The following are some common terminology and definitions used to discuss discrimination.
Allyship is active behavior by a member of a dominant group to dismantle the oppression of a target/non-majority group.
BIPOC is an acronym that stands for ‘Black, Indigenous, People of Color’.
Bias a belief or assumption made about a person or a group of people based on a particular trait or characteristic.
Discrimination is unfavorable or unfair treatment of a person or class of persons based on a protected class or characteristc.
Discriminatory Animus is conduct by an employer which demonstrates discriminatory intent.
Disparate Impact occurs when policies, practices, rules or other systems that appear to be neutral result in a disproportionate impact on a protected group. For example, testing all applicants and using results from that test that will unintentionally eliminate certain minority applicants disproportionately is disparate impact.
Disparate Treatment is intentional employment discrimination. For example, testing a particular skill of only certain minority applicants is disparate treatment.
Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging are terms used to describe programs, policies and behaviors that encourage representation and participation of diverse groups of people, including people of different genders, races and ethnicities, abilities and disabilities, religions, cultures, ages, and sexual orientations and people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and skills and expertise.
Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is serious enough to significantly interfere with an individual’s work, education, living conditions, or participation in university programs and activities based on a protected class or characteristic.
Hate speech is speech which attacks a person or group on the basis of traits or attributes belonging to a protected class or characteristic.
Hostile Work Environment refers to behavior within a workplace creates an environment that is difficult or uncomfortable for another person to work in due to discrimination. Factors to consider when \determining to what extent a hostile work environment has been created include, but are not limited to: frequency, serverity, and/or pervasiveness of the conduct; physically threatening conduct; the extent to which conduct interferes with student, staff, or faculty performance and participation in the University community; the relationship between the alleged harasser and person or persons subjected to harassment; or the perception of the conduct as welcomed or unwelcomed.
Implicit Bias refers to the attitudes, prejudices, or stereotypes that we are not aware of that affect our decisions, understanding, and actions.
Intersectional Discrimination occurs when someone is discriminated against because of the combination of two or more protected classes or characteristics (e.g. gender and race).
Microagressions are everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon a marginalized class or characteristic.
Privilege refers to benefits, awards, or advantages that accrue to dominant groups based upon skin color, gender, sex, class, ability, religion, etc., that they have received without earning and/or asking for them; privilege is usually invisible to the receiver.
Protected Class or Characteristic includes a persons race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Retaliation includes works or action taken against an individual because of their participation in a protected activity, such as reporting harassment, that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging in the activity.
Sexual Harassment refers to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Specifically, this occurs when the conduct has the purporse or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's academic performance or creating a hostile academic or student living environment.
Sexual Misconduct refers to all forms of sexual- or gender-based harassment, sexual or gender violence, sexual exploitation, relationship violence (domestic violence and dating violence), and sex- or gender-based stalking. All forms of sexual misconduct – whether committed by student, faculty, staff, or others – are prohibited.
Stereotype is any thought widely adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of behaving intended to represent the entire group of those individuals or behaviors as a whole; These thoughts or beliefs may or may not accurately reflect reality (Judd & Park, Psychological Review).
Racism is prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people based on their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized; systemic, structural, or institutional racism refers to the complex interactions of culture, policy, and institutions that create and maintain racial inequality in nearly every facet of life for non-majority groups.
*Some definitions above reflect language from UC Davis (used with permission).