Diversity Dictionary

The dialogue around diversity, equity, and inclusion is broad and growing daily. This introduces the need for a common vocabulary to avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Because of differences in lived experience, words often hold different meanings for different people. This glossary is not meant to be exhaustive, since language is continuously evolving. The main goal is to provide a basic framework and promote dialogue.

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There are currently 5 Terms in this directory beginning with the letter M.
M

Masking
Masking is artificially performing social behavior that is deemed to be more socially acceptable by neurotypical standards or hiding behavior that might be viewed as socially unacceptable.

Medically Underserved Areas/Populations
a designation indicating that the area or population experiences conditions that prevent access to healthcare.

Microaffirmation
a small gesture of inclusion, caring or kindness. They include listening, providing comfort and support, being an ally and explicitly valuing the contributions and presence of all. It is particularly helpful for those with greater power or seniority to “model” affirming behavior.

Microagressions
the verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, insults, or actions — whether intentional or unintentional — which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to targeted persons based solely upon discriminatory belief systems.

Multicultural Competency
a process of embracing diversity and learning about people from other cultural backgrounds. The key element to becoming more culturally competent is having respect for the ways in which others live in and organize the world, and being open to learning from them.