ESCALATE Glossary of Terms

NMAC

The purpose of the ESCALATE training program is to facilitate transformative and relational change in Ryan White HIV/AIDS Programs (RWHAP) and the communities they serve. This is a Glossary of commonly used terms under in the ESCALATE capacity-building initiative.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G| H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


A

Ableism

Discrimination and social prejudice against people with disabilities and/or people who are perceived to be disabled. Ableism characterizes people who are defined by their
disabilities as inferior to the non-disabled. On this basis, people are assigned or denied certain perceived abilities, skills, or character orientations.

Source: Linton, Simi (1998). Claiming Disability Knowledge and Identity. New York: New York University Press


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 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. Accountability can be externally imposed (legal or organizational requirements), or internally applied (moral, relational, faith-based, or recognized as some combination of the two) on a continuum from the institutional and organizational level to the individual level. From a relational point of view, accountability is not always doing it right. Sometimes it is really about what happens after it’s done wrong.

Source: Accountability and White Anti-Racist Organizing: Stories from Our Work, Bonnie Berman Cushing with Lila Cabbil, Margery Freeman, Jeff Hitchcock, and Kimberly Richards (2010). RacialEquityTools.org, “PLAN / Change Process / Accountability


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 oppression of those groups and invest in strengthening their own knowledge and awareness of oppression.

Source: OpenSource Leadership Strategies, “The Dynamic System of Power, Privilege, and Oppression.” Center for Assessment and Policy Development.


AFAB

Assigned Female at Birth. AFAB people may or may not identify as female some or all of the time. AFAB is a useful term for educating about issues that may happen to these bodies without connecting to womanhood or femaleness.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Affirmed Gender

An individual’s true gender, as opposed to their gender assigned at birth. This term should replace terms like new gender or chosen gender, which imply that an individual chooses their gender.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Ageism

Stereotyping and/or discrimination against individuals or groups on the basis of their age. This may be casual or systemic. The term was coined in 1969 by Robert Neil Butler to describe discrimination against seniors and patterned on sexism and racism. Butler defined "ageism" as a combination of three connected elements. Originally it was identified chiefly towards older people, old age, and the aging process; discriminatory practices against older people; and institutional practices and policies that perpetuate stereotypes about elderly people. It has much more recently been used in regard to prejudice and discrimination against especially adolescents and children, such as denying them certain rights usually reserved for adults such as the right to vote, run for political office, buy and use alcohol, tobacco, or cannabis, marry, own a gun, gamble, consent or refuse medical treatment, sign contracts, and so forth; indeed, denying them citizenship at all. This can also include ignoring their ideas because they are considered "too young", or assuming that they should behave in certain ways because of their age.

Sources: Nelson, T.D., ed. (2002). Ageism: Stereotyping and Prejudice against Older Persons | Butler, R. N. (1969). "Age-ism: Another form of bigotry".


Asexual

Sometimes abbreviated as ace, the term refers to an individual who does not experience sexual attraction. Each asexual person experiences relationships, attraction, and arousal differently. Asexuality is distinct from chosen behavior such as celibacy or sexual abstinence; asexuality is a sexual orientation that does not necessarily entail specific chosen behaviors. Asexual people exist on a spectrum of sexual attraction and can use terms such as gray asexual or gray ace to describe themselves.

Sorurce: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Assigned Sex

The sex assigned to an infant at birth based on the child’s visible sex organs, including genitalia and other physical characteristics.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Assumed Gender

The gender assumed about an individual, based on their assigned sex as well as apparent societal gender markers and expectations, such as physical attributes and expressed characteristics. Examples of assuming a person’s gender include using pronouns for a person before learning what pronouns they use or calling a person a man or a woman without knowing their gender.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


AMAB

Assigned Male at Birth. AMAB people may or may not identify as male some or all of the time. AMAB is a useful term for educating about issues that may happen to these bodies without connecting to manhood or maleness.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Androgynous

Having physical elements of both femininity and masculinity, whether expressed through sex, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Anti-Black

The Council for Democratizing Education defines anti-Blackness as being a two-part formation that both voids Blackness of value, while systematically marginalizing Black people and their issues. The first form of anti-Blackness is overt racism. Beneath this anti-Black racism is the covert structural and systemic racism which categorically predetermines the socioeconomic status of Blacks in this country. The structure is held in place by anti-Black policies, institutions, and ideologies. The second form of anti-Blackness is the unethical disregard for anti-Black institutions and policies. This disregard is the product of class, race, and/or gender privilege certain individuals experience due to anti-Black institutions and policies. This form of anti-Blackness is protected by the first form of overt racism.

Source: The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), “Glossary.”


Anti-immigrant stigma

Stigma is defined as the presence of labeling, stereotyping, separation, status loss, and discrimination that occurs in situations in which power differentials are prominent.By this
definition, immigrants experience stigma because they are constantly being labeled “foreigners” or “outsiders” and stereotyped as undocumented or criminals. This separates them and gives them a lower status than that of White Americans in a society where they have less political power. Stigma can occur on multiple levels to affect health disparities, including the individual (e.g., perceived deportation threat), interpersonal (e.g., anti-immigrant discrimination), and structural (e.g., immigration policy).

Source: BG, Phelan JC. Conceptualizing stigma. Annu Rev Soviol. 2001


Anti-Racism

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.

Source: Race Forward, “Race Reporting Guide” (2015)


Anti-Racist

Someone who is actively seeking not only to raise their consciousness about race and racism, but also to take action when they see racial power inequities in everyday life.

Source: Racial Healing Handbook: Practical Activities to Help You Challenge Privilege, Confront Systemic Racism, and Engage in Collective Healing by Anneliese A. Singh (2019)


Anti-Racist Ideas

Antiracist ideas are ideas based in the truth that racial groups are equals in all the ways they are different. That means that there is nothing wrong with any racial group. Antiracists argue that racist policies are the cause of racial injustices.

Source: Ibram X. Kendi, How To Be An Antiracist, Random House, 2019


Assimilationist

One who is expressing the racist idea that a racial group is culturally or behaviorally inferior and is supporting cultural or behavioral enrichment programs to develop that racial group.

Source: Ibram X. Kendi, How To Be An Antiracist, Random House, 2019


B

Bigotry

Intolerant prejudice that glorifies one's own group and denigrates members of other groups.

Source: https://www.hollins.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/commonlanguagenoref.pdf


BIPOC

Acronym for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. It acknowledges the specific histories of Black, Latinx, Asian Pacific Islanders (API), and Native people within the United States without collapsing them into a homogenous category of people of color.

Source: https://www.hollins.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/commonlanguagenoref.pdf


Biological Sex

Refers to anatomical, physiological, genetic, or physical attributes that determine if a person is male, female, or intersex. These include both primary and secondary sex characteristics, including genitalia, gonads, hormone levels, hormone receptors, chromosomes, and genes. Often also referred to as “sex,” “physical sex,” “anatomical sex,” or specifically as “sex assigned at birth.” Biological sex is often conflated or interchanged with gender, which is more societal than biological, and involves personal identity factors.

Source:PFLAG.ORG, “National Glossary”


Bisexual

Commonly referred to as bi or bi+. According to bi+ educator and advocate Robyn Ochs, the term refers to a person who acknowledges in themselves the potential to be attracted-- romantically, emotionally and/or sexually--to people of more than one gender, not necessarily at the same time, in the same way, or in the same degree. The "bi" in bisexual can refer to attraction to genders similar to and different from one's own. People who identify as bisexual need not have had equal sexual or romantic experience or equal levels of attraction with people across genders, nor any experience at all; attraction and self-identification determines orientation.

Source: https://www.hollins.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/commonlanguagenoref.pdf


Black Lives Matter

A political movement to address systemic and state violence against African Americans. Per the Black Lives Matter organizers: “In 2013, three radical Black organizers—Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi—created a Black centered political will and movement building project called #BlackLivesMatter. It was in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman. The project is now a member-led global network of more than 40 chapters. [Black Lives Matter] members organize and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ humanity, our contributions to this society, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.”

Source: Black Lives Matter, “Herstory”


C

Caucusing (Affinity Groups)

An intentionally-created space for those who share an identity to convene for learning, support, and connections. Caucuses based on racial identity are often comprised, respectively, of people of color, white people, people who hold multiracial identities, or people who share specific racial or ethnic identities. To advance racial equity, there is work for white people and people of color to do separately and together.

For white people, a caucus provides time and space to work explicitly and intentionally on understanding white culture and white privilege and to increase one’s critical analysis around these concepts. A white caucus also puts the burden on white people to teach each other about these ideas, rather than placing a burden on people of color to teach them. For people of color, a caucus is a place to work with peers to address the impact of racism, to interrupt experiences of internalized racism, and to create a space for healing and working for individual and collective liberation.

At times, people of color may also break into more specific race-based caucuses, sometimes based on experiences with a particular issue, for example police violence, immigration, or land rights. Groups that use caucuses in their organizational racial equity work, especially in workplaces and coalitions, generally meet separately and create a process to rejoin and work together collectively.

Source: Act, Strategies, Caucus and Affinity Groups (racialequitytools.org)


Chosen Family

Also known as Found Family, people who support an LGBTQ+ person, who are not biologically related, and who often fill the role of the biological family if an LGBTQ+ person’s family is not supportive of them.

Source: https://www.hollins.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/commonlanguagenoref.pdf


Cisgender

Refers to an individual whose gender identity aligns with the one associated with the sex assigned to them at birth. The prefix cis comes from the Latin word for “on the same side as.” People who are both cisgender and heterosexual are sometimes referred to as cishet (pronounced “cis-het”) individuals. The term cisgender is not a slur. People who are not trans should avoid calling themselves “normal” and instead refer to themselves as cisgender or cis.

Source: https://www.hollins.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/commonlanguagenoref.pdf


Cisnormativity

The assumption that everyone is cisgender and that being cisgender is superior to all other genders. This includes the often implicitly held idea that being cisgender is the norm and that other genders are “different” or abnormal.”

Source: https://www.hollins.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/commonlanguagenoref.pdf


Collusion

When people act to perpetuate oppression or prevent others from working to eliminate oppression. Example: Able-bodied people who object to strategies for making buildings accessible because of the expense.

Source: Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook, edited by Maurianne Adams, Lee Anne Bell, and Pat Griffin (Routledge, 1997).


Colonization

Some form of invasion, dispossession and subjugation of a people. The invasion need not be military; it can begin—or continue—as geographical intrusion in the form of agricultural, urban or industrial encroachments. The result of such incursion is the dispossession of vast amounts of lands from the original inhabitants. This is often legalized after the fact. The long-term result of such massive dispossession is institutionalized inequality. The colonizer/colonized relationship is by nature an unequal one that benefits the colonizer at the expense of the colonized.

Ongoing and legacy Colonialism impact power relations in most of the world today. For example, white supremacy as a philosophy was developed largely to justify European colonial exploitation of the Global South (including enslaving African peoples, extracting resources from much of Asia and Latin America, and enshrining cultural norms of whiteness as desirable both in colonizing and colonizer nations). See also: Decolonization.

Sources: Emma LaRocque, PhD, “Colonization and Racism,” (Aboriginal Perspectives). Also see Racism and Colonialism, edited by Robert Ross (1982), and Andrea Smith, “Indigeneity, Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy” (Racial Formation in the Twenty First Century, 2012).


Critical Race Theory

The Critical Race Theory movement considers many of the same issues that conventional civil rights and ethnic studies take up, but places them in a broader perspective that includes economics, history, and even feelings and the unconscious. Unlike traditional civil rights, which embraces incrementalism and step by step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and principles of constitutional law.

Source: Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, NYU Press, 2001 (2nd ed. 2012, 3rd ed. 2017).


Cultural Appropriation

Theft of cultural elements—including symbols, art, language,customs, etc.—for one’s own use, commodification, or profit, often without understanding, acknowledgement, or respect for its value in the original culture. Results from the assumption of a dominant (i.e., white) culture’s right to take other cultural elements.

Source: Colours of Resistance Archive, “Cultural Appropriation” (accessed 28 June 2013).


Cultural Misappropriation

Cultural misappropriation distinguishes itself from the neutrality of cultural exchange, appreciation, and appropriation because of the instance of colonialism and capitalism; cultural misappropriation occurs when a cultural fixture of a marginalized culture/community is copied, mimicked, or recreated by the dominant culture against the will of the original community and, above all else, co-mmodified.

One can understand the use of “misappropriation” as a distinguishing tool because it assumes that there are 1) instances of neutral appropriation, 2) the specifically referenced instance is non-neutral and problematic, even if benevolent in intention, 3) some act of theft or dishonest attribution has taken place, and 4) moral judgement of the act of appropriation is subjective to the specific culture from which is being engaged.

Source: Devyn Springer, “Resources on What ‘Cultural Appropriation’ Is and Isn’t” (2018, accessed 7 October 2019).


Cultural Racism

Refers to representations, messages and stories conveying the idea that behaviors and values associated with white people or “whiteness” are automatically “better” or more “normal” than those associated with other racially defined groups. Cultural racism shows up in advertising, movies, history books, definitions of patriotism, and in policies and laws. Cultural racism is also a powerful force in maintaining systems of internalized supremacy and internalized racism. It does that by influencing collective beliefs about what constitutes appropriate behavior, what is seen as beautiful, and the value placed on various forms of expression. All of these cultural norms and values in the U.S. have explicitly or implicitly racialized ideals and assumptions (for example, what “nude” means as a color, which facial features and body types are considered beautiful, which child-rearing practices are considered appropriate.)

Source: RacialEquityTools.org, “FUNDAMENTALS / Core Concepts / Racism”


Cultural

A social system of meaning and custom that is developed by a group of people to assure its adaptation and survival. These groups are distinguished by a set of unspoken rules that shape values, beliefs, habits, patterns of thinking, behaviors, and styles of communication.

Source: Institute for Democratic Renewal and Project Change Anti-Racism Initiative, A Community Builder's Tool Kit, Appendix I (2000)


Cultural Competence

Cultural competence is integration and transformation of knowledge about individuals and groups of people into specific standards, policies, practices, and attitudes used in appropriate cultural settings to increase the quality of services; thereby producing better outcomes.

Source: CDC, National Prevention Information Network, “Cultural Competence in Health and Human Services” (2020)


Cultural Humility

Cultural humility is the ability to maintain an interpersonal stance that is other-oriented (or open to the other) in relation to aspects of cultural identity that are most important to the [person]. Cultural humility includes a lifelong commitment to self evaluation and self-critique, a desire to fix power imbalances, and the ability to develop partnerships with people and groups who advocate for others.

Sources:


D

Deadnaming

Occurs when an individual, intentionally or not, refers to the name that a transgender or gender-expansive individual used at a different time in their life. Avoid this practice, as it can cause trauma, stress, embarrassment, and even danger. Some may prefer the terms birth name, given name, or old name.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Decolonization

Decolonization may be defined as the active resistance against colonial powers, and a shifting of power towards political, economic, educational, cultural, psychic independence and power that originate from a colonized nation’s own indigenous culture. This process occurs politically and also applies to personal and societal psychic, cultural, political, agricultural, and educational deconstruction of colonial oppression.

Per Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang: “Decolonization doesn’t have a synonym”; it is not a substitute for ‘human rights’ or ‘social justice’, though undoubtedly, they are connected in various ways. Decolonization demands an Indigenous framework and a centering of Indigenous land, Indigenous sovereignty, and Indigenous ways of thinking.

Source: The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), “Glossary.” Eric Ritskes, “What Is Decolonization and Why Does It Matter?”


Diaspora

Diaspora The voluntary or forcible movement of peoples from their homelands into new regions ...” There is “a common element in all forms of diaspora; these are people who live outside their natal (or imagined natal) territories and recognize that their traditional homelands are reflected deeply in the languages they speak, religions they adopt, and the cultures they produce.

Source: Leong Yew, “The Culture of Diasporas in the Postcolonial Web” (quoting Ashcroft et al., Key Concepts in Post-Colonial Studies, and Cohen, Global Diasporas: An Introduction).


Discrimination

Discrimination The unequal treatment of members of various groups based on race, gender, social class, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion, and other categories. [In the United States] the law makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

The law also requires that employers reasonably accommodate applicants and employees sincerely held religious practices, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business.

Sources: Institute for Democratic Renewal and Project Change Anti-Racism Initiative, A Community Builder's Tool Kit, Appendix I (2000). U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Laws Enforced by EEOC” (accessed 28 June 2013).


Diversity

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.

It is important to note that many activists and thinkers critique diversity alone as a strategy. For instance, Baltimore Racial Justice Action states: “Diversity is silent on the subject of equity. In an anti-oppression context, therefore, the issue is not diversity, but rather equity. Often when people talk about diversity, they are thinking only of the “no- dominant” groups.”

Sources: UC Berkeley Center for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, “Glossary of Terms” (page 34 in 2009 Strategic Plan). Baltimore Racial Justice Action, “Our Definitions” (2018).


E

Equity

The notion of being fair and impartial as an individual engages with an organization or system, particularly systems of grievance. “Equity” is often conflated with the term “Equality” (meaning sameness).

Source: Morton, B. and Fasching-Varner, K. (2015). “Equity.” Encyclopedia of Diversity and Social Justice. Vol. 1. (Ed. S. Thompson). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 303-4.


Ethnicity

A social construct that divides people into smaller social groups based on characteristics such as shared sense of group membership, values, behavioral patterns, language, political and economic interests, history, and ancestral geographical base. Examples of different ethnic groups are: Cape Verdean, Haitian, African American (Black); Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese (Asian); Cherokee, Mohawk, Navaho (Native American); Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican (Latino); Polish, Irish, and Swedish (White).

Source: Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook, edited by Maurianne Adams, Lee Anne Bell, and Pat Griffin (Routledge, 1997).


G

Gay

A term used to describe people who are emotionally,romantically, and/or physically attracted to people of the same gender (e.g., gay man, gay people). In contemporary contexts,lesbian is often a preferred term for women, though many women use the term gay to describe themselves. People who are gay need not have had any sexual experience. Attraction and self identification determine sexual orientation, not the gender or sexual orientation of one’s partner. The term should not be used as an umbrella term for LGBTQ+ people, e.g., “the gay community,” because it excludes other sexual orientations and genders. Avoid using gay in a disparaging manner, e.g., “That’s so gay,” as a synonym for bad.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Gender Dysphoria

The distress caused when a person's assigned sex at birth and assumed gender is not the same as the one with which they identify. According to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the term "... is intended to better characterize the experiences of affected children, adolescents, and adults."

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Gender Non-Conforming

A term for those who do not follow gender stereotypes. Often an umbrella for nonbinary genders. Though fairly uncommon, some people view the term as derogatory, so they may use other terms including gender expansive, differently gendered, gender creative, gender variant, genderqueer, nonbinary, a gender, gender fluid, gender neutral, bigender, androgynous, or gender diverse. PFLAG National uses the term gender expansive. It is important to respect and use the terms people use for themselves, regardless of any prior associations or ideas about those terms.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Gender Binary

The disproven concept that there are only two genders, male and female, and that everyone must be one or the other. Also often misused to assert that gender is biologically determined. This concept also reinforces the idea that men and women are opposites and have different roles in society.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Gender Euphoria

A euphoric feeling often experienced when one’s gender is recognized and respected by others, when one’s body aligns with one’s gender, or when one expresses themselves in accordance with their gender. Focusing on gender euphoria instead of gender dysphoria shifts focus on the positive aspects of being transgender or gender expansive.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Gender Expansive

An umbrella term sometimes used to describe people who expand notions of gender expression and identity beyond perceived or expected societal gender norms. Some gender expansive individuals identify as a mix of genders, some identify more binarily as a man or a woman, and some identify as no gender (see agender). Gender-expansive people might feel that they exist among genders, as on a spectrum, or beyond the notion of the man/woman binary paradigm. Sometimes gender expansive people use gender-neutral pronouns (see Pronouns), but people can exist as any gender while using any pronouns. They may or may not be comfortable with their bodies as they are, regardless of how they express their gender.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Gender Expression

The manner in which a person communicates about gender to others through external means such as clothing, appearance, or mannerisms. This communication may be conscious or subconscious and may or may not reflect their gender identity or sexual orientation. While most people’s understandings of gender expressions relate to masculinity and femininity, there are countless combinations that may incorporate both masculine and feminine expressions—or neither—through androgynous expressions. An individual’s gender expression does not automatically imply one’s gender identity. All people have gender expressions.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Gender Fluid

A person who does not consistently adhere to one fixed gender and who may move among genders.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Gender Identity

A person’s deeply held core sense of self in relation to gender (see Gender). Gender identity does not always correspond to biological sex. People become aware of their gender identity at many different stages of life, from as early as 18 months and into adulthood. According to Gender Spectrum, one study showed that “...the average age of self-realization for the child that they were transgender or non-binary was 7.9 years old, but the average age when they disclosed their understanding of their gender was 15.5 years old.” Gender identity is a separate concept from sexuality.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Gender Performance Theory

Coined by Judith Butler, gender performance theory is the concept that people do not have inherent genders based on their biological sex. According to this theory, people continually perform their genders, instead of relying on their assigned sexes to determine their genders for them.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Gender Rolls

The strict set of societal beliefs that dictate the so-called acceptable behaviors for people of different genders, usually binary in nature. Many people find these to be restrictive and harmful, as they reinforce the gender binary.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Gender Spectrum

The concept that gender exists beyond a simple man/woman binary model but instead exists on a continuum. Some people fall towards more masculine or feminine aspects, some people move fluidly along the spectrum, and some exist off the spectrum entirely.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


H

Health Equity

Health equity, sometimes also referred to as health disparity, is defined as differences in the quality of health and healthcare across different populations.

Health equity is different from health equality, as it refers to the absence of disparities in controllable or remediable aspects of health. It is not possible to work towards complete equality in health, as there are some factors of health that are beyond human influence.

Inequity implies some kinds of social injustice. Thus, if one population dies younger than another because of genetic differences, a non-remediable/controllable factor, we tend to say that there is a health inequality. On the other hand, if a population has a lower life expectancy due to lack of access to medications, the situation would be classified as a health inequity. These inequities may include differences in the "presence of disease, health outcomes, or access to health care" between populations with a different race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation,disability, or socioeconomic status.

Source: "Glossary of a Few Key Public Health Terms".Office of Health Disparities, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Kawachi I, Subramanian SV, Almeida-Filho N (September 2002). "A glossary for health inequalities". Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Heteronormativity

The assumption that everyone is heterosexual, and that heterosexuality is superior to all other sexualities. This includes the often implicitly held idea that heterosexuality is the norm, that other sexualities are “different” or “abnormal.” and non - heterosexual relationships should follow heterosexual roles.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National

Heterosexual

Refers to a person who is emotionally, romantically, and/or physically attracted to a person of a different gender. Also referred to as straight.    

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National   


HIV Stigma

The prejudice, fear, rejection, and stigmatization of People with HIV (PWH). Marginalized, at-risk groups such as members of the LGBTQ+ community, intravenous drug users, and sex workers are most vulnerable to encountering HIV stigma. The consequences of societal stigma against PWH are quite severe, as HIV stigma actively hinders access to screening and care around the world. Moreover, these negative stigmas become used against members of the LGBTQ+ community in the form of stereotypes held by physicians.

HIV stigma takes many forms such as blood donation restrictions on at-risk populations, compulsory HIV testing without prior consent, violations of confidentiality within healthcare settings, and targeted violence against People with HIV (PWH). Although disability laws within many countries prohibit HIV/AIDS discrimination in housing, employment, and access to health/social services, People with HIV (PWH) still experience instances of stigma and abuse.

People living with HIV face discrimination in many sectors, including healthcare, education, employment, and law enforcement. Discrimination takes the form of denial of services, lack of accessible services for key populations, and insufficient funding and scale for services. In conjunction with internalized stigma, HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination make it more difficult for PLHIV to feel comfortable in obtaining the medical services they need.

Source: Mahajan AP, Sayles JN, Patel VA, Remien RH, Sawires SR, Ortiz DJ, et al. (August 2008). "Stigma in the HIV/AIDS epidemic: a review of the literature and recommendations for the way forward"

Homophobia

Animosity, hatred, or dislike of LGBTQ+ people that often manifests itself in the form of prejudice and bias. Homophobia often stems from lack of knowledge about LGBTQ+ people and the issues they face and can sometimes be alleviated with education and support. PFLAG does not use this term as it frequently prevents such educational dialogue.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National  

Homosexual

A term to describe gay, lesbian, or queer people which may be offensive depending on the speaker. Originally used as a scientific or clinical term to describe LGBTQ+ people, the word has been reclaimed by the LGBTQ+ community and may be colloquially used by an LGBTQ+ person to reference themselves or another member of the community. Non-LGBTQ+ people should avoid using the term.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National  

House-Ballroom Community

The underground subculture consisting of mainly Black and Latinx members of the LGBTQ+ community who ‘walk’ to earn
recognition and awards within their community. ‘Houses’ are chosen families that individuals compete with and often live with
(see Chosen Family). These categories represent the barriers that Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) face in accessing
formal employment, housing, and public services.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National  

Hyperfemininity

Term for the exaggeration of stereo typically female behavior, based on so-called gender roles (see Gender Roles). Hyperfeminine behavior is often expected of trans women in order to be seen as “real” women.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National

Hypermasculinity

Term for the exaggeration of stereotypically male behavior, based on so-called gender roles (see Gender Roles). Hypermasculine behavior is often expected of trans men in order to be seen as “real” men. Heterosexual men may display hypermasculine behaviors to “prove” that they are not gay, even though gay men have many understandings of their own masculinity.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


I

Implicit Bias

Also known as unconscious or hidden bias. Implicit biases are negative associations that people unknowingly hold. They are expressed automatically, without conscious awareness. Many studies have indicated that implicit biases affect individuals’ attitudes and actions, thus creating real-world implications, even though individuals may not even be aware that those biases exist within themselves. Notably, implicit biases have been shown to trump individuals’ stated commitments to equality and fairness, thereby producing behavior that diverges from the explicit attitudes that many people profess. The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is often used to measure implicit biases with regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, and other topics.

Source: Cheryl Staats, State of the Science: Implicit Bias Review, 2013, Kirwan Institute, The Ohio State University.


Inclusion

Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, and decision/policy making in a way that shares power.

Source: OpenSource Leadership Strategies


Integrated HIV Prevention and Care Plan Guidance, including the Statewide Coordinated Statement of Need, CY 2022-2026 Also known as:Integrated Plan Guidance, 2021 Integrated Plan Guidance

Guidance set forth for health departments and HIV planning groups funded by the CDC and HRSA HAB for the development of an Integrated HIV Prevention and Care Plan, which is intended to allow each jurisdiction to develop new goals and objectives that align public and private sectors to leverage strengths from the last five years and to add or revise services to address local health inequities that may remain. The Integrated Plan Guidance speaks to the need for aggressive actions necessary to achieve the National HIV/AIDS Strategy goals and targeted efforts to end the HIV epidemic by the year 2030.

Source: Integrated HIV Prevention and Care Plan Guidance, including the Statewide Coordinated Statement of Need, CY 2022-2026


Indigeneity

Indigenous populations are composed of the existing descendants of the peoples who inhabited the present territory of a country wholly or partially at the time when persons of a different culture or ethnic origin arrived there from other parts of the world, overcame them and, by conquest, settlement, or other means, reduced them to a non-dominant or colonial condition; who today live more in conformity with their particular social, economic, and cultural customs and traditions than with the institutions of the country of which they now form part, under a State structure which incorporates mainly national, social, and cultural characteristics of other segments of the population which are predominant. (Examples: Maori in territory now defined as New Zealand; Mexicans in territory now defined as Texas, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklahoma; Native American tribes in territory now defined as the United States).

Source: United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2010, page 9), originally presented in the preliminary report of the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights, José Martínez Cobo (1972, page 10).


Individual Racism

Refers to the beliefs, attitudes, and actions of individuals that support or perpetuate racism. Individual racism can be deliberate, or the individual may act to perpetuate or support racism without knowing that is what he or she is doing.
Examples:

  • Telling a racist joke, using a racial epithet, or believing in the inherent superiority of whites over other groups.
  • Avoiding people of color whom you do not know personally, but not whites whom you do not know personally (e.g., white people crossing the street to avoid a group of Latino/a young people; locking their doors when they see African American families sitting on their doorsteps in a city neighborhood; or not hiring a person of color because “something doesn’t feel right”).
  • Accepting things as they are (a form of collusion).

Source: Flipping the Script: White Privilege and Community Building by Maggie Potapchuk, Sally Leiderman, Donna Bivens, and Barbara Major (2005).


L

Latinx

An inclusive, gender-neutral term–sometimes used in place of the gendered, binary terms Latino or Latina–used to describe a person of Latin-American origin or descent. While many in the progressive space use this term, 2019 Pew research shows that, while one-in-four U.S. Hispanics have heard the term, only 23% of U.S. adults who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino have heard the term, and just 3% say they use it to describe themselves.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Lesbian

Refers to a woman who is emotionally, romantically, and/or physically attracted to other women. People who are lesbians need not have had any sexual experience: Attraction and selfidentification determines orientation, not the gender or sexual orientation of one’s partner.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


LGBTQ+

An acronym that collectively refers to individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, sometimes stated as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) or, historically, GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender). The addition of the Q for queer is a more recently preferred version of the acronym as cultural opinions of the term queer focus increasingly on its positive, reclaimed definition (see Queer). The Q can also stand for questioning, referring to those who are still exploring their own sexuality and/or gender. The “+” represents those who are part of the community, but for whom LGBTQ does not accurately capture or reflect their identity.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Lifestyle

A previously used and offensive term used to describe LGBTQ+ people’s sexual orientation and gender expression/identity as a “choice.”

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Lived Experience

Personal knowledge about the world gained through direct, firsthand involvement in everyday events rather than through representations constructed by other people.

The experiences of people on whom a social issue or combination of issues has had a direct impact

To value the personal experiences of individuals as much as quantitative data. For example, believing narratives of discrimination against LGBTQ+ people persisting even if they counter larger narratives of acceptance.

Sources: Chandler, D., & Munday, R. (2016). Oxford: A dictionary of media and communication (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Sandu, B. (2017, July).

The value of lived experience in social change: The need for leadership and organisational development in the social sector. Retrieved from thelivedexperience.org/report/

Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


M

Microaggression

The everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.

Source: Derald Wing Sue, PhD, “Microaggressions: More than Just Race” (Psychology Today, 2010).


Misgender

To refer to someone using a word, especially a pronoun or form of address, which does not correctly reflect their gender. This may be unintentional and without ill intent or can be a maliciously employed expression of bias. Regardless of intent, misgendering has a harmful impact.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Misogynoir

A term coined by queer Black feminist Moya Bailey to describe misogyny directed towards Black women where race and gender both play roles in bias.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Mispronoun

Similar to misgendering (see Misgender), mispronouning is to refer to a person with the incorrect pronouns. This term is less common than misgendering, as pronouns are often an important aspect of people’s genders. This may be unintentional and without ill intent or can be a maliciously employed expression of bias. Regardless of intent, mispronouning has a harmful impact.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Model Minority

A term created by sociologist William Peterson to describe the Japanese community, whom he saw as being able to overcome oppression because of their cultural values.

While individuals employing the Model Minority trope may think they are being complimentary, in fact the term is related to colorism and its root, anti-Blackness. The model minority myth creates an understanding of ethnic groups, including Asian Americans, as a monolith, or as a mass whose parts cannot be distinguished from each other. The model minority myth can be understood as a tool that white supremacy uses to pit people of color against each other in order to protect its status.

Source: Asian American Activism: The Continuing Struggle, “Glossary” (2016)


Monolith

Refers to a large single upright block of stone, formally, and a group or organization with unified and unchanging attributes, informally. In context, the term monolith is used to show that “[group of people] are not a monolith.” It means that members of a group have varying experiences, and the voice of one member of the group should not be taken as a representation of the experiences of all members of that group.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Monosexism

The opinion that being attracted to one gender is superior to being attracted to multiple genders.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Monosexual

People who only experience attraction to one gender. Examples of monosexual groups include gay men, lesbians, and straight people.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Movement Building

Movement building is the effort of social change agents to engage power holders and the broader society in addressing a systemic problem or injustice while promoting an alternative vision or solution. Movement building requires a range of intersecting approaches through a set of distinct stages over a long-term period of time. Through movement building, organizers can:

  • Propose solutions to the root causes of social problems.
  • Enable people to exercise their collective power.
  • Humanize groups that have been denied basic human rights and improve conditions for the groups affected.
  • Create structural change by building something larger than a particular organization or campaign.
  • Promote visions and values for society based on fairness, justice, and democracy.

Source: Julie Quiroz-Martinez, From the Roots: Building the Power of Communities of Color to Challenge Structural Racism (Akonadi Foundation, 2010), citing the Movement Strategy Center, which offers these further
definitions.


MSM

Men Who Have Sex with Men. Reports on STIs and public health commonly use this term, although those who identify as MSM might or might not identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. This designation often allows discrimination against GBTQ+ men, for example in blood donation.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


MTF/M2F

A trans woman/trans feminine person assigned male at birth.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Multicultural Competency

A process of learning about and becoming allies with people from other cultures, thereby broadening our own understanding and ability to participate in a multicultural process. The key element to becoming more culturally competent is respect for the ways that others live in and organize the world and an openness to learn from them.

Source: Paul Kivel, “Multicultural Competence” (2007). RacialEquityTools.org, “ACT / Strategies / Multi cultural Competency”


N

Non-binary

Refers to people who do not subscribe to the gender binary. They might exist between or beyond the man-woman binary. Some use the term exclusively, while others may use it interchangeably with terms like genderqueer (see Genderqueer), genderfluid (see Genderfluid), gender nonconforming (see Gender Nonconforming), gender diverse, or gender expansive. It can also be combined with other descriptors e.g., non-binary woman or transmasc non-binary.

Language is imperfect, so it’s important to trust and respect the words that non-binary people use to describe their genders and experiences. Non-binary people may understand their identity as falling under the transgender umbrella and may thus be transgender as well. Sometimes abbreviated as NB or Enby, the term NB has historically been used to mean non-Black, so those referring to non-binary people should avoid using NB.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


O

Oppression

Systemic devaluing, undermining, marginalizing, 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.

The systematic subjugation of one social group by a more powerful social group for the social, economic, and political benefit of the more powerful social group. Rita Hardiman and Bailey Jackson state that oppression exists when the following 4 conditions are found:

  • The oppressor group has the power to define reality for themselves and others
  • The target groups take in and internalize the negative messages about them and end up cooperating with the oppressors (thinking and acting like them)
  • Genocide, harassment, and discrimination are systematic and institutionalized, so that individuals are not necessary to keep it going
  • Members of both the oppressor and target groups are socialized to play their roles as normal and correct. Oppression = Power + Prejudice

Source: WPC Glossary from 14th Annual White Privilege Conference Handbook (2013). “What Is Racism?” – Dismantling Racism Works (dRworks) web workbook.


Opposite Sex

An inaccurate descriptor of gender, implying that there are only two genders that oppose one another. Also, an inaccurate descriptor of sex, as biological sexes are also not opposites. Better terms include different gender or AMAB/AFAB, depending on context.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Out

A term which describes people who openly self-identify as LGBTQ+ in their private, public, and/or professional lives. There are many states of being out; individuals can be out only to themselves, close friends, or everyone. Some transgender people prefer to use the term disclose.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Outing

The deliberate or accidental sharing of another person’s sexual orientation or gender identity without their explicit consent. Outing is disrespectful and presents a danger for many LGBTQ+ individuals.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


P

Pansexual

The sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity.

Hill, Marjorie J.; Jones, Billy E. (2002). Mental health issues in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities.


Passing

With sexuality, the act of presenting as straight (see Beard). With gender, the act of presenting as cisgender or gender-typical, which is generally accomplished through conforming to gender roles (see Gender Roles). People may try to pass in anti-LGBTQ+ environments to ensure their safety. People who pass as straight or cis have the choice to either talk about their LGBTQ+ experience or to “fit in” to a cis- and hetero-normative world. Passing is not required for LGBTQ+ people to deserve respect and love.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


People of Color

Often the preferred collective term for referring to non-White racial groups. Racial justice advocates have been using the term “people of color” (not to be confused with the pejorative “colored people”) since the late 1970s as an inclusive and unifying frame across different racial groups that are not White, to address racial inequities. While “people of color” can be a politically useful term, and describes people with their own attributes (as opposed to what they are not, e.g., “non-White”), it is also important whenever possible to identify people through their own racial/ethnic group, as each has its own distinct experience and meaning and may be more appropriate.

Source: Race Forward, “Race Reporting Guide” (2015).


Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

A prescription medication those at higher risk for HIV take to prevent getting HIV from sex or injection drug use. Though PrEP is highly effective in preventing HIV, it should not be taken in place of other HIV prevention measures, such practicing safe sex and not sharing drug-related injection equipment.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Pronouns

The words used to refer to a person other than their name. Common pronouns are they/them, he/him, and she/her. Pronouns are sometimes called Personal Gender Pronouns, or PGPs. For those who use pronouns–and not all people do–they are not preferred, they are essential.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Power

Power is unequally distributed globally and in U.S. society; some individuals or groups wield greater power than others, thereby allowing them greater access and control over resources. Wealth, whiteness, citizenship, patriarchy, heterosexism, and education are a few key social mechanisms through which power operates.

Although power is often conceptualized as power over other individuals or groups, other variations are power with (used in the context of building collective strength) and power within (which references an individual’s internal strength). Learning to “see” and understand relations of power is vital to organizing for progressive social change.

Power may also be understood as the ability to influence others and impose one’s beliefs. All power is relational, and the different relationships either reinforce or disrupt one another. The importance of the concept of power to anti-racism is clear: racism cannot be understood without understanding that power is not only an individual relationship but a cultural one, and that power relationships are shifting constantly. Power can be used malignantly and intentionally, but need not be, and individuals within a culture may benefit from power of which they are unaware.

Source: Intergroup Resources, “Power” (2012). Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre, “Racism and Power” (2018) / “CARED Glossary” (2020).


Prejudice

A pre-judgment or unjustifiable, 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 (or stereotypes) that deny the right of individual members of certain groups to be recognized and treated as individuals with individual characteristics.

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.

Source: Institute for Democratic Renewal and Project Change Anti-Racism Initiative,A Community Builder’s Tool Kit, Appendix I (2000).


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’re taught not to see it, but nevertheless it puts them at an advantage over those who do
not have it.

Source: Colours of Resistance Archive, “Privilege” (accessed 28 June 2013).


Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

An emergency prescription antiretroviral medication to be taken within 72 hours of possible exposure to HIV. Possible exposure includes during sex, sharing needles to inject drugs, or if you have been sexually assaulted. Though PEP is highly effective in preventing HIV, it should not be taken in place of other HIV prevention measures, such as taking PrEP (see PrEP) or practicing safe sex.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, DenaSamuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Positive

Shorthand for being HIV+. In context, “I’m positive” is a disclosure of a person’s HIV status. It is never appropriate to share a person’s HIV status without their explicit consent. Refrain from discussing a person’s HIV status unless they bring up the topic.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, DenaSamuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Q

QTPOC

Acronym for Queer and Trans People of Color. This term emphasizes the intersections of race, gender, and sexual orientation.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, DenaSamuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Queer

A term used by some LGBTQ+ people to describe themselves and/or their community. Reclaimed from its earlier negative use—and valued by some for its defiance—the term is also considered by some to be inclusive of the entire community, and by others who find it to be an appropriate term to describe their more fluid identities. Traditionally a negative or pejorative term for people who are LGBTQ+, some people within the community dislike the term. Due to its varying meanings, use this word only when self-identifying or quoting someone who self-identifies as the term.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


R

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

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). The way in which racial categorizations are enforced (the shape of racism) has also changed over time. For example, the racial designation of Asian American and Pacific Islander 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.

Source: PBS, “Race: The Power of an Illusion” (2018– 2019 relaunch of 2003 series). Paul Kivel, Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice (Gabriola Island, British Columbia: New Society Publishers, 2002), page 141.


Racial and Ethnic Identity

An individual’s awareness and experience of being a member of a racial and ethnic group; the racial and ethnic categories that an individual chooses to describe him or herself based on such factors as biological heritage, physical appearance, cultural affiliation, early socialization, and personal experience.

Source: Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook, edited by Maurianne Adams, Lee Anne Bell, and Pat Griffin (Routledge, 1997).


Racial Equity

The condition that would be achieved if one’s racial identity no longer predicted, in a statistical sense, how one fares. When we use the term, we are thinking about racial equity as one part of racial justice, and thus we also include work to address root causes of inequities, not just their manifestation. This includes elimination of policies, practices, attitudes, and cultural messages that reinforce differential outcomes by race or that fail to eliminate them.

A mindset and method for solving problems that have endured for generations, seem intractable, harm people and communities of color most acutely, and ultimately affect people of all races. This will require seeing differently, thinking differently, and doing the work differently. Racial equity is about results that make a difference and last.

Source: Center for Assessment and Policy Development. OpenSource Leadership Strategies.


Racial Healing

To restore to health or soundness; to repair or set right; to restore to spiritual wholeness.

Source: Michael R. Wenger, Racial Equity Resource Guide (W.K. Kellogg Foundation, 2012).


Racial Identity Development Theory

How people in various racial groups and with multiracial identities form their self-concept. It also describes some typical phases in remaking that identity based on learning and awareness of systems of privilege and structural racism, cultural, and historical meanings attached to racial categories, and factors operating in the larger socio-historical level (e.g. globalization,technology, immigration, and increasing multiracial population).

Source: New Perspectives on Racial Identity Development: Integrating Emerging Frameworks, edited by C. L. Wijeyesinghe and B. W. Jackson (NYU Press, 2012).


Racial Inequity

When two or more racial groups are not standing on approximately equal footing, such as the percentages of each ethnic group in terms of dropout rates, single family home ownership, access to healthcare, etc.

Source: Ibram X. Kendi, How To Be An Antiracist, Random House, 2019.


Racial Justice

The systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all. Racial justice—or racial equity—goes beyond “anti-racism.” It is not just the absence of discrimination and inequities, but also the presence of deliberate systems and supports to achieve and sustain racial equity through proactive and preventative measures.

Operationalizing racial justice means reimagining and cocreating a just and liberated world and includes:

  • Understanding the history of racism and the system of white supremacy and addressing past harms
  • Working in right relationship and accountability in an ecosystem (an issue, sector, or community ecosystem) for collective change
  • Implementing interventions that use an intersectional analysis and that impact multiple systems
  • Centering Blackness and building community, cultural, economic, and political power of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC)
  • Applying the practice of love along with disruption and resistance to the status quo.

Source: 1. Race Forward, “Race Reporting Guide” (2015). 2. Maggie Potapchuk, “Operationalizing Racial Justice in Non-Profit Organizations” (MP
Associates, 2020)
. This definition is based on and expanded from the one described in Rinku Sen and Lori Villarosa, “Grantmaking with a Racial
Justice Lens: A Practical Guide“ (Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity, 2019)
.


Racial Reconciliation

A concept involving three main ideas: first, it recognizes that racism in America is both systemic and institutionalized, with far–reaching effects on both political engagement and economic opportunities for minorities. Second, reconciliation is engendered by empowering local communities through relationship-building and truth-telling. Lastly, justice is the essential component of the conciliatory process—justice that is best termed as restorative rather than retributive, while still maintaining its vital punitive character.

Source: The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, Position Statement on Reconciliation (2014)


Racialization

The very complex and contradictory process through which groups come to be designated as being of a particular “race” and on that basis subjected to differential and/or unequal treatment. Put simply, “racialization [is] the process of manufacturing and utilizing the notion of race in any capacity” (Dalal, 2002, p. 27). While white people are also racialized, this process is often rendered invisible or normative to those designated as white. As a result, white people may not see themselves as part of a race but still maintain the authority to name and racialize “others.”

Source: Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre, “Racialization” (2018) / “CARED Glossary” (2020).


Racism

  • Racism = race prejudice + social and institutional power
  • Racism = a system of advantage based on race
  • Racism = a system of oppression based on race
  • Racism = 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.

Source: “What Is Racism?” – Dismantling Racism Works (dRworks) web workbook.


Racist

One who is supporting a racist policy through their actions or interaction or expressing a racist idea.

Source: Ibram X. Kendi, How To Be An Antiracist, Random House, 2019.


Racist Ideas

Any idea that suggests one racial group is inferior or superior to another racial group in any way.

Source: Ibram X. Kendi, How To Be An Antiracist, Random House, 2019.


Racist Policies

Any measure that produces or sustains racial inequity between or among racial groups. Policies are written and unwritten laws, rules, procedures, processes, regulations, and guidelines that govern people. There is no such thing as a nonracist or raceneutral policy. Every policy in every institution in every community in every nation is producing or sustaining either racial inequity or equity between racial groups. Racist policies are also expressed through other terms such as “structural racism” or “systemic racism”. Racism itself is institutional, structural, and systemic.

Source: Ibram X. Kendi, How To Be An Antiracist, Random House, 2019.


Religious Bigotry/Prejudice

Treating a person or group differently because of the particular beliefs which they hold about a religion. This includes instances when adherents of different religions, denominations or nonreligions are treated unequally due to their particular beliefs, either before the law or in institutional settings, such as employment or housing.

Source: Perlmutter, Philip. Divided We Fall: A History of Ethnic, Religious, and Racial Prejudice in America. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1992.


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. Reparation initiatives seek to address the harms caused by these violations. They can take the form of compensating for the losses suffered, which helps overcome some of the consequences of abuse. They can also be future oriented— providing rehabilitation and a better life to victims—and help to change the underlying causes of abuse. Reparations publicly affirm that victims are rights-holders entitled to redress.

Source: International Center for Transitional Justice. See also RacialEquityTools.org, “PLAN / Issues / Reparations


Restorative Justice

A theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by crime and conflict. It places decisions in the hands of those who have been most affected by a wrongdoing, and gives equal concern to the victim, the offender, and the surrounding community. Restorative responses are meant to repair harm, heal broken relationships, and address the underlying reasons for the offense. Restorative Justice emphasizes individual and collective accountability. Crime and conflict generate opportunities to build community and increase grassroots power when restorative practices are employed.

Source: The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL),“Glossary.”


S

Same Gender Loving

Same-gender loving, sometimes written SGL, is a term coined by Cleo Manago, an advocate for the black American queer community. Manago developed the term in the early 1990s because he felt other vocabulary for non-heterosexual relationships (different-gender loving, if you will) were inadequate for the Black experience of sexual identity.

According to Manago and other members of the SGL and Black queer community, terms like gay and lesbian are Eurocentric, meaning they come from and reflect white experiences. Same-gender loving was created as a more Afrocentric term for African-derived cultures. The same-gender loving identity is important to many gay Black people, as it allows a differentiation between white gay culture and theirs

Source: Malebranche, DJ; Peterson JL; Fullilove RE; Stackhouse RW (2004). "Race and Sexual Identity: Perceptions about Medical Culture and Healthcare among Black Men Who Have Sex with Men".


Settler Colonialism

Refers to colonization in which colonizing powers create permanent or long-term settlement on land owned and/or occupied by other peoples, often by force. This contrasts with colonialism where colonizers focus only on extracting resources back to their countries of origin, for example. Settler Colonialism typically includes oppressive governance, dismantling of indigenous cultural forms, and enforcement of codes of superiority (such as white supremacy). Examples include white European occupations of land in what is now the United States, Spain’s settlements throughout Latin America, and the Apartheid government established by White Europeans in South Africa.

Per Dina Gillio-Whitaker, “Settler Colonialism may be said to be a structure, not an historic event, whose endgame is always the elimination of the Natives in order to acquire their land, which it does in countless seen and unseen ways. These techniques are woven throughout the US’s national discourse at all levels of society. Manifest Destiny—that is, the US’s divinely sanctioned inevitability—is like a computer program always operating un-noticeably in the background. In this program, genocide and land dispossession are continually both justified and denied.”

Source: Dina Gilio-Whitaker, “Settler Fragility: Why Settler Privilege Is So Hard to Talk About” (2018).


Sexism

Sexism can be a belief that one sex is superior to or more valuable than another sex. It imposes limits on what men and boys can and should do and what women and girls can and should do. The concept of sexism was originally formulated to raise consciousness about the oppression of girls and women, although by the early 21st century it had sometimes been expanded to include the oppression of any sex, including men and boys, intersexual people, and transgender people.

Source: Masequesmay, G. (2020, May 28). Sexism. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/sexism


Social Equality

Social equity is the economic, legal, environmental, and developmental rights of access to the collective resources of society with an all-encompassing effort by means of equal say and insight of all members of society to ensure the longevity of the collective resources and to enrich the individual lives of community members as indivisible, equal inter-respectively, and as mutually comparable pinnacles to the direction of the community and individual members in respect of need and right to access and recognition

Source: https://projecthumancity.com/2017/02/02/whatis-social-equity/


Social Justice

Social justice is an analysis of how power, privilege, and oppression impact our experience of our social identities. “Full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable” and all members of a space, community, or institution, or society are “physically and psychologically safe and secure.”

Source: Adams, M et al. (2016). Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice. New York: Routledge. p. 1.


Social Stigma

The disapproval of, or discrimination against, a person based on perceivable social characteristics that serve to distinguish them from other members of a society. Social stigmas are commonly related to culture, gender, race, socioeconomic class, age, sexual orientation, intelligence, and health.

Source: Goffman, Erving (2009). Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity. New York: Simon and Schuster


Structural Racialization

Connotes the dynamic process that creates cumulative and durable inequalities based on race. Interactions between individuals are shaped by and reflect underlying and often hidden structures that shape biases and create disparate outcomes even in the absence of racist actors or racist intentions. The presence of structural racialization is evidenced by consistent differences in outcomes in education attainment, family wealth, and even life span.

Source: Systems Thinking and Race: Workshop Summary by john a. powell, Connie Cagam pang Heller, and Fayza Bundalli (The California Endowment, 2011).


Structural Racism

The normalization and legitimization of an array of dynamics – historical, cultural, institutional, and interpersonal – that routinely advantage Whites while producing cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for people of color. Structural racism encompasses the entire system of White domination, diffused and infused in all aspects of society including its history, culture, politics, economics, and entire social fabric. Structural racism is more difficult to locate in a particular institution because it involves the reinforcing effects of multiple institutions and cultural norms, past and present, continually reproducing old and producing new forms of racism. Structural racism is the most profound and pervasive form of racism – all other forms of racism emerge from structural racism.

For example, we can see structural racism in the many institutional, cultural, and structural factors that contribute to lower life expectancy for African American and Native American men, compared to white men. These include higher exposure to environmental toxins, dangerous jobs and unhealthy housing stock, higher exposure to and more lethal consequences for reacting to violence, stress, and racism, lower rates of health care coverage, access, and quality of care, and systematic refusal by the nation to fix these things.

Source: Flipping the Script: White Privilege and Community Building by Maggie Potapchuk, Sally Leiderman, Donna Bivens, and Barbara Major (2005).


T

Targeted Universalism

Setting universal goals pursued by targeted processes to achieve those goals. Within a targeted universalism framework, universal goals are established for all groups concerned. The strategies developed to achieve those goals are targeted, based upon how different groups are situated within structures, culture, and across geographies to obtain the universal goal. Targeted universalism is goal oriented, and the processes are directed in service of the explicit, universal goal.

Source: Targeted Universalism: Policy & Practice – A Primer by John A. Powell, Stephen Menendian, and Wendy Ake (Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, 2019).


Transfeminine

An AMAB person who is closer to femininity than masculinity but is not a binary woman. Often abbreviated to transfem or transfemme. transgender, transsexual, transmasc, transfem, and those who simply use the word trans.

A term used to describe transgender people who generally were assigned male at birth and identify with a feminine gender identity to a greater extent than with a masculine gender identity.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Transgender

Often shortened to trans, from the Latin prefix for “on a different side as.” A term describing a person’s gender identity that does not necessarily match their assigned sex at birth. Transgender people may or may not decide to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgically to match their gender identity.

This word is also used as an umbrella term to describe groups of people who transcend conventional expectations of gender identity or expression—such groups include, but are not limited to, people who identify as transsexual, genderqueer, gender variant, gender diverse, and androgynous. See above for common acronyms and terms including female to male (or FTM), male to female (or MTF), assigned male at birth (or AMAB), assigned female at birth (or AFAB), nonbinary, and gender expansive. Trans is often considered more inclusive than transgender because it includes

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Transmasculine

A term used to describe transgender people who generally were assigned female at birth and identify with a masculine gender identity to a greater extent than with a feminine gender identity.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Transmen

Trans man (alt. FtM) is a term which describes someone who is both a man and transgender/transsexual. Trans men were assigned female at birth, but their gender identity is male. They may be referred to as transmasculine. Some trans men wish to transition in order to change their sex characteristics and gender expression to become more masculine. Trans men can have any sexual orientation.

Source: Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, The Trevor Project, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.


Transwomen

A term which describes someone who is both a woman and transgender/transsexual. Trans women were assigned male at birth, but their gender identity is female. They may be referred to as transfeminine. They can have any sexual orientation.

Trans women are often referred to as MtF (Male to Female). Some trans women refuse to use this label as it implies they weren't always women.

Some trans women wish to transition in order to change their sex characteristics and gender expression to become more feminine.

Source: Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, The Trevor Project, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.


Transphobia

Animosity, hatred, or dislike of trans and gender-expansive people that often manifests itself in the form of prejudice and bias. Transphobia often stems from lack of knowledge about transgender people and the issues they face and can be alleviated with education and support.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


Two-Spirit

A term used within some American Indian (AI) and Alaska Native (AN) communities to refer to a person who identifies as having both a male and a female essence or spirit. The term, created in 1990 by a group of AI/AN activists at an annual Native LGBTQ conference, encompasses sexual, cultural, gender, and spiritual identities, and provides unifying, positive, and encouraging language that emphasizes reconnecting to tribal traditions. Non-indigenous people should not use this term.

Source: Hollins University from GLSEN, Dena Samuels, The Gender Book, PFLAG National


W

White Fragility

A state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable [for white people], 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 equilibrium.

Source: Robin DiAngelo, “White Fragility” (International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, 2011).


White Privilege

Refers to the unquestioned and unearned set of advantages, entitlements, benefits, and choices bestowed on people solely because they are white. Generally white people who experience such privilege do so without being conscious of it.

Structural White Privilege: A system of white domination that creates and maintains belief systems that make current racial advantages and disadvantages seem normal. The system includes powerful incentives for maintaining white privilege and its consequences, and powerful negative consequences for trying to interrupt white privilege or reduce its consequences in meaningful ways. The system includes internal and external manifestations at the individual, interpersonal, cultural and institutional levels.

The accumulated and interrelated advantages and disadvantages of white privilege that are reflected in racial/ethnic inequities in life-expectancy and other health outcomes, income and wealth and other outcomes, in part through different access to opportunities and resources. These differences are maintained in part by denying that these advantages and disadvantages exist at the structural, institutional, cultural, interpersonal and individual levels and by refusing to redress them or eliminate the systems, policies, practices, cultural norms and other behaviors and assumptions that maintain them.

Interpersonal White Privilege: Behavior between people that consciously or unconsciously reflects white superiority or entitlement.

Cultural White Privilege: A set of dominant cultural assumptions about what is good, normal or appropriate that reflects Western European white world views and dismisses or demonizes other world views.

Institutional White Privilege: Policies, practices and behaviors of institutions -- such as schools, banks, non-profits or the Supreme Court -- that have the effect of maintaining or increasing accumulated advantages for those groups currently defined as white and maintaining or increasing disadvantages for those racial or ethnic groups not defined as white. The ability of institutions to survive and thrive even when their policies, practices and behaviors maintain, expand or fail to redress accumulated disadvantages and/or inequitable outcomes for people of color.

Source: Peggy McIntosh, “White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women Studies” (1988). Transforming White Privilege: A 21st Century Leadership Capacity, CAPD, MP Associates, World Trust Educational Services (2012).


White Supremacy

A historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations, and peoples of color by white peoples and nations of the European continent for the purpose of maintaining and defending a system of wealth, power, and privilege.

The idea (ideology) that white people and the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions of white people are superior to People of Color and their ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions. While most people associate white supremacy with extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazis, white supremacy is ever present in our institutional and cultural assumptions that assign value, morality, goodness, and humanity to the white group while casting people and communities of color as worthless (worth less), immoral, bad, and inhuman and "undeserving." Drawing from critical race theory, the term "white supremacy" also refers to a political or socio-economic system where white people enjoy structural advantage and rights that other racial and ethnic groups do not, both at a collective and an individual level.

Source: Sharon Martinas and the Challenging White Supremacy Workshop, 4th revision (1995). “What Is Racism?” − Dismantling Racism Works (dRworks) web workbook.


White Supremacy Culture

Refers to the dominant, unquestioned standards of behavior and ways of functioning embodied by the vast majority of institutions in the United States. These standards may be seen as mainstream, dominant cultural practices; they have evolved from the United States’ history of white supremacy. Because it is so normalized it can be hard to see, which only adds to its powerful hold. In many ways, it is indistinguishable from what we might call U.S. culture or norms – a focus on individuals over groups, for example, or an emphasis on the written word as a form of professional communication. But it operates in even more subtle ways, by actually defining what “normal” is – and likewise, what “professional,” “effective,” or even “good” is. In turn, white culture also defines what is not good, “at risk,” or “unsustainable.” White culture values some ways of thinking, behaving, deciding, and knowing – ways that are more familiar and come more naturally to those from a white, western tradition – while devaluing or rendering invisible other ways. And it does this without ever having to explicitly say so.

An artificial, historically constructed culture which expresses, justifies, and binds together the United States white supremacy system. It is the glue that binds together white controlled institutions into systems and white-controlled systems into the global white supremacy system.

Source: 1. Gita Gulati-Partee and Maggie Potapchuk, “Paying Attention to White Culture and Privilege: A Missing Link to Advancing Racial Equity” (The Foundation Review vol. 6: issue 1, 2014). 2. Sharon Martinas and the Challenging White Supremacy Workshop, 4th revision (1995).


Whiteness

The term white, referring to people, was created by Virginia slave owners and colonial rules in the 17th century. It replaced terms like Christian and Englishman to distinguish European colonists from Africans and indigenous peoples. European colonial powers established whiteness as a legal concept after Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676, during which indentured servants of European and African descent had united against the colonial elite. The legal distinction of white separated the servant class on the basis of skin color and continental origin. The creation of ‘whiteness’ meant giving privileges to some, while denying them to others with the justification of biological and social inferiority.

Whiteness itself refers to the specific dimensions of racism that serve to elevate white people over people of color. This definition counters the dominant representation of racism in mainstream education as isolated in discrete behaviors that some individuals may or may not demonstrate, and goes beyond naming specific privileges (McIntosh, 1988). Whites are theorized as actively shaped, affected, defined, and elevated through their racialization and the individual and collective consciousness formed within it. Whiteness is thus conceptualized as a constellation of processes and practices rather than as a discrete entity (i.e., skin color alone). Whiteness is dynamic, relational, and operating at all times and on myriad levels. These processes and practices include basic rights, values, beliefs, perspectives, and experiences purported to be commonly shared by all but which are actually only consistently afforded to white people.

Source: PBS, “Race: The Power of an Illusion” (2018–2019 relaunch of 2003 series). Robin DiAngelo, “White Fragility” (International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, 2011).

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