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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Resources

This guide is designed to support the study and practical application of resources related to DEIA topics.

Key Terms

Colorblindness - The process by which a person attempts to ignore the existence of race or skin color in service of seeing past race and just seeing the person. This de-emphasizing of race, however, ignores the real, lived experience of people of color in the US and ignores their experience. 

Critical Race Theory -  Argues that white racism is a hegemonic, socially and historically constructed cultural force in American society. This racism expresses itself in popular culture by believed myths, stories, legal rules, and the institutional disposition of prestige and power via the concept of whiteness.

Culture - A set of shared ideas, customs, traditions, beliefs, and practices shared by a group of people that is constantly changing, in subtle and major ways.

Ethnicity - A group of people who identify with one another based on shared culture.

Indigenous - Also known as first peoples, aboriginal peoples, native peoples, or autochthonous peoples, indigenous people are ethnic groups who are descended from and identify with the original inhabitants of a given region, in contrast to groups that have settled, occupied or colonized the area more recently.

People of color - A blanket term to include those who do not identify as only white or Caucasian. This is the preferred and most inclusive term, currently.

Race - Race is a false construct that conflates skin color and ancestry with behavior, intelligence, and culture. Though race is a false construct, it has real consequences for all people.

Racism - A widespread social phenomenon that rose in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries as European explorers encountered the indigenous peoples of unknown lands who looked, spoke, and lived so differently that it was easier for the explorers to deny their humanity. The concept of race is an invention of the early modern world. The ancient and medieval worlds did not identify persons by race. Individuals were recognized during these earlier periods in geographic terms. Racial emphasis came into use as a support for imperialism and its accompanying institution of slavery. 

Stereotype Threat -  Refers to the risk of confirming negative stereotypes about an individual’s racial, ethnic, gender, or cultural group. The term was coined by the researchers Claude Steele and Joshua Aronson, who performed experiments that showed that black college students performed worse on standardized tests than their white peers when they were reminded, before taking the tests, that their racial group tends to do poorly on such exams. When their race was not emphasized, however, black students performed similarly to their white peers.

White Supremacy - The belief that whites (Caucasians) are superior to people of other races and should therefore hold a dominant position in society. Followers of white supremacy promote an ideology that describes the social, political, and economic domination of whites over all other races. As different cultures have differing definitions of race, who is considered "white" and which racial or cultural groups are specifically targeted can vary, both geographically and over time.

Xenophobia - Fear, hatred, or distrust of foreigners. Fear and suspicion of immigrants inspired discrimination and persecution of immigrant groups in the United States long before the term “xenophobia” was coined during the early twentieth century. Xenophobia is distinguished from bigotry and prejudice in that the latter denote disrespect and contempt based on one’s belief in another group’s alleged cultural or even biological inferiority, whereas xenophobia is prompted by a perceived threat to the culture and mores of the group to which one feels one’s greatest allegiance.


Caffrey, Cait. “White Supremacy,” Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2020. EBSCOhost..

"Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Vocabulary," The Avarna Group.

Du Bose, Thomas. “Xenophobia,” Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2020. EBSCOhost.

Simba, Malik. “Critical Race Theory,” Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2019. EBSCOhost.

The Glossary of Educational Reform, Great Schools Partnership.

Walker, Randolph Meade. “Racism: History of the Concept,” Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2017. EBSCOhost.

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