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Terms and Definitions

Here are common terms, phrases, and their definitions that may be used in this blog.

Social justice: The equitable distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.

Identity: The eight main social categories (race, spirituality, age, ability, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, nationality) that influence and inform a person’s experience.

Privilege: the systematic unearned benefits for people within a social identity group, supported and enforced by the society and its institutions, solely based on the person’s membership in the social identity group.

Oppression: The systematic mistreatment of people within a social identity group, supported and enforced by the society and its institutions, solely based on the person’s membership in the social identity group.

Sexism: A system of privilege and oppression based on gender or perceived gender.

Racism: A system of privilege and oppression based on skin color and other physiological features.

Colorism: A system of privilege and oppression based on skin color.

Heterosexism: A system of privilege and oppression based on sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation.

Ageism: A system of privilege and oppression based on age or perceived age.

Ableism: A system of privilege and oppression based on physical or mental ability.

Classism: A system of privilege and oppression based on socioeconomic status or perceived socioeconomic status.

Spirituality oppression: A system of privilege and oppression based on spirituality or perceived spirituality.

People of color: Referring to those people who identify as a race other than White.

Multiracial: A person who identifies with two or more races and/or ethnicities.

Gender: The socially constructed categories based on biological sex.

Gender binary: Seeing gender only as men and women and ignoring the vast spectrum of gender identity.

Biological sex: The sex (male, female, intersex) a person was born with.

LGBTQ: An acronym that refers to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer community. This acronym is often expanded to include Pansexual, Two Spirits, Intersex, Questioning, Asexual, Agender, Aromantic, and more.

Ally: A member of a privileged group in solidarity with a marginalized group and actively works to end systemic oppression.

Cultural appropriation: adoption and use of another culture often for entertainment, profit, or the general benefit of the privileged group.

Equity: being fair and impartial; equity does not imply equality.

Systemic: of or relating to an entire system.

Hegemonic: ruling or dominant in a political or social context.

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