Glossary of Equity Terms


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Just and fair inclusion into a society in which all, including all racial and ethnic groups, can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.

Source: PolicyLink


The action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure. More than simply diversity and numerical representation, inclusion involves authentic and empowered participation and a true sense of belonging.

Source: Annie E Casey Foundation


Includes all the ways in which people differ, and it encompasses all the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from one another.

Source: UC Berkeley Center for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity


An approach largely advanced by women of color, arguing that classifications such as gender, race, class, and others cannot be examined in isolation from one another; they interact and intersect in individual’s lives, in society, in social systems, and are mutually constitutive.

Source: Hollins and Govan: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Institutional Racism

Policies, practices and procedures that work better for white people than for people of color, often unintentionally or inadvertently.

Source: National League of Cities

Structural Racism

A history and current reality of institutional racism across all institutions, combining to create a system that negatively impacts communities of color.

Source: GARE

For a complete list of terms, download the Equity Glossary.