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Glossary of Diversity Terms

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

At Quinsigamond Community College, diversity, equity, and inclusion represent a commitment to changing institutional power structures, policies and practices that create systematic advantages for some and disadvantages for others.


Diversity refers to individual and group/social differences.  These include, but are not limited to, psychological, physical, and social differences that occur among any and all individuals, such as race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, economic class, age, gender, sexual orientation, mental and physical ability. A diverse group, community or organization is one in which a variety of social and cultural characteristics exist.


Equity is the practice of ensuring that personal or social circumstances, such as protected class or intersecting identities, are not obstacles to achieving one’s potential.  Equity is the process an organization engages in to ensure that workplace culture, policies and procedures acknowledge that not all members are afforded the same resources, treatment, and opportunities, and by which the organization works to remedy inequities. 


Inclusion is an active and ongoing process of intentional engagement with all members of our campus and community to increase respect, knowledge, and empathic understanding.

Pronoun Information

For information and resources relative to the inclusive use of pronouns for all, please access the pronoun guide offered by GLSEN here.  


Ableism (n.): Discrimination against persons with mental and/or physical disabilities and/or social structures that favor able‐bodied individuals.

Achievement Gap (n.): A term used to describe a persistent trend in the U.S. educational system in which white students achieve greater academic success than students of color. This term can also refer to the gap between girls’ and boys’ academic achievement.

Acculturation (n.): The process of learning and incorporating the language, values, beliefs, and behaviors that make up a distinct culture. This concept is not to be confused with assimilation, where an individual, family, or group may give up certain aspects of its culture in order to adapt to that of their new host country.

Affinity Group (n): Also known as employee networks, or employee‐resource groups, affinity groups are groups of people who share a common interest. These entities can support organizational and business objectives by serving as liaisons between a company and the community.

Affirmative Action (n): Proactive measures for remedying the effect of past discrimination and ensuring the implementation of equal employment and educational opportunities. Affirmative action is undertaken only for certain protected groups of individuals: Females, blacks, Latinos/Hispanics, Asians, American Indians, people with disabilities, and covered veterans.

African American (n): Of or related to African Americans. The U.S. Census Bureau defines black or African American as “people having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. It includes people who indicated their race or races as ‘black, African American, or Negro’ or wrote in entries such as ‘African American,’ ‘Afro American,’ ‘Nigerian,’ or ‘Haitian.’ According to Census 2000, African Americans make up approximately 12.3% of the total U.S. population, and 12.9% including persons of mixed race.

Ageism (n): Discrimination against individuals because of their age; often based on stereotypes (e.g. senior citizens are not able to perform tasks such as driving, or that all young people are irresponsible).

American Indian Movement (AIM) (n.): AIM was founded in 1968 by Dennis Banks, Clyde Bellecourt, and George Miller, three American Indian activists who brought together other

activists in their communities to combat issues such as police brutality, slum housing, high unemployment, the neglect of Indian education, discrimination and the government treatment of Indian affairs and relations. The Movement also focused on the importance of protecting treaty rights and preserving the spirituality and culture of Natives peoples.

Alaska Natives (n.): Aboriginal peoples of Alaska, including American Indians, Eskimo, and Aluet peoples. Eskimo people, also called Inuit, are racially distinct from American Indians and are more closely related to peoples of East Asia.

Alien (n.): The United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services define an alien as “any person not a citizen or national of the United States.” However, many people take offense at the use of this term because it places emphasis on difference. Preferable terms might be “immigrant” or “refugee,” and for those who have entered the United States illegally, “undocumented workers” as opposed to “illegal aliens.”

Amerasian (n.): A term that refers to individuals born in Asian countries whose biological father is a U.S. citizen. The Amerasian Act of 1982 granted permission to certain Amerasian individuals to immigrate to the United States. Those who qualified had to have been born in Cambodia, Korea, Laos, Thailand, or Vietnam after December 31, 1950, and fathered by a U.S. citizen. Family members such as children, spouses or parents, and guardians of the individual were also granted entry. Amerasian is not synonymous to Asian American or Eurasian.

American (n., adj.): Of or related to the Americas (North, Central, and South America). This term is commonly misused as a synonym for U.S. citizens and residents, as well as their values, beliefs, and behaviors.

American Indian (n., adj.): Of or related to American Indians. The U.S. Census Bureau defines “American Indians” as “people having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment. According to Census 2000, American Indians and Alaska Natives are approximately 0.9 percent of the total U.S. population, and 1.5% including persons of more than one race.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (n.): On July 26, 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed into law the most sweeping legislation in the history of disability rights, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), prohibiting discrimination against, and mandating equal opportunity for, persons with disabilities, in “state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.” The ADA defines a person with a disability as someone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, who has a record of such an impairment.

Anglo or Anglo‐Saxon (adj.): Of or related to the descendants of Germanic peoples (Angles, Saxons, and Jutes) who reigned in Britain until the Norman conquest in 1066. Often refers to white English‐speaking persons of European descent in England or North America, not of Hispanic or French origin.

Anti‐Semitism (n.): Hatred of or prejudice against Jews and Judaism. The Anti‐Defamation League divides anti‐Semitic incidents into two categories: “harassment, including threats and assaults directed at individuals and institutions; and vandalism, such as property damage, cemetery desecration or anti‐Semitic graffiti.”

Apartheid (n.): Institutional system of racial segregation and subjugation in which whites exercise political, economic, and legal discrimination on racial/ethnic minority groups. Although racial segregation had been enforced for decades prior, the official policy of apartheid was practiced in the Republic of South Africa from 1948 until 1994, when black South Africans were first given the opportunity to partake in a democratic vote, resulting in the election of Nelson Mandela, a social activist and political leader who had been imprisoned for 27 years.

Appreciative Inquiry (n.): Appreciative Inquiry is a way of thinking, seeing and acting for powerful, purposeful change. It operates on the assumptions that whatever one wants… already exists. Appreciative Inquiry generates images that affirm the forces that give life and energy.

Arab (n., adj.): Of or relating to the cultures or people that have ethnic roots in the following Arabic‐ speaking lands: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. “Arab” is not synonymous with “Muslim.” Arabs practice many religions, including Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and others.

Asian American: Of or related to Asian Americans. The U.S. Census Bureau defines “Asian” as “people having origins in any of the original peoples of Asia or the Indian subcontinent. It includes people who indicated their race or races as ‘Asian,’ ‘Indian,’ ‘Chinese,’ ‘Filipino,’ ‘Korean,’ ‘Japanese,’ ‘Vietnamese,’ or ‘Other Asian.’ Asian Americans are approximately 3.6 percent of the total U.S. population, and 4.2% including persons of mixed race.

Assimilation (n.): The process whereby an individual of a minority group gradually adopts characteristics of the majority culture. This adoption results in the loss of characteristics of one’s native culture, such as language, culinary tastes, interpersonal communication, gender roles, and style of dress. Some individuals of immigrant communities take offense to the notion that all immigrants should “assimilate” to U.S. culture, because it implies that they must give up some of who they are to become “Americans.” Instead, many immigrant communities assert the notion of biculturalism, which enables them to acculturate to the U.S. culture while maintaining characteristics of their native culture.

Asylum (n.): Protection sought in another country for fear of persecution in an individual’s race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group.


Baby Boomers (n.): Term used to describe the generation born during the two decades following World War II, from the 1940’s through the ‘60’s, when the United States experienced a significant rise in birth rates.

Barrio (n.): The Spanish word for “neighborhood” that can also refer to a predominately Latino/Hispanic area of a neighborhood, city or town. In some contexts, “barrio” may refer to the inner‐city or street culture.

Bicultural (adj.): Of or related to an individual who possesses the languages, values, beliefs, and behaviors of two distinct racial or ethnic groups. Bicultural individuals may also be bilingual and/or biracial.

Bigotry (n.): Intolerance of cultures, religions, races, ethnicities, or political beliefs that differ from one’s own.

Bilingual (adj.): Of or related to proficiency in two distinct languages.

Biracial (adj.): Of or related to more than one race. Biracial individuals may choose to identify with only one race, especially if they find that they are readily accepted by one group than another. Historically, biracial individuals who had one black parent and one white parent were considered black and were not acknowledged by the white community.

Bisexual (n., adj.): The term “bisexual” is most often used to describe a person whose sexual orientation is to persons of either sex. This term can also be used to describe a person who has both reproductive organs, known as “hermaphrodites.”

Black (n., adj.): Of or related to persons having ethnic origins in the African continent; persons belonging to the African Diaspora. Some individuals have adopted the term to represent all people around the world who are not of white European descent, although this usage is not common. “Black” is often used interchangeably with “African American” in the United States.

Bobo (n.): Bourgeois bohemian is a recent term used to refer to the upper‐middle and upper class sector of “Generation X” (children of the baby‐boomers). Bobos are characterized as a highly educated, politically active, environmentally responsible, art friendly, well‐traveled, and technology savvy group that has merged the pre‐1950’s concepts of “bourgeois” with a new 1990’s “bohemian.”

Brown (n., adj.): A term most often used to refer to people of Latino/Hispanic descent, or of the Latin American Diaspora (Mexico, Central and South America, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, as well as Latinos/Hispanics in the United States and Canada). Some individuals may use the word to refer to all people of color.


Caucasian (n., adj.): Of or related to the Caucasus region, a geographic area between the Black and Caspian seas; a former racial classification that included indigenous persons of Europe, northern Africa, western Asia, and India, characterized by light to brown skin and straight to wavy or curly hair. In the U.S., “Caucasian” is often used interchangeably with “white.”

Chicano/a (n.): A term adopted by some Mexican Americans to demonstrate pride in their heritage, born out of the national Chicano Movement that was politically aligned with the Civil Rights Movement to end racial oppression and social inequalities of Mexican Americans. Chicano pertains to the particular experience of Mexican‐descended individuals living in the United States. Not all Mexican Americans identify as Chicano.

Chicano Movement (n.): Mexican American individuals and organizations across the country united for the common purpose of increasing educational opportunities, workers rights for farm laborers, land allocation, and resources to Mexican American communities.

Christianity (n.): A religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, a Jew, born around 7 B.C. Jesus became known as a miracle worker who taught about the kingdom of God, loving God and one’s neighbor, and the importance of justice and repentance of sins. After his execution, he was believed to be Christ, the Messiah, and many claimed witness to his resurrection.

Civil Rights Movement (n.): The Civil Rights Movement (n.): The Civil Rights Movement is known as the events that took place between 1955 and 1965 when minority groups across the United States, primarily in the South, rose up against all forms of institutional racism that perpetuated political, economic, and educational disparities within their communities. It served as the catalyst for the restructuring of institutionalized policies and practices that had legally enforced racial segregation, subjugation, and discrimination.

Classism (n.): Biased attitudes and beliefs that result in, and help to justify, unfair treatment of individuals or groups because of their socioeconomic grouping. “Classism” can also be expressed as public policies and institutional practices that prevent people from breaking out of poverty rather than ensuring equal economic, social, and educational opportunity.

Colorblind (adj.): Term used to describe personal, group, and institutional policies or practices that do not consider race or ethnicity as a determining factor. The term “colorblind” de‐emphasizes, or ignores, race and ethnicity, a large part of one’s identity.

Cross‐Cultural (adj.): Relating to more than one culture. Often refers to practices that deal with more than one culture and incorporate the belief‐and value‐systems of the cultures involved.

Cultural Ally (n.): An individual who actively supports others who experience racism and/or discrimination.

Cultural Competence (n.): “A process of learning that leads to an ability to effectively respond to the challenges and opportunities posed by the presence of social cultural diversity in a defined social system.”

Culture of Poverty (n.): The concept that the conditions of poverty (e.g., unemployment, out‐of‐wedlock births, teen pregnancies, welfare dependency, etc.) creates within individuals and groups a socially pathological state of mind that perpetuates these same conditions and eventually increases the number of dependents on the state. A culture of poverty assumes that there is a social, pathological or cultural deficiency inherent to members of certain groups that make them prone to being poor which may make the phrase offensive.


Daily Indignity (n.): Refers to the experiences of individuals and groups brought about by behaviors of members of the majority or dominant culture who may willingly or inadvertently assert their unearned privilege or power in a manner that offends, discriminates against, or subjugates another individual.

Deportation (n.): Forced removal of an individual who is not a citizen of the United States when that individual has been found to violate immigration law.

Discrimination (n.): Unfavorable or unfair treatment towards an individual or group based on their race, sex, color, religion, national origin, age, physical/mental abilities, or sexual orientation.

Diversity Council (n.): An internal organizational structure whose purpose is to support and direct an organization’s diversity initiative. A diversity council can be made up of individuals who represent a cross section of the community or organization involved and are committed to the initiative. Also, instrumental in building support for a diversity initiative and implementing it successfully.


Emigrant (n.): A person who voluntarily and or legally migrates from one country to another. Emigrant and emigration refer to the country from which the migration is made. An Irishman who migrates to the U.S. is an emigrant of Ireland and an immigrant to the U.S.

ESL (n.): (E)nglish as a (S)econd (L)anguage. A term used to describe language learning programs in the U.S. for individuals for whom English is not their first or native language.

Environmental Racism (n.): The concept that members of certain groups are deliberately located in less‐desirable geographic areas or that undesirable businesses, activities are deliberately located in range of or within neighborhoods of certain groups, particularly racial minorities and the urban poor.

Essentialism (n.): The practice of categorizing an entire group based on assumptions about what constitutes the “essence” of that group (e.g., assuming that women are better nurturers due to something that is innate in their being). Essentialism prevents individuals from remaining open to individual differences within groups.

Ethnic (adj.): Of or related to a particular race, nationality, language, religion or cultural heritage. “Ethnic” in the context of the U.S., has also come to represent concepts, characteristics or cultural values and norms that are not typical of persons of white/European ancestry.

Ethnocentrism (n.): The practice of using a particular ethnic group as a frame of reference, basis of judgment, or standard criteria from which to view the world. Ethnocentrism favors one ethnic group’s cultural norms and excludes the realities and experiences of other ethnic groups.

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) (n.): Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) prohibits employment discrimination based on an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Equity (n.): Fairness and justice, especially pertaining to rights and protection under the law.

Eurocentrism (n.): The practice of using Europe and European culture as a frame of reference or standard criteria from which to view the world. Eurocentrism favors European cultural norms and excludes the realities and experiences of other cultural groups.


Fanatic (n.): A person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause.

Feminism (n.): Theory and practice that advocates for educational and occupational equity between men and women and undermines traditional cultural practices that support the subjugation of women by men and the devaluation of women’s contributions to society.

FOB (n.): A derogatory term used to refer to recent immigrants to the U.S., meaning “fresh off the boat.”


Gay (n., adj.): A homosexual. This term was said to originate in Paris during the 1930’s and referred to the male homosexual underground community. The term was reclaimed during the Gay Liberation Movement as a source of pride. “Gay” is commonly used only to refer to homosexual men and not women.

Gay Bashing (v.): Term used to describe forms of harassment and hate crimes directed towards homosexuals, such as verbal and physical threats and assault and vandalism.

Gay Liberation Movement (n.): The Gay Liberation Movement is generally understood to have begun at the start of the 1969 Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village of New York City. The catalyst for the riots was a police raid of a gay bar on Christopher Street, near the Stonewall Inn. The patrons decided to fight back and were quickly joined by others who supported “Gay Power.” Word and wake of the riot rippled through the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) community and some individuals came together to form the Gay Liberation Front (GLF), which was politically aligned with gay rights and the anti‐imperialist struggle overseas.

Gender (n.): Sexual classification based on the social construction of the categories of “men” and “women.” Gender differs from one’s biological sex (male or female) in that one can assume a gender that is different from one’s biological sex.

Gender Identity (n.): A term used to describe “a person’s internal sense of being male or female.”

Gentrification (n.): The process whereby a given urban area or neighborhood undergoes a socioeconomic transition from a previously low‐income, working class neighborhood to a middle‐class or affluent neighborhood.

Ghetto (n., adj.): Part of a city inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group, often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures, or hardships.

Glass Ceiling (n.): Term used to describe the “unseen” barrier that prevents women and people of color from being hired or promoted beyond a certain level of responsibility, prestige, or seniority in the workplace.

GLBT (LGBT) (adj.): acronym for “Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender.”

Green Card (n.): Official documentation obtained by immigrants from the United States government that grants legal permission to work within the country.

Gringo (n., adj.): A derogatory term used in Latin American countries to refer to a foreigner, particularly one of (North) American or English descent.


Harassment (n.): Unwelcome, intimidating, or hostile behavior.

Hazing (v.): Verbal and physical testing, often of newcomers into a society or group, that may range from practical joking to tests of physical and mental endurance. This behavior is common among some U.S. fraternities and sororities.

Hispanic (n., adj.): The U.S. Census Bureau defines Hispanics as “those people who classified themselves in one of the specific Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino categories listed on the Census 2000 questionnaire (Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, or Cuban.

Homophobia (n.): A fear of individuals who are not heterosexual. Homophobia often results in people distancing themselves from and/or psychologically/physically harming people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered. The literal meaning of the word is “fear of same.”

Human Rights (n.): A set of inalienable rights, as declared by the thirty articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, that all human beings possess and are protected by law.


Identity Group (n.): A particular group, culture, or community with which an individual identifies or shares a sense of belonging.

Ideology (n.): The way in which a given society “talks and thinks about itself.” Ideology can also be thought of as a shared belief system in which the knowledge shared is considered unquestionable “common sense,” knowledge that seems “obvious and natural” regardless of societal reality.

Illegal Alien (n.): The official term used by the United States Federal Government to refer to citizens of foreign countries whose entry into the United States is prohibited by law, or those who reside in the United States without evidence of legal documentation where permission for entrance has been granted.

Immigrant (n.): A person who voluntarily and/or legally re‐locates to a country different from that in which he or she was born. Ex: An Irishman who migrates to the United States is an emigrant of Ireland and an immigrant to the U.S.

Inclusive Language (n.): Words or phrases that include both women and men if applicable. Inclusive language does not assume or connote the absence of women. Ex: Use of word “police officers instead of “policemen” or “humankind” instead of “mankind.”

Inuit (n. or adj.): Eskimo people who are distinct form American Indians and are more closely related to peoples of East Asia.


Jew (n.): A member of the people and cultural community whose traditional religion is Judaism and who trace their origins through the ancient Hebrew people of Israel to Abraham.


KKK (n.): The Ku Klux Klan was an organization originally founded in Pulaski, Tennessee in 1866 that functioned as a “secret society organized in the South after the Civil War to reassert white supremacy by means of terrorism.”


Linguistic Isolation (n.): May be used to describe the experience of feeling confused or alienated when one is unfamiliar with the language spoken by those around them.

Linguistic Profiling (v.): The practice of making assumptions or value judgments about an individual based on the way he or she speaks and/or the language he or she uses, and then discriminating against that individual because of these factors.


Mainstream (n., adj.): Refers to the dominant cultural norms of a given society. In the United States, the “mainstream” culture encompasses the language, values, beliefs, and behaviors of the white/European population.

Marginalization (n.): The placement of minority groups and cultures outside mainstream society. All that varies from the norm of the mainstream is devalued and at timesperceived as deviant and regressive.

Microaggression (n): A statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority.

Miscegenation (n.): The mixing of races.

Multicultural (adj.): Of or pertaining to more than one culture.

Multiculturalism (n.): Theory and practice that promotes the peaceful coexistence of multiple races, ethnicities, and cultures in a given society, celebrating and sustaining language diversity, religious diversity, and social equity.

Muslim (n.): People who follow or practice Islam, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion. Muslims consider the Quran, their holy book, to be the verbatim word of God as revealed to the Islamic prophet and messenger Muhammad.


Naturalization (v.): The U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services define naturalization as “the conferring, by any means, of citizenship upon a person after birth.

Nuyorican (n.): Of or related to a person born in New York City of Puerto Rican ancestry.


Oppression (n.): Severe exercise of power and subjugation that works to privilege one group and disadvantage another.

Orishas (n.): The various gods and goddesses of Caribbean and Latin American religion of Santeria, a spiritual practice originating from blended religious aspects of African cultures as well as the Roman Catholic Church.


Pacific Islander (n.): The term “Pacific Islander” refers to persons whose origins are of the following nations: Polynesian, Melanesia, Micronesia, or any of the Pacific Islands.

Paddy (n.): A derogatory term for persons of Irish descent.

Pagan (n.): 1. An adherent of a religion other than Judaism, Christianity, or Islam which are monotheistic. Polytheism is the worship of or belief in multiple deities, which are usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own religions and rituals. 2. A member of a religious, spiritual, or cultural community based on the worship of nature or the earth.

Polack (n.): Derogatory term for persons of Polish descent.

Pro‐choice (adj.): Of or related to the belief that it is a woman’s right to choose whether or not to give birth or to have an abortion once impregnated.

Pro‐Life (adj.): Of or related to the belief in an un‐born child’s right to life. Pro‐life advocates believe that a human life is formed at the moment of conception and support statutory restrictions on abortion.


Quaker (n.): A member of the Society of Friends, a Christian sect founded by George Fox in the 1600s. Quakers historically have been outspoken critics of slavery and violence.

Queer (n., adj.): Term used to refer to people or culture of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) community. A term once perceived as derogatory is now embraced by some members of the GLBT community.

Quota (n.): A number or percentage particularly of people designated as a targeted minimum for a particular group or organization. A term often used in reference to admission to colleges and universities and organizational hiring practices.


Race (n.): A grouping of human beings based on a shared geographic dispersion, common history, nationality, ethnicity, or genealogical lineage. Race is also defined as a grouping of human beings determined by distinct physical characteristics that are genetically transmitted.

Racism (n.): Racism can be understood as individual and institutional practices and policies based on the belief that a particular race is superior to others. This often results in depriving certain individuals and groups of certain civil liberties, rights, and resources, hindering opportunities for social, educational, and political advancement.

Reverse Discrimination (n.): A term used by opponents to affirmative action who believe that these policies are causing members of traditionally dominant groups to be discriminated against.


Safe Space (n.): A space in which an individual or group may remain free of blame, ridicule and persecution, and are in no danger of coming to mental or physical harm.

Semitic (adj.): Of or related to the language and culture of Semites. Semitic languages are characterized as Afro‐Asiatic languages that include Arabic, Hebrew, Amharic, and Aramaic.

Sexual Harassment (n): The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as “a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

Sexual Orientation (n.): Term used to refer to an individual’s sexuality and/or sexual attraction to others.

Stereotype (n.): A positive or negative set of beliefs held by an individual about the characteristics of a certain group.


Terrorism (n.): The use or threat to use, unlawful acts of force or violence to intimidate or coerce another person, group, or government, often for ideological, religious, or political reasons. The U.S. Department of State defines terrorism as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by sub‐national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.”

Tokenism (n.): The policy of making only a perfunctory effort or symbolic gesture toward the accomplishment of a goal, such as racial integration; the practice of hiring or appointing a token number of people from underrepresented groups in order to deflect criticism or comply with affirmative action rules.

Tolerance (n.): Recognition and respect of values, beliefs, and behaviors that differ from one’s own.

Transgender (adj.): This term is often used to describe persons whose gender identity “differs from conventional expectations for their physical sex.” “Transgender” is a term that can be used to refer to “transsexuals, masculine women, feminine men, drag queens/kings, cross‐dressers, butches, etc.” Transgender persons can be heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual.

Transracial Adoption (n.): The adoption of a child of a race different than that of the parent or guardian.

Transsexual (n.): A term used to describe a person whose gender identity differs from that of their physical/biological sex. Transsexuals can be heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual.


Undocumented Workers (n.): A term used to describe the populations of laborers in the United States who do not possess legal documentation of residence and/or who did not receive proper authorization to enter into the country.

Unearned Privilege (n): Privileges accorded to some individuals because they possess or demonstrate certain characteristics associated with the dominant culture in society, such as being heterosexual, white, or male. These privileges are deeply ingrained into U.S. culture.


WASP (n.): The acronym translates to (W)hite (A)nglo (S)axon (P)rotestant, a term used in the United States to refer to the demographic of people who are of this ancestry.

Welfare, former term for Transitional Assistance (n.):   Economic assistance provided by the government to empower low-income individuals and families to meet their basic needs, improve their quality of life, and achieve long-term economic self-sufficiency.

Worldview (n.): The way in which an individual views the outside world, influenced by his or her beliefs, values and behaviors, and determined by his or her unique experiences.


Yellow (n.): A term used to refer to people of the Asian Diaspora. Although the use of this word finds its roots as derogatory slang birthed in the era of exploration and colonialism, it has recently become more prevalent in academia and among Asian communities in the U.S. who use the word to embrace their ethnic origins and express pride in their identity.

Yuppie (n.): “yuppie” is commonly used to refer to an 1980’s and early 1990’s term for financially secure, upper‐middle class young people in their 20’s and early 30’s. It translates to “(y)oung (u)pwardly –mobile (p)rofessionals” of the baby‐boomer generation.


Zealot (n.): A person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.