Countdown to the
11th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Teen Peace and Social Justice Summit
About the Summit
Location : William Tennent High School
333 Centennial Rd, Warminster, PA 18974Date : Sunday, January 15, 2022Time : 4:00-6:00 PM
The 11th Annual MLK Teen Peace and Social Justice Summit will take place at William Tennet High School. It is hosted by several community groups in Bucks and Montogmery County. This summit is designed to bring together people living in Bucks and Montgomery County to discuss the impact of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy.The format is designed for 9th -12th graders, although 7th and 8th graders may also attend. This year, the summit is open to educators and parents of student participants. We are excited for the opportunity to expand the community dialogue.
Our community agreement
Name the problem
Open your heart and mind to changing the old narrative
Expect to be uncomfortable
Stay committed and engaged
Respect another person’s truth that may be different from your own
Open to learning not debating
Listen respectfully and respect confidentiality
This summit would not be possible without the hard work and endless support of our volunteer facilitators, event coordinators, and summit hosts. Special thanks to all of our partner agencies:
About this Website
This website was created by volunteers in order to better organize and record information for our community about the MLK Jr. Teen Peace and Social Justice Summits. It has been kept as a record since the 10th Annual Summit in 2022.This resource is updated as we learn and grow with our community. We aim to provide (to the best of our ability) accurate information. If you notice anything on this website to be missing or false, please contact the organizers of the event.Thank you for your assistance in making our communities a more equitable and welcoming place to be.
10th Annual Summit - 2022
The 10th Annual MLK Teen Peace and Social Justice Summit was hosted virtually on Sunday, January 16, 2022, by several community groups in Bucks County. This summit is designed to bring together people living in Bucks and Montgomery County to discuss the impact of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy. The summit focused on the impact of microaggressions in education.The format was designed for 9th - 12th graders and some mature 7th and 8th graders. This year, the summit is open to educators and parents of student participants, and we are excited for the opportunity to expand the dialogue.The goal of this summit is to provide a space for students to share about the microaggressions and discrimination they have experienced. By participating in this summit, people discussed what it takes to practice allyship on issues of anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination, and gained access to educational resources.To learn more about microaggressions and the work our community did during the 2022 summit, check out our "About Microaggresions" page.
A microaggression is a form of discrimination, usually in the form of subtle comments or actions that negatively targets a marginalized group of people. These action are often considered to be small, not overt, and below the threshold of legal notice. Despite that, microaggressions can - and often do - have large impact on the person or people it is directed towards.Microaggressions can be intentional or accidental; indeed some of the people who commit microaggressions may not intentionally mean harm toward the person or group they use it against. They may not even realize that they are committing a microaggression. Regardless, microaggressions can be very hurtful to the people who experience them, and the intention of the perpetrator does not excuse the impact their actions have.
Microaggressions are about experiential reality and about listening to the voices of those who are oppressed, ignored, and silenced. During the summit, participants watched a video compilation of students in Bucks County sharing their experiences when faced with microaggressions in school. This resource is also available to you here.What these students - and many others like them - face includes bullying, harassment, and disrespectful and aggressive comments. While this video is not all encompassing, it highlights the impact microaggressions have on the people that experience them. It also show some of the ways microaggressions can present.
Video speakers, in the order that they appear:
Ben (they/them) - high school junior, identifies as gay/non-binary.
CC (she/her) - high school senior, identifies as Mexican American, Hispanic, and bisexual and queer.
Claire Chunk (she/her) - high school senior, identifies as Asian American.
Unnamed student - former high school student, identifies as Black. Experience read by another student.
Sophia (she/her) - identifies as a transgender woman and bisexual. Experience read by another student.
Bobby (she/her) - high school student, identifies as Indian American.
Dean Millard (he/him) - freshman at Villanova University, identifies as Black.
Dahlia Gumaa (she/her) - high school senior, identifies as Black.
Microaggressions aren't just comments. They also include behaviors that directly impact the quality of education a student receives. Microaggressions can happen anywhere. The first step in addressing microaggressions is to recognize when a microaggression has occurred and what message it may be sending. The context of the relationship and situation is critical.In the case of education, students of color are much less likely to be called on in class by a white teacher. Additionally, white teachers are 40% less likely to believe their students of color (particularly Black and Latine students) will graduate high school and 30% less likely to say a student will go on to achieve a 4-year degree.Students of color are, therefore, less likely to receive encouragement and close mentorship than their white counterparts. Despite the increase of teachers that have underrepresented identities in education, there is still a disproportionate lack of teachers to students with similar identities.This is especially important when we consider that people of color are less likely to be hired to teaching positions despite having the relevant credentials, meaning students also lack the experience of having a role model that looks like them. The lack of teachers and mistreatment of current minority teachers is also a microaggression against students, as they see people with their shared identity being mistreated and may internalize such treatment.Lack of representation means students - especially men of color - are more likely to be stereotyped and over-punished compared to their white counterparts. There is an obvious disproportion in the rate of suspension that students of color experience vs. their white counterparts. When students are represented by members of the faculty they are less likely to be suspended and more likely to succeed in school and beyond.Of course, microaggressions impact people in many different ways. Often, people think of race when it comes to microaggressions, which is very valid. This is because race is a large part of a person's identity and one that is very visible. They can also impact people based on age, citizenship status and nationality, class/caste, education, dis/ability, family structure, gender, mental health, queer and trans identities, religion, and weight bias - as well as many others. Below are some common categories and examples.
Alien in One’s Own Land - When Asian Americans, Latine Americans, and others who look different or are named differently from the dominant culture are assumed to be foreign-born.
Ascription of Intelligence - Assigning intelligence to a person of color or a woman based on their race/gender.
Color Blindness - Statements that indicate that a person does not want to or need to acknowledge race.
Criminality/Assumption of Criminal Status - A person of color is presumed to be dangerous, criminal, or deviant based on their race.
Denial of Individual Racism/Sexism/Heterosexism - A statement made when bias is denied.
Myth of Meritocracy - Statements that assert that race or gender does not play a role in life successes, for example in issues like school admissions.
Pathologizing Cultural Values/Communication Styles - The notion that the values and communication styles of the dominant culture are ideal or ”normal”.
Second-Class Citizen - Occurs when a target group member receives differential treatment from a privileged group.
Sexist/Heterosexist Language - Terms that exclude or degrade women and LGBTQ+ persons.
Traditional Gender Role/Norm Prejudicing and Stereotyping - Occurs when expectations of traditional roles or stereotypes are conveyed.
|Example||What it really means|
|You are really smart for a black person.||People of your background are unintelligent.|
|Why are black girls so loud?||Your experiences as a minority are not different from anyone else’s experiences.|
|You can succeed if you try hard enough.||You are lazy.|
|The only race is the human race.||Your experience as a minority is invalid.|
|As a girl, I understand what you experience as a minority.||I can't be racist because I am oppressed like you.|
|I don’t see color.||I don't see your whole identity, your struggles, or how society treats you because of your race.|
|You don’t act black.||Everyone in your group acts the same way.|
|You speak English very well.||People who look like you don’t have good language skills.|
|I have lots of black friends.||I am not a racist.|
|May I touch your hair?||You are an object.|
Books to Read
Defining allyship is really difficult. That's because no one fully knows how to fully describe what it means. For instance, liking a post on social media isn't enough to make you an ally. In fact, there is nothing you can do to "become an ally". We can see this in the way that author Roxane Gay writes in her article for Marie Claire, “On Making Black Lives Matter”.
The spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day encourages us to not just talk, but also act in support of our communities and social change. Therefore, we have compiled a list of local events in the Greater Philadelphia area that honor MLK Day by engaging with our communities. Whether you want to give back, donate your time or money, continue learning, or participate in social change, we hope you will never stop learning and thinking about how we can continue to build up our communities together.
What is allyship?
Defining allyship can be really difficult. That's because no one fully knows how to fully describe what it means. For instance, liking a post on social media isn't enough to make you an ally. In fact, there is nothing you can do to "become an ally". We can see this in the way that author Roxane Gay writes in her article for Marie Claire, “On Making Black Lives Matter”.
"Black people do not need allies. We need people to stand up and take on the problems borne of oppression as their own, without remove or distance. We need people to do this even if they cannot fully understand what it’s like to be oppressed for their race or ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, class, religion, or other marker of identity. We need people to use common sense to figure out how to participate in social justice."
Allyship is a lived experience, not something you can check a box on and be done with. It is something you must actively practice your whole life. However, allyship might look very different for two different people. We all start from different places, with varying levels of privilege, resources, and abilities. We all have different things we can add. Some people might be able to show up at protests that would be too unsafe to go to because of their identity. Someone with a car might be able to attend more events because they control their own mobility. A person with more financial resources might be able to donate to causes more often than those with less.Additionally, people don't always have the choice of the "best option". There is no such thing as perfect allyship. Allyship isn't a competition against other people and it isn't used to tear people down. Would we say that someone without access to clean water is bad for drinking bottled water? No, we would recognize that they are doing their best to survive and ask instead ask why they don't have clean water in the first place.Quite honestly, the "ideal ally" is expensive, rooted in privilege, and unsustainable for an individual. Putting all of the responsibility on individuals ignores the systemic causes of the problems we want to address. We can't do this alone, and we aren't meant to. The good thing is we don't have to. Allyship askes us to be an active part of our communities - to take care of it when we can and to reach out when we need help.We are constantly learning and growing. To become better implies that we all start at a place of imperfection. You are going to make mistakes and hurt someone; that isn't okay, but it is honest. That is why it is important to be accountable for our actions and inactions, and keep challenging ourselves to do better.
It can be easy to become discouraged once you understand how big of an issue microaggressions are connected to. It is easy to think,
"But I'm just one person. How can I make a difference to something so large?"
The amazing thing about this work is that you might already be doing it. Being part of these conversations and learning more are great steps towards awareness. Like we said before, allyship is about community. We are strong as individuals, but we are stronger together. When we practice allyship, we become better advocates for our friends and families - and ourselves.
Below are some tips to help you approach conversations about microaggressions and build an allyship-centered mindset.
Be genuine: Conversations about allyship, microaggressions, and systemic oppression cannot happen if the people having them do not approach them in good faith. If one person is trying to be open and understanding and another is just trying to make a point or not actively listen, the conversation will not be productive and everyone may walk away feeling frustrated or hurt.
Get comfortable being uncomfortable: These conversations are uncomfortable. This history of systemic oppression is not a fun or happy topic, but it is an important one. All of us need to be comfortable talking about and addressing micro-aggressions. Recognize when you are feeling uncomfortable and ask why you are feeling uncomfortable.
Give grace and be understanding: These conversations may be difficult for some people. Not everything that people will say is going to be perfect because many people are still learning. If a conversation is genuine, assume that others are bringing their best intentions and approach these conversations with your own best intentions.
Understand the difference between Intent and Impact: While it is important to give grace, it is also important to understand the impact of our words and actions. Just because you mean well (or didn't mean to cause harm) doesn't excuse the harm that was caused. If someone holds you accountable for what you have said, it will probably be uncomfortable. Accountability is an opportunity to learn and do better.
Self-Care and Mental Health
The work of social justice - of talking about microaggressions - can be heavy, retraumatizing, and exhausting. Remember that you are unable to help others if you push yourself into burnout. If you are feeling overwhelmed, step back and take some time for self-care. The community will welcome you back when you return.Additionally, please utilize any of the resources on mental health if you are in need of further assistance.
Part of practicing allyship is recognizing our own privilege and implicit biases that we hold. Because our identities shape how we see and interact with the world (and how the world interacts with us), it shapes our worldview. Therefore, your relationship to power is based on the privileged or marginalized identities that you hold.Implicit bias is when we have attitudes towards people or associate stereotypes with them without our conscious knowledge. Implicit bias is a result of how we are raised and the behavior that is reflected around us.In order to understand how to recognize implicit bias, a version of Sylvia Duckworth’s Wheel of Power and Privilege is depicted below.The chart is designed to center the idea of power and visually show the proximity of certain identities to power. You’ll notice that some are further away than others, with the outside ring being categorized as ‘marginalized’. This exercise is not making a moral judgment on any of the identities you have, it is simply recognizing how your identity interacts with power.Take a minute to look over the chart and think about the following questions.
How does this chart make you think about your relationship to power?
What do you like/not like about this chart?
What, if any, categories that you think are missing?
This page is designed to help you find additional resources for direct assistance and for learning more about microaggressions and their systemic causes and impact. Included are organizations in and around the Greater Philadelphia area that can provide resources and direct assistance to you or your community. We encourage you to seek them out and to continue learning.
ADL Philadelphia: (215)568-2223
The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 "to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all". Now the nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency, ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all.
NAACP of Bucks County: (215)364-1057
The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
Valley Youth House - Lehigh County Shelter: (610)691-1200
Services include case management, individual, family and group counseling, life skills education, adventure-based experiential education and recreational activities, and therapeutic follow-up and aftercare services. Open to any young person (12-17) experiencing homelessness or housing instability in Pennsylvania.
The Attic Youth Center: (215)545-4331
The Attic creates opportunities for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community, and promotes the acceptance of LGBTQ youth in society. The Attic is proud to be Philadelphia's only independent LGBTQ youth center and to provide daily programs and services.
HiTOPS is a Princeton, NJ based LGBTQ+ youth center that offers a wide range of support for LGBTQ+ youth and young adults, as well as parents and guardians.
Planned Parenthood's Rainbow Room in Doylestown: (267)282-4117
Our LGBTQ+ youth programs provide a safe, supportive and empowering environment for LGBTQ+ youth. In our programs, teens and young adults can be themselves and experience the freedom of knowing they are accepted totally and without reservation. We provide community meetings every Wednesday from 6-8 pm, currently via Zoom. Open to all LGBTQ+ youth and allies ages 14-21. Every 4th Wednesday is open to ages 12-21.
ROY G. BIV
Online community for LGBTQ+ children and allies in Doylestown. Follow on Instagram to join the community.
Trevor Project: Text START to 678678 OR Call 1(866)488-7386
The Trevor Project provides 24/7 crisis support services to LGBTQ young people. Text, chat, or call anytime to reach a trained counselor.
Buck County 211: Call 211 OR Text 898211
Connects you directly to local health and human services for everyday and crisis situations.
Crisis Text Line: 741741
Crisis Text Line is the free, 24/7, confidential text message service for people in crisis. Text HOME to 741741 in the United States.
Family Services CONTACT Helpline: (215)355-6000
The CONTACT Helpline provides free, anonymous, and confidential telephone services to individuals who are contemplating suicide, struggling with life’s challenges, or in need of someone to listen. CONTACT Helpline staff and volunteers are specially trained in active listening skills and strategies for supporting people under emotional stress. Helpline services are available to residents in the Greater Philadelphia Area.
Lenape Valley Mobile Crisis: 1(877)435-7709
For Bucks County residents experiencing acute disturbance of thought, behavior, mood, or social relationships requiring immediate attention.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 1(866)399-6264
NAMI Bucks County is a peer-led organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. We are dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Join our online peer support group offered every day!
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1(800)273-8255
Provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24/7.
The Peace Center: (215)750-7220
You can find support through a variety of programs designed to find emotional safety, prevent violence, promote peaceful resolution of conflict, and foster inclusive, equitable, and safe communities.
Report anonymous tips of possible threats and say something before it's too late.
Network of Victim Assitance (NOVA): 1(800)675-6900
Supports, counsels, and empowers victims of sexual assault and other serious crimes while working to prevent and eliminate violence through advocacy, training, and education.
Planned Parenthood - Warminster Medical Center: (215) 957-7980
Planned Parenthood offers gender-inclusive and neutral routine and emergency medical assistance to all people regardless of insurance, including emergency contraceptives, assistance to survivors of sexual violence, and routine checkups.
RAINN is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country.
Supports, counsels, and empowers victims of sexual assault and other serious crimes while working to prevent and eliminate violence through advocacy, training, and education.
Social Justice Terms
- A -
active listening: a process of hearing and understanding what someone is saying by empathizing with the speaker(s) and considering their perspective(s)adultism: prejudiced thoughts and discriminatory actions, such as treating someone as weak or unintelligent because they are not adults; usually those of older persons against younger personsaffirmative action: action taken by a government or private institution to make up for past discrimination in education, work, or promotion on the basis of age, birth, color, creed, nationality, ethnic origin, physical or mental ability, familial status, gender, language, race, religion, sex, sexual orientationageism: prejudiced thoughts and discriminatory actions, such as referring to someone’s age in a context in which age isn’t relevant, based on differences in age; usually those of younger persons against older personsagency: the ability to act independently and make free choices; the ability to make conscious decisions for oneselfagent: a member of a dominant or majority groupallyship: an active verb; leveraging personal positions of power and privilege to fight oppression by respecting, working with, and empowering marginalized voices and communities; using one’s own voice to project others’, less represented, voicesassimilation: the process of adapting or adjusting to the culture or behaviors of a dominant or majority group or nation
- B -
bias: an inclination of preference, especially one that interferes with impartial judgmentbicultural: a person who functions effectively and appropriately and can select appropriate behaviors, values, and attitudes within either of two cultures; a person who identifies with two cultures
- C -
capitalism: an economic and political order that relies on a mostly-private, unequal market system of production and consumptioncis-gender: a gender identity in which a person’s experiences of their gender matches the gender and sex they were assigned at birthcisgenderism: a socially constructed assumption that everyone’s gender matches their biological sex, and that that is the norm from which all other gender identities deviatecivil rights: the rights established and ensured by a state government regarding political and social equalityclassism: any attitude or institutional practice which subordinates people of a certain socioeconomic class due to income, occupation, education, and/or their economic status; a system that works to keep certain communities within a set socioeconomic class and prevents social and economic mobilitycoalition: an alliance or union of different people, communities, or groups working for a common causecode-switching: the conscious or unconscious act of ‘switching’ between two languages, dialects, or intonations depending on the specific situation of who one is speaking to, what is being discussed, and the relationship and power and/or community dynamics between those involvedcolonialism: the exploitative historical, political, social, and economic system established when one group or force takes control over a colonized territory or group; the unequal relationship between colonizer and the colonizedcolor-blindness: a term referring to the disregard of racial characteristics. Proponents of color-blind practices believe that treating people equally inherently leads to a more equal society and/or that racism and race privilege no longer exercise the power they once did, while opponents of color-blind practices believe that color-blindness allows those in power to disregard or ignore the history of oppression and how it is experienced todaycritical race theory: a cross-disciplinary intellectual and social movement of civil-rights scholars and activists who seek to examine the intersection of race and law in the United States and to challenge mainstream American liberal approaches to racial justice; the idea that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policiescultural appropriation: the act of members of dominant / powerful / privileged groups claiming ownership of, or the rights to, less powerful/privileged groups' cultural and/or religious symbols, dress, and ceremoniescultural competence: the ability to effectively and empathetically work and engage with people of different cultural identities and backgrounds in order to provide safe and accountable spaces for dialogue and discourse; cultural competence is relevant in all fields of work, education, and informal social interactions
- D -
democracy: a governmental system whose actions and principles value and reflect the people’s views through their votesdialogue: a bi-directional conversation between people of two different groups or communities coming together to create and recreate multiple understandings of a topic or issuedisability: being differently abled (physically, mentally, emotionally) from that which society has structured to be the norm in such a way so that the person is unable to move, or has difficulty moving—physically, socially, economically—through lifedisenfranchised: being deprived of power and/or access to rights, opportunities, and servicesdiscrimination: actions or thoughts, based on conscious or unconscious bias, that favor one group over othersdiversity: a multiplicity of shared and different individual and group experiences, values, beliefs, and characteristics among people
- E -
empathy: a learned skill that allows one to recognize and deeply listen to another’s story or experiences, and connect them to common understandings and emotions; differs from sympathyequity: the situation in which all people or groups are given access to the correct number and types of resources for them so as to achieve equal results; differs from equality, which focuses on the equal distribution of resources rather than equal resultsethnocentrism: consciously or unconsciously privileging one’s own ethnic group over others; assuming or judging other groups according to one’s own group valuesEurocentrism: a viewpoint that interprets the world from a European perspective and is centered on Western civilization; a biased view that favors European standards and culture over non-Western nations and cultures; a form of institutionalized racism because of the history and legacy of colonization
- F -
feminism: the pursuit of the social, economic, and political equality of all people, regardless of sex, gender, sexuality, race, geographical location, body size, socioeconomic status, physical and mental ability, and religionfundamental attribution error: the often unconscious bias to place more emphasis on perceived internal or innate characteristics to explain someone’s behavior in a given situation; doesn’t take into consideration the external factors that can, and often do, impact an individual’s behavior
- G -
gender: the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and characteristics that a given society categorizes as ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’; not defined by one’s biological sexgender identity: a person’s individual and subjective sense of their own gender; gender identities exist in a spectrum, and are not just masculine and femininegender-neutral pronouns: pronouns that do not adhere to the he/she and his/her binary, and can refer to a number of different gender identities. For example, instead of saying or typing he/she, simply using ‘they’genocide: the intentional attempt to completely erase or destroy a people through structural oppression and/or open acts of physical violencegentrification: demographic shifts that usually occur in big cities in which upper-middle class and/or racially privileged individuals and businesses move into historically working-class and poor and/or racially oppressed neighborhoods and communities
- H -
Hispanic - those belonging to the group of people who natively speak Spanish as their first or native languagehegemony: one group or community holding all authoritative power or dominance over other groups in a given society, geographical region, and/or political systemheteronormativity: a socially constructed assumption that heterosexuality is the natural norm from which all other sexual preferences deviate; the assumption that everyone identifies as heterosexual until shown or proven otherwisehomophobia: on a personal level, homophobia is an irrational fear, aversion, or dislike of homosexualities and people who identify as homosexual; on a social level, homophobia is the ingrained structural discrimination against homosexuality and those who identify as homosexual that prevents access to certain resources or opportunities and inhibits individuals from feeling safe or able to be socially recognized as homosexualhorizontal hostility: the structural strategy to intentionally place two or more oppressed groups in competition with one another; a strategy that aims to divide and conquer
- I -
immigrant: a person who moves out of their country of birth, supposedly for permanent residence in a new countryIndian: a person and the community of people whose heritage originates from India; a term that has been misused to talk about Indigenous people as a whole, rather than using their tribe name or a term such as ‘Indigenous’ or ‘First Nation’institution: any established law or custom that is accepted as part of a cultureinstitutional oppression: the systematic mistreatment and dehumanization of any individual based solely on a social identity group with which they identify that is supported and enforced by society and its institutions; based on the belief that people of such a social identity group are inherently inferiorintersectionality: the intersection of race, class, gender, and ability identities within each individual that informs how one views, discusses, and navigates through the world the way each of us views and discusses the world; a branch theory of critical race theory
- J -
justice: the establishment or determination of rights according to rules of law and standards of equity; the process or result of using laws to fairly judge crimes and criminality
- L -
Latine: a person and the community of people whose heritage originates from Latin America; a gender-neutral term designed by the queer and trans community as a more inclusive substitute for Latino. This word also replaces the word ‘Latinx’. ‘X’ has been used in French to replace gendered words and make them gender-neutral, however, Spanish speakers have pointed out that replacing word endings with ‘x’ is difficult to say in SpanishLGBTQIA+: the umbrella term for the community of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirited, queer, questioning, intersex, and/or asexual + (the ‘+’ recognizes that not all identities are represented even in this list, and that these terms can in some ways be umbrella terms
- M -
marginalize: the systematic disempowerment of a person or community by denying access to necessary resources, enforcing prejudice through society’s institutions, and/or not allowing for that individual or community’s voice, history, and perspective to be heardmicroaggression: subconscious (and sometimes phrased as well-meaning) actions or remarks that convey an unconscious bias and hurt the person at the receiving end; microaggressions can be intentional or unintentional, however, they reflect an implicit bias that supports systemic oppression from an individual levelmobility: the ability to move through society, both physically and socioeconomicallymultiethnic: a person who identifies as coming from two or more ethnic groups; a person whose biological parents come from different ethnic groupsmultiracial: a person who identifies as coming from two or more racial groups; a person whose biological parents come from different racial groups
- N -
nativism: prejudiced thoughts or discriminatory actions that benefit or show preference to individuals born in a territory over those who have migrated into said territorynonviolence: a strategy employed by social and civil advocates that stresses social and political change through acts that do not involve physical violence against oneself or others; nonviolent language is used to imply language that does not perpetuate structural inequalities
- O -
oppression: the systemic use of institutional power and ideological and cultural hegemony, resulting in one group benefiting at the expense of another; the use of power and the effects of domination
- P -
patriarchy: a social system and institution in which men have primary power in the political, social, economic, legal, and familial spheres; patriarchy favors male-dominated thought, and is centralized on the male narrative or perspective of how the world works and should workPeople of Color: an umbrella term for any person or peoples that is considered by the society in which they live to be non-whiteprejudice: a preconceived, often unconscious, judgment or opinion about a person or group; usually a negative biasprivilege: benefit, advantage, or favor granted to individuals and communities by unequal social structures and institutions
- Q -
queer: an umbrella term within the LGBTQIA+ community that refers to anyone who doesn’t prescribe to societal views of gender and sexuality; implies elasticity and a resistance to the notion of a predetermined gender and sexual identity based on biologyquestioning: someone who is questioning their gender identity and/or sexuality
- R -
race: a term used to to identify and define individuals as part of a distinct group based on physical characteristics and some cultural and historical commonalities; once used to denote differentiation in humankind based on physiology and biology, race is now understood as a social construct that is not scientifically based, though is still commonly associated with notions of biological difference; race is still sometimes perceived as innate and inalterableracism: an ideology and institution that reflects the racial worldview in which humans are divided into racial groups and in which races are arranged in a hierarchy where some races are considered innately superior to others; racism is the effect of domination of certain racial groups by other racial groups, historically the domination of people of color by white / European peoplesreclaim: to take back or demand the return of something that was lost or taken away; to restore to a previous staterespect: giving consideration and attention to a given person, group, or situation that takes another’s perspective and experiences into account
- S -
safe space: spaces in which people, often of marginalized or underrepresented social groups, can say, be, and share their experiences without fear or judgmentsaliency: characteristic of a feature that is made prominent, important, or is brought to the forefront of a person’s social identity and how they are perceived by otherssilencing: the conscious or unconscious act of excluding or inhibiting certain groups’ voices, thus preventing their experiences, perspectives, and histories to be heardslur: a word that has historically be used as an insulting or derogatory comment, reference, or label specifically against marginalized groups (f-word - gay men, n-word - Black people, t-word - trans people). These words have sometimes been reclaimed by the communities they impact, but should not be used by non-members because of the negative power dynamic and connotations that are associatedsocial justice: the practice of allyship and coalition work in order to promote equality, equity, respect, and the assurance of rights within and between communities and social groupssolidarity: unity or agreement based on shared interests and objectives; long-term mutual support within and between groupsstereotype: an attitude, belief, feeling, or assumption about a person or group of people that are widespread and socially sanctioned; though stereotypes can be positive and negative, they all have negative effects because they support institutionalized oppression by validating oversimplified beliefs that are often not based on factsstereotype threat: the risk of internalizing and confirming others’ negative biases towards one’s social groupsystemic oppression: oppression that is based on historical inequality and supported by societally overarching systems and actors, such as government offices, law, schools, banks, and law enforcement; it is the intentional disadvantaging of groups of people based on their identity while advantaging members of the dominant group (gender, race, class, sexual orientation, language, etc.).supremacy: the superiority of one group of people over other groups of people through a system of domination and subordination
- T -
tolerance: acceptance and open-mindedness to cultures, practices, and attitudes that are different from one’s own; does not necessitate agreeing with those differencestransgender: a gender identity in which a person’s experiences of their gender does not match the gender and sex they were assigned at birth; considered by many to be an umbrella term for the variety of ways in which people describe their gender identity that is anything other than cisgender, such as trans-man, trans-woman, nonbinary, genderfluid, genderqueer, demi-boy, demi-girl, etc.
- U -
unconscious bias: negative stereotypes regarding a person or group of people; these biases influence individuals’ thoughts and actions without their conscious knowledge. We all have unconscious biasesunion: a formal organization of workers that is formed to protect the rights of its members; a joining together of many things into one
- V -
vote: the ability to formally express your opinion and influence politics and legislation in a democracy
- W -
white guilt: the individual or collective guilt felt by some white people for the historical and current oppression experienced by people of color; though white guilt has been described as being a detrimental consequence of racism, experiences associated with white guilt are not comparable to the experiences of systemic oppression faced by marginalized communitieswhite privilege: the right or advantage provided to people who are considered white; an exemption of social, political, and/or economic burdens placed on non-white people; benefitting from societal structuring that prioritizes white people and whitenesswhiteness: like race, whiteness is a social construct rather than an essential characteristic or biological fact; is used as cultural property, and can be seen to provide material and/or social privilege to those who are considered white, pass as white, or are given honorary white status
- X -
xenophobia: the unreasonable fear or dislike of things, cultures, forms of expression, or people that are different from oneself and one’s own experiences of the everyday; fear of that which seems foreign or strange
**Many of the definitions provided are taken directly from other sources, including the ABC’s of Social Justice: A Glossary of Working Language for Socially Conscious Conversation developed by the Department of Inclusion & Multicultural Engagement at Lewis & Clark College; the