The following definitions were first developed in 2016 by Catlin Gabel educators to provide a common framework for open and healthy discourse to foster an inclusive, diverse, and equitable community. The Glossary is meant to be a dynamic document, guided by the School’s Office of Equity and Inclusion and reflecting our growing understanding of the experience of community members.
ALLY: Someone who recognizes their privilege, and works in solidarity with marginalized groups in the struggle for social justice.
ANTIRACISM: Antiracism is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies and practices and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably.
ANTISEMITISM*: The belief or behavior hostile toward Jews just because they are Jewish. It may take the form of religious teachings that proclaim the inferiority of Jews, for instance, or political efforts to isolate, oppress, or otherwise injure them. It may also include prejudiced or stereotyped views about Jews.
BIAS: An inclination, often implicit or unconscious, that hinders impartial judgment.
BIGOT: A person who practices bigotry.
BIGOTRY: Intolerance of opinions, lifestyles, or identities not necessarily backed by the power of dominant culture systems and institutions, often accompanied by discriminatory behavior.
CLASS: A system of ordering society which divides people into sets based on perceived social or economic status.
CULTURAL APPROPRIATION: The adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture, often without understanding, acknowledgement, or respect for its value.
CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE: Practicing an ongoing awareness of one’s own identity and biases, and taking action to learn and honor the varying cultural and community norms of students and their families.
DIVERSITY: The range of differences represented in our community.
EQUITY: Everyone gets what they need in order to enjoy access, opportunities, and a fair chance to succeed.
GENDER EXPRESSION: The physical and behavioral manifestation of one’s gender identity.
GENDER FLUID: Of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity is not fixed.
GENDER IDENTITY: A person’s internal sense of being male, female, some combination of male and female, or neither male nor female.
HETERONORMATIVE: A gender binary viewpoint that presumes heterosexuality as the standard and “normal” sexual orientation instead of being one of many possibilities.
INCLUSION: Active engagement that supports every individual’s identity and sense of belonging.
INTERSEX: Umbrella term denoting a number of variations in an individual’s bodily characteristics that do not match strict medical definitions of male or female. (The “I” in LGBTQIA: Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning/Queer Intersex Asexual)
-ISM/-PHOBIA: Suffix describing attitudes, actions, or systemic structures that oppress a person or group because of their group identity. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- skin color (racism)
- gender (e.g., sexism, transphobia)
- economic status (classism)
- age (ageism)
- religion (e.g. Islamophobia)
- language/immigrant status (xenophobia)
- ability (ableism)
- sexual orientation (heterosexism, homophobia)
Homophobia and heterosexism are two terms between which a key difference can be identified. Homophobia is the fear of “homosexuality” and “homosexuals”. Heterosexism is the idea that heterosexuals are superior to others. Homophobia refers to attitudes and behavioral patterns that people have against homosexuals; heterosexism is ideologies that stigmatize and oppress homosexuals.
LGBTQIA+: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning/Queer, Intersex, Asexual
MACRO-AGGRESSION: Large scale or overt aggression towards persons of marginalized groups.
MARGINALIZE: To treat a person, group, or concept as insignificant or peripheral; to exclude from power and full participation.
MICRO-AGGRESSION: Commonplace verbal or nonverbal slights and indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate derogatory messages to persons of marginalized groups.
MULTICULTURALISM: The practice of promoting the respectful coexistence of diverse cultures.
POWER: The capacity to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events.
PREJUDICE: Prejudging a person or group of people based on stereotypes and biases, often accompanied by ignorance, fear, or hatred.
PRIVILEGE: Systemic access to unearned advantages, resources, and opportunities which come at the expense of others.
RACISM: Race prejudice backed by the power of dominant culture systems and institutions. A system of disadvantage based on race.
RACIST: A member of a dominant culture who practices racial prejudice.
SOCIAL JUSTICE: The ideal of full and equal participation of all groups within a society that is mutually shaped to uphold human rights. Social justice includes a vision of society that is equitable, and in which all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure.
SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS (SES): The perception of social standing or class of an individual or group measured not only by income but also educational attainment, financial security, and access to the opportunities and privileges within society.
STEREOTYPE: Generalizations about groups of people that negate individuals.
WHITE SUPREMACY*: The belief that the white race is inherently superior to other races and that white people should have control over people of other races; the social, economic, and political systems that collectively enable white people to maintain power over people of other races.
*Definitions in discussion and development (Sources: ADL; Merriam-Webster)
Dedicated to Ann Fyfield for her inspiration and work on this document and for modeling healthy discourse. Summer 2017