DEI Glossary

Someone who speaks up on behalf of someone else. 

The feeling of security and support when there is a sense of acceptance, inclusion, and identity for a member of a certain group or place.

A predisposition to see events, people, or items in a positive or negative way. Bias is an attitude or belief.

Brave Space
A safe and trusted atmosphere embedded in courage where individuals are challenged and supported in dialogue on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Cultural Iceberg
                                           Cultural Iceberg. Image by James Penstone

The set of customs, traditions, and values of a society or community, such as an ethnic group or nation.

The notion of culture as an iceberg explores two components: those that are easily visible, such as the way one dresses, food, etiquette, holidays, and more ("above the iceberg), and those that are not easily seen ("below the surface of the iceberg"), such as beliefs, customs, ethics and more.

The behavioral manifestation of prejudice involving the limitation of opportunities and options based on particular criteria (race, sex, age, class, etc.).

The range of human identities and differences including, but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, socio-economic status, religion, and political beliefs.  See the Diversity Wheel below for more. 

Diversity Wheel Diagram
Diversity Wheel Diagram, adapted from Loden & Rosener, "Workforce America! Managing Employee Diversity as a Vital Resource," McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing, 1990.

Diversity Committee/Task Force
A diversity, equity, and inclusion committee is a task force of diverse staff members who are responsible for helping bring about the cultural and possibly ethical changes necessary for your organization.

The purpose of a diversity committee is to develop and promote strategies and best practices within the realms of racial, social, sexual, and gender diversity. The DEI Committee further serves as an opportunity for non-committee members a place to provide suggestions and challenges for the DEI.

The state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities.

Fairness in treatment and outcomes. Often confused with equality, which is treating everyone the same, equity provides individuals with the support they need, addressing the varying barriers experienced by different racial/ethnic and other groups. 

Aggressive pressure or intimidation. The three types are verbal/written, physical, and visual.

Equality - Equity - Justice
Equality-Equity-Justice. Image from "Environmental Equity vs. Environmental Justice: What's the Difference?"

A culture of belonging where people's unique backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences are valued and respected. Inclusive organizations hold space for people to raise their perspectives authentically, ensuring that voices matter and that they are part of the decision-making process. 

Intercultural (Cultural) Competence
The ability to communicate effectively and appropriately across different cultures based on one's cultural knowledge, abilities/skills, and attitudes.

The systemic removal of barriers, the act of finding and creating equity.

A statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group.

A preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.

A prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people based on their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.

Silent Collusion
To go along with through silence.

An oversimplified image or statement applied to a whole group of people without regard for the individual.

Unconscious Bias
A positive or negative mental attitude that a person holds towards a person, thing, or group at an unconscious level.