Definitions

Please feel free to send additional definitions to be included to Mary Bonderoff, bondermh@morrisville.edu.

Ally: Someone who makes the commitment and effort to recognize their privilege (based on gender, class, race, sexual identity, etc.) and work in solidarity with oppressed groups in the struggle for justice. Allies understand that it is in their own interest to end all forms of oppression, even those from which they may benefit in concrete ways (MP Associates and Center for Assessment and Policy Development, 2013).

 

Bias: An inclination of temperament or outlook; especially: a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment: prejudice- preconceived judgment or opinion (2) an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge. Bias is a function of the human survival instinct, it is automatic, and it is meant to be protective. It takes conscious effort to be aware of, examine, and overcome biases that we no longer need for survival and that are working against our community and us (Chaddock & Gerken, 2015).

Bigotry: Intolerant prejudice that glorifies one's own group and denigrates members of other groups (MP Associates and Center for Assessment and Policy Development, 2013).

Campus Community: According to Moses, “…a measure—real or perceived—of the campus environment as it relates to interpersonal, academic, and professional interactions. In a healthy climate, individuals and groups generally feel welcomed, respected, and valued by the university. A healthy climate is grounded in respect for others, nurtured by dialogue between those of differing perspectives, and is evidenced by a pattern of civil interactions among community members” (as cited in Chaddock & Gerken, 2015, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: What is the responsibility of campus governance leaders and University Faculty Senate Leadership?). 

Cis-gender (cis-male/cis-female): An identity designation denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity conforms with the gender that corresponds to their biological sex. Previously described as “female” and “male” the invocation of cis- suggests that it is one of many possible gender identities without privileging these gender identities as “normal” or dominant (Chaddock & Gerken, 2015). 

Collusion: When people act to perpetuate oppression or prevent others from working to eliminate oppression (MP Associates and Center for Assessment and Policy Development, 2013).

Counter-stereotypic training: People can be trained, using visual or verbal cues, to develop new associations that contrast with the stereotypes they hold (Desmond-Harris, 2015, June 23). 

Discrimination: The unequal treatment of members of various groups based on race, gender, social class, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion and other categories (MP Associates and Center for Assessment and Policy Development, 2013).

Diversity: Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, and it encompasses all the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. It is allinclusive and recognizes everyone and every group as part of the diversity that should be valued. A broad definition includes not only race, ethnicity, and gender — the groups that most often come to mind when the term "diversity" is used — but also age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, and physical appearance. It also involves different ideas, perspectives, and values (MP Associates and Center for Assessment and Policy Development, 2013).

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the SUNY System: “The SUNY Diversity Task Force defined diversity broadly to include race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, age, socioeconomic status, status as a veteran, status as an individual with a disability, students undergoing transition (such as transfer, stop-out,  international student acclimation), and first-generation students” (Zimpher, 2015, p. 11).

Ethnicity: A social construct that divides people into smaller social groups based on characteristics such as shared sense of group membership, values, behavioral patterns, language, political and economic interests, history and ancestral geographical base (MP Associates and Center for Assessment and Policy Development, 2013).

Implicit bias: “Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner” (Staats 2014, p. 73).

Inclusion: Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, and decision/policy making in a way that shares power (MP Associates and Center for Assessment and Policy Development, 2013).

in·clu·siv·i·ty (noun): The active, intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity -- in the curriculum, co-curriculum and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect -- in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions. – Association of American Colleges and Universities

Intersex: A variation in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, or genitals that do not allow an individual to be distinctly identified as male or female. Intersex has been historically treated as a medical condition and now has become an expressed identity (Chaddock & Gerken, 2015). 

LGBTQ2AI: A movement from “gay and lesbian, to Gay, Lesbian, Bi, to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Ally, Intersexed suggests that our understanding of ourselves continues to grow” (Chaddock & Gerken, 2015, Spring/Summer, p. 8).

Microaggression: Microaggression is defined as “the everyday slights, indignities, put downs and insults that people of color, women, LGBT populations or those who are marginalized experiences in their day-to-day interactions with people” (Sue as cited in Desmond-Harris, 2015, Feb 16). Microaggressions are more than just insults, insensitive comments, or generalized jerky behavior. They are something very specific: the kinds of remarks, questions, or actions that are painful because they have to do with a person's membership in a group that's discriminated against or subject to stereotypes. A key part of what makes them so disconcerting is that they happen casually, frequently, and often without any harm intended, in everyday life (Desmond-Harris, 2015, Feb 16).

Normativity: The systemic condition where behavior, policy, language, and cultural expectation privileges the dominant majority and culture. Majority culture identity expression is welcomed and anything outside of that is “tolerated” or “accommodated” (Chaddock & Gerken, 2015).

Oppression: 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 (MP Associates and Center for Assessment and Policy Development, 2013).

Power: Power is unequally distributed globally and in U.S. society; some individuals or groups wield greater power than others, thereby allowing them to greater access and control over resources. Wealth, whiteness, citizenship, patriarchy, heterosexism, and education are a few key social mechanisms through which power operates (MP Associates and Center for Assessment and Policy Development, 2013).

Prejudice: A pre-judgment or unjustifiable, and usually negative, attitude of one type of individual or groups toward another group and its members. Such negative attitudes are typically based on unsupported generalizations (or stereotypes) that deny the right of individual members of certain groups to be recognized and treated as individuals with individual characteristics (MP Associates and Center for Assessment and Policy Development, 2013). 

Privilege: A right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person belonging to a particular group (Chaddock & Gerken, 2015).

Social Justice: Refers to the idea of creating a community or institution that is based on the principles of equity and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being (Chaddock & Gerken, 2015).

Studies have shown:  For example, that people have implicit biases that favor Germans over Turks (in Germany), Japanese over Koreans (in Japan), men over women (when it comes to career-related stereotypes) youth over elderly, and straight people over gay people (Desmond-Harris, 2015, June 23).

Transgender (Transmale/Transfemale/Gender Fluid/Gender Varient/ Gender Queer): denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of cismale or cisfemale gender. This is an umbrella term that is flawed in many ways but useful in talking about gender identity. Individuals who identify in any of these ways recognize this term as political, shared identity (Chaddock & Gerken, 2015).

Unintentional Intolerance: Refers to the manner in which nice, well-meaning people go about potentially excluding others, even when they want to include them. Research and experience tell us that we all have biases that we are often unaware of, or think little about. These biases influence our decision-making, behaviors, and attributions of others on a daily basis (Robbins, 2006).