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Glossary

Race, Community and our Shared Future aims to foster a safe learning environment that encourages robust dialogue and critical thinking. Therefore, a glossary of key terms and phrases helps us identify and acquire the vocabulary needed to have meaningful communication with one another. This glossary defines terms related to race and structural racism. Since our social climate changes so frequently, the glossary will be updated on a regular basis to maintain its relevance and reflect contemporary issues.

  • Ableism

    The individual, cultural, and institutional beliefs and discrimination that systematically oppress people who have mental, emotional and physical disabilities.

    Source:

    https://www.nccj.org/resources/social-justice-definitions. Accessed: March 16, 2021.  Adams, M., Bell, Lee Anne, Griffin, Pat (1997). Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice.  Routledge New York, London.

  • Acculturation and Enculturation

    Acculturation and enculturation are processes that racial and ethnic minorities engage in daily. Acculturation is often defined as the array of psychological changes that occurs when members of a minority group adapt into a mainstream group, whereas enculturation is the process by which individuals are socialized into their cultural heritage.

    Source:

    https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/features/cou-cou0000172.pdf.

    Accessed: March 16, 2021. Shufang Sun, William T. Hoyt, Dustin Brockberg, Jaime Lam, and Dhriti Tiwari. “Acculturation and Enculturation as Predictors of Psychological Help-Seeking Attitudes (HSAs) Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities: A Meta-Analytic Investigation.” Journal of Counseling Psychology, 2016, Vol. 63, No. 6, 617– 632.

  • Anti-Racism

    The work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life.

    Source:
  • Classism

    Differential treatment based on social class or perceived social class. Classism is the systematic assignment of worth based on social class; policies and practices set up to benefit more class-privileged people at the expense of the less class-privileged people, resulting in drastic income and wealth inequality and causing basic human needs to go unmet; the rationale and the culture which perpetuates these systems and this unequal valuing.

  • Colonialism

    Colonialism is a practice of domination, which involves the subjugation of one people to another. The term ‘colony’ comes from the Latin word colonus, meaning farmer. This root reminds us that the practice of colonialism usually involved the transfer of population to a new territory, where the arrivals lived as permanent settlers while maintaining political allegiance to their country of origin.

    Source:

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/colonialism/

  • Colorism

    A global cultural practice of within-group and between-group prejudice in favor of lighter skin color.

  • Community policing

     The system of allocating police officers to particular areas so that they become familiar with the local inhabitants.

  • Conflict resolution

    Ending of conflict, disputes or disagreements by nonviolent means with intent to achieve a “win-win” outcome for all parties.

    Source:

    https://thekingcenter.org/about-tkc/glossary-of-nonviolence/

  • Cultural appropriation

     Theft of cultural elements for one’s own use, commodification, or profit — including symbols, art, language, and customs — often without understanding, acknowledgement, or respect for its value in the original culture.

  • Cultural representation

    Popular stereotypes, images, frames and narratives that are socialized and reinforced by media, language and other forms of mass communication and “common sense.” Cultural representations can be positive or negative, but from the perspective of the dismantling structural racism analysis, too often cultural representations depict people of color in ways that are dehumanizing, perpetuate inaccurate stereotypes, and have the overall effect of allowing unfair treatment within the society as a whole to seem fair, or ‘natural.’ 

  • Culture

    The way people collectively live their everyday lives. Culture changes over time. It is shared and passed down through communal behaviors, beliefs, values, and customs.

  • Defund

    Reallocating or redirecting funding away from a police department to other government agencies funded by the local municipality in order to improve social services in a community or to provide mental health counselors and other professionals to assist police in de-escalation measures.   

  • Diaspora

    The movement of a collective identity, voluntarily or involuntarily, from one place to many.  The African Diaspora primarily refers to communities throughout the world that resulted from the capture and dispersal of African people during the transatlantic slave trade.

  • Disenfranchise

    The state of being deprived of a right or privilege, especially the right to vote. 

  • Diversity

    The various backgrounds and races that comprise a community, nation or other grouping. In many cases the term diversity does not just acknowledge the existence of diversity of background, race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, but implies an appreciation of these differences. However, diversity does not eliminate structural racism. That dismantling requires acknowledgement of racism as well as changes in policies and processes that lead to racial equity. 

  • Economic justice

    Economic justice, which touches the individual person as well as the social order, encompasses the moral principles which guide us in designing our economic institutions. These institutions determine how each person earns a living, enters into contracts, exchanges goods and services with others and otherwise produces an independent material foundation for his or her economic sustenance. The ultimate purpose of economic justice is to free each person to engage creatively in the unlimited work beyond economics, that of the mind and the spirit.

    Source:

    https://www.cesj.org/learn/definitions/defining-economic-justice-and-social-justice/

  • Enslaved

    In the context of trafficking and trading humans as commodities through the 19th century, the term ‘enslaved African(s)’ refers to people of African descent who were kidnapped, purchased, traded, or coerced from their countries or regions of origin in Africa and transported to the United States or other countries specifically for the purpose of chattel slavery. They are referred to as “enslaved” and not “slaves” because enslavement was clearly the action that occurred. The term ‘slave(s)’ alone does not define clearly the act of enslavement. The term ‘owner(s)’ should be used when referring to individuals who owned enslaved Africans and held them legally as property via purchase, sale, rent, or trade for the purpose of chattel slavery. The terms ‘slaveowner,’ ‘plantation owner,’ ‘slaveholder,’ and ‘master’ should not be used so that the action of enslavement and the continent of origin of those who were enslaved remains clear.

    Source:

    Bell, Felicia A., “The Negroes Alone Work: Enslaved Craftsmen, the Building Trades, and the Construction of the United States Capitol, 1790-1800,” PhD diss., (Howard University, 2009).

  • Ethnicity

    The social characteristics that people may have in common such as language, religion, regional background, culture, and foods. Ethnicity is revealed by the traditions one follows or a person’s native language.  Ethnicity is a shared identity-based ancestry and culture. It distinguishes one group from another. Ethnicity can be based on place, history, and shared traditions.

  • Food desert

     An urban area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food.

  • Food justice

    A holistic and structural view of the food system that sees healthy food as a human right and addresses structural barriers to that right.

  • Homogeneous culture

    In a homogeneous societal culture, the underlying values and beliefs are shared and pervasive. Thus, a dominant set of cultural beliefs exist.

    Source:

    Enz, C. A. (1986). “New Directions for Cross-Cultural Studies: Linking Organizational and Societal Cultures” [Electronic version]. Retrieved [January 18, 2021] from Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration site: http://scholarship.sha.cornell.edu/articles/624. See also: Minkov, Hofstede. “Is National Culture a Meaningful Concept?: Cultural Values Delineate Homogeneous National Clusters of In-Country Regions.” Cross-cultural research 46.2 (2012): 133–159. Web.

  • Immigration

    In the global context, the act of arriving in a State with the intention to remain for a period exceeding one year.

  • Implicit bias

    (also known as unconscious or hidden bias) Implicit biases are negative associations that people unknowingly hold. They are expressed automatically, without conscious awareness. Many studies have indicated that implicit biases affect individuals’ attitudes and actions, thus creating real-world implications, even though individuals may not even be aware that those biases exist within themselves. 

  • Institutional racism

    The policies and practices within and across institutions that, intentionally or not, produce outcomes that chronically favor, or put a racial group at a disadvantage.

  • Intersectionality

    A lens through which one can see where power collides and intersects with gender, class, heterosexism, and xenophobia and how the overlapping vulnerabilities created by these systems create specific kinds of challenges.

  • Latinx

    A gender-neutral term used to describe for a person of Latin American origin or descent. It is a non-binary alternative to the terms Latino and Latina.

  • Lynch

     To kill  a person(s) through mob action, especially by hanging, for an alleged or perceived offense with or without a legal trial.

  • Microaggression

    The everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their group identity. 

  • Migration

    In the global context, movement of a person either across an international border (international migration) or within a state (internal migration) for more than one year irrespective of the causes, voluntary or involuntary, and the means, regular or irregular, used to migrate.

  • Multiculturalism

    The term “multicultural” is often used as a descriptive term to characterize the fact of diversity in a society, but in what follows, the focus is on multiculturalism as a normative ideal in the context of Western liberal democratic societies. While the term has come to encompass a variety of normative claims and goals, it is fair to say that proponents of multiculturalism find common ground in rejecting the ideal of the “melting pot” in which members of minority groups are expected to assimilate into the dominant culture.

    Source:

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/multiculturalism/

  • Nativism

    The portion of any population who advocate, endorse, or believe that true national identity requires a particular racial, ethnic, or religious background.

  • Pacifism

    A philosophy based on an absolute refusal to engage in violence because it is morally wrong.

    Source:

    https://thekingcenter.org/about-tkc/glossary-of-nonviolence/

  • Prejudice

    A judgment or belief that is formed on insufficient grounds before facts are known or in disregard of facts that contradict it.

  • Race

    A social process of classifying people with similar physical traits and customs into specific groups. Race was created and used to justify historical oppression, slavery, and conquest.

  • Racial equity

    Refers to what a genuinely non-racist society would look like. In a racially equitable society, the distribution of society’s benefits and burdens would not be skewed by race. In other words, racial equity would be a reality in which a person is no more or less likely to experience society’s benefits or burdens just because of the color of their skin.

  • Racism

    The individual, cultural, and institutional beliefs and discrimination that systematically oppress Blacks and people of color.

  • Reconciliation

    In nonviolent conflict resolution, the term ‘reconciliation’ is used to refer either to a process or to an outcome or goal. Reconciliation, as an outcome, is an improvement in the relations among parties formerly at odds with one another.

    Source:

    https://thekingcenter.org/about-tkc/glossary-of-nonviolence/

  • Restorative History

    A new theory for museum practice that uses the power of history as a tool to address the harms of exclusion from our national story in multi-pronged, transformative ways. Restorative History’s methodology brings communities together to identify harms, needs and obligations, but also uses the study of history to identify root causes. As an outgrowth of restorative justice, Restorative History exposes silenced truths, redefines the notion of belonging, changes our institutions to be civically responsible and moves us toward a path of redress and healing.

    Source:

    1: Tsione Wolde-Michael, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Curator, Division of Political and Military History

  • Restorative justice

    A theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior. It is best accomplished through cooperative processes that allow all willing stakeholders to meet.

  • Social construct

    A concept or perception of something based on the collective views developed and maintained within a society or social group; a social phenomenon or convention originating within and cultivated by society or a particular social group, as opposed to existing inherently or naturally. Social ‘constructedness,’ or the malleability of human life forms, is a rather commonplace proposition in sociology. The gist of the idea is: all that is constructed can be reconstructed, deconstructed, in short, changed at will. Radical versions of it hold all in society is constructed.

    Source:

    https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/social_construct

    Bartmanski, D. “Social construction and cultural meaning: Reconstructing qualitative sociology.” American Journal of Cultural Sociology 6, 563–587, (2018).

    Palmié, Stephan . “Genomics, Divination, ‘Racecraft'”. American Ethnologist 34 (2): 205–22, (May 2007).

    Mevorach, Katya Gibel . “Race, Racism, and Academic Complicity”. American Ethnologist 34 (2): 238–241, (2007).

    Perry, Imani. More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States. 23, (New York, NY: New York University Press, 2011).

  • Social justice

    Social justice encompasses economic justice. Social justice is the virtue which guides us in creating those organized human interactions we call institutions. In turn, social institutions, when justly organized, provide us with access to what is good for the person, both individually and in our associations with others. Social justice also imposes on each of us a personal responsibility to collaborate with others, at whatever level of the “Common Good” in which we participate, to design and continually perfect our institutions as tools for personal and social development.

    Source:

    https://www.cesj.org/learn/definitions/defining-economic-justice-and-social-justice/

  • Structural racism

    A system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequity. It identifies dimensions of our history and culture that have allowed privileges associated with “whiteness” and disadvantages associated with “color” to endure and adapt over time. Structural racism is not something that a few people or institutions choose to practice. Instead it has been a feature of the social, economic and political systems in which we all exist.

  • Underserved

    Populations such as those that lack access to social infrastructures like health services and education because of geography, socioeconomic status or disadvantage based on ethnicity, culture or caste.

    Source:

    https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Impact-of-selection-strategies-on-representation-of-Larkins-Michielsen/0deac98c9194d8bb45b306e5310d7da16f4d2016

    Larkins, S., Michielsen, K., Iputo, J., Elsanousi, S., Mammen, M., Graves, L., ... & Neusy, A. J. (2015). “Impact of selection strategies on representation of underserved populations and intention to practice: international findings. Medical Education, 49(1), 60-72.

  • White privilege

    The historical and contemporary advantages that have favored whites, regardless of socioeconomic status, over other groups such as African Americans in gaining access to quality education, decent jobs and livable wages, homeownership, retirement benefits, and wealth.

  • Xenophobia

    Attitudes, prejudices and behavior that reject, exclude and often vilify persons based on the perception that they are outsiders or foreigners to the community, society or national identity.

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