Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (JEDI) Resources


This document is a space to collect and share Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion resources (particularly related to anti-racism and racial justice) and intersections with unschooling and parenting. This is a living document, intended to grow and evolve as our WoW community grows and evolves in our collective JEDI conversations and learning and our collective actions toward liberation. Please contact Steve to add additional resources to the sections below. 







Language for navigating systems of oppression 

Ableism: Discrimination and social prejudice against people with physical and cognitive disabilities. Ableism characterizes persons as defined by their disabilities, and as inferior to the non-disabled. At the same time on this basis, people are assigned or denied certain perceived abilities, skills, and/or character traits. The societal and institutional view that centers non-disabled people as the norm; people with disabilities are viewed as deviating from what is deemed a normal body or mind. Disability is seen as a deficiency, affliction or pathology to overcome, hide or to fix, for example, through medical treatments and therapies. *note: both “person first” and “identity first” language is used above. Some people prefer “with”, some prefer “disabled person”, just as you would not say that someone is “with” or “has” homosexuality.

Accomplice: The actions of an Accomplice are meant to directly challenge institutionalized racism, colonization, and White supremacy by blocking or impeding racist people, policies, and structures.

Realizing that our freedoms and liberations are bound together, retreat or withdrawal in the face of oppressive structures is not an option. Accomplices’ actions are informed by, directed and often coordinated with leaders who are Black, Brown First Nations/Indigenous Peoples, and/or People of Color. Accomplices actively listen with respect, and understand that oppressed people are not monolithic in their tactics and beliefs. Accomplices aren’t motivated by personal guilt or shame. They are not emotionally fragile. Accomplices build trust through consent and being accountable – this means not acting in isolation where there is no accountability. (From whiteaccomplices.org)

Adultism: The behaviors and attitudes based on the assumption that adults are superior to young people, and entitled to act upon young people without agreement. Adultism is used to describe any discrimination against young people and is distinguished from ageism, which is prejudice on the grounds of age (towards older/elder adults and young people). 

Ageism: Age prejudice plus institutional power; discrimination against individuals because of their age, often based on stereotypes. (The National Multicultural Institute)

Ally: An action and way of being in the world not an identity. Members of the advantaged group who recognize their privilege and work in solidarity with oppressed groups to dismantle the systems of oppression(s) from which they derive power, privilege and acceptance. Allied behavior means taking intentional, overt and consistent responsibility for the changes we know are needed in our society, and does so in a way that facilitates the empowerment of persons targeted by oppression. 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. 

Anti-Black Racism: Anti-Black racism often gets conflated with racism towards other racial groups in ways that invisibilize the frequency, severity and specificity of racism that Black people are targeted by, and the specific ways in which anti-Black racism is often dismissed and downplayed.

Calling In: Based in the belief that mistakes happen and that harm is an opportunity for transformation and repair, especially when mistakes/harm occur in a relationship with shared values and within communities seeking justice and freedom. Involves addressing someone’s behavior more privately and personally, identifying the hurtful behavior, and making space to talk about it with compassion and patience. 

“I picture “calling in” as a practice of pulling folks back in who have strayed from us… as a practice of loving each other enough to allow each other to make mistakes; a practice of loving ourselves enough to know that what we’re trying to do here is a radical unlearning of everything we have been configured to believe is normal. (Ngọc Loan Trần)

Cisheteropatriarchy – is a system of power based on the supremacy & dominance of cisheterosexual men through the exploitation & oppression of women and LGBTQIA* people. (decolonizeallthethings.com)

Classism: Differential treatment based on socioeconomic class or perceived class. Systemic oppression of poor and working classes to advantage and strengthen the middle, upper and ruling classes. The assignment of characteristics of worth and ability based on socioeconomic class.

Collective Liberation: Recognizes that all of our struggles are intimately connected, and that we must work together to create the kind of world we know is possible. The belief that every person is worthy of dignity and respect, and that within systems of oppression everyone suffers.

Colonialism/Colonization: The policy and practice of exerting control over another country or society and exploiting the land, people and economy for the benefit of the colonial power. Usually includes acquisition and expansion of property, creation of settler colonies, spread of disease, enslavement and displacement of Indigenous populations. Colonial logic sees the colonized as inferior and benefiting from “civilizing uplift” of contact with its superior culture and society. Colonial practices force assimilation of the colonized into the culture of the colonial power in order to destroy any remnant of the foreign cultures that might threaten the colonial power by inspiring rebellion.  Colonialism is often based on the ethnocentric belief that the morals and values of the colonizer are superior to those of the colonized.

Decolonization: The undoing of colonialism, including dismantlement of outside rule, internalization of colonial superiority, reclamation of Indigenous practices and reconnection to self, family and community. Decolonization brings about the repatriation of Indigenous land and life (“Decolonization is Not a Metaphor” from Eve Tuck & K. Wayne Yang). 

Environmental Racism: Environmental racism refers to the disproportionate impact of environmental hazards on people of color. Race, more than class, is the number one indicator for the placement of toxic facilities in this country, such as coal fired power plants and incinerators that emit mercury, arsenic, lead, and other contaminants into the water, food, and lungs of communities living nearby. Environmental racism is caused by factors including intentional neglect, the alleged need for a receptacle for pollutants in urban areas, and a lack of institutional power and low land values of people of color. Environmental justice is the movement’s response to environmental racism.

Equity: The state, quality or ideal of being just, impartial and fair. The concept of equity is synonymous with fairness and justice. To be achieved and sustained, equity needs to be thought of as a structural and systemic concept. Systemic equity is a complex combination of interrelated elements consciously designed to create, support and sustain social justice. It is a dynamic process that reinforces and replicates equitable ideas, power, resources, strategies, conditions, habits and outcomes. (aecf.org)

Eurocentrism: A worldview centered on and biased towards Western civilization with an implied belief, either conscious or subconscious, of the preeminence of European or European-American culture. 

Frontline Communities: Directly and disproportionately impacted communities who are hit first and worst by a problem, and have been able to collectively name the ways they are burdened and are organizing solutions together. (Organizing Cools the Planet)

Gender: Gender denotes a social, cultural, or psychological condition, as opposed to that of biological sex. Some people do not have a gender identity that corresponds to their biological sex. Sometimes these individuals will identify as  transgender, transsexual, intersexed and or genderqueer.

Gender Identity: One’s internal sense of being male, female, neither of these, both, or other gender(s). (Trans Student Educational Resources) 

Gender Expression: How people externally communicate or perform their gender identity to others. (The National Multicultural Institute)

Heterosexism: Structural, interpersonal, or other forms of discrimination or prejudice against anyone who does not conform to binary gender norms based on the assumption that heterosexuality is the normal/correct sexual orientation. social structures and practices which serve to enforce heterosexuality as the only norm and superior, subordinating or suppressing other forms of sexuality.  (University of Maryland)

Inclusion: Inclusion is the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure. More than simply diversity and numerical representation, inclusion involves authentic and empowered participation and a true sense of belonging. (aecf.org)

Intersectionality: “A lens for seeing the way in which various forms of inequality often operate together and exacerbate each other. We tend to talk about race inequality as separate from inequality based on gender, class, sexuality or immigrant status. What’s often missing is how some people are subject to all of these, and the experience is not just the sum of its parts.”  ~ Kimberlé Crenshaw who coined the term in 1989 to make visible the experience of Black women in an anti-discrimination case in which the law only saw the category woman as white and the category Black as male. 

Ideological Oppression: any oppressive system has at its core the idea that one group is somehow better than another, and in some measure has the right to control the other group. 

Institutional Oppression: the network of institutional structures, policies, and practices that creates advantages and benefits for some and disadvantages for others. 

Internalized Oppression: the process by which a member of an oppressed group comes to accept and live out the inaccurate myths and stereotypes applied to the group by its oppressors.

Interpersonal Oppression: interactions between individuals where people use oppressive behavior, insults or violence. (The 4 I’s of Oppression source: Global Action Project) 

Microaggressions:  The everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, invalidations or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their identity. (Derald Wing Sue)

Model Minority Myth: A stereotype that depicts Asian Americans as the perfect example of an “if they can do it so can you” success story. The model minority myth effectively constructs Black and Latinx people as the “problem” minority while also invisibilizing forms of economic disenfranchisement, oppression, and racism against Asian American communities.  It uses comparisons between social status and the accomplishments of Asian Americans and Black Americans to maintain  the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” myth.  It is an historical and presently used tool designed to protect institutionalized white supremacy and validate anti-Black racism. 

Oppression: Systemic, institutional, individual (and often unconscious and/or internalized) domination, devaluing, disadvantaging, targeting or marginalizing of one social identity in contrast to a more powerful social identity for the social, economic and political benefit of the more powerful group. Prejudice plus power.

Patriarchy: An historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression in which those assigned male, or seen as masculine, hold authority and privilege central to social organization, occupying roles of political leadership, moral authority, and control of property. It based on binary definitions of gender & strict gender roles and implies and entails subordination of all that is female or feminine.

Power: The ability, strength, authority or capacity to act or do something effectively. There are many kinds: personal power, people power, co-power, institutional power, positional power, referred power, expert power, obstructive power, cultural power, structural power, transcendent power, associative power (simplified to power over, power with and power within).  

Privilege: Systemic favoring, valuing, validating and advantaging of certain social identities at the expense of others. Often in the form of basic human rights denied to some based on identity. This can range from vmore overt (professional opportunities) to more subtle (setting the “norm” against which others are judged). In the US, privileged identities include US citizen, male, white (i.e. European ancestry, settler), affluent/financially secure, heterosexual, cisgendered, thin, non-disabled and Christian). power and advantages benefiting a group derived from the historical oppression and exploitation of other groups. (University of Maryland)

Racism: Race prejudice + (structural) power. Manifests as actions, practices, or beliefs that consider individuals to be divided into races, based on skin color, that can be ranked as inherently superior or inferior, or that members of different races should be treated differently. racial prejudice combined with institutional or systemic power. Penetrates every aspect of personal, cultural, and institutional life. Includes exclusion, discrimination against, suspicion of, fear and hatred of people of color. (Exchange Project of the Peace & Development Fund)

Reverse Racism: A non-term. People of color do not have the same institutional power to back up individual or group prejudices that white people have. See definition of Racism.

Sexism: Gender or sex prejudice + power. Often imposes a narrow and rigid notion of masculinity and femininity on individuals along with a belief that a person of one sex is intrinsically superior to a person of the other. discrimination, prejudice or stereotyping on the basis of gender, especially against women and girls, backed by institutional or systemic power. Devaluation and subordination of people, labor and attributes considered female or feminine. (O’Brien)

Transgender: Refers to people who have a gender identity, or gender expression, that differs from their assigned sex.Transgender is also an umbrella term: in addition to including people whose gender identity is the opposite of their assigned sex (trans men and trans women), it may include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine (people who are genderqueer, e.g. bigender, pangender, genderfluid, or agender). Other definitions of transgender also include people who belong to a third gender, or conceptualize transgender people as a third gender. Being transgender is independent of sexual orientation. Transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, etc., or may consider conventional sexual orientation labels inadequate or inapplicable. an umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. (Trans Student Educational Resources) In contrast to Cisgender a term that describes a person whose gender identity aligns with the sex assigned to them at birth. (Welcoming Schools)

Whiteness: A social construct that has changed over time, and has been used to explain problems with people who have refused to assimilate to the dominant colonizing culture in Europe and the US even after centuries of exposure. As a racial term, it now refers to people of primarily European background. British colonists referred to themselves as “people,” “citizens,” or “Christians,” and others were referred to by their racial categories. In the US, the term did not always include Jews, the Irish, Eastern and Southern. These groups were included within concept of whiteness as a response to chattel slavery in order to prevent interracial uprisings. 

White Fragility: “White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress. It is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium”. (Robin DiAngelo)

White Supremacy: An historically based, institutionally and culturally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations, and peoples of color by white peoples and nations of the European continent for the purpose of establishing, maintaining and defending a system of wealth, power and privilege.

White Savior Complex: The idea that what a white person has to offer is inherently valuable, and will uplift disenfranchised communities.  Based in the notion that some individuals (e.g. the wealthy, Westerners) are the solution to others’ problems and can control who gets to be the savior and who has to be saved. 

Xenophobia:  Dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries.The fear and distrust of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange. Xenophobia can involve perceptions of an ingroup towards an outgroup and can manifest itself in suspicion of the activities of others, and a desire to eliminate their presence to secure a presumed purity and may relate to a fear of losing national, ethnic or racial identity. 

Written and compiled by Partners for Collaborative Change from various sources, including Andrea Ayvazian, Peggy McIntosh, Love, Race and Liberation, Open Source Leadership, Challenging White Supremacy, Isaac Giron, Joshua Kahn Russell, Wahleah Johns, White Noise Collective, Rockwood, Movement Strategy Center, United Students Against Sweatshops, Robin DiAngelo and Wikipedia.