Glossary of EDI Terms

Community Organizations Community Based Organization: A private, nonprofit organization (which may include faith-based organizations), that is representative of a community or a significant segment of a community aimed at making improvements to a community’s health and well-being through the coordination of public and private agencies. (Retrieved from )
Commuties of Color The term “of color” embraces Black, Asian, Latino, and indigenous peoples both within the U.S. and transnationally, whose collective marginalization as “colored” peoples and colonial subjects informs coalition politics that cut across many issues. “Communities of color” is sometimes used interchangeably with people of color but can also refer to the geographic areas in which they are concentrated. (Retrieved from )
Cultural Appropriation The non-consensual adoption of the language, symbols, artifacts, garb, music, and religious or other practices of oppressed cultural groups by the dominant cultural group, in a manner that strips them of their sociohistorical context, perpetuates unequal power relations, and is economically exploitive, stereotypical, trivializing, and/or demeaning. Examples include college students wearing blackface or Mexican garb as part of a culturally-themed party. (Retrieved from )
Cultural Competence An ability to interact effectively with people of all cultures and understand many cultural frameworks, values, and norms. The word culture is used because it implies the integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values and institutions of a racial, ethnic, religious or social group.

The word competence is used because it implies having the capacity to function effectively. Cultural competence comprises four components: Awareness of one’s own cultural worldview, Knowledge of different cultural practices and worldviews, Cross-cultural skills, and Attitude towards cultural differences.
A key component of cultural competence is respectfully engaging others with cultural dimensions and perceptions different from our own and recognizing that none is superior to another. Cultural competence is a developmental process that evolves over an
extended period.

(Retreived from )

Diversity Diversity includes 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. A broad definition includes not only race, ethnicity, and gender—the groups that most often come to mind when the term “diversity” is used—but also age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, and physical appearance. It also involves different ideas, perspectives, and values.

Diversity describes the presence of differences within a given setting, collective, or group. An individual is not diverse – a person is unique. Diversity is about a collective or a group and exists in relationship to others.

It is important to note that many activists and thinkers critique diversity alone as a strategy. For instance, Baltimore Racial Justice Action states: “Diversity is silent on the subject of equity. In an anti-oppression context, therefore, the issue is not diversity, but rather equity. Often when people talk about diversity, they are thinking only of the “non-dominant” groups.” (Retrieved from )

 Equity Equity is the process through which we ensure everyone has access to the same opportunities. Equity recognizes that advantages and barriers exist, and that, as a result, we all don’t all start from the same place. Equity is a process that begins by acknowledging that unequal starting place & works to correct and address the imbalance.Equity in education is realized when we…

-Prevent and remove barriers for groups of students with histories of exclusion, discrimination, and marginalization
-Achieve equal educational outcomes for historically underrepresented groups relative to their peers
-Lead with racial equity to maximize student potential across all populations, including racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, sexual identity, gender identity, and differing ability
-Maintain a culture of belonging that advances racial, social and economic justice in service to our diverse communities

(Retrieved from )

Historically Marginalized Communities Historically marginalized communities or populations are: “Individuals, groups, and communities that have historically and systematically been denied access to services, resources and power relationships across economic, political, and cultural dimensions as a result of systemic, durable, and persistent racism, discrimination and other forms of oppression. Long standing and well documented structural marginalization has resulted in poor outcomes – health, social, political, economic and overall increased vulnerability to harm. Historically Marginalized Populations are often identified based on their race, ethnicity, social-economic status, geography, religion, language, sexual identity and disability status.”(Retrieved from )
 Inclusion Authentically and intentionally bringing systemically excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, and decision/policy making in a way that shares power. Inclusion has roots in the disability movement, as a strategy for including students with disabilities in mainstream classrooms. Over time, it has come to describe the process by which all students who have historically been excluded and marginalized because of their race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, citizenship status, and gender identity and other social identity markers, can experience belonging, be respected and valued, and fully participate in all aspects of the educational environment. In this sense, inclusion goes beyond mere integration to require the removal of barriers to educational participation. However, it falls short of requiring equitable outcomes or the transformation of institutional power arrangements. (Retrieved from )
Low-Income Communities According to the federal government,  a “’low-income individual’ refers to an individual whose family’s taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level amount,” as established by the Census Bureau. (Federal TRIO Programs Current-Year Low-Income Levels, 2021). Low-income communities, then, refers to a collective of individuals so defined. (Retrieved from )