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Diversity Action Plan Definitions

Diversity Action Plan Definitions

Anti-blackness is a two-part formation that voids Blackness of value, while systematically marginalizing Black people and their issues. This involves overt racism and covert structural and systemic racism, and the unethical disregard for anti-Black institutions and polices.

Anti-racism is the intertwining of ideas expressing that racial groups are equals, with policies that reduce racial inequity.

Cultural imperialism is the valuing and enforcement of the dominant group’s culture, norms and characteristics.

Diversity is reflected in the way unique individuals with varied perspectives, social identities and lived experiences are represented in shaping workplace values, missions and goals. All voices and viewpoints are encouraged, heard and respected for their unique contributions.

Equity is reflected in ALL students, staff and faculty having access to fairly distributed resources, opportunities for advancement and support to achieve their maximum potential.

Exploitation is the systematic transfer of resources (such as land, wealth, or labor value) from one group to another.

Gendered racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to inequity between genders of different races and are substantiated by racist ideas.

Inclusion means all community members are welcomed, valued and involved in a shared governance model in which everyone committed to inclusive excellence has a seat at the table.

Inclusive excellence is an organization’s capacity to thrive as a function of its ability to value and engage the rich diversity of its community members.

Intersectionality is a theory that describes the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.

Marginalization is a form of oppression in which a whole social (racial) group is prevented or expelled from useful participation in social life, example the job market, health care system, public benefits program, or community activities and potentially subjected to severe material deprivation.

Microaggressions are small daily insults and indignities perpetrated against marginalized or oppressed people because of their affiliation with that marginalized or oppressed group.

Minoritized communities are social (racial) groups that are marginalized or persecuted because of systemic oppression. For example, Black Americans are a minoritized community.

Minority community is the numerically smaller community of two groups constituting a whole. For example, women are a minority group.

Oppression refers to structural phenomena that immobilize or diminish a social (racial) group.

People of color are people who generally do not identify as White.

Privilege a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or social (racial) group because of immutable characteristics.

Powerlessness is a form of oppression that deprives a social (racial) group of the ability to make decisions about one’s living or working conditions.

Race is a social construct of collected or merged difference used to categorize humans based on observed characteristics such as skin color.

Racial inequity is when two or more racial groups are not standing on approximately equal footing.

Racism is the intertwining of racist policies and ideas that creates and normalizes racial inequities.

Racist idea is an idea that suggests a racial group is inferior or superior to another racial group in any way.

Racist policy is a policy that produces racial inequity between racial groups.

Shared governance is the process by which faculty and administrators share responsibility and accountability for reaching decisions on policy and procedure.

Social (racial) group is a collective of people differentiated from at least one other collective by cultural forces (race), practices, or way of life.

Systems of oppression theory explains institutions as contextualized within larger intersecting systems of sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism, ableism and ageism that reproduce and maintain hierarchies based on gender, race, class, sexual identity, ability, among other identities.

Underrepresented communities consist of individuals holding identities broadly underrepresented or underserved within academic or administrative areas in the college, at OSU, within the state of Oregon and nationally in higher education. In the COS, all women and people of color are underrepresented.


For additional definitions we refer to the Office of Institutional Diversity Definitions