Health Equity Glossary

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Ableism
The discrimination of and social prejudice against people with disabilities based on the belief that typical abilities are superior. At its heart, ableism is rooted in the assumption that disabled people require ‘fixing’ and defines people by their disability. (Access Living: Ableism)

Examples of ableism: Using the accessible bathroom stall when you are able to use the non-accessible stall without pain or risk of injury, talking to a person with a disability like they are a child, talking about them instead of directly to them, or speaking for them, questioning if someone is ‘actually’ disabled, or ‘how much’ they are disabled, etc. (Access Living: Ableism
Accountability
Accountability refers to the ways in which individuals and communities hold themselves to their goals and actions and acknowledge the values and groups to which they are responsible. It demands commitment. Accountability requires some sense of urgency and becoming a true stakeholder in the outcome. Accountability can be externally imposed (legal or organizational requirements), or internally applied (moral, relational, faith-based, or recognized as some combination of the two) on a continuum from the institutional and organizational level to the individual level. From a relational point of view, accountability is not always doing it right. Sometimes it’s really about what happens after it’s done wrong. (Racial Equity Tools

Additional resources 
Racial Equity Tools: Accountability 
Ageism
Ageism refers to the stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) towards others or oneself based on age.

Ageism affects everyone. Children as young as 4 years old become aware of their culture’s age stereotypes. From that age onwards they internalize and use these stereotypes to guide their feelings and behavior towards people of different ages. They also draw on culture’s age stereotypes to perceive and understand themselves, which can result in self-directed ageism at any age. Ageism intersects and exacerbates other forms of disadvantage including those related to sex, race and disability.

Ageism is everywhere: from our institutions and relationships to ourselves. For example, ageism is in policies that support healthcare rationing by age, practices that limit younger people’s opportunities to contribute to decision-making in the workplace, patronizing behavior used in interactions with older and younger people, and in self-limiting behavior, which can stem from internalized stereotypes about what a person of a given age can be or do. (World Health Organization)
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. (Racial Equity Tools

An action, not an identity. Members of the advantaged group recognize their privilege and work in solidarity with oppressed groups to dismantle the systems of oppression(s) from which they derive power, privilege, and acceptance. ways. It means taking intentional, overt, and consistent responsibility for the changes we know are needed in our society, and often ignore or leave for others to deal with; it does so in a way that facilitates the empowerment of persons targeted by oppression. (Racial Equity Tools
Anti-Racism
As the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. Anti-racism tends to be an individualized approach and set up in opposition to individual racist behaviors and impacts. (Racial Equity Tools

Additional resources: 
Racial Equity Tools: Anti-Racism 
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Bias
The negative evaluation of one group and its members relative to another. (Unconscious Bias and Health Disparities

Bias can be expressed directly (eg, “I like whites more than Latinos.”) or more indirectly (eg, sitting further away from a Latino than a white individual). (Unconscious Bias and Health Disparities
Black Lives Matter
A political movement to address systemic and state violence against African Americans. Per the Black Lives Matter organizers: “In 2013, three radical Black organizers—Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi—created a Black-centered political will and movement building project called #BlackLivesMatter.It was in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman. The project is now a member-led global network of more than 40chapters. [Black Lives Matter] members organize and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. (Racial Equity Tools
Brave space
A brave space is a space where participants feel comfortable learning, sharing, and growing. A brave space is inclusive to all races, sexes, genders, abilities, immigration status, and lived experiences. Everyone in the space acknowledges that there may be some discomfort due to discussing topics that may be uncomfortable in nature. In the established brave space, participants honor each other’s experiences and opinions with respect to achieve a place of understanding. The most important part of a brave space is inclusion of all. (Creating a Brave Space for Dialogue

Brave space is inclusive to all races, sexes, genders, abilities, immigration status, and lived experiences. A brave space allows students to express themselves, challenge one another in a positive way, and learn from one another. (Creating a Brave Space for Dialogue
Bystander
A person who is present but not taking part in a situation or event directly 

The Bystander Effect is a phenomenon referring to instances when individuals who witness a person being targeted or attacked do not offer help to the victim or intervene in any way when other people are present. People may not intervene in these situations if they fear for their own safety, they feel unqualified, they think someone else will help instead, or they believe it is not their responsibility to step in. (University of Colorado Denver Office of Equity

Bystanders can perpetuate racism and other forms discrimination when they do not intervene. 

Additional Resources 
How to Be and Active Bystander When You See Casual Racism 
Step Up! Bystander Intervention Training 
Right to Be: Bystander Intervention 
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Centering Blackness
Considering the Black experience as unique and foundational to shaping America’s economic and social policies. Centering Blackness demands that we create and design policies and practices that intentionally lift up and protect Black people. Anti-blackness doesn’t only impact Black people; it holds back and harms all Americans and necessitates collective healing. Centering Blackness allows for a completely different worldview to emerge, free from the constraints of white supremacy and patriarchy. (Racial Equity Tools
Classism
Differential treatment based on social class or perceived social class. Classism is the systematic oppression of subordinated class groups to advantage and strengthen the dominant class groups. It’s the systematic assignment of characteristics of worth and ability based on social class. (Class Action: What is Classism?)  

Classism is held in place by a system of beliefs and cultural attitudes that ranks people according to economic status, family lineage, job status, level of education, and other divisions. (Class Action: What is Classism?

Internalized classism is the acceptance and justification of classism by working class and poor people. Examples include: feelings of inferiority to higher-class people; disdain or shame about traditional patterns of class in one’s family and a denial of heritage; feelings of superiority to people lower on the class spectrum than oneself; hostility and blame towards other working-class or poor people; and beliefs that classist institutions are fair. (Class Action: What is Classism?
Colonization
Some form of invasion, dispossession, and subjugation of a people. The invasion need not be military; it can begin—or continue—as geographical intrusion in the form of agricultural, urban, or industrial encroachments. The result of such an incursion is the dispossession of vast amounts of lands from the original inhabitants. This is often legalized after the fact. The long-term result of such massive dispossession is institutionalized inequality. The colonizer/colonized relationship is by nature an unequal one that benefits the colonizer at the expense of the colonized. (Racial Equity Tools

White supremacy as a philosophy was developed largely to justify European colonial exploitation of the Global South (including enslaving African peoples, extracting resources from much of Asia and Latin America, and enshrining cultural norms of whiteness as desirable both in colonizing and colonizer nations). (Racial Equity Tools
Community Health
A multi-sector, multi-disciplinary collaborative enterprise that uses public health science, evidence-based strategies, and other approaches to engage and work with communities in a culturally appropriate manner, to optimize the health, quality of life, and SDH of all persons who live, work, or otherwise active in defined communities (Levels of HRSN & SDH Integration Framework
Critical Race Theory
A framework and movement used to analyze racial oppression by placing traditional civil rights issues in a broader perspective. It questions the foundation of the liberal order entirely including equality theory, legal reasoning, principles of constitutional law, and Enlightenment rationalism (Racial Equity Tools

Critical Race Theory is based on the following principles: (Global Social Theory)  
– Racism is ordinary, not aberrational  
– Racism serves important purposes 
– Race and races are products of social thought and relations as well as categories that society invents, manipulates, and retires when convenient 
– Intersectionality: Everyone has potentially conflicting, overlapping identities and loyalties 
– Racism is embedded in the structure of society 
– Racism has a material foundation 
– Racism changes and develops over time 
– Racism has a contemporary basis 

Additional Resources 
The Insurgent Origins of Critical Race Theory podcast 
Knowledge is Power: A Resource for Schools and Communities 
What Critical Race Theory Is- And What It Isn’t  
Critical Race Theory, Race Equity, and Public Health: Toward Antiracism Praxis 
Cultural Appropriation
Theft of cultural elements—including symbols, art, language, customs, etc.—for one’s own use, commodification, or profit, often without understanding, acknowledgement, or respect for its value in the original culture. Results from the assumption of a dominant (i.e., white) culture’s right to take other cultural elements. (Racial Equity Tools
Cultural Humility
Examining own values, beliefs, experiences, and biases through self-reflection, lifelong curiosity, and openness. This may include practicing lifelong learning, exercising self-reflection and critique, recognizing dynamics of power and privilege, and being comfortable with not knowing. (Culturally Connected)

An institution committed to cultural humility would be characterized by training, established recruitment and retention processes, identifiable and funded personnel to facilitate the meeting of goals and making sure there were feedback loops between the institution and its employees and between the institution and patients or other members from the surrounding community. 
Cultural Sensitivity
The extent to which ethnic/cultural characteristics, experiences, norms, values, behavioral patterns and beliefs of a target population as well as relevant historical, environmental, and social forces are incorporated in the design, delivery, and evaluation of targeted health promotion materials and programs. (Cultural Sensitivity in Public Health: Defined and Demystified)
Culture
A way of living; aspects like age, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, race, etc.; complex, dynamic, continually evolving, and constantly influenced by our experiences (Culturally Connected)
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Discrimination
The unequal treatment of members of various groups based on race, gender, social class, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion, and other categories. (Racial Equity Tools)
Diversity
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 all-inclusive and recognizes everyone and every group as part of the diversity that should be valued. It includes race, ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, and physical appearance. (Racial Equity Tools)
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Empathy
The term “empathy” is used to describe a wide range of experiences. Emotion researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling. (Greater Good Magazine: What is Empathy?)

“Affective empathy” refers to the sensations and feelings we get in response to others’ emotions; this can include mirroring what that person is feeling, or just feeling stressed when we detect another’s fear or anxiety. (Greater Good Magazine: What is Empathy?

“Cognitive empathy,” sometimes called “perspective taking,” refers to our ability to identify and understand other people’s emotions. (Greater Good Magazine: What is Empathy?
Environmental Justice
The fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Service

Environmental Justice refers to those cultural norms and values, rules, regulations, behaviors, policies, and decisions to support sustainability, where all people can hold with confidence that their community and natural environment is safe and productive. (Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice)  

Environmental Justice is realized when all people can realize their highest potential, without interruption by environmental racism or inequity. (Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice is supported by decent paying and secure jobs; quality schools and recreation; decent housing and adequate health care; democratic decision-making; and finally, personal empowerment. (Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice
Equity
Equity is the absence of unfair, avoidable or remediable differences among groups of people, whether those groups are defined socially, economically, demographically, or geographically or by other dimensions of inequality (e.g. sex, gender, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation). (World Health Organization

The fair treatment, access, opportunity and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that prevent the full participation of some groups. The principle of equity acknowledges that there are historically underserved and underrepresented populations and that fairness regarding these unbalanced conditions is necessary to provide equal opportunities to all groups. (University of Washington
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. (Racial Equity Tools

Examples of different ethnic groups are: Cape Verdean, Haitian, African American (Black); Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese (Asian); Cherokee, Mohawk, Navaho (Native American); Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican (Latino); Polish, Irish, and Swedish (White). (Racial Equity Tools

Additional resources: 
Racial Equity Tools: Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity 
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Groundwater
The Groundwater metaphor is designed to help practitioners at all levels internalize the reality that we live in a racially structured society, and that that is what causes racial inequity. (The Groundwater Approach)

The metaphor is based on three observations: racial inequity looks the same across systems, socio-economic difference does not explain the racial inequity; and, inequities are caused by systems, regardless of people’s culture or behavior. (The Groundwater Approach
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Health Disparities
A particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage. Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater obstacles to health based on their racial or ethnic group; religion; socioeconomic status; gender; age; mental health; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; sexual orientation or gender identity; geographic location; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion. (Healthy People 2020)

If a health outcome is seen to a greater or lesser extent between populations, there is disparity. Race or ethnicity, sex, sexual identity, age, disability, socioeconomic status, and geographic location all contribute to an individual’s ability to achieve good health. It is important to recognize the impact that social determinants have on health outcomes of specific populations. (Healthy People 2020
Homophobia
Personal homophobia is experienced as feelings of fear, discomfort, dislike, hatred, or disgust with same‐sex sexuality; Interpersonal homophobia is individual behavior based on personal homophobia. This hatred or dislike may be expressed by name‐calling, telling “jokes,” verbal and physical harassment, and other individual acts of discrimination; Institutional homophobia refers to the many ways in which government, businesses, churches, and other institutions and organizations discriminate against people on the basis of sexual orientation; Cultural homophobia refers to social standards and norms which dictate that being heterosexual is better or more moral than being LGBTQ, and that everyone is or should be heterosexual. (LGBT Resource Center, University of Houston)
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Identity
Identity is a pervasive concept in popular culture. Broadly speaking, identity refers to the overall character or personality of an individual or group. (Identity)

For example, a young mother might define her identity as that which reflects the essence of who she is (such as being a woman, spouse, and parent) and how she got to be that way. A business can have its own identity, perhaps defined by its unique corporate culture or its advertising history. Significant historical events like wars, natural disasters, or surges in immigration can play important roles in helping to define a nation’s identity. (Identity
Implicit Bias
Negative associations that people unknowingly hold. They are expressed automatically, without conscious awareness. Many studies have indicated that implicit biases affect individuals’ attitudes and actions, thus creating real-world implications, even though individuals may not even be aware that those biases exist within themselves. (Racial Equity Tools)

Additional resources: 
Racial Equity Tools: Implicit Bias 
Indentured servitude
It was a form of debt bondage, meaning it was an agreed upon term of unpaid labor that usually paid off the costs of the servant’s immigration to America. Indentured servants were not paid wages, but they were generally housed, clothed, and fed. (Slavery and Servitude)  

Indentured servitude was enormously common in colonial America. In the 17th century, nearly two thirds of British settlers were indentured servants while eighty percent of European immigrants to America were “redemptioners” (immigrants who needed to indenture themselves to pay for their immigration upon arrival to the colonies, rather than ones who worked out their contracts prior to departure). Most redemptioners came from Britain or Germany and were imported to Philadelphia. The majority were young, under twenty, and died before their contracts were up due to the rough conditions of travel and colonial life. (Slavery and Servitude)  
Indigeneity
Indigenous populations are composed of the existing descendants of the peoples who inhabited the present territory of a country wholly or partially at the time when persons of a different culture or ethnic origin arrived there from other parts of the world, overcame them and, by conquest, settlement, or other means, reduced them to a non-dominant or colonial condition; who today live more in conformity with their particular social, economic, and cultural customs and traditions than with the institutions of the country of which they now form part, under a State structure which incorporates mainly national, social, and cultural characteristics of other segments of the population which are predominant. (Racial Equity Tools

Examples: Maori in territory now defined as New Zealand; Mexicans in territory now defined as Texas, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklahoma; Native American tribes in territory now defined as the United States). (Racial Equity Tools

Additional resources: 
Racial Equity Tools: Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity 
Individual Racism
The beliefs, attitudes, and actions of individuals that support or perpetuate racism. Individual racism can be deliberate, or the individual may act to perpetuate or support racism without knowing that is what he or she is doing. (Racial Equity Tools

Examples include :
Telling a racist joke, using a racial epithet, or believing in the inherent superiority of whites over other groups. (Racial Equity Tools)

 Avoiding people of color whom you do not know personally, but not whites whom you do not know personally (e.g., white people crossing the street to avoid a group of Latinx young people; locking their doors when they see African American families sitting on their doorsteps in a city neighborhood; or not hiring a person of color because “something doesn’t feel right”). (Racial Equity Tools)

Accepting things as they are (a form of collusion). (Racial Equity Tools
Inequity
Unfair and indefensible, a result of human failure, giving rise to avoidable deaths and disease. Social justice in this case is literally a matter of life and death. Inequity is often measured in terms of the inequality of health or resources, which is appropriate where one might reasonably expect equality. (Global Health Europe

There is no reason for differences in access to health resources between men and women within a country other than cultural prejudice and or a failure of governance, basic health services should be available to all citizens within a community according to need. (Global Health Europe
Institutional Racism
The ways in which institutional policies and practices create different outcomes for different racial groups. The institutional policies may never mention any racial group, but their effect is to create advantages for whites and oppression and disadvantage for people from groups classified as people of color. (Racial Equity Tools

Examples include 
– Government policies that explicitly restricted the ability of people to get loans to buy or improve their homes in neighborhoods with high concentrations of African Americans (also known as “red-lining”). (Racial Equity Tools)
– City sanitation department policies that concentrate trash transfer stations and other environmental hazards disproportionately in communities of color. (Racial Equity Tools

Additional tools 
Racial Equity Tools: Racism 
Internalized Racism
The situation that occurs in a racist system when a racial group oppressed by racism supports the supremacy and dominance of the dominating group by maintaining or participating in the set of attitudes, behaviors, social structures, and ideologies that undergird the dominating group’s power. It involves four essential and interconnected elements: 

Decision-making – Due to racism, people of color do not have the ultimate decision-making power over the decisions that control our lives and resources. As a result, on a personal level, people may think white people know more about what needs to be done than we do. On an interpersonal level, people may not support each other’s authority and power – especially if it is in opposition to the dominating racial group. Structurally, there is a system in place that rewards people of color who support white supremacy and power and coerces or punishes those who do not. 

Resources – Resources, broadly defined (e.g., money, time, etc.), are unequally in the hands and under the control of white people. Internalized racism is the system in place that makes it difficult for people of color to get access to resources for our own communities and to control the resources of our community.  

Standards – With internalized racism, the standards for what is appropriate or “normal” that people of color accept are white people’s or Eurocentric standards.  

Naming the problem – There is a system in place that misnames the problem of racism as a problem of or caused by people of color and blames the disease – emotional, economic, political, etc. – on people of color. (Racial Equity Tools

Additional resources: 
Racial Equity Tools: Internalized Racism 
Internment Camps
Either (1) a prison camp for the confinement of prisoners of war, enemy aliens, political prisoners, etc. or (2) a concentration camp for civilian citizens, especially those with ties to an enemy during war (Dictionary

The United States government forced thousands of Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II after the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941 out of suspicions of them being espionage or saboteurs- an unjustified idea. This policy was a culmination of the government’s long history of racism and discrimination against Asian immigrants. (Brittanica
Interpersonal Racism
Occurs between individuals. Once we bring our private beliefs into our interaction with others, racism is now in the interpersonal realm. (Racial Equity Tools

Examples include public expressions of racial prejudice, hate, bias, and bigotry between individuals (Racial Equity Tools

Additional tools 
Racial Equity Tools: Racism 
Intersectionality
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 individuals’ lives, in society, in social systems, and are mutually constitutive. It looks at the way that racism, many times, interacts with patriarchy, heterosexism, classism, xenophobia — seeing that the overlapping vulnerabilities created by these systems actually create specific kinds of challenges. These distinct problems create challenges for movements that are only organized around these problems as separate and individual. So when racial justice doesn’t have a critique of patriarchy and homophobia, the particular way that racism is experienced and exacerbated by heterosexism, classism etc., falls outside of our political organizing. It means that significant numbers of people in our communities aren’t being served by social justice frames because they don’t address the ways that they’re experiencing discrimination. (Racial Equity Tools

Additional resources: 
Racial Equity Tools: Intersectionality 
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LGBTQ
LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (or queer). There are many labels that describe who you’re attracted to romantically and sexually. Maybe you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about your sexual orientation. Or maybe you haven’t given it much thought. Either way, sexual orientation is just one part of who you are. (Planned Parenthood

Sometimes sexual orientation changes over time. And sometimes it stays the same throughout your life. But sexual orientation isn’t a choice, and can’t be changed by therapy, treatment, or pressure from family or friends. You also can’t “turn” a person gay. For example, a girl who plays with toys traditionally made for boys isn’t going to become a lesbian because of that. (Planned Parenthood

Sexual orientation can feel incredibly simple — you’re a girl who’s always liked both guys and girls and you identify as bisexual — or it can feel way more complex. It may take several years to understand your sexual orientation or come out. Some people call themselves questioning, which means they aren’t sure about their sexual orientation or gender identity. (Planned Parenthood
Land Grab
Capturing or control of relatively vast tracts of land and other natural resources through a variety of mechanisms and forms that involves large-scale capital that often shifts sources use orientation into extractive character, whether for international or domestic purposes, as capital’s response to the convergence of food, energy and financial crises, climate change mitigation imperatives, and demands for resources from newer hubs of global capital. (FIAN International

Some examples of land grabs: Large purchases of land for monocropping of biofuel production in foreign countries, “offsetting” of carbon emissions for corporations often means purchasing large swaths of land to “protect”—without considering those who live on it, development of hydropower in rural areas, infrastructure projects across indigenous lands. (Deep Dive: Land Grabs
Language Imperialism
The imposition of one language on speakers of other languages. It is also known as linguistic nationalism, linguistic dominance, and language imperialism. In our time, the global expansion of English has often been cited as the primary example of linguistic imperialism. (The Meaning of Linguistic Imperialism and How It Can Affect Society

To speak a certain language is to essentially identify with a culture, to assume it as one’s own and experience a felt unity in a group. The forceful imposition of colonial language on the colonized is not simply a matter of easy communication and convenience, it is to impose upon a group, the task of supporting the weight of a culture which refuses to recognize them as human. To completely erase and prohibit languages are not merely decisions of efficiency, they are strategic. (Linguistic Imperialism: Colonial Violence through Language

The colonist has violently inserted himself in another culture and space, relentlessly having invaded every aspect of their existence, fundamentally having changed their sense of self and understanding of their being and their existence. These anxieties can never be addressed for they can never make it out into language, at least one which would do them justice. The colonist’s way of running the world becomes the only way they have seen, the colonist’s language becomes the only one known to the colonized, the only way they know to communicate. (Linguistic Imperialism: Colonial Violence through Language
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Macroaggression
An act of racism towards everyone of a race, gender or group. An example of a macroaggression would be individuals spreading misinformation about COVID-19 and placing blame on Asia. (Defining Racial Justice Terms: Microagression vs Macroagression)
Marginalization
Social process by which individuals or groups are (intentionally or unintentionally) distanced from access to power and resources and constructed as insignificant, peripheral, or less valuable/privileged to a community or “mainstream” society. (Racial Equity Tools)

Examples of marginalized groups include, but are by no means limited to, groups excluded due to race, religion, political or cultural group, age, gender, or financial status. (Racial Equity Tools
Microaggression
The everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership. (Racial Equity Tools
Model Minority
Term created by sociologist William Peterson to describe the Japanese community, whom he saw as being able to overcome oppression because of their cultural values. While individuals employing the Model Minority trope may think they are being complimentary, in fact the term is related to colorism and its root, anti-Blackness. The model minority myth creates an understanding of ethnic groups, including Asian Americans, as a monolith, or as a mass whose parts cannot be distinguished from each other. The model minority myth can be understood as a tool that white supremacy uses to pit people of color against each other in order to protect its status. (Racial Equity Tools
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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. (Racial Equity Tools

Exists when the following 4 conditions are found: (Racial Equity Tools
– The oppressor group has the power to define reality for themselves and others, 
– The target groups take in and internalize the negative messages about them and end up cooperating with the oppressors (thinking and acting like them), 
– Genocide, harassment, and discrimination are systematic and institutionalized, so that individuals are not necessary to keep it going, and 
– Members of both the oppressor and target groups are socialized to play their roles as normal and correct. 

Oppression = Power + Prejudice (Racial Equity Tools
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Population Health
Health outcome of a group of individuals including the distribution of such outcomes within a group (Levels of HRSN & SDH Integration Framework)
Positionality
Refers to how differences in social position and power shape identities and access in society. In acknowledging positionality, we also acknowledge intersecting social locations and complex power dynamics. (The University of British Columbia: Positionality and Intersectionality)  

Positionality can also be described as a methodology that “requires researchers to identify their own degrees of privilege through factors of race, class, educational attainment, income, ability, gender, and citizenship, among others” for the purpose of analyzing and acting from one’s social position “in an unjust world.” (The University of British Columbia: Positionality and Intersectionality
Power
As the ability to influence others and impose one’s beliefs. All power is relational, and the different relationships either reinforce or disrupt one another. The importance of the concept of power to anti-racism is clear: racism cannot be understood without understanding that power is not only an individual relationship but a cultural one, and that power relationships are shifting constantly. Power can be used malignantly and intentionally, but need not be, and individuals within a culture may benefit from power of which they are unaware. (Racial Equity Tools

Power is unequally distributed globally and in U.S. society; some individuals or groups wield greater power than others, thereby allowing them greater access and control over resources. Wealth, whiteness, citizenship, patriarchy, heterosexism, and education are a few key social mechanisms through which power operates. Although power is often conceptualized as power over other individuals or groups, other variations are power with (used in the context of building collective strength) and power within (which references an individual’s internal strength). (Racial Equity Tools

Personal Power – 1. Self-determination. 2. Power that an individual possesses or builds in their personal life and interpersonal relationships. (Racial Equity Tools

Social Power – 1. Communal self-determination. 2. A grassroots collective organization of personal power. 3. Power that social groups possess or build among themselves to determine and shape their collective lives. (Racial Equity Tools

Institutional Power – 1. Power to create and shape the rules, policies, and actions of an institution. 2. To have institutional power is to be a decision maker or to have great influence upon a decision maker of an institution. (Racial Equity Tools

Structural Power – To have structural power is to create and shape the rules, policies, and actions that govern multiple and intersecting institutions or an industry. (Racial Equity Tools
Power Disparities
The differences in the concentration of power among group members. According to this definition, a group’s power disparity reaches its highest level when power is concentrated in the hands of one group member, whereas disparity is at a minimum when power is distributed equally. (When Power Disparity Hurt or Help Group Performance

High power disparity is detrimental because differences and inequities in the amount of power held by different group members can encourage political and competitive behaviors, as members attempt to move up the ranks and/or protect their valued position in the group hierarchy. (When Power Disparity Hurt or Help Group Performance
Prejudice
A pre-judgment or unjustifiable, and usually negative, attitude of one type of individual or group 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. (Racial Equity Tools)
Privilege
Unearned social power accorded by the formal and informal institutions of society to ALL members of a dominant group (e.g., white privilege, male privilege, etc.). Privilege is usually invisible to those who have it because we’re taught not to see it, but nevertheless it puts them at an advantage over those who do not have it. (Racial Equity Tools

Unearned social power accorded by the formal and informal institutions of society to ALL members of a dominant group (e.g. white privilege, male privilege, etc.). Privilege is usually invisible to those who have it because we’re taught not to see it, but nevertheless it puts them at an advantage over those who do not have it. (Racial Equity Tools

Privilege describes benefits that belong to people because they fit into a specific social group or have certain dimensions to their identity. You can have (or lack) privilege because of your race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, wealth, and class, among many other characteristics. (Hive Learning: 5 Main Types of Privilege
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Race
Racial categorization schemes were invented by scientists to support worldviews that viewed some groups of people as superior and some as inferior. Three important concepts linked to this fact: 

Race is a made-up social construct, and not an actual biological fact 

Race designations have changed over time. Some groups that are considered “white “in the United States today were considered “non-white” in previous eras, in U.S. Census data and in mass media and popular culture (for example, Irish, Italian, and Jewish people). (Racial Equity Tools

The way in which racial categorizations are enforced (the shape of racism) has also changed over time. For example, the racial designation of Asian American and Pacific Islander changed four times in the 19th century. That is, they were defined at times as white and at other times as not white. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, as designated groups, have been used by whites at different times in history to compete with African American labor. (Racial Equity Tools

Additional resources: 
Racial Equity Tools: Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity 
Racial Equity
The condition that would be achieved if one’s racial identity no longer predicted, in a statistical sense, how one fares. When we use the term, we are thinking about racial equity as one part of racial justice, and thus we also include work to address root causes of inequities, not just their manifestation. This includes elimination of policies, practices, attitudes, and cultural messages that reinforce differential outcomes by race or that fail to eliminate them. (Racial Equity Tools

Additional resources: 
Racial Equity Tools: Racial Equity 
Racial Healing
To restore to health or soundness; to repair or set right; to restore to spiritual wholeness. (Racial Equity Tools

Additional resources: 
Racial Equity Tools: Addressing Trauma and Healing 
Racial Equity Tools: Trauma, Violence, and Healing 
Racial Inequity
When two or more racial groups are not standing on approximately equal footing, such as the percentages of each ethnic group in terms of dropout rates, single family home ownership, access to healthcare, etc. (Racial Equity Tools)
Racial Justice
Systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all. Racial justice—or racial equity—goes beyond “anti-racism.” It is not just the absence of discrimination and inequities, but also the presence of deliberate systems and supports to achieve and sustain racial equity through proactive and preventative measures. (Racial Equity Tools

Operationalizing racial justice includes:  
– Understanding the history of racism and the system of white supremacy and addressing past harms (Racial Equity Tools
– Working in right relationship and accountability in an ecosystem (an issue, sector, or community ecosystem) for collective change (Racial Equity Tools
– Implementing interventions that use an intersectional analysis and that impact multiple systems (Racial Equity Tools
– Centering Blackness and building community, cultural, economic, and political power of -Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) (Racial Equity Tools
– Applying the practice of love along with disruption and resistance to the status quo. (Racial Equity Tools
Racism
Different from racial prejudice, hatred, or discrimination. Racism involves one group having the power to carry out systematic discrimination through the institutional policies and practices of the society and by shaping the cultural beliefs and values that support those racist policies and practices. (Racial Equity Tools

Racism = race prejudice + social and institutional power (Racial Equity Tools
Racism = a system of advantage based on race (Racial Equity Tools
Racism = a system of oppression based on race (Racial Equity Tools
Racism = a white supremacy system (Racial Equity Tools

Additional tools 
Racial Equity Tools: Racism 
Racist
One who is supporting a racist policy through their actions or interaction or expressing a racist idea. (Racial Equity Tools)
Racist Idea
A racist idea is any idea that suggests one racial group is inferior or superior to another racial group in any way. (Racial Equity Tools)
Racist Policies
Any measure that produces or sustains racial inequity between or among racial groups. Policies are written and unwritten laws, rules, procedures, processes, regulations, and guidelines that govern people. There is no such thing as a nonracist or race-neutral policy. Every policy in every institution in every community in every nation is producing or sustaining either racial inequity or equity between racial groups. (Racial Equity Tools

Additional resources: 
Racial Equity Tools: Laws and Policies 
Redlining
A process by which banks and other institutions refuse to offer mortgages or offer worse rates to customers in certain neighborhoods based on their racial and ethnic composition, is one of the clearest examples of institutionalized racism in the history of the United States. (ThoughtCo: The History of Redlining)
Restorative Justice
Theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by crime and conflict. It places decisions in the hands of those who have been most affected by a wrongdoing, and gives equal concern to the victim, the offender, and the surrounding community. Restorative responses are meant to repair harm, heal broken relationships, and address the underlying reasons for the offense. Crime and conflict generate opportunities to build community and increase grassroots power when restorative practices are employed. (Racial Equity Tools

Additional resources: 
Racial Equity Tools: Conflict Transformation and Restorative Justice 
Rural Prosperity
Rural communities that are economically prosperous on a high level of economic well-being, including in comparison to their prosperous non-rural counterparts. (Redefining Rural: What Rural Prosperity and the Geography of Newly Affluent Rural Communities Tells Us About Rural Development

Prosperity is not just about money and wealth. Other aspects such as health and family well-being, a minimum level of autonomy and social recognition, all play rather significant roles for rural families. (What is Rural Prosperity?

A prosperous rural community is characterized by having an intact cultural, economic, political and social life, where people have entrepreneurial opportunities and good access to services such as health and education. The existence of a strong sense of community among the people living in a rural area, and knowledge exchange among farmers, increases their confidence in being able to cope with change, adapt and innovate. (What is Rural Prosperity?
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Safe Space
A safe space is typically meant for marginalized populations to have a space that is conducive to their physical well-being. It can also be used to voice common narratives throughout the group. (NC State University: What is Safe Space?

The term safe space generally means “a place or environment in which a person or category of people can feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment or any other emotional or physical harm.” (NC State University: What is Safe Space?
Settle Colonialism
Colonization in which colonizing powers create permanent or long-term settlement on land owned and/or occupied by other peoples, often by force.This contrasts with colonialism where colonizers focus only on extracting resources back to their countries of origin, for example. (Racial Equity Tools

Typically includes oppressive governance, dismantling of indigenous cultural forms, and enforcement of codes of superiority (such as white supremacy). (Racial Equity Tools

Examples include white European occupations of land in what is now the United States, Spain’s settlements throughout Latin America, and the Apartheid government established by White Europeans in South Africa. (Racial Equity Tools

Additional resources: 
Racial Equity Tools: Diaspora and Colonization 
Sexism
Sexism is linked to power in that those with power are typically treated with favor and those without power are typically discriminated against. Sexism is also related to stereotypes since discriminatory actions or attitudes are frequently based on false beliefs or generalizations about gender, and on considering gender as relevant where it is not. Sexism is linked to beliefs around the fundamental nature of women and men and the roles they should play in society. Sexist assumptions about women and men, which manifest themselves as gender stereotypes, can rank one gender as superior to another. Such hierarchical thinking can be conscious and hostile, or it can be unconscious, manifesting itself as unconscious bias. (European Institute for Gender Equality)
Social Determinants of Health (SDoH)
Underlying community-wide social, economic, and physical conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age (Levels of HRSN & SDH Integration Framework

Shape individual material, and psychosocial circumstances, as well as biologic and behavioral factors (Levels of HRSN & SDH Integration Framework
Social Justice
Social, economic, and democratic fairness and equality. All people can participate fully in society; have equal access to resources, public goods, and life opportunities. All people are free from discrimination on the basis of race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and other factors. (Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative

A local department can address its own policies and practices that contribute to unfair social and environmental conditions as well as challenging other institutions to do the same. Local health departments can also prepare and share data that demonstrate unfairness in exposures and opportunities, which builds the case for needed change. They can also build the ability of the affected group to challenge unfair institutional policies and practices. (Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative

Social justice may be broadly understood as the fair and compassionate distribution of the fruits of economic growth; however, it is necessary to attach some important qualifiers to this statement. Currently, maximizing growth appears to be the primary objective, but it is also essential to ensure that growth is sustainable, that the integrity of the natural environment is respected, that the use of non-renewable resources is rationalized, and that future generations are able to enjoy a beautiful and hospitable earth. (Social Justice in an Open World: The Role of the United Nations
Social Oppression
Oppression that is achieved through social means and that is social in scope—it affects whole categories of people. This kind of oppression includes systematic mistreatment, exploitation, and abuse of a group (or groups) of people by another group (or groups). It occurs whenever one group holds power over another in society through the control of social institutions, along with society’s laws, customs, and norms. The outcome of social oppression is that groups in society are sorted into different positions within the social hierarchies of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability. Those in the controlling, or dominant group, benefit from the oppression of other groups through heightened privileges relative to others, greater access to rights and resources, a better quality of life, and overall greater life chances. Those who experience the brunt of oppression have fewer rights, less access to resources, less political power, lower economic potential, worse health and higher mortality rates, and lower overall life chances. (Racial Equity Tools)
Structural Racism
The normalization and legitimization of an array of dynamics – historical, cultural, institutional, and interpersonal – that routinely advantage Whites while producing cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for people of color. Structural racism encompasses the entire system of White domination, diffused and infused in all aspects of society including its history, culture, politics, economics, and entire social fabric. (Racial Equity Tools

Examples: we can see structural racism in the many institutional, cultural, and structural factors that contribute to lower life expectancy for African American and Native American men, compared to white men. These include higher exposure to environmental toxins, dangerous jobs and unhealthy housing stock, higher exposure to and more lethal consequences for reacting to violence, stress, and racism, lower rates of health care coverage, access, and quality of care, and systematic refusal by the nation to fix these things. (Racial Equity Tools

Additional resources: 
Racial Equity Tools: Structural Racism 
Structural Violence
Social forces that harm certain groups of people, producing and perpetuating inequality in health and well-being. It includes social, economic, and political processes that manifest in both material and symbolic means of social exclusion. (Center for Health Equity Research Chicago

Structural violence refers to the multiple ways in which social, economic, and political systems expose particular populations to risks and vulnerabilities leading to increased morbidity and mortality. Those systems include income inequality, racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, sexism, ableism, and other means of social exclusion leading to vulnerabilities, such as poverty, stress, trauma, crime, incarceration, lack of access to care, healthy food, and physical activity. (Center for Health Equity Research Chicago
Structural determinants
The climate, socioeconomic-political context (e.g., societal norms, macroeconomics, social policies), and the structural mechanisms that shape social hierarchy and gradients (e.g., power, class, racism, sexism) (Levels of HRSN & SDH Integration Framework
Systems Thinking
An approach to problem solving that views “problems” as part of a wider, dynamic system. Systems thinking involves much more than a reaction to present outcomes or events. It demands a deeper understanding of the linkages, relationships, interactions and behaviors among the elements that characterize the entire system. (WHO: Systems Thinking on Health System Strengthening)  

Systems thinking approaches can also provide guidance on where to collect more data, or to raise new questions and hypotheses. The methods and tools help us to make explicit our assumptions, identify and test hypotheses, and calibrate our models against real data. (The application of systems thinking in health: why use systems thinking?
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Tokenism
Covert racism; gives those in power the appearance of being non-racist and even champions of diversity because they recruit and use POC as racialized props. (Racial Equity Tools

Examples:  
– Recruit POC to formal leadership positions but keep all the power. (Racial Equity Tools
– Only hire POC for POC “stuff.” (Racial Equity Tools
– Convene Special “Diversity Councils” but don’t build POC leadership on your main Board. (Racial Equity Tools
– Use POC as your mouthpiece and shield against other POC. (Racial Equity Tools
Transactional change
Reform or eliminate a single barrier within a structure to free groups to achieve the universal goal. Transactional change largely works within an existing set of institutional and structural arrangements. (Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley: Transactional versus Transformative Change

Transactional changes, for example, have provided vast improvements in the material living conditions for people who struggle the most, particularly people of color and the extremely poor. For example, removing unnecessary licensure requirements or criminal background checks that have a disparate impact can help people move toward the universal goal of securing income, food, or shelter. (Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley: Transactional versus Transformative Change
Transformative Change
Restructure the system itself rather than reform some relationship within the existing structure. Transformative changes are more fundamental changes in the structures and systems that shape group outcomes. Transformative changes can be more durable over time and have greater effects as the causes of problems are alleviated—not just their effects. (Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley: Transactional versus Transformative Change)
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Vulnerability
The inability to substantially protect oneself from potential harm, ‘the susceptibility to harm’ resulting from the interaction of risk factors and supports and resources available to individuals and groups, and the ‘progressive loss of wellbeing’ related to social and economic deprivation. (Vulnerability, Equity, and Universal Coverage

Vulnerability can also be defined as quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. In one sense, vulnerability is characteristic of the human condition. (Exploring the Concept of Vulnerability in Health Care)

Vulnerability could be considered a product of both internal factors (e.g., limited capacity to consent) and external factors (e.g., subordinate position). (Exploring the Concept of Vulnerability in Health Care
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White Fragility
State in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable [for white people], triggering a range of defensive moves. (Racial Equity Tools

Examples: the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. (Racial Equity Tools

Additional resources: 
Racial Equity Tools: System of White Supremacy and White Privilege 
White supremacy
A historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations, and peoples of color by white peoples and nations of the European continent for the purpose of maintaining and defending a system of wealth, power, and privilege. (Racial Equity Tools

While most people associate white supremacy with extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazis, white supremacy is ever present in our institutional and cultural assumptions that assign value, morality, goodness, and humanity to the white group while casting people and communities of color as worthless (worth less), immoral, bad, and inhuman and “undeserving.” (Racial Equity Tools

Additional resources: 
Racial Equity Tools: System of White Supremacy and White Privilege 
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Xenophobia
Any attitude, behavior, practice, or policy that explicitly or implicitly reflects the belief that immigrants are inferior to the dominant group of people. Xenophobia is reflected in interpersonal, institutional, and systemic levels oppression and is a function of White supremacy. (Racial Equity Tools
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