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Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee Terms to Know

Cultural Awareness
A person's comprehension of the differences between themselves and people from other countries or other backgrounds, especially differences in attitudes and values.
Cultural Competence
The capability to shift cultural perspective and adapt behavior to cultural commonality and difference.
Diversity
Psychological, physical, and social differences that occur among any and all individuals; including but not limited to race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, age, gender, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability, and learning styles. A diverse group, community, or organization is one in which a variety of social and cultural characteristics exist. (Achugbue, 2003)
Equity
The guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented 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 needed to assist equality in the provision of effective opportunities to all groups. (UC Berkeley Initiative for Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity, as cited by Sierra Club, n.d.)
Inclusion
The act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people. (UC Berkeley Initiative for Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity, as cited by Sierra Club, n.d.)
Intersectionality
The ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, etc.) are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another. (African American Policy Forum, n.d., as paraphrased by Sierra Club, n.d.; for founding theory, see Crenshaw 1989, 1991)
Macroculture
The dominant culture of a society that can be defined regionally or nationally.
Microculture
A smaller subset of a macroculture with unique, identifying characteristics such as custom, tradition, physical appearance, or practice.
National Origin
The country from which a person originates or identifies with as primary.
Oppression
When a dominant group, whether knowingly or unknowingly, abuses a target or nondominant group. This pervasive system is rooted historically and maintained through individual and institutional/systematic discrimination, personal bias, bigotry, and social prejudice, resulting in a condition of privilege for the dominant group at the expense of the target group. (Adams, Bell, & Griffin, 1997)

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