Below are some definitions for words, terms and acronyms commonly used in racial justice and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging work.


Racism - any prejudice against someone because of their race when those views are reinforced by systems of power

Bias - a preference in favor of, or against, a person, group of people or thing

Explicit bias - bias that one is consciously aware of and that one can admit to oneself and potentially others

Implicit bias - bias that occurs unconsciously and unintentionally, affecting judgment, decisions, and behaviors

Stereotypes - a fixed, overgeneralized and widely-held belief about a particular group or class of people, often rooted in prejudice


Whiteness - the way that White people, their customs, culture, and beliefs operate as the societal standard by which all other groups are compared, creating a culture where non-White people are seen as inferior or abnormal

White supremacy - the belief that White people constitute a superior race and should therefore dominate society, typically to the exclusion or detriment of other racial and ethnic groups

White dominant culture - the established language, religion, values, rituals, and social customs on which the society was built, having the most power and used as norms and standards without proactively being named or chosen by the full group


Privilege - certain social advantages, benefits or degrees of prestige and respect that an individual has by virtue of belonging to certain social identity groups that have historically occupied positions of dominance over others

Identities/Labels - identities are one's sense of self that is related to a social identity group; labels are categorizations made by others, accurately or inaccurately and with or without malice, to assign people to those social identity groups

Intersectionality - the merging or intersection of multiple marginalized identities and how the various aspects of those identities intersect to mutual constitute individuals' lived experiences


Cultural appropriation - the adoption of cultural identity markers from a non-dominant culture that does not respect their original meaning, give credit to their source, or reinforces stereotypes or contributes to oppression

Microaggressions -  common, everyday slights, insults and comments, whether intentional or unintentional, that spring from explicit or implicit biases, perpetrated against people of a marginalized or oppressed group because of that affiliation


AANHPI - Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders

AAPI - Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

AG - Affinity Groups

BIPOC - Black Indigenous People of Color

CD&I - Culture, Diversity and Inclusion

CSR - Corporate Social Responsibility

D&I - Diversity and Inclusion

DEI - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

DEIB - Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

DEIJ - Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice

EDI - Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

EEO - Equal Employment Opportunity

ERG - Employer Resource Group

GM - Global Majority

HBCU - Historically Black Colleges and Universities

POC - People of Color

RJ - Restorative Justice

URG - Under-Represented Groups

URM - Under-Represented Minorities