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Glossary of Terms and Frequently Asked Questions


Equity in Education Glossary of Terms

The intent of the Equity in Education Glossary is to help staff and community members understand the terms that are often involved in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) work. These concepts and identity terms highlight those who may be underrepresented or underserved by educational institutions.


Accessibility  Refers to how well students can physically navigate campus structures and facilities, as well as their ability to engage with educational content. Students with certain disabilities may need additional support such as screen readers, dyslexia-friendly fonts, and more. 

Allyship  An active, consistent, and arduous practice of unlearning and re-evaluating, in which a person in a position of privilege and power seeks to operate in solidarity with a marginalized group.

Culturally Relevant Teaching/Culturally Responsive Teaching  Processes and practices are designed to achieve equitable educational outcomes for all students by honoring their diverse cultural backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences.

Culture  A way of life for a group of people – includes values, behaviors, beliefs, norms, symbols, customs, communication styles, etc. Numerous dominant and non-dominant cultures exist in education that influence inclusive teaching and learning.

Diversity  Having different types of people from a wide range of identities with different perspectives, experiences, etc.

Equality  The equal treatment of all individuals, regardless of their needs. 

Equity  Removing the predictability of success or failure that currently correlates with any social or cultural factor (such as race), examining biases, and creating inclusive environments.

Ethnicity  A socially-constructed identity category that divides humans into social groups based on cultural characteristics (e.g, language, values, ancestral background, geographic context, and behaviors).

Gender Equity  Often refers to the fair treatment of men and women in accordance to their respective needs. However, the term can also encompass all gender identities. 

Implicit Bias  The attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.

Inclusive Pedagogy  A comprehensive approach to teaching and learning that acknowledges and respects students’ varying, complex life experiences by valuing diversity and engaging in equity-oriented practices in the classroom.

Intersectionality  A description of how race, class, gender, and other identifications overlap.

Racial Equity  Acknowledges the harm that has been done to people of color for generations, as well as its impact on dominant policies and attitudes in the present.


Frequently Asked Questions Related to DEIB Work