This list of terms is not meant to be exhaustive. Because of the way language works, particularly around these concepts, it is important to note that many of these terms continue to evolve and shift depending on the global context.

This list was compiled from the key terms and concepts we use in our Learning and Development offerings

If you have additional recommendations, please email us at globalinclusion@nyu.edu

General Terminology

Our identities are who we are as individuals, including our personal characteristics, history, personality, name, and other traits that make us unique and different from other individuals.

Belonging

Operationalized when individuals are considered part of the constitutional foundation of an organization or institution. Belonging is achieved when individuals have the ability to critique and hold an institution responsible for advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion

Covering

Is the the coerced hiding of crucial aspects of one’s self.

Diversity

Diversity is demography and often representational. It is a complex interplay of social identities and issues

Equity

Fairness and parity in distribution of resources based on historical and contemporary differentials that mitigate participation in society.

Implicit Bias

Also known as implicit social cognition, implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.  These biases, reside deep in the subconsciousness and encompass both favorable and unfavorable assessments, are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control.

Inclusion

The degree to which diversity is embedded, integrated, and involved.

Microaggression

The subtle ways in which verbal and nonverbal language convey oppressive ideology about power or privilege against marginalized identities.

Race

A sociopolitical, not biological, construct that is created and reinforced by social and institutional norms and practices, as well as individual attitudes and behaviors.

Stereotype threat: Stereotype threat is "the threat of being viewed through the lens of a negative stereotype or the fear of doing something that would inadvertently confirm that stereotype".  (Steele, 1999)

-ISMs

Bias is prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.

Ableism

the all-encompassing system of discrimination adn exclusion of people with disabilitiies.

Cissexism

The system of oppression that values cisgender people and upholds the gender binary. Therefore, cissexism marginalizes and makes invisible the lives and experiences of transgender people.

Classism

The institutional, cultural, and individual set of practices and beliefs that assign differential value to people according to their socioeconomic class.

Heterosexism

The system of oppression that values heterosexuality and assumes that heterosexuality is the only natural, normal, or acceptable sexual orientation. Therefore, heterosexism marginalizes and makes invisible the lives and experiences of queer people.

Heteronormativity

The belief or assumption that all people are heterosexual, or that heterosexuality is the "norm" state of human relationships and behavior. This is one manifestation of heterosexism

Racism

A pervasive system of advantage and disadvantage based on the socially constructed category of race. Racism is enacted on multiple levels simultaneously: Institutional, cultural, interpersonal, and individual. Institutional structures, policies, and practices interlock with cultural assumptions about what is right and proper to justify racism. Individuals internalize and enact these assumptions through individual behavior and institutional participation. Woven together, these interactions create and sustain systemic benefits for whites as a group, and structure discrimination, oppression, dispossession, and exclusion for people from targeted racial groups.” (Bell, L.A., Funk, M.S., Khyati, J.Y., and Valvidia, M. (2016)

 

Gender-Related Terminology

Cisgender

Someone who identifies their gender identity with their sex assigned at birth; the term cisgender is not indicative of gender expression, sexual orientation, and/or physical anatomy.

Gender expression

The manifestation of one’s gender identity through clothing, hairstyle, voice, and so on. Person's behavior, mannerisms, interests, and appearance that are associated with gender.

Gender identity

One’s internal sense of identifying as a woman, man, neither of these, both, or another gender(s). Can correlate with sex assigned at birth, or can differ from it.

Gender non-conforming

An umbrella term referring to people who do not identify or express themselves in a way that conforms to the traditional norms of the gender binary. Sometimes considered an umbrella term that can include gender identities like genderqueer, genderfluid, and androgynous, to name a few.

Intersex

An umbrella term that describes people born with variations in their internal and/or external genitalia resulting in bodies that do not fit what society typically defines as “male” or “female”.

Nonbinary

An umbrella term used to describe gender identities that do not fit within the binary of male and female. Common examples include but are not limited to agender (having no gender identity or a gender neutral identity) and bigender (reflecting elements of masculine/feminine gender identities).

Sex assigned at birth

Refers to the determination of one’s “biological sex” on the basis of external genitalia. Chromosomes (such as XX or XY) and hormones (such as estrogen or testosterone) are also involved, but hardly ever tested in assigning a sex to an individual.

Transgender

An umbrella term that describes many gender identities for people who do not identify with their sex assigned at birth; the term transgender is not indicative of gender expression, sexual orientation, and/or physical anatomy. Trans identity may shift throughout a lifetime.

 

Sexuality-Related Terminology

Aromantic

An umbrella term used to describe identities for people who experience little to no romantic attraction for other people (different from asexual).

Asexual

An umbrella term used to describe identities for people who experience little to no sexual attraction for other people (different from aromantic).

Bisexual

An identity for people who are sexually and/or emotionally attracted to both men and women, as well as people who identify outside of the gender binary. Sometimes considered an umbrella term that can include sexualities like pansexual and fluid, to name a few.

Gay

An identity for people who are sexually and/or emotionally attracted to people of the same gender, although most commonly associated with people who identify as men who are sexually and/or emotionally attracted to some other men.

Lesbian

An identity for people who identify as women who are sexually and/or emotionally attracted to some other women.

Pansexual

An identity for people who are sexually and/or emotionally attracted to people of any gender.

Queer

Originally a derogatory slur, it has been reclaimed by some to be an inclusive term for those within LGBTQ+ communities. Some individuals claim this identity to recognize the fluidity of sexual attraction and/or gender identity. For many, this is a political identity in resistance to heteronormativity and anything beyond straight/cis. This term is not always seen as inclusive of trans communities, therefore, we commonly refer to our communities as “queer AND trans communities.”