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 12 Terms in this directory beginning with the letter P.

not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity.

actions and beliefs that prioritize masculinity. Patriarchy is practiced systemically in the ways in which power is distributed in society (jobs and positions of power given to men in government, policy, criminal justice, etc.) and influences how we interact with one another interpersonally (gender expectations, sexual dynamics, space-taking, etc.).

People of Color
a collective term for men and women of Asian, African, Latinx, and Native American backgrounds, as opposed to the collective “white.

Person-First Language/People-First Language
phrasing that emphasizes the individual over their condition, for example, “woman with diabetes” rather than “diabetic woman”.

Population Health
an interdisciplinary, customizable approach that allows health departments to connect practice to policy for change to happen locally. This approach utilizes non-traditional partnerships among different sectors of the community – public health, industry, academia, health care, local government entities, etc. – to achieve positive health outcomes. Population health brings significant health concerns into focus and addresses ways that resources can be allocated to overcome the problems that drive poor health conditions in the population.

the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others, the course of events, or the allocation of resources. Power comes from positional, moral, or relational authority.

Power Building/Sharing
works to build the power and influence of those with the least access to opportunity through collaborative, community-based efforts.

a preconceived judgment or preference — especially one that interferes with impartial judgment and can be rooted in stereotypes — that denies the right of individual members of certain groups to be recognized.

Priority Populations
population groups that are prioritized for health interventions due to significant health disparities related to demographic or environmental factors.

exclusive access or access to material and immaterial resources based on the membership in a dominant social group

words to refer to a person after initially using their name. Gendered pronouns include she and he, her and him, hers and his, and herself and himself. “Preferred gender pronouns” (or PGPs) are the pronouns that people ask others to use in reference to themselves. They may be plural genderneutral pronouns such as they, them, their(s). Or, they may be ze (rather than she or he) or hir (rather than her(s) and him/his). Some people state their pronoun preferences as a form of allyship.

Psychological Safety
Inclusion is closely related to psychological safety. To establish psychological safety is to create an environment that allows others to be fully diverse. Psychological safety is an intentional act to create a sense of belonging regardless of another’s diversity.