CREC: Resources | Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion | Hartford, Connecticut
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Racial Equity Tools Glossary

The division of DEI maintains a definition list of core terms, so we may all be on the same page when having critical discussions on diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Invites the richness of differences that intersect visibly or unseen from all different identifiers, and we benefit from interactions with differences such as race, gender identity, and expression, socioeconomic status, military/veteran status, education, age, ability, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, language, nationality, religion and more.


Ensures that each individual has access and opportunity to participate successfully in programs and services with ease and impartiality while identifying and eliminating the barriers that prevent the full participation of marginalized groups.


Leverages the richness of diversity to ensure everyone can fully participate and thrive. It affirms differences and promotes a sense of belonging through policies, programs, practices, learning, and courageous dialogue.


Anti-racism is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies and practices, and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably.
"To be antiracist is to think nothing is behaviorally wrong or right -- inferior or superior -- with any of the racial groups. Whenever the antiracist sees individuals behaving positively or negatively, the antiracist sees exactly that: individuals behaving positively or negatively, not representatives of whole races. To be antiracist is to deracialize behavior, to remove the tattooed stereotype from every racialized body. Behavior is something humans do, not races do."Sources: Dr. Akilah Cadet, The Ally Nudge; Kendi, Ibram X., How to Be an Antiracist. New York: One World, 2019.


A term referring to “Black and/or Indigenous People of Color.” This term is seen as inclusive as it acknowledges explicitly identifies Black and Indigenous communities. It can be used to represent the non-white experience, however, there is often a view that using specific language when referring to racialized groups or experiences is ideal.Sources: Creating Cultures and Practices for Racial Equity: A Toolbox for Advancing Racial Equity for Arts and Cultural Organizations, Nayantara Sen & Terry Keleher, Race Forward (2021).
Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre, “Racism and Power” (2018) / “CARED Glossary” (2020).

Critical Race Theory

An academic framework focused on the principle that racism is systemic and racial inequality can be found in all systems and adversely impacts People of Color in education, medicine, the justice system, and other parts of life. There are five (5) tenets including counter-storytelling; the permanence of racism; Whiteness as property; interest conversion; and the critique of liberalism. Sources: DeCuir & Dixson, 2004; Ladson-Billings, 1998; McCoy, 2006 Ken Magdaleno 2021

Culturally Responsive Education

A teaching approach that is student-centered and uses the students’ unique cultural strengths as well as linguistic backgrounds to promote student achievement. The method develops cultural competence and an increased socio-political or critical consciousness.Sources: Gloria Ladson-Billings; REL Mid-Atlantic the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) 2019; Lynch, M. "What is Culturally Responsive Pedagogy." The Advocate, 21 Apr 2016


Refers to the shared social, cultural, and historical experiences, stemming from common national or regional backgrounds, that make subgroups of a population different from one another
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).Sources: The Meaning of Race and Ethnicity; Racial Equity Tools


The political state from which an individual is from (either by birth or naturalization); may or may not be the same as that person's current location or citizenship.Sources: University of Pittsburgh Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion


Systemic or institutionalized power that creates a structure that discriminates against some (often called “marginalized groups”) and benefits others (often called “dominant groups”); it can be explicit or implicit. This also includes the disparities in everyday interactions between dominant groups and marginalized groups; especially inequities with injustices.Sources: Leaven 2003 Doing Our Own Work: A Seminar for Anti-Racist White Women Visions, Inc. and the MSU Extension Multicultural Awareness Workshop; Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre, “Racism and Power” (2018) / “CARED Glossary” (2020).


The existence of one’s title, position, privilege, access, or opportunities to make decisions. The chance and ability to influence others or enforce one’s beliefs upon others. Influence is relational and cultural by which some individuals within a culture may benefit which they are unaware. Sources: Equity NOW!; Intergroup Resources, “Power” (2012); Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre, “Racism and Power” (2018) / “CARED Glossary” (2020).


A socially constructed category of identification based on physical characteristics, ancestry, historical affiliation, or shared culture. Socially constructed BUT has real impact on all major life outcomes and experiences. Sources: (USC Race and Equity Center)

Racial Equity

Racial equity is the condition that would be achieved if one's racial identity no longer predicted, in a statistical sense, how one fares. When we use the term, we are thinking about racial equity as one part of racial justice, and thus we also include work to address root causes of inequities, not just their manifestation. This includes the elimination of policies, practices, attitudes, and cultural messages that reinforce differential outcomes by race or that fail to eliminate them.
"A mindset and method for solving problems that have endured for generations, seem intractable, harm people and communities of color most acutely, and ultimately affect people of all races. This will require seeing differently, thinking differently, and doing the work differently. Racial equity is about results that make a difference and last.”Sources: Racial Equity Tools


Interpersonal level: Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.
Systemic: a doctrine or political program or set of policies based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles (such as redlining). In the United States, systemic racism privileges Whiteness and is designed to uphold the superiority of Whiteness. Sources: (USC Race and Equity Center)

Social Justice

Social justice includes a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable” and all members of a space, community, or institution, or society are “physically and psychologically safe and secure.” (Adams et al. 2016)
“ justice is both a process and a goal. The goal of social justice is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are psychologically and physically safe and secure.” (Bell, 2013, p. 21).Sources: Adams, M et al. (2016). Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice. New York: Routledge. p. 1.; Bell, L. (2013). Theoretical foundations. In M. Adams, W.J. Blumenfeld, C. Castañeda,, H.W. Hackman, M.L. Petrs, & X. Zúñiga. (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice. New York: Routledge.

White Privilege

This is the pattern of an unearned set of assumptions, advantages, entitlements, and choices granted to individuals or a group of people merely because they are white. Commonly, people who have such benefits are not conscious of it. Sources: Peggy McIntosh 1989


The system of privileges afforded to people who appear white through government policies, media depiction, decision-making power within our corporate, educational, judicial structures, etc. It is socially and politically constructed and does not just refer to skin color but to its beliefs, values, behaviors, and attitudes, which result in inequities in power and privilege based on skin color. It is a set of norms established such that its actions are “invisible” to those who benefit from its privileges.Sources: Frye, 1983; Kivel, 1996; Whiteness - Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre; Portland Community College An Affirmative Action Equal Opportunity Institution


CREC Magnet Schools DEI

In accordance with CREC’s mission of equity, excellence, and success for all through high-quality educational services, our staff and students commit to participate in and support ongoing equity and inclusion programming through curricular and co-curricular offerings, professional learning, and local and national partnerships. Moreover, CREC Magnet Schools staff and students strive to understand and confront the symptoms and causes of systematic oppression—ranging from implicit biases to microaggressions to discriminatory policies, practices and traditions—that benefit privileged groups.

Urban League of Greater Hartford (ULGH)

Urban League of Greater Hartford is a community based, not-for-profit that provides programs and services in the areas of: Adult Education; Youth Development; Workforce Development and Training; Economic Empowerment; and Health and Wellness. Their mission is to reduce economic disparities in our communities through programs, services and educational opportunities.

Akomawt Educational Initiative

Akomawt Educational Initiative is dedicated to furthering knowledge of Native America through innovative learning approaches designed to impact how we teach history and contemporary social issues. ​Their vision is to effect a lasting positive and informed change to the dominant narrative of how Native histories and cultures are taught in America.

Partners for Educational Leadership

Partners for Educational Leadership is a non-profit organization with a mission to improve teaching and learning, to reduce achievement gaps, and to promote equity in schools. Partners for Educational Leadership supports comprehensive pre K-12 educational reform through a system-wide, integrated approach focused on improving instructional practice and developing leadership at all levels, from parents to superintendents.

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