POC: Person of Color or People of Color includes any non-white person who is not of European descent, including but not limited to: Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous people.
BIPOC: Black, Indigenous and People of Color, a term used to be able to highlight the unique relationship to whiteness that Indigenous and Black people have, which shapes the experiences of and relationship to white supremacy for all People of Color within the context of the United States. (www.thebipocproject.org)
Latinx: Latina or Latino (the female and male descriptors of individuals of Latin descent).
Womxn: An inclusive and intersectional term designed to encompass women, gender nonbinary individuals, and transgender women, who are affected by misogyny, or women-related issues. This term both acknowledges the history of exclusion in many second wave feminist organizations and aims to welcome all woman-identified individuals, regardless of assigned sex at birth.
WOC: Womxn of Color, similar to POC but calls out the intersection between race and gender by focusing specifically on womxn within the context of race.
White People: White people is a racial classification specifier, used mostly and often exclusively for people of European descent. Also called Wypipo and Yt’s.
White Passing: White passing individuals might “look white” and as such, they can often benefit from some aspects of white privilege. However, white passing individuals identifying strongly with their culture (which is not white, European descent) such as Latinx, and are simultaneously oppressed from the overriding white supremacy culture of the United States.
White Privilege: White privilege, refers to whites’ historical and contemporary advantages in access to quality education, decent jobs and livable wages, homeownership, retirement benefits, wealth and so on. The following quotation from a publication by Peggy Macintosh can be helpful in understanding what is meant by white privilege: “As a white person I had been taught about racism that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its resulting aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage. . . White privilege is an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in every day, but about which I was meant to remain oblivious.” (www.aspeninstitute.org)
White Fragility: White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial balance. (www.libjournal.uncg.edu)
Saliency: As defined in Robin DiAngelo’s book White Fragility, saliency is the degree to which you identify with a descriptor.
Bigotry: Narrow-minded prejudice that glorifies one’s own group and degrades members of other groups. (www.racialequitytools.org)
Discrimination: The unequal treatment of members of various groups based on race, gender, social class, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion and other categories. (www.racialequitytools.org)
Diversity: Diversity has come to refer to the various backgrounds and races that comprise a community, nation or other grouping. In many cases the term diversity does not just acknowledge the existence of diversity of background, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and so on, but implies an appreciation of these differences. (www.aspeninstitute.org)
Ethnicity: Ethnicity refers to the social characteristics that people may have in common, such as language, religion, regional background, culture, foods, etc. Ethnicity is expressed by the traditions one follows, a person’s native language, and so on. (www.aspeninstitute.org)
Implicit Bias Also known as unconscious or hidden biases, implicit bias are negative associations that people unknowingly hold. They are expressed automatically, without conscious awareness. (www. racialequitytools.org)
Inclusion: Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, and decision/policy making in a way that shares power. (www.racialequitytools.org)
Intersectionality: the ways in which a person can simultaneously experience privilege and oppression. An intersectional approach acknowledges the ways that experiences of oppression vary depending on particular combinations of identity and context. It pushes us not to fragment people’s experience of injustice into single issues, and instead look at the whole person. (www.buildingmovement.org)
Micro-aggression: the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, rejections, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, offensive, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group identity. (www.ucop.edu)
Oppression: the systemic undervaluing, undermining, downgrading, and disadvantaging of certain social identities in contrast to the privileged norm; when some people are denied something of value, while others have ready access. (www.racialequitytools.org)
Prejudice: A pre-judgment and usually negative, attitude of one type of individual or groups toward another group and its members. Such negative attitudes are typically based on unsupported generalizations that deny the right of individual members of a group to be recognized and treated as individuals with their own unique characteristics. (www.racialequitytools.org)
Privilege: 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 are taught not to see it. Regardless of if they see it or not, they have advantage over those who do not have it. (www.racialequitytools.org)
Race: Race describes human-created categories assigned to demographic groups based mostly on observable physical characteristics, like skin color, hair texture and eye shape. Race is not biological, but is a powerful social idea that gives people different access to opportunities and resources. (www.aspeninstitute.org; www.pbs.org)
Racial Equity: Racial equity refers to what a genuinely non-racist society would look like. In a racially just society, the distribution of society’s benefits and burdens would not be skewed by race or skin color. This is Page 17 in contrast to the current state of affairs in which a person of color is more likely to live in poverty, be imprisoned, drop out of high school, be unemployed and experience poor health outcomes. Racial equity holds society to a higher standard. It demands that we pay attention not just to individual-level discrimination, but to overall social outcomes. (www.aspeninstitute.org)
Racism: Refers to individual, cultural, institutional and systemic ways by which differential consequences are created for groups historically or currently defined as white being advantaged, and groups historically or currently defined as non-white (African, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, etc.) as disadvantaged. This idea aligns with those who define racism as prejudice plus power, a common phrase in the field. (www.racialequitytools.org)
Individual Racism: Individual racism can include face-to-face or covert actions toward a person that intentionally express prejudice, hate or bias based on race. (www.aspeninstitute.org)
Institutional Racism: Institutional racism refers to the policies and practices within and across institutions that, intentionally or not, produce outcomes that frequently favor, or put a racial group at a disadvantage. Examples of such racism can be found in school disciplinary policies in which students of color are punished at much higher rates that their white counterparts, in the criminal justice system, and within many employment sectors in which day-to-day operations, as well as hiring and firing practices can significantly disadvantage workers of color. (www.aspeninstitute.org)
Systemic/Structural Racism: A system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequity. It identifies dimensions of our history and culture that have allowed privileges associated with “whiteness” and disadvantages associated with “color” to endure and adapt over time. Systemic and structural racism is not something that a few people or institutions choose to practice. Instead it has been a feature of the social, economic and political systems in which we all exist due to years of historical, cultural and social psychological aspects of our currently racialized society. (www.aspeninstitute.org)
Reparations: States have a legal duty to acknowledge and address widespread or systematic human rights violations, in cases where the state caused the violations or did not seriously try to prevent them. Reparations initiatives seek to address the harms caused by these violations. They can take the form of compensations for losses suffered or be future oriented – providing rehabilitation for a better life to victims. Reparations publicly affirm that victims are rights holders, entitled to amends. (www.racialequitytools.org)
Segregation: Racial segregation was a system derived from the efforts of white Americans to keep African Americans in a subordinate status by denying them equal access to public facilities and ensuring that blacks lived apart from whites. (www.nationalhumanitiescenter.org) Page 18
Stereotype: Stereotypes are qualities assigned to groups of people related to their race, nationality and sexual orientation, to name a few. They generalize groups of people in manners that lead to discrimination and ignore the diversity within groups. Stereotypes are oversimplifications of people groups widely circulated in certain societies. (www.racerelations.about.com)