Complete Race, Equity, and Social Justice Glossary

When engaging in dialogue about race, gender, sexual orientation, and other aspects of identity, many people struggle with finding the right words to share their thoughts. We developed this simple guide to serve as a foundation for deeper conversations. Although the language here is a starting point, we believe honest communication involves a willingness to make mistakes and learn from them, rather than stay silent in an effort to avoid conflict.



The system of oppression that disadvantages people with disabilities and advantages people who do not currently have disabilities. Like other forms of oppression, it functions on individual, institutional, and cultural levels. Ableism is not solely about the experiences of people with disabilities as targets of discrimination, but rather about the interaction of institutional structures, cultural norms, and individual beliefs and behaviors that together function to maintain the status quo and exclude people with disabilities from many areas of society. (RET)

The action of abolishing a system, practice, or institution. Abolition centers on getting rid of prison, jails, police, courts, and surveillance. Abolitionist practice is also about establishing a system that is rooted in dignity and care for all people. A system that does not rely on punishment as accountability.

Prison industrial complex (PIC) abolition is a political vision with the goal of eliminating imprisonment, policing, and surveillance and creating lasting alternatives to punishment and imprisonment. From where we are now, sometimes we can’t really imagine what abolition is going to look like. Abolition isn’t just about getting rid of buildings full of cages. It’s also about undoing the society we live in because the PIC both feeds on and maintains oppression and inequalities through punishment,  violence, and controls millions of people. Because the PIC is not an isolated system, abolition is a broad strategy. An abolitionist vision means that we must build models today that can represent how we want to live in the future. It means developing practical strategies for taking small steps that move us toward making our dreams real and that lead us all to believe that things really could be different. It means living this vision in our daily lives. Abolition is both a practical organizing tool and a long-term goal. (RET) 

To be accountable, one must be visible, with a transparent agenda and process. Invisibility defies examination; it is, in fact, employed in order to avoid detection and examination. Accountability demands commitment. It might be defined as “what kicks in when convenience runs out.” Accountability requires some sense of urgency and becoming a true stakeholder in the outcome. Accountability can be externally imposed (legal or organizational requirements), or internally applied (moral, relational, faith-based, or recognized as some combination of the two) on a continuum from the institutional and organizational level to the individual level. From a relational point of view, accountability is not always doing it right. Sometimes it’s really about what happens after it’s done wrong. (RET) 

Voluntary associations of city employees. Examples of Affinity Groups include CANOES (native American employees’ group), CLBEA (City light Black Employees Association), FACES (Filipino Civil Employees of Seattle), LCE (Latino City Employee), and SEQual (LGBTQIA Employees for Equity). Many affinity groups are chartered within Seattle Public Utilities, though all groups are open to any City employee who wishes to participate. (RSJI) (See also Employee Resource Group) 

Someone who makes the commitment and effort to recognize their privilege (based on gender, class, race, sexual identity, etc.) and work in solidarity with oppressed groups in the struggle for justice. Allies understand that it is in their own interest to end all forms of oppression, even those from which they may benefit in concrete ways. An action, not an identity. Members of the advantaged group recognize their privilege and work in solidarity with oppressed groups to dismantle the systems of oppression(s) from which they derive power, privilege, and acceptance. Requires understanding that it is in their own interest to end all forms of oppression, even those from which they may benefit in concrete ways. It means taking intentional, overt, and consistent responsibility for the changes we know are needed in our society, and often ignore or leave for others to deal with; it does so in a way that facilitates the empowerment of persons targeted by oppression. This framework can be used to imply that one does not feel directly implicated by the oppression. (RET) 

The Council for Democratizing Education defines anti-Blackness as being a two-part formation that both voids Blackness of value, while systematically marginalizing Black people and their issues. The first form of anti-Blackness is overt racism. Beneath this anti-Black racism is the covert structural and systemic racism which categorically predetermines the socioeconomic status of Blacks in this country. The structure is held in place by anti-Black policies, institutions, and ideologies. The second form of anti-Blackness is the unethical disregard for anti-Black institutions and policies. This disregard is the product of class, race, and/or gender privilege certain individuals experience due to anti-Black institutions and policies. This form of anti-Blackness is protected by the first form of overt racism. (ProInspire)

is defined as the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. Anti-racism tends to be an individualized approach, and set up in opposition to individual racist behaviors and impacts. (ProInspire)

Antisemitism has deep historical roots and uses exploitation, marginalization, discrimination, and violence as its tools. Like all oppressions, the ideology contains elements of dehumanization and degradation via lies and stereotypes about Jews, as well as a mythology. The myth changes and adapts to different times and places, but fundamentally it says that Jews are to blame for society’s problems. Antisemitism and Islamophobia are not only entangled, but deeply rooted in the same systems of white supremacy and Christian hegemony that have also driven ongoing genocide against indigenous people, and bigotry toward non-Christians from other parts of the world.(RET)

The phenomenon that occurs when people belonging to the nondominant group understand dominant culture norms and take on their characteristics either by choice or by force. Many people of color are asked to “check their identities at the door” in professional settings to make their white peers comfortable. By doing so, many people of color find it easier to get promotions and professional opportunities, as well as to gain access to informal networks typically accessible only to whites. (Equity In the Center) 


Prejudice against or in favor of an individual or group, usually based on attributes like race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc.

Explicit Bias: Conscious attitudes or stereotypes that shape our actions. Explicit biases lead us to discriminate against someone based on that person’s identity. 

Implicit Bias: Unconscious attitudes or stereotypes that shape our actions. Implicit biases begin to develop at a very early age through exposure to media, schools, government, religious institutions and our families and friends. Our conscious beliefs and statements do not necessarily reflect our implicit biases. (RSJI) 

Intolerant prejudice that glorifies one’s own group and denigrates members of other groups. (RET)

A term referring to “Black and/or Indigenous People of Color.” While “POC” or People of Color is often used as well, BIPOC explicitly leads with Black and Indigenous identities, which helps to counter anti-Black racism and invisibilization of Native communities. (RET)

A political movement to address systemic and state violence against African Americans. Per the Black Lives Matter organizers: “In 2013, three radical Black organizers— Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi—created a Black-centered political will and movement building project called #BlackLivesMatter. It was in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman. The project is now a member-led global network of more than 40 chapters. [Black Lives Matter] members organize and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ humanity, our contributions to this society, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.” (RET)


There are moments when "calling someone out" is appropriate, to stop words or actions that are actively hurting someone. But, often, it's effective to instead "call someone in." When we call someone in, we acknowledge we all make mistakes. We help 4 someone discover why their behavior is harmful, and how to change it. And we do it with compassion and patience. (ProInspire)

(see also Affinity Groups): A caucus is an intentionally created space for those who share an identity to convene for learning, support, and connections. Caucuses based on racial identity are often composed, respectively, of people of color, white people, people who hold multiracial identities, or people who share specific racial or ethnic identities.

To advance racial equity, there is work for white people and people of color to do separately and together. Caucuses provide spaces for people to work within their own racial/ethnic groups. For white people, a caucus provides time and space to work explicitly and intentionally on understanding white culture and white privilege and to increase one’s critical analysis around these concepts. A white caucus also puts the onus on white people to teach each other about these ideas, rather than placing a burden on people of color to teach them. For people of color, a caucus is a place to work with peers to address the impact of racism, to interrupt experiences of internalized racism, and to create a space for healing and working for individual and collective liberation. At times, people of color may also break into more specific race-based caucuses, sometimes based on experiences with a particular issue, for example police violence, immigration, or land rights. Groups that use caucuses in their organizational racial equity work, especially in workplaces and coalitions, generally meet separately and create a process to rejoin and work together collectively. (RET)

1. Considering the Black experience as unique and foundational to shaping America’s economic and social policies:

  • Centering Blackness demands that we create and design policies and practices that intentionally lift up and protect Black people.
  • Anti-blackness doesn’t only impact Black people; it holds back and harms all Americans and necessitates collective healing.
  • Centering Blackness allows for a completely different worldview to emerge, free from the constraints of white supremacy and patriarchy.

2. White supremacy—which has harmed everyone, including robbing white people of their own humanity—needs anti-blackness to thrive. Centering blackness removes both the fuel and the constraints of white supremacy, allowing everyone to be free of its tyranny. Doing so acknowledges the historical root of this racial hierarchy that has intentionally placed black people at the bottom of society and gives us the opportunity to see the world through the lens of the black experience. It requires us to imagine how our rules and structures would be reorganized and envision a world where we all thrive because the bottom is removed. When we remove blackness from the bottom, everybody gets to be seen. (RET)

A group of Employees within each City department that supports the department’s RSJI goals and helps to implement its annual RSJI work plan. The size, organization and specific responsibilities of Change Teams vary by department. (RSJI)

A term (pronounced sis-gender) used to refer to an individual whose gender identity aligns with the sex assigned to them at birth. The prefix cis- comes from the Latin word for “on the same side as.” People who are both cisgender and heterosexual are sometimes referred to as “cishet” (pronounced sis-het) individuals. The term cisgender is not a slur. People who are not trans should avoid calling themselves “normal” and instead refer to themselves as cisgender or cis. (RET)

Differential treatment based on social class or perceived social class. Classism is the systematic oppression of subordinated class groups to advantage and strengthen the dominant class groups. It’s the systematic assignment of characteristics of worth and ability based on social class. Policies and practices are set up to benefit more class-privileged people at the expense of the less class-privileged people, resulting in drastic income and wealth inequality… and the culture which perpetuates these systems and this unequal valuing. (RET)

The practice of alternating between two or more languages or varieties of language in conversation. Spanglish can be seen as code-switching in this context. Codeswitching can also refer to shifting the way you speak depending on the social setting: for example, in your neighborhood vs. at work. This type of code-switching is often associated with marginalized speech, such as switching from African American Vernacular English (AAVE) to Standard American English. Code-switching can even extend to body language and other nonverbal cues. (RSJI)

When one’s action or inaction perpetuates the system of oppression; occurs both intentionally/consciously and unintentionally/unconsciously. (RSJI)

An action that takes into account that all of our struggles are intimately connected. Every person is worthy of dignity and respect, and systems of oppression negatively affect everyone. When combined, our diverse identities and experiences give us the tools to dismantle systems of economic, political and social oppression, and to create a world in which all people are seen as fully human. No one is free until we are all free. (RSJI)

Colonization can be defined as some form of invasion, dispossession, and subjugation of a people. The invasion need not be military; it can begin—or continue—as geographical intrusion in the form of agricultural, urban, or industrial encroachments. The result of such incursion is the dispossession of vast amounts of lands from the original inhabitants. This is often legalized after the fact. The long-term result of such massive dispossession is institutionalized inequality. The colonizer/colonized relationship is by nature an unequal one that benefits the colonizer at the expense of the colonized.

Ongoing and legacy colonialism impact power relations in most of the world today. For example, white supremacy as a philosophy was developed largely to justify European colonial exploitation of the Global South (including enslaving African peoples, extracting resources from much of Asia and Latin America, and enshrining cultural norms of whiteness as desirable both in colonizing and colonizer nations). See also: Decolonization. (RET)

We recognize the problematic ableist language of this term, but we reference it as used by scholars to describe an important social phenomenon. Color-blind ideology (or color-evasiveness – purporting to not notice race in an effort to not appear be racist). Asserts that ending discrimination merely requires treating individuals as equally as possible, without regard to race, culture, or ethnicity. Color-blindness, by overlooking the cumulative and enduring ways in which race unequally shapes life chances and opportunities for people from different groups, actually reinforces and sustains an unequal status quo. By leaving structural inequalities in place, color-blindness has become the “new racism.” It also ignores cultural attributes that people value and deserve to have recognized and affirmed. (RET)

Using white skin color as the standard, colorism is the allocation of privilege and favor to lighter skin colors and disadvantage to darker skin colors. Colorism operates both within and across racial and ethnic groups. (RET)

Specific community results that advance racial equity. (RSJI)

Taking objects, practices, and bodies out of their cultural context and exhibiting or performing them without consideration of the privilege such a removal or display entails. Oftentimes this goes hand-in-hand with exotification and fetishization of other cultures. (RSJI)

The Critical Race Theory movement considers many of the same issues that conventional civil rights and ethnic studies take up, but places them in a broades perspective that includes economics, history, and even feelings and the unconscious. Unlike traditional civil rights, which embraces incrementalism and step by step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and principles of constitutional law. CRT is not a noun, but a verb. It cannot be confined to a static and narrow definition but is considered to be an evolving and malleable practice. It critiques how the social construction of race and institutionalized racism perpetuate a racial caste system that relegates people of color to the bottom tiers. CRT also recognizes that race intersects with other identities, including sexuality, gender identity, and others. CRT recognizes that racism is not a bygone relic of the past. Instead, it acknowledges that the legacy of slavery, segregation, and the imposition of secondclass citizenship on Black Americans and other people of color continue to permeate the social fabric of this nation. (RET)

  • Awareness invites participants to examine their experience with difference as it relates to their values, attitudes, biases, beliefs, privileges, stereotypes and other important areas;
  • Knowledge increases participants’ understanding of diverse groups including group values, beliefs, communications styles, perspectives and experiences of oppression;
  • Skills teaches participants strategies for effectively communicating and working across cultures by utilizing their awareness of self, knowledge of others and practicing new ways of being; and
  • Action/Advocacy helps participants explore ways to take action in their workplace and communities to promote and institutionalize a culture of respect, inclusivity and equity. (RSJI)

Cultural misappropriation distinguishes itself from the neutrality of cultural exchange, appreciation, and appropriation because of the instance of colonialism and capitalism; cultural misappropriation occurs when a cultural fixture of a marginalized culture/community is copied, mimicked, or recreated by the dominant culture against the will of the original community and, above all else, commodified. One can understand the use of “misappropriation” as a distinguishing tool because it assumes that there are:

  • instances of neutral appropriation,
  • The specifically referenced instance is non-neutral and problematic, even if benevolent in intention,
  • Some act of theft or dishonest attribution has taken place, and
  • Moral judgment of the act of appropriation is subjective to the specific culture from which is being engaged. (RET)

Cultural racism refers to representations, messages and stories conveying the idea that behaviors and values associated with white people or “whiteness” are automatically “better” or more “normal” than those associated with other racially defined groups. Cultural racism shows up in advertising, movies, history books, definitions of patriotism, and in policies and laws. Cultural racism is also a powerful force in maintaining systems of internalized supremacy and internalized racism. It does that by influencing collective beliefs about what constitutes appropriate behavior, what is seen as beautiful, and the value placed on various forms of expression. All of these cultural norms and values in the U.S. have explicitly or implicitly racialized ideals and assumptions (for example, what “nude” means as a color, which facial features and body types are considered beautiful, which child-rearing practices are considered appropriate.) (RET)

The language, traditions, history and ancestry people have in common. People that share a common culture are “ethnic” groups. All people have culture and it is fluid and dynamic. (RSJI)


Decolonization may be defined as the active resistance against colonial powers, and a shifting of power towards political, economic, educational, cultural, psychic independence and power that originate from a colonized nation’s own indigenous culture. This process occurs politically and also applies to personal and societal psychic, cultural, political, agricultural, and educational deconstruction of colonial oppression. Per Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang: “Decolonization doesn’t have a synonym”; it is not a substitute for ‘human rights’ or ‘social justice’, though undoubtedly, they are connected in various ways. Decolonization demands an Indigenous framework and a centering of Indigenous land, Indigenous sovereignty, and Indigenous ways of thinking. (RET)

Diaspora is “the voluntary or forcible movement of peoples from their homelands into new regions ...” There is “a common element in all forms of diaspora; these are people who live outside their natal (or imagined natal) territories and recognize that their traditional homelands are reflected deeply in the languages they speak, religions they adopt, and the cultures they produce.” (RET)

The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, gender, age, abilities, sexual orientation, etc.

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 allinclusive 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. 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 antioppression 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.” (ProInspire)


Systematic subordination and mistreatment of young people and elders based on age through the restriction and denial of opportunities to exercise social, economic, and political power. Youth and elder oppressions both include restricted access to goods, services, and privileges of society, along with loss of voice and limited access to participation in society. The subordination of young people and elders is supported by institutional structures and practices of society, networks of laws, rules, policies, and procedures, along with the attitudes, values, and actions of individuals that combine to ensure the subordinated status of members of these socially constructed identity groups. Young people and elders are marginalized and excluded by practices that give middle-aged adults the power to act on and for them, often without their agreement or consent. (See also Youth Oppression.) (RET)

Voluntary, employee-led groups that foster a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with organizational mission, values, goals, business practices, and objectives. Often, these groups provide support to staff who formally or informally lead race equity work in some capacity within an organization. (Equity in the Center)

To treat everyone fairly. An equity emphasis seeks to render justice by deeply considering structural factors that benefit some social groups/communities and harm other 9 social groups/communities. Sometimes justice demands, for the purpose of equity, an unequal response.(RET)

Equity means fairness of results; equality means equal access to opportunity. People sometimes use these words as if they are the same thing, but they actually describe different situations. For example, imagine three children, ages 5, 9, and 13, trying to see over a fence. If we provide all three of them the same size wooden box to stand on, only one of them will be able to see over the fence-the other two are still too short and the boxes don’t give them enough of a boost. In other words, the children all receive equal help, but the solution is inequitable because it doesn’t solve all three kids’ problems. To achieve equity, we should take into account the children’s different sizes to stand on. Now all three of them can see over the fence. Once you start brainstorming to achieve equity, creative solutions begin to emerge. (RSJI)

Important areas that the City of Seattle focuses on to achieve racial equity. Equity areas include education, health, equitable development, criminal justice, jobs, housing, the environment and the arts. (RSJI)

Teams of people from different Seattle City departments and other institutions that work together on specific equity areas. (RSJI)

A social construct that divides people into smaller social groups based on characteristics such as shared sense of group membership, values, behavioral patterns, language, political and economic interests, history, and ancestral geographical base.

Examples of different ethnic groups are: Cape Verdean, Haitian, African American (Black); Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese (Asian); Cherokee, Mohawk, Navaho (Native American); Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican (Latino); Polish, Irish, and Swedish (White). (RET)


An area that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food, in contrast with an area with higher access to supermarkets or vegetable shops with fresh foods, which is called a food oasis. The designation considers the type and quality of food available to the population, in addition to the accessibility of the food through the size and proximity of the food stores. (RSJI)

These are the truths that RSJI stands on and is supported by history, lived experiences, and quantitative data. (RSJI)


Anyone who controls access to services, information, resources, or political power in an institution in the Seattle City government. Just about every government employee serves as a gatekeeper in large and small ways. (RSJI)

Similarly, generational or intergenerational trauma is a phenomenon in which the descendants of a person who has experienced a terrifying event show adverse emotional and behavioral reactions to the event that are similar to those of the person. Essentially, the effects of trauma can be transferred from one generation to the next. 10 Generational trauma is an emerging line of research and clinical work in psychology and related disciplines that is exploring whether and how mass cultural and historical traumas affect future generations. (ProInspire)

A person’s internal sense of self as male, female, both or neither (gender identity), as well as one’s outward presentation and behaviors (gender expression). Gender norms vary among cultures and over time. (RSJI)

An internal, deeply felt sense of being male, female, a blend of both or neither—how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One’s gender identity can be the same as or different from their sex assigned at birth. (RSJI)

How a person expresses their gender through outward presentation and behavior. This includes, for example, a person’s name, clothing, hairstyle, body language and mannerisms.

Describes a person who does not consistently adhere to one fixed gender and who may move among genders. (RET)


Healing means we begin to unlearn the stereotyped racial messages we internalized about our own race and the race of others. It means we as individuals learn to recognize the wounds that racism creates in us, whether we are White or a People of Color and whether we are conscious of these nicks and tears to your psyche or not. Healing means we open your eyes to the costs of racism, which are pretty much everywhere, and we work to stop participating, either knowingly or actively, in the system of racism and white supremacy that was designed to favor some people and not others. We learn to notice how your race drives the differential privileges and access to needed resources you might receive. (ProInspire) 

A bias in favor of opposite-sex relationships, and against same-sex relationships, that places heterosexual relationships as the default and the norm, thereby positioning queer relationships as abnormal. Examples: laws the discriminate against same-sex relationships, the underrepresentation of same-sex couples. (RSJI) 

The system of oppression that assumes heterosexuality as the norm, favors heterosexuals, and denigrates and stigmatizes anyone whose gender or sexual behavior is considered non-heterosexual. (RSJI) 


Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, and decision/policy making in a way that shares power. (RET) 

Within an organization there is a working culture and environment that recognizes, appreciates, and effectively utilizes the talents, skills, and perspectives of every employee; uses employee skills to achieve the agency’s objectives and mission; connects each employee to the organization; and encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness. This environment also includes a set of behaviors (culture) that encourages employees to feel valued for their unique qualities and experience a sense of belonging. (RSJI)

Indigenous populations are composed of the existing descendants of the peoples who inhabited the present territory of a country wholly or partially at the time when persons of a different culture or ethnic origin arrived there from other parts of the world, overcame them and, by conquest, settlement, or other means, reduced them to a non-dominant or colonial condition; who today live more in conformity with their particular social, economic, and cultural customs and traditions than with the institutions of the country of which they now form part, under a State structure which incorporates mainly national, social, and cultural characteristics of other segments of the population which are predominant. (Examples: Maori in territory now defined as New Zealand; Mexicans in territory now defined as Texas, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklahoma; Native American tribes in territory now defined as the United States. (RET) 

Internalized Racial Oppression manifests itself in two forms: Internalized Racism (IR) and Internalized Racial Superiority (IRS). (RSJI) See definitions below.

 Internalized racism is the situation that occurs in a racist system when a racial group oppressed by racism supports the supremacy and dominance of the dominating group by maintaining or participating in the set of attitudes, behaviors, social structures, and ideologies that undergird the dominating group’s power. It involves four essential and interconnected elements: 

  • Decision-making - Due to racism, people of color do not have the ultimate decision-making power over the decisions that control our lives and resources. As a result, on a personal level, we may think white people know more about what needs to be done for us than we do. On an interpersonal level, we may not support each other’s authority and power – especially if it is in opposition to the dominating racial group. Structurally, there is a system in place that rewards people of color who support white supremacy and power and coerces or punishes those who do not. 
  • Resources - Resources, broadly defined (e.g. money, time, etc), are unequally in the hands and under the control of white people. Internalized racism is the system in place that makes it difficult for people of color to get access to resources for our own communities and to control the resources of our 12  community. We learn to believe that serving and using resources for ourselves and our particular community is not serving “everybody.” 
  • Standards - With internalized racism, the standards for what is appropriate or “normal” that people of color accept are white people’s or Eurocentric standards. We have difficulty naming, communicating and living up to our deepest standards and values, and holding ourselves and each other accountable to them. 
  • Naming the problem - There is a system in place that misnames the problem of racism as a problem of or caused by people of color and blames the disease – emotional, economic, political, etc. – on people of color. With internalized racism, people of color might, for example, believe we are more violent than white people and not consider state-sanctioned political violence or the hidden or privatized violence of white people and the systems they put in place and support. (ProInspire) 

When white people believe and or act on assumptions that white people are superior to, more capable of, more intelligent, or more entitled than people of color. It occurs when members of the dominant white group take their group’s socially advantaged status as normal and deserved, rather than recognizing how it has been conferred through racialized systems of inequality. Internalized dominance may be unconscious or conscious. A white person who insists that anyone who works hard can get ahead, without acknowledging the barriers of racism, is consciously or unconsciously expressing internalized dominance. Whites who assume that European music and art are superior to other forms are enacting internalized dominance. [Note: This term is often used interchangeably with internalized dominance.] (ProInspire) 

 Intentionally committing time and energy to deepen one’s personal awareness through self reflection and self compassion. Inner well-being comes from the connection and harmony between our inner life and the outer world. In other words: 

  • it is having inner peace 
  • it is the feeling of belonging and connectedness with the world 
  • it is about realizing and experiencing deeper meaning in the universe 
  • it is the feeling that we are part of something larger than the issues, stresses, and challenges of our everyday lives. (ProInspire) 

Exposing [one’s] multiple identities can help clarify the ways in which a person can simultaneously experience privilege and oppression. For example, a Black woman in America does not experience gender inequalities in exactly the same way as a white woman, nor racial oppression identical to that experienced by a Black man. Each race and gender intersection produces a qualitatively distinct life. 

Per Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw: Intersectionality is simply a prism to see the interactive effects of various forms of discrimination and disempowerment. It looks at the way that racism, many times, interacts with patriarchy, heterosexism, classism, xenophobia — seeing that the overlapping vulnerabilities created by these systems actually create specific kinds of challenges.

“Intersectionality 102,” then, is to say that these distinct problems create challenges for movements that are only organized around these problems as separate and individual. So when racial justice doesn’t have a critique of patriarchy and homophobia, the particular way that racism is experienced and exacerbated by heterosexism, classism etc., falls outside of our political organizing. It means that significant numbers of people in our communities aren’t being served by social justice frames because they don’t address the particular ways that they’re experiencing discrimination. (RET) 


The basic idea can be elaborated on in many ways, according to what goods are to be distributed- wealth, respect, opportunity- and who or what they are to be distributed equitable among- individuals, families, nations, races, etc. (RSJI)


Pronounced “La-TEEN-ex”, is a non-gender specific way of referring to people of Latin American descent. The term Latinx, unlike terms such as Latino/a and Latin@, does not assume a gender binary and includes non-binary folks. (RSJI)

Individuals who influence a group of people to act towards a goal. Individuals may or may not be in positions of authority. (Equity In the Center)

An acronym that collectively refers to individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, sometimes stated as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) or, historically, GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender). The addition of the Q for queer is a more recently preferred version of the acronym as cultural opinions of the term queer focus increasingly on its positive, reclaimed definition. The Q can also stand for questioning, referring to those who are still exploring their own sexuality and/or gender. The “+” represents those who are part of the community but for whom LGBTQ does not accurately capture or reflect their identity. (RET)

The creation of relationships, societies, communities, organizations, and collective spaces characterized by equity, fairness, and the implementation of systems for the allocation of goods, services, benefits, and rewards that support the full participation of each human and the promotion of their full humanness. (RET)

  • Live their lives in oppressive systems and institutions with awareness and intentionality, rather than on the basis of the socialization to which they have been subjected.
  • Maintain an awareness of the dynamics of oppression characterizing society without giving in to despair and hopelessness about that condition, to maintain an awareness of the role played by each individual in the maintenance of the system 14 without blaming them for the roles they play, and at the same time practice intentionality about changing the systems of oppression.
  • Live “outside” the patterns of thought and behavior learned through the socialization process that helps to perpetuate oppressive systems.

Four elements in developing a liberatory consciousness are awareness, analysis, acting, and accountability/ally-ship. (RET)


A social process by which individuals or groups are (intentionally or unintentionally) distanced from access to power and resources and constructed as insignificant, peripheral, or less valuable/privileged to a community or “mainstream” society. This term describes a social process, so as not to imply a lack of agency. Marginalized groups or people are those excluded from mainstream social, economic, cultural, or political life. Examples of marginalized groups include, but are by no means limited to, groups excluded due to race, religion, political or cultural group, age, gender, or financial status. To what extent such populations are marginalized, however, is context specific and reliant on the cultural organization of the social site in question.

The 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 their marginalized group membership. (Equity In the Center)

Attributing a gender to someone that is incorrect/does not align with their gender identity. Can occur when using pronouns, gendered language (i.e. “Hello ladies!” “Hey guys”), or assigning genders to people without knowing how they identify (i.e. “Well, since we’re all women in this room, we understand…”). (LGBTQIA Resource Center)

The “model minority” refers to some ethnic, racial or religious minority group who is perceived to be more successful than the average population. (This success can be measured in education attainment, income, family stability, fitting the values of the dominant culture, etc.) Why is the Model Minority Myth dangerous? First, it overgeneralizes an entire group of people by assigned character traits to all the members of that group. Secondly, it denies the realities of oppression and marginalization that minority groups face by pointing to limited successes. i.e.- Asian Americans are commonly called a “model minority” - When a peer, professor or counselor tells an Asian American student that they must be good at math/and or science, they are acting on the Model Minority Myth. (RSJI)

Movement building is the effort of social change agents to engage power holders and the broader society in addressing a systemic problem or injustice while promoting an alternative vision or solution. Movement building requires a range of intersecting 15 approaches through a set of distinct stages over a long-term period of time. Through movement building, organizers can:

  • Propose solutions to the root causes of social problems.
  • Enable people to exercise their collective power.
  • Humanize groups that have been denied basic human rights and improve conditions for the groups affected.
  • Create structural change by building something larger than a particular organization or campaign.
  • Promote visions and values for society based on fairness, justice, and democracy. (RET)


One’s country of origin or citizenship. (RSJI)

A gender identity and experience that embraces a full universe of expressions and ways of being that resonate for an individual, moving beyond the male/female gender binary. It may be an active resistance to binary gender expectations and/or an intentional creation of new unbounded ideas of self within the world. For some people who identify as non binary there may be overlap with other concepts and identities like gender expansive and gender non-conforming. (LGBTQIA Resource Center)


The systematic subjugation of one social group by a more powerful social group for the social, economic, and political benefit of the more powerful social group. Rita Hardiman and Bailey Jackson state that oppression exists when the following 4 conditions are found: a. the oppressor group has the power to define reality for themselves and others, b. the target groups take in and internalize the negative messages about them and end up cooperating with the oppressors (thinking and acting like them), c. genocide, harassment, and discrimination are systematic and institutionalized, so that individuals are not necessary to keep it going, and members of both the oppressor and target groups are socialized to play their roles as normal and correct. **Oppression = Power + Prejudice. (ProInspire)


Refers to a person whose emotional, romantic and/or physical attraction is to people inclusive of all genders. People who are pansexual need not have had any sexual experience: It is the attraction and self-identification that determine the orientation. Pansexuality and bisexuality are different; pansexuality includes all genders equally, whereas bisexuality can favor some genders over others. (RET)

An historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression in which those assigned male, or those exhibiting characteristics that have been assigned male, hold ultimate authority and privilege central to social organization, occupying roles of political leadership, moral authority, and control of property. It implies and entails female subordination. Can result in gendered outcomes even without specific gendered animus articulated between individuals. (RET)

Often the preferred collective term for referring to non-White racial groups. Racial justice advocates have been using the term “people of color” (not to be confused with the pejorative “colored people”) since the late 1970s as an inclusive and unifying frame across different racial groups that are not White, to address racial inequities. While “people of color” can be a politically useful term, and describes people with their own attributes (as opposed to what they are not, e.g., “non-White”), it is also important whenever possible to identify people through their own racial/ethnic group, as each has its own distinct experience and meaning and may be more appropriate. (RET)

Power is unequally distributed globally and in U.S. society; some individuals and groups wield greater power than others, thereby allowing them greater access and control over resources. Wealth, whiteness, citizenship, patriarchy, heterosexism, and education are a few key social mechanisms through which power operates. Although power is often conceptualized as power over other individuals or groups, other variations are power with (used in the context of building collective strength) and power within (which references an individual’s internal strength). Learning to “see” and understand relations of power is vital to organizing for progressive social change.

Power may also be understood as the ability to influence others and impose one’s beliefs. All power is relational, and the different relationships either reinforce or disrupt one another. The importance of the concept of power to anti-racism is clear: racism cannot be understood without understanding that power is not only an individual relationship but a cultural one, and that power relationships are shifting constantly. Power can be used malignantly and unintentionally, but need not be, and individuals within a culture may benefit from power of which they are unaware. (ProInspire)

Preconceived opinion(s) and/or idea(s) that are not based on reason or actual experience. It causes harm or injury that results or may result from some action or judgment. (RSJI)

Unearned social power accorded by the formal and informal institutions of society to ALL members of a dominant group (e.g. white privilege, male privilege, etc.). Privilege is usually invisible to those who have it because we’re taught not to see it, but nevertheless it puts them at an advantage over those who do not have it. (ProInspire)

Linguistic tools used to refer to someone in the third person. Examples are they/them/theirs, ze/hir/hirs, she/her/hers, he/him/his. In English and some other languages, pronouns have been tied to gender and are a common site of misgendering (attributing a gender to someone that is incorrect.) Because pronouns are a reflection of someone’s identity, they are not “preferred” or a choice, but how someone should be identified. (LGBTQIA Resource Center)


A term some people use to identify themselves with a flexible and inclusive view of gender and/or sexuality. Also used interchangeably with LGBTQ to describe a group of people such as “queer youth.” It is also seen in academic fields, such as queer studies or queer theory. Historically it has been used as a negative term for LGBTQ people. Some people still find the term offensive while some embrace the term as an identity. (LGBTQIA Resource Center)


For many people, it comes as a surprise that racial categorization schemes were invented by scientists to support worldviews that viewed some groups of people as superior and some as inferior. There are three important concepts linked to this fact:

  • Race is a made-up social construct, and not an actual biological fact.
  • Race designations have changed over time. Some groups that are considered “white” in the United States today were considered “non-white” in previous eras, in U.S. Census data and in mass media and popular culture (for example, Irish, Italian, and Jewish people).
  • The way in which racial categorizations are enforced (the shape of racism) has also changed over time. For example, the racial designation of Asian American and Pacific Islander changed four times in the 19th century. That is, they were defined at times as white and at other times as not white. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, as designated groups, have been used by whites at different times in history to compete with African American labor. (ProInspire)

Day long RSJI workshop, mandatory for all City of Seattle employees. RPOI is based on the three -part television series of the same name, first broadcast on PBS in 2004. The workshop teaches participants the definition of institutional racism and the history of how racism developed in the United States. It also helps participants explore their own beliefs and attitudes about race, and explores ways to create to achieve racial equity as City and Nonprofit employees. (RSJI)

The heightened level of stress and emotion that we confront when interacting with people of other races. People of color experience concern that they will be subject of discrimination and hostility. White people, meanwhile, worry that they will be assumed to be racist. (RSJI)

The condition where one’s race identity has no influence on how one fares in society. Race equity is one part of race justice and must be addressed at the root causes and not just the manifestations. This includes the elimination of policies, practices, attitudes, and cultural messages that reinforce differential outcomes by race. (Equity In the Center)

The process of paying disciplined attention to race and ethnicity while analyzing problems, looking for solutions, and defining success. A race equity lens critiques a “color blind” approach, arguing that color blindness perpetuates systems of disadvantage in that it prevents structural racism from being acknowledged. Application of a race equity lens helps to illuminate disparate outcomes, patterns of disadvantage, and root cause. (Equity In the Center)

The systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all. Racial justice—or racial equity—goes beyond “anti-racism.” It is not just the absence of discrimination and inequities, but also the presence of deliberate systems and supports to achieve and sustain racial equity through proactive and preventative measures.

Operationalizing racial justice means reimagining and co-creating a just and liberated world and includes:

  • Understanding the history of racism and the system of white supremacy and addressing past harms,
  • Working in right relationship and accountability in an ecosystem (an issue, sector, or community ecosystem) for collective change,
  • Implementing interventions that use an intersectional analysis and that impact multiple systems,
  • Centering Blackness and building community, cultural, economic, and political power of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC), and
  • Applying the practice of love along with disruption and resistance to the status quo. (RET)

Defined as the convergence of anti-black sentiments with traditional American views on effort, hard work and individualism. People who express affirmative beliefs like this: “Irish, Italian, Jewish and many other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks should do the same without any special favors,” and or disagree with beliefs like this: “Generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for Blacks to work their way out of the lower class,” express high racial resentment. (RET)

Reconciliation involves three ideas. First, it recognizes that racism in America is both systemic and institutionalized, with far–reaching effects on both political engagement and economic opportunities for minorities. Second, reconciliation is engendered by empowering local communities through relationship-building and truth-telling. Lastly, justice is the essential component of the conciliatory process—justice that is best termed as restorative rather than retributive, while still maintaining its vital punitive character. (RET)

Institutional Power + Prejudice against subordinated members of targeted racial groups (Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian) by members of the agent racial group (Whites). This happens at the individual, cultural and institutional level. Racism can involve both conscious action and unconscious collusion. (RSJI)

  • Internalized Racism: The internalization of the racist stereotypes, values, images and ideologies perpetuated by the white dominant society about one’s racial group 
  • Interpersonal Racism: Pre- judgment, bias or stereotypes, about an individual or group, based on race. (RSJI)
  • Institutional Racism: Organizational programs, policies or procedures that work to the benefit of white people and to the detriment of people of color, often unintentionally or inadvertently. (RSJI)
  • Structural Racism: Racism that plays out across multiple, interlocking institutions in a context of racialized historical and cultural conditions. Structural racism leads to negative outcomes and conditions for communities of color compared to white communities. (RSJI) 

A set of questions to guide City departments and work teams to embed racial equity in policy, program and budget decisions. The RET helps City employees understand how our decisions benefit and burden different communities based on race. RET is a key part of the City’s efforts to achieve racial equity. It provides a practical tool to analyze our work and find ways to build in racial equity as part of the foundation of City programs and services. (RSJI)

One who is supporting a racist policy through their actions or interaction or expressing a racist idea. (RET)

A racist idea is any idea that suggests one racial group is inferior or superior to another racial group in any way. (RET) 

A racist policy is any measure that produces or sustains racial inequity between or among racial groups. Policies are written and unwritten laws, rules, procedures, processes, regulations, and guidelines that govern people. There is no such thing as a nonracist or raceneutral policy. Every policy in every institution in every community in every nation is producing or sustaining either racial inequity or equity between racial groups. Racist policies are also expressed through other terms such as “structural racism” or “systemic racism”. Racism itself is institutional, structural, and systemic. (RET)

Racial trauma, or race-based traumatic stress (RBTS), refers to the mental and emotional injury caused by encounters with racial bias and ethnic discrimination, racism, and hate crimes. Any individual that has experienced an emotionally painful, sudden, and uncontrollable racist encounter is at risk of suffering from a race-based traumatic stress injury. In the U.S., Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) are most vulnerable due to living under a system of white supremacy. (ProInspire)

The systematic subordination of minority religious groups, such as Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Native American spiritualities, and those who are atheists, agnostics, or freethinkers. The subordination of non-Christian religions occurs at all levels of society through the actions of individuals (religious prejudice), institutional policies and practices (religious discrimination), and cultural and societal norms and values associated with Christianity. [This definition refers to religious oppression in the United States.] (RET) 

States have a legal duty to acknowledge and address widespread or systematic human rights violations, in cases where the state caused the violations or did not seriously try to prevent them. Reparations initiatives seek to address the harms caused by these violations. They can take the form of compensating for the losses suffered, which helps overcome some of the consequences of abuse. They can also be future oriented—providing rehabilitation and a better life to victims—and help to change the underlying causes of abuse. Reparations publicly affirm that victims are rights-holders entitled to redress. (RET)

Restorative Justice is a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by crime and conflict. It places decisions in the hands of those who have been most affected by a wrongdoing, and gives equal concern to the victim, the offender, and the surrounding community. Restorative responses are meant to repair harm, heal broken relationships, and address the underlying reasons for the offense. Restorative Justice emphasizes individual and collective accountability. Crime and conflict generate opportunities to build community and increase grassroots power when restorative practices are employed. (RET) 

Reverse racism does not actually exist, because racism is a structure, and people of color do not structurally oppress white people. Term used to refer to discrimination by traditionally marginalized groups against members of traditionally dominant groups.  Most social justice activists agree that “Reverse Racism” doesn’t make sense. Many think the idea of reverse racism is invalid because the term “Racism”, especially in academic and Social Justice circles, has a specific meaning (see Racism) that relates to institutionalized oppression. (RSJI)


Self-care is the acts and behaviors that help you show up as your best self and your self-care practice as the intentional practice of identifying and addressing your needs on a regular basis. While your self-care plan will grow and change as you do, your self-care practice should ultimately be balanced, fulfilling and efficient. (ProInspire) 

Self-love is the deep care, acceptance, admiration and appreciation that you have in your relationship with yourself. Self-love means recognizing the internal and external parts of yourself and having love for them. When we think of self-love, we also think of having: 

  • Self-compassion for yourself
  • Patience for your growing edges
  • Appreciation for your strengths and your challenges
  • Awareness of yourself and what your needs are.
  • Understanding that physical looks are only one component of who you are (ProInspire)

A system of oppression that privileges men, subordinates women, and denigrates women-identified values. This subordination occurs at the individual, cultural, and institutional levels. Sexism can involve both conscious action and unconscious collusion. (RSJI)

A concept referring to sexual desire and preference for emotional and sexual relationships with others based on their sex/gender; often implies that sexual object choice is an essential, in-born characteristic, so may be problematic to some. (RSJI)

Showing up fully means being able to be your true and authentic self at work while recognizing all the different identities that are important to who you are. Additionally, you are able to navigate the workplace in a way where you don’t feel like you have to worry about parts of your identity getting in the way of being able to participate fully, to be treated equitably. Fostering environments in which people can show up fully means allowing individuals to thrive, collaborate, and feel like valuable members of a team while keeping equity and inclusion as anchors. Showing up fully and authentically leads to greater happiness and satisfaction, productivity, deeper connections and relationships, trust, and engagement. (ProInspire)

Refers to oppression that is achieved through social means and that is social in scope—it affects whole categories of people. This kind of oppression includes the systematic mistreatment, exploitation, and abuse of a group (or groups) of people by another group (or groups). It occurs whenever one group holds power over another in society through the control of social institutions, along with society’s laws, customs, and norms. The outcome of social oppression is that groups in society are sorted into different positions within the social hierarchies of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability. Those in the controlling, or dominant group, benefit from the oppression of other groups through heightened privileges relative to others, greater access to rights and resources, a better quality of life, and overall greater life chances. Those who experience the brunt of oppression have fewer rights, less access to resources, less political power, lower economic potential, worse health and higher mortality rates, and lower overall life chances. (RET)

The process of consciously and unconsciously learning norms, beliefs, and practices from individuals, media, and institutions about who does/does not have power and privilege as it relates to social identities and how the self is positioned in relationship to these identities. “How we are supposed to act.” (RET)

(as in upper class, middle class, lower class, working class) refers to people’s socioeconomic status, based on factors such as wealth, occupation, education, income, etc. (RSJI)

A social construct is an idea that has been created and accepted by the people in a society. It is a form of categorizing something or someone with no true or absolute biological basis. As a society we develop cultural rules and then we apply these rules when  psychologically categorizing people.

A social construct is something that exists not in objective reality, but as a result of human interaction. It exists because humans agree that it exists. One way humans create social constructs is by structuring what they see and experience into categories. For example, they see people with different skin colors and other physical features and "create" the social construct of race. (ProInspire)

A concept of fair and just relations between the individual and society. This is measured by the explicit and tacit terms for the distribution of power, wealth, education, healthcare, and other opportunities for personal activity and social privileges. (Equity In the Center)

The group of organizations that consist of both nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. (Equity In the Center)

Individuals, organizations or communities impacted by a proposed policy, program or budget issue. (RSJI)

A widely held, oversimplified idea or belief about people or things. Stereotypes usually do not reflect reality. (RSJI)

Refers to the risk of confirming negative stereotypes about an individual’s racial, ethic, gender, or cultural group. (RSJI)


Tokenism is, simply, covert racism. Racism requires those in power to maintain their privilege by exercising social, economic, and/or political muscle against people of color (POC). Tokenism achieves the same while giving those in power the appearance of being non-racist and even champions of diversity because they recruit and use POC as racialized props. Examples include:

  • Recruit POC to formal leadership positions, but keep all the power.
  • Only hire POC for POC “stuff.”
  • Convene Special “Diversity Councils” but don’t build POC leadership on your main Board.
  • Use POC as your mouthpiece and shield against other POC. (RET)

A political framework and approach for responding to violence, harm, and abuse. At its most basic, it seeks to respond to violence without creating more violence and/or engaging in harm reduction to lessen the violence. TJ can be thought of as a way of “making things right,” getting in “right relation,” or creating justice together. Transformative justice responses and interventions:

  • Do not rely on the state (e.g. police, prisons, the criminal legal system, I.C.E., foster care system (though some TJ responses do rely on or incorporate social services like counseling));
  • Do not reinforce or perpetuate violence such as oppressive 23 norms or vigilantism; and most importantly,
  • Actively cultivate the things we know prevent violence such as healing, accountability, resilience, and safety for all involved. (RET)

An umbrella term that describes people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth: A term used to describe people who identify as a different gender from the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation; transgender people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. (LGBTQIA Resource Center)

An umbrella term encompassing sexuality and gender in Indigenous Native American communities. Two Spirit people often serve integral and important roles in their communities, such as leaders and healers. It may refer to an embodiment of masculinity and femininity but this is not the only significance of the term. There are a variety of definitions and feelings about the term two spirit – and this term does not resonate for everyone. Two Spirit is a cultural term reserved for those who identify as Indigenous Native American. Although the term itself became more commonly used around 1990, two spirit people have existed for centuries. (LGBTQIA Resource Center)


People who are born outside of the country to which they immigrated, who do not have documentation that grants legal rights related to residency and/or citizenship. (RSJI)


Per Robin DiAngelo, white fragility is “a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable [for white people], triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium.” (ProInspire)

A system of unearned benefits afforded to those people classified as white. These advantages are personal, cultural and institutional and provide greater access to resources and systemic power. For white people, white privilege can lead to internalized superiority, as it distorts their relationships and humanity. (RSJI)

The existence of racial power that denotes a system of structural or societal racism which privileges white people over others, regardless of the presence or the absence of racial hatred. White racial advantages occur at both a collective and an individual level, and both people of color and white people can perpetuate white dominant culture, resulting in the overall disenfranchisement of people of color in many aspects of society. (Equity In the Center)

Characteristics of white supremacy that manifest in organizational culture, and are used as norms and standards without being proactively named or chosen by the full group. The characteristics are damaging to both people of color and white people in that they elevate the values, preferences, and experiences of one racial group above all others. Organizations that are led by people of color or have a majority of people of color can also demonstrate characteristics of white supremacy culture. Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun identified twelve characteristics of white supremacy culture in organizations: Perfectionism, Sense of Urgency, Defensiveness, Quantity of Quality, Worship of the Written Word, Paternalism, Power Hoarding, Fear of Open Conflict, Individualism, Progress is Bigger/More, Objectivity, and Right to Comfort. (also known as White Supremacy Norms) (Equity In the Center)


Any attitude, behavior, practice, or policy that explicitly or implicitly reflects the belief that immigrants are inferior to the dominant group of people. Xenophobia is reflected in interpersonal, institutional, and systemic levels of oppression and is a function of White supremacy. (RET)


Systematic subordination and mistreatment of young people and elders based on age through the restriction and denial of opportunities to exercise social, economic, and political power. Youth and elder oppressions both include restricted access to goods, services, and privileges of society, along with loss of voice and limited access to participation in society. The subordination of young people and elders is supported by institutional structures and practices of society, networks of laws, rules, policies, and procedures, along with the attitudes, values, and actions of individuals that combine to ensure the subordinated status of members of these socially constructed identity groups. Young people and elders are marginalized and excluded by practices that give middle-aged adults the power to act on and for them, often without their agreement or consent. (See also Elder Oppression.) (RET)