Europe) are inherently better, smarter, more qualified, more trustworthy, etc. than people from other races or ethnicities. It is based on a system of inequities that privilege some at the expense of others; and it ensures that in most situations, white people are more likely to be treated better and be made to feel more included than people of other races or ethnicities. It is a system that impacts every part of society and everyone in it.