You can’t have a discussion without a common language. To facilitate discussion, here is a glossary of “racial equity” terms, drawn from a variety of sources. The definitions are shaped more by progressive politics than by linguistics. The language is sometimes turgid because it is rooted in academia, not known for brevity nor clarity.
I will withhold my comments. You can add your own comments at home. And I’m sure most of you will want to.
Ally: A member of a privileged social group (race, gender, class, citizenship) who works for justice and equity with members of social groups with less privilege. The social group you work with can call you an ally, but it is bad form for you to claim it for yourself.
Anti-racism: Actively opposing institutional or structural racism by advancing changes in political, economic, and social policies.
Cultural competence: Used most often in the context of healthcare and education, it is defined as organizational practices that are responsive to the cultural beliefs, language, interpersonal styles, etc., of those receiving services as well as those providing them.
Diversity: A multiplicity of races, ages, countries of origin, educational status, religious, physical or cognitive abilities, documentation status, etc., within a community, organization or grouping of some kind.
Equity: Fairness and justice in policy, practices and opportunity consciously designed to address the distinct challenges of less privileged social groups, with an eye toward equitable outcomes.
Gatekeeper: Anyone in a position of power who can grant or deny access to institutional resources or information.
Implicit bias: Also known as unconscious or hidden bias, it is unconsciously held negative associations about any given social group. Implicit bias undercuts conscious commitments to inclusion and fairness, particularly in organizations where they may be collectivized and institutionalized in hiring practices and as barriers to advancement.
Inclusion: Being included within a grouping or structure with an authentic sense of belonging. Organizationally, inclusion is expressed through policies and practices that empower employees across the board.
Institutional power: Social, political, and economic access to resources and decision makers, and the ability to influence others via this access.
Institutional racism: Organizational policies and practices, based on explicit and/or implicit biases, that produce outcomes consistently advantaging or disadvantaging one racial group.
Intersectionality: A term invented by Black lawyer Kimberle Williams Crenshaw to describe how race, class, gender, and other aspects of identity intersect and inform social inequities, and are experienced by individuals or groups of people.
Microaggressions: Common verbal, behavioral, or situational actions, intentional or not, that reveal hostility, or insulting and/or derogatory toward people with less privilege.
Privilege: Advantages and benefits systemically accorded, often by default, to a person or a group. Privilege is best understood intersectionally because colorism, documentation status, economic class and education, for example, can all accord distinct privilege within racial and ethnic groups.
Racial equity: Fairness and justice in policy, practice, and opportunity consciously designed to address the impacts of historic racial discrimination and inequity, with an eye to equitable outcomes.
Racial justice: The work of eliminating racial disparities born of individual, institutional, and structural racism.
Structural racism: Public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and societal conventions that individually and collectively reinforce racial inequity and codify the advantage of “whiteness.”
White privilege: Historical and contemporary unearned advantages that enable white people to collectively have easier and better access to quality healthcare and education, wealth-building opportunities, political power, etc.
Everything clear now?