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Common Academic ProgramDiversity & Social Justice
Component Resources

CAP DSJ Resources

Concepts & Definitions

Diversity

The term "diversity" points to the presence and participation of people who differ across multiple dimensions of real and socially constructed expressions of human identity and experience. Presence and participation also incorporate thoughts, customs, perspectives, practices, methods of problem solving, and ways of negotiating the environment that enrich the educational process.

Source: ODI Website

 

Diversity is the presence, recognition and engagement of people of social, political and organizational identities from the wide range of human experiences, and the complex ways these identities intersect and are expressed.

Source: Diversity Report 

 

Equity

Within the context of higher education, the creation of opportunities for historically underrepresented and underserved populations to have equal access and equitable outcomes through educational programs that are capable of closing the gaps in student achievement. This would include increasing faculty, staff and administrator’s capacity to teach, work and lead in ways that are informed by and responds to the diverse cultural composition of campus spaces of learning, working, and living. A commitment to respect and provide equitable treatment for all members of our community, especially those from historically underrepresented and underserved communities.

Source: ODI Website

 

A focus on ensuring equal access, participation, opportunity, and success for all students with regard to their education as well as for employees in professional growth opportunities and knowledge and resource networks. 

Source: Halualani & Associated Diversity Map

 

Equity names a process of modifying structures and practices that have intentionally or unintentionally advantaged or disadvantaged groups of people; it is a process that responds to unjust structural outcomes to create laws, policies, practices and traditions that support just outcomes for all. 

Source: Diversity Report 

 

Inclusion

The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity – in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, spiritual, social, cultural, geographical, etc.) with which individuals might connect – in ways that increase awareness, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions. To actively demonstrate an attitude that recognizes the value and contributions of all members of the campus community.

Source: ODI Website

 

A commitment to promote, include, and embrace historically disadvantaged groups through the campus roadways (via recruitment, outreach, hiring activities, structures of belonging) and towards success.

Source: Halualani & Associated Diversity Map

 

Inclusion is a process and practice of active, intentional and sustained engagement of each person in the community that values and respects their perspectives, multiple identities, experiences and contributions. 

Source: Diversity Report

 

Inclusive Excellence

The recognition that a college or university’s ability to successfully advance its mission is dependent on how fully it values, engages and includes the rich diversity of students, staff, faculty, administrators, trustees, alumni, institutional partners and guests. Operationalizing Inclusive Excellence leads to infusing diversity into the institution’s recruiting, admissions, hiring and promotion processes; into its curriculum and co-curriculum, and into its administrative structures and practices. Inclusive Excellence requires a fundamental transformation of the institution calling for it to embrace and implement means for the comprehensive, cohesive, coherent and collaborative amalgamation of diversity and inclusion into the university’s understanding and pursuit of excellence.

Source: ODI Website

 

Inclusive Excellence recognizes that diversity, equity and inclusion are fundamental to academic and institutional excellence. Inclusive excellence requires a comprehensive, cohesive and collaborative alignment of infrastructure, resources and actions.

Source: Diversity Report

 

Intersectionality

Intersectionality is a framework for conceptualizing interlocking oppressions based on the interconnected nature of historically and systemically oppressed, underrepresented and underserved groups. As identities do not exist independently of each other, intersectionality makes the complex convergence of overlapping and interdependent systems of privilege and oppression visible. 

Source: Diversity Report

 

Privilege

Privilege names the advantages, favors and benefits conferred on members of dominant groups at the expense of members of marginalized, underrepresented or underserved groups. It operates and conveys power on personal, interpersonal, cultural and institutional levels. The scope and depth are largely invisible to those who have it. 

Source: Diversity Report

 

Social Justice

Social Justice is the work to eliminate historic and systemic oppression and to build systems and cultures of human dignity where rights, accountability, equity, inclusion and access to the common good create conditions for people and communities to realize their full potential. 

Source: Diversity Report

 

Implicit Bias

Social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness. Everyone holds unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups, and these biases stem from one’s tendency to organize social worlds by categorizing in our minds. 

Source: UDiversity Online Module

 

Microaggression

Everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to individuals based solely upon their marginalized group membership.

Source: UDiversity Online Module

 

Stereotypes

Overgeneralized beliefs, attitudes, traits, and behaviors that we use to characterize all members of a group. A stereotype characterizes all members of an identity group. Stereotypes can lead to unconscious bias and microaggressions.  They can be classified as ‘negative’ or ‘bad’ or as ‘positive’ or ‘good’.  Both positive and negative stereotypes create standards that can be have negative impacts on members of the identity group.

Source: UDiversity Online Module

 

Intercultural Competence

Intergroup/Intercultural Competency is the process of listening, learning and reflecting to develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and commitments to engage across diverse groups in open, effective and socially responsible ways. 

Source: UDiversity Online Module

 

Cisgender

An identity label used to refer who someone whose gender identity or expression matches the sex they were assigned at birth.

Source: Women's Center Website

 

Cisgender Privilege

The benefits and access to resources one receives from society by virtue of being gender conforming and/or by virtue of having our gender validated by the dominant culture.

Source: Women's Center Website

 

Gender

The social construction of masculinity and femininity in a specific culture. Gender is often assigned dichotomously at birth to match biological sex (male or female), and this determines the gender role in which a young person may be socialized to uphold.

Source: Women's Center Website

 

Gender Attribution

Process by which members of a culture (or a society) assign(s) or ascribe(s) a gender and/or sex onto a person, usually without knowing concretely what sex that person is or what gender they identify as. Gender attribution may affect how individuals treat, respond to, or interact with that individual, and may result in the misuse or pronouns or other behaviors that may be harmful or offensive to an individual.

Source: Women's Center Website

 

Gender Expression

A term which refers to the ways in which we each manifest masculinity or femininity. It is usually an extension of our gender identity, our innate sense of being male, female, etc. Each of us expresses a particular gender every day by the way we style our hair, select our clothing, or even the way we stand. Our appearance, speech, behavior, movement, and other factors signal that we feel and wish to be understood as masculine or feminine, or as a man or a woman.

Source: Women's Center Website

 

Gender Identity

The sense of being male, female, genderqueer, agender, etc. For some people, gender identity is in accord with physical anatomy. For transgender people, gender identity may differ from physical anatomy or expected social roles. It is important to note that gender identity, biological sex, and sexual orientation are separate and that you cannot assume how someone identifies in one category based on how they identify in another category.

Source: Women's Center Website

 

Gender Neutral Language

Language which does not use one gender to represent all people.

Source: Women's Center Website

 

Gender Neutral Pronouns

Pronouns which do not signal femaleness or maleness are preferred by some transgender people. For example, they and them could replace she/he and her/him or hers/his, respectively.

Source: Women's Center Website

 

Gender Non-Conforming

A person who is or is perceived to have gender characteristics and/or behaviors that do not conform to traditional or societal expectations.

Source: Women's Center Website

 

Gender Normative

A person who by nature or by choice conforms to gender based expectations of society.

Source: Women's Center Website

 

Gender Role

This is the set of roles, activities, expectations and behaviors assigned to females and males by society. Our culture recognizes two basic gender roles; Masculine (having the qualities attributed to males) and feminine (having the qualities attributed to females).

Source: Women's Center Website

 

Genderqueer

A term which refers to individuals or groups who queer or problematize the hegemonic notions of sex, gender and desire in a given society. Genderqueer people possess identities which fall outside of the widely accepted sexual binary (i.e. "men" and "women"). Genderqueer may also refer to people who identify as both transgendered AND queer, i.e. individuals who challenge both gender and sexuality regimes and see gender identity and sexual orientation as overlapping and interconnected.

Source: Women's Center Website

 

Gender Variant

A person who does not conform to gender-based expectations of society.

Source: Women's Center Website

 

Sex

A medical term designating a certain combination of gonads, chromosomes, external gender organs, secondary sex characteristics and hormonal balances. Because usually subdivided into male and female, this category does not recognize the existence of intersexed bodies.

Source: Women's Center Website

 

Sexual Identity

How a person identifies physically; female, male, in between, beyond, or neither.

Source: Women's Center Website

 

Transgender

An umbrella term used to describe people whose gender expression is nonconforming and/or whose gender identity is different from their assigned gender at birth.

Source: Women's Center Website

 

Transition

Refers to the complex process of altering one’s gender, which may include some, all or none of the following; changing name and/or sex on legal documents; hormone therapy; and chest, facial and/or genital alteration.

Source: Women's Center Website

 

Transsexual

A person who intent is to live as a gender other than that assigned at birth. Many individuals who identify as transsexual engage in some process of altering either primary or secondary sexual characteristics through hormone treatment, surgery, or both.

Source: Women's Center Website