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Office of Equity & Inclusion

Pursuing Inclusive Excellence

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Definitions

This is by no means an exhaustive list of definitions associated with Equity and Inclusion. They were compiled to provide an explication and therefore are subject to change.

Inclusive Excellence

Serves as an umbrella term for activities that provide expertise and guidance to support adoption of comprehensive instructional, student services, and institutional practices that engage and support diverse students from where they begin. This is done through uncovering inequities in student success, identifying effective educational practices, and building such practices for sustained institutional change.

Common Understanding of Equity at SVC

Equity as a State
Equity is a state where all members of the college community have the resources they need to succeed. 

Equity as a Practice 
Equity is an intentional redistribution of resources and the creation of new policies and practices to correct historical and ongoing legacies that systematically disadvantage specific populations.   

Equity at SVC 
At SVC we embrace equity throughout our core themes of access, achievement, and community by pursuing the continuous examination and revision of norms, policies, and practices to foster the success of all.

Additional Terminology

Anti-racism is the active process of identifying and challenging racism, by changing systems, organizational structures, policies and practices, and attitudes to redistribute power in an equitable manner.
Judgment or preference toward or against one group over another

Implicit or Unconscious Bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases, which encompass both favorable and unfavorable assessments, are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control. Residing deep in the subconscious, these biases are different from known biases that individuals may choose to conceal for the purposes of social and/or political correctness.

Explicit or Conscious Bias are biases we know we have and may use on purpose.5

Communities of color
Collective term for referring to non-white racial groups.26
Community organization
Social work concentrating upon the organized development of community social welfare through coordination of public and private agencies.
Culturally appropriate
Theft, exploitation, or mimicry of cultural elements for one’s own personal use or profit – including symbols, dress, art, music, dance, language, land, customs, medicine, etc. – often without understanding, acknowledgment, or respect for its value in the original culture. In the United States, it results from the assumption of a white dominant culture’s right to take other cultural elements.8, 9
Culturally competence
Describes the presence of differences within a given setting, collective, or group. An individual is not diverse – a person is unique. Diversity is about a collective or a group and exists in relationship to others. A team, an organization, a family, a neighborhood, and a community can be diverse. A person can bring diversity of thought, experience, and trait, (seen and unseen) to a team — and the person is still an individual.12
Inequitable treatment of an individual or group based on their actual or perceived membership in a specific group.13
Equity-minded Practitioners
Are observant of patterns of inequity and will take action through speaking up for change as an institution as well as personal improvement. They take accountability for the success of their students and continually work to create equity.7
Gender Pronouns
A pronoun that a person chooses to refer to themselves. These include, but aren’t limited to: she, her, hers, herself; he, him, his, himself; they, them, theirs, themselves; and ze, hir or zir, hirs or zirs, hirself or zirself.13
Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, and decision/policy making in a way that shares power.
Inclusive Pedagogy
The method and practice of teaching that promotes equity in the classroom and beyond. It includes the use of diverse teaching strategies, multicultural content, and varied means of student assessment.
Inclusive Practices
The policies, procedures, and practices of engaging with students that promotes equity on campus and beyond.
Institutional Agents
Defined by RD Stanton-Salazar; an institutional agent is as an individual who occupies one or more hierarchical positions of relatively high-status, either within a society or in an institution (or an organization).
Low Income Communities
Generally, a Low-Income Community (LIC) is defined by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a census tract with a poverty rate of at least 20 percent or a median family income 80 percent or less than the area it is benchmarked against.13
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 marginalized group membership.22, 23
Systemic devaluing, undermining, marginalizing, and disadvantaging of certain social identities in contrast to the privileged norm; when some people are denied something of value, while others have ready access. This can occur, intentionally and unintentionally, on individual, institutional, and cultural levels.

Individual – attitudes and actions that reflect prejudice against a social group.

Institutional – policies, laws, rules, norms, and customs enacted by organizations and social institutions that disadvantage some social groups and advantage other social groups.

Societal/cultural – social norms, roles, rituals, language, music, and art that reflect and reinforce the belief that one social group is superior to another.13

Participatory Excellence
The action of utilizing a horizontal structure of both implicit and explicit power in pursuit of engaged academic excellence for all stakeholders-students, faculty, staff, administration and the community.
The ability to influence and/or act.
Unearned social power accorded by the formal and informal institutions of society to ALL members of a dominant group (e.g. white privilege, male privilege, etc.). Privilege is often invisible to those who have it, socially reinforced but nevertheless it puts them at an advantage over those who do not have it.
A social construct that divides people into smaller social groups based on characteristics most typically skin color. Racial categories were socially constructed, and artificially created whiteness as one of the elements of the dominant culture. Race was created to concentrate power and advantage people who are defined as white and justify dominance over non-white people. The idea of race has become embedded in our identities, institutions, and culture, and influences life opportunities, outcomes, and experiences. Racial categories change based on the political convenience of the dominant society at a given period of time. 13
A way of representing or describing race that creates or reproduces structures of domination based on racial categories.28 In other words, racism is racial prejudice plus power. In the United States, it is grounded in the creation of a white dominant culture that reinforces the use of power to create privilege for white people while marginalizing people of color, whether intentional or not.13

It is perpetuated in many forms of racism that include:

Individual racism – An individual’s beliefs, attitudes, and actions that perpetuates racism.

Interpersonal racism – When individuals express their beliefs and attitudes with another person that perpetuates racism.

Internalized racism – When people of color, knowingly or unknowingly, accept and integrate negative racist images, beliefs, and identities to their detriment.

Institutional racism – Intentional or unintentional, laws, organizational practices, policies, and programs that work to the benefit of white people and to the detriment of people of color.13

A feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, valued and should be treated in a dignified way.30
Sexual Orientation
A person’s physical, romantic, emotional, aesthetic, and/or other form of attraction to others. Gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same. For instance, transgender people can be straight, bisexual, lesbian, gay, asexual, pansexual, queer, etc., like anyone else.

Aromantic – A person who experiences little to no emotional or romantic attraction to other people. Sometimes aromantic people abbreviate the term to Ace.

Asexual – A person who experiences little to no physical attraction to other people. Sometimes asexual people abbreviate the term to Ace.

Bisexual – A person who has an emotional and physical attraction to persons of the same and different genders.

Gay – A person who is emotionally and physically attracted to someone of the same gender. It is more commonly associated with males or men.

Heterosexual – A person who is emotionally and physically attracted to people of the opposite sex.

Lesbian – A female or woman who has an emotional and physical attraction for other females or women.

Pansexual – A person who is emotionally and physically attracted to individuals of all gender identities and expressions.

Queer – A person who expresses fluid identities and/or orientations in their emotional and physical attraction to others. The term is sometimes used as an umbrella term to refer to all LGBTQ+ people.13

Social Justice
A practice within a society based on principles of equality and solidarity that understands and values human rights and recognizes the dignity of every human being. Such a practice would strive to provide basic human needs and comforts to all members of the society regardless of class, race, religion or any other characteristic.13
Systematically minoritized/marginalized
The institutional and systemic based process and power used to intentionally remove, deny, and isolate from economic, sociopolitical, and cultural participation based on race, immigrant status, income, ability, or multigenerational living arrangements.6
Structural Racism
Refers to a system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequity.
Systemic racism
Policies, practices and economic and political structures which place minority racial and ethnic groups at a disadvantage in relation to an institution’s racial or ethnic majority.
The practice of making only a perfunctory or symbolic effort to do a particular thing. Examples of tokenism include but aren’t limited to, asking a person of color to be on a hiring panel for the appearance of diverse perspectives, but they don’t actually have a connection to the position or voice in the decisions related to the hiring process; you ask a community member to join a meeting to give input and you don’t use their input, but talk about how you had representation from that community.13
White Supremacy
A political, economic, and cultural system in which white people are believed to be the normal, better, smarter and, holier race over all other races. This system entitles whites with overwhelming control, power, and material resources. Conscious and unconscious ideas of white superiority and entitlement are widespread. White dominance and non-white subordination are daily reenacted across a broad array of institutions and social settings. A white supremacy mindset is perpetuated when elements of this system are not named, agreed to, or actively undone.32, 33, 34

5. “Equity Language Guide.” Office of Financial Management. Accessed October 9, 2019. https://www.ofm.wa.gov/state-human- resources/workforce-diversity-equity-and-inclusion/diversity-equity-and-inclusion-resources/dei-committee-documents.

6. Mai 2016, Multicultural Utah.gov

7. Bensimon 2007; Dowd and Bensimon 2015

8. Resistance, Colours of. “Colours of Resistance Archive.” Colours of Resistance Archive (blog). Accessed October 9, 2019. http://www.coloursofresistance.org/definitions/cultural-appropriation/.

9. “What Is Cultural Appropriation?” Philosophy Talk. Accessed October 9, 2019. https://www.philosophytalk.org/blog/what- cultural-appropriation.

12. “Diversity & Inclusion.” U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Accessed October 9, 2019. https://www.opm.gov/policy-data- oversight/diversity-and-inclusion/.

13. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – Glossary of Equity-Related Terms

22. “Microaggressions: More Than Just Race.” Psychology Today. Accessed October 9, 2019. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/microaggressions-in-everyday-life/201011/microaggressions-more-just-race.

23. “Our Research – ProInspire.” Accessed October 9, 2019. https://www.equityinthecenter.org/our-research/.

28. Omi, Michael, and Howard Winant. Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 1994.

30. “Articles – Diversity and Inclusion Resources – Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) – University of Houston.” University of Houston. Accessed October 9, 2019. https://www.uh.edu/cdi/diversity_education/resources/articles/.

32. Okun, Tema. The Emperor Has No Clothes: Teaching about Race and Racism to People Who Don’t Want to Know. Educational Leadership for Social Justice. Charlotte, N.C: Information Age Pub, 2010.

33. Crenshaw, Kimberlé, ed. Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement. New York: New Press, 1995.

34. “DRworksBook.” dRworksBook. Accessed October 9, 2019. http://www.dismantlingracism.org/.