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Definitions of Terms


R.A.C.E. Dialogue

Here is a list of terms that can come up (frequently) in R.A.C.E. Dialogue. We hope the definitions can be helpful to you.

Ally
Those 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. Allies commit to reducing their own complicity or collusion in oppression of those groups and invest in strengthening their own knowledge and awareness of oppression.
(OpenSource Leadership Strategies,
“The Dynamic System of Power, Privilege and Oppressions.”  and Center for Assessment and Policy Development.)


Collusion
When people act to perpetuate oppression or prevent others from working to eliminate oppression.
Example: Able-bodied people who object to strategies for making buildings accessible because of the expense. (
Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook. Maurianne Adams, Lee Anne Bell, and Pat Griffin, editors. Routledge, 1997.)


Implicit Bias
Also known as unconscious or hidden bias, implicit biases are negative associations that people unknowingly hold. They are expressed automatically, without conscious awareness. (State of the Science Implicit Bias Review 2013, Cheryl Staats, Kirwan Institute, The Ohio State University).

Internalized Racism
The adaptation of a white supremacist mindset that results in self-hatred and hatred one’s own respective racial group (http://racerelations.about.com).

Intersectionality
An approach largely advanced by women of color, arguing that classifications such as gender, race, class and others cannot be examined in isolation from one another. They interact and intersect in individuals’ lives, in society, in social systems, and are mutually constitutive. (White Privilege Conference glossary)

Microaggressions
Brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership. (Derald W. Sue).
Example: "I didn’t realize people like you go to college."


Oppression
Systemic devaluing, undermining, marginalizing, and disadvantaging of certain social identities in contrast to the privileged norm. When some people are denied something of value, while others have ready access. (White Privilege Conference glossary)

Privilege
Systematic favoring, enriching, valuing, validating and including of certain social identities over others. Individuals cannot “opt out” of systems of privilege; rather these systems are inherent to the society in which we live. (White Privilege Conference glossary)

Personal Work
A term we use within R.A.C.E. that means “the effort individuals put into examining their racial conditioning and the effort to recondition themselves to kind and genuine relationship patterns.”

Race
A social construct that divides people into groups based on factors such as physical appearance, ancestry, culture, history, etc. A social, historical and political classification system. (White Privilege Conference glossary)

Systemic Racism
A system of oppression involving systemic subordination of members of targeted racial groups by those who have relatively more social power. This subordination occurs at the individual, cultural and institutional levels. (White Privilege Conference glossary)

White Privilege
Institutional set of benefits, including greater access to resources and power, bestowed upon people classified as white. (White Privilege Conference glossary)

White Supremacy
The assumption or theory that whites are superior to all other races and should be in power and control. (White Privilege Conference glossary)