Someone who is supporting an antiracist policy through their actions or expressing antiracist ideas. This includes the expression of ideas that racial groups are equals and do not need developing, and supporting policies that reduce racial inequity. 2
An inclination or preference either for or against an individual or group that interferes with impartial judgment. 3
The marginalization and/or oppression of people who are from low-income or working-class households based on a social hierarchy in which people are ranked according to socioeconomic status. 3
Cultural Appropriation
When people use specific elements of a culture (e.g., ideas, symbols, images, clothing) that misrepresents and/or disrespects the culture of that marginalized group of people. It usually happens when one group exploits the culture of another group, often with little understanding of the group’s history, experience and traditions. 3
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. 2
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. 2
Deficit Ideology
A worldview that explains and justifies outcome inequalities— standardized test scores or levels of educational attainment, for example—by pointing to supposed deficiencies within disenfranchised individuals and communities. 5
The denial of justice, resources and fair treatment of individuals and groups (often based on social identity), through employment, education, housing, banking, political rights, etc. 3
Individual differences, (e.g., personality, prior knowledge, and life experiences), group and social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, indigeneity, class, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, country of origin, and (dis)ability), historically underrepresented populations, and cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations. 1
The creation of opportunities for historically underrepresented populations to have equal access to and participate in educational programs that are capable of closing the achievement gaps in student success and completion. 4
Equity Literacy
A framework for cultivating the knowledge and skills that enable us to be a threat to the existence of inequity in our spheres of influence. More than cultural competence or diversity awareness, equity literacy prepares us to see even subtle ways in which access and opportunity are distributed unfairly across race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, language, and other factors. 6
The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity — in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect — in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions. 4
Inclusive Excellence
It is designed to help colleges and universities integrate diversity, equity, and educational quality efforts into their missions and institutional operations. It calls for higher education to address diversity, inclusion, and equity as critical to the well-being of democratic culture. It is an active process through which colleges and universities achieve excellence in learning, teaching, student development, institutional functioning, and engagement in local and global communities. 4
Institutional Racism
Refers specifically to the ways in which institutional policies and practices create different outcomes for different racial groups. 2
Interpersonal Racism
Interpersonal racism occurs between individuals. Once we bring our private beliefs into our interaction with others, racism is now in the interpersonal realm. 2
The examination of overlapping and connected social systems that compound oppression for individuals who belong to multiple marginalized social groups based on their race, gender, class, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, etc. 3
The everyday slights, indignities, put-downs and insults that people of color, women, LGBTQ populations and other marginalized people experience in their day-to-day interactions. Microaggressions can appear to be compliments but often contain a “metacommunication” or hidden insult to the target group. 3
The treatment of a person, group or concept as secondary, unimportant, inferior or abnormal compared with those who hold more power in society. 3
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. 2
A premature judgment or belief formed about a person, group or concept before gaining sufficient knowledge or by selectively disregarding facts. 3
Racial Disparity
An unequal outcome one racial group experiences as compared to the outcome for another racial group. 7
The marginalization and/or oppression of people of color based on a socially constructed racial hierarchy that privileges white people. 3
Blaming an individual or group for something based on that person or group’s identity when the person or group is not responsible. 3
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 colonizer’s 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). 2
Social Justice
A process, not an outcome, which (1) seeks fair (re)distribution of resources, opportunities, and responsibilities; (2) challenges the roots of oppression and injustice; (3) empowers all people to exercise self-determination and realize their full potential; (4) and builds social solidarity and community capacity for collaborative action 8
Universal Design
Universal Design is the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability. 9
White Supremacy
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. 2
Any attitude, behavior, practice, or policy that explicitly or implicitly reflects the belief that immigrants are inferior to the dominant group of people. Xenophobia is reflected in interpersonal, institutional, and systemic levels oppression and is a function of White supremacy. 10

1 Office of Diversity and Inclusion

2 Racial Equity Tools

3 Anti-Defamation League Glossary

4 Association of American Colleges and Universities

5 Deficit Ideology definition

6 Equity Literacy definition

7 Fong, Rowena. “Disproportionality and Disparities.” Encyclopedia of Social Work, 2014.

8 Berkeley Social Welfare. “Social Justice Symposium.” University of California, Berkeley, 2019

9 What is Universal Design

10 Cokorinos, Lee. “The Racist Roots of the Anti-Immigration Movement.” Racial Equity Tools.