Words to Know

Not sure what some terms mean? Here's a quick reference guide to help you out.


The understanding that people experience oppression and privilege in varying configurations and degrees of intensity because of race, class, ability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, and age.

Political Correctness

Put simply, showing common decency towards others while engaging in respectful discussions about issues that may be controversial or affect marginalized and disadvantaged groups.


Social, economic, political, and/or cultural advantages that a person is granted on the basis of their identity with a particular group. Privilege exists whether we recognize it or not. Only in recognizing privilege can we begin to dismantle it.


Unity that is based upon and produces a shared vision via mutual interests, objectives, standards, and empathy. Solidarity for social justice requires diverse leadership, voices, and perspectives to be honored and upheld.

Systemic Discrimination

Long-held patterns of behavior, policies, and practices that are part of the structure of a society and which create perpetual disadvantage and harm towards targeted populations. This includes an array of interconnected discrimination from sexism, racism, and ableism to homophobia, xenophobia, and islamophobia.