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 8 Terms in this directory beginning with the letter R.
R

Race
a socially constructed system of categorizing humans, largely based on observable physical features (phenotypes) such as skin color, and ancestry. There is no scientific basis for nor discernible distinction between racial categories.

Racial Equity
a process of eliminating racial disparities and improving outcomes for everyone. It is the intentional and continual practice of changing policies, practices, systems, and structures by prioritizing measurable change in the lives of people of color.

Racial Inequity
a predictor of individual or group opportunities, the distribution of resources and/or life outcomes (e.g., wealth, income, employment, criminal justice, housing, health care, education). Racial inequities are maintained and perpetuated by racist structures, policies and practices that operate at different levels (individual, institutional and structural)

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.

Racial/Ethnic Minorities and Minority Populations
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines racial and ethnic minorities as American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander.

Racism
the systemic oppression of one racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another. Comes in four forms — Internalized, Interpersonal, Institutional, and Structural.

Reasonable Accommodation
a modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or hiring process. The goal is to provide equal access to all individuals.

Representation
the ability to see people like yourself represented in positions of authority.