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2SLGBTQIA+ This acronym stands for: Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer (or Questioning), Intersex, Asexual. The plus sign (+) represents all the different, new and growing ways that people might identify with, as well as the ways that we continually expand our understanding of sexual and gender diversity.


Ableism is a systemic and structural form of oppression that stems from the attitude and belief that disabled people are inferior. It underpins individual discrimination and systemic barriers and inequities against people with disabilities. Ableist beliefs include the fear of becoming disabled, as well as the fear of disabled people. It engenders the erasure and invisibility of disabled people, which leads to inaccessible places, processes, and groups.

Accessibility / Accessible

Accessibility / Accessible According to Article 9 (Accessibility) of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, accessibility enables disabled people to participate fully in all aspects of life, on an equal basis with others, and to access services, employment, information and communications, physical environments, and transportation.

For more information on terms and resources related to this topic, see the disability resources listed at the bottom of this page.


Allyship is a life-long process of working to advance inclusion through intentional, positive, and conscious actions within one’s sphere of influence. A person who takes action, listens to, builds trust with, advocates for, and amplifies the voices of marginalized people and groups may be recognized as an ally. As a label, the term “ally” cannot be self-applied; one can only become an ally by having their efforts recognized as such by the marginalized person(s) they strive to uplift.


Anti-racism is the practice of identifying, challenging, preventing, eliminating and changing the values, structures, policies, programs, practices and behaviours that perpetuate racism between individuals and within systems. Anti-racism is characterized by taking action against racism; it is distinct from simply having a disposition of being “not racist.”


At the individual level, medical professionals can take anti-racist action by building trust with patients from marginalized communities, such as by taking time to listen to their concerns, providing culturally competent care, and acknowledging historical injustice.

At the systems level, medical institutions can take anti-racist action by taking steps to address structural racism, such as by examining their hiring practices, diversifying leadership, and addressing disparities in care.


An anti-racist is someone who is supporting an antiracist policy through actions or expressing antiracist ideas. This includes the expression of ideas that racial groups are equals and none needs developing, and supporting policies that reduce racial inequity.

(Source: Ibram X. Kendi, How To Be An Antiracist, Random House, 2019.)


Anti-semitism is racism, hostility, prejudice, vilification, discrimination or violence, including hate crimes, directed against Jews, as individuals, groups or as a collective – because they are Jews. Its expression includes attributing to Jews, as a group, characteristics or behaviours that are perceived as dangerous, harmful, frightening or threatening to non-Jews.

(Source: IJV Working Definition of Anti-Semitism)


BIPOC/IBPOC are acronyms for black, Indigenous, and people of colour. The acronym builds on the centuries-old “people of colour” found in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1796. Letters for black and indigenous were included to be more inclusive and to recognize that the history of black and Indigenous people requires distinction from people of colour.

(Source: https://www.nytimes.com/article/what-is-bipoc.html)

Bystander Effect or Bystander Apathy

A phenomenon in which the presence of other people discourages individuals from intervening in an emergency, against a bully, during an assault, or when some other injustice is being committed. The greater the number of bystanders present in the situation, the less likely that any one of them will provide help to a person in distress, as each individual feels like they bear less responsibility for intervening.

In working to bring about equity, diversity, and inclusion, it is important to recognize the bystander effect as a barrier that can prevent otherwise kind and caring people from taking action when they witness an act of discrimination.

Instead of being bystanders, the REDI team encourages people to become “Upstanders,” people who are motivated to take action when they witness injustice.

Calling In

Calling In is when there is an opportunity to explore deeper and find a mutual understanding across difference allows us to learn more and encourage shifts in behaviour.

Calling Out

Calling Out is appropriate when we need to interrupt to prevent further harm to let someone know that their words or actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.


Colonialism is a policy and practice of control by one people or power over other peoples or areas with the aim of economic exploitation, social dominance and assimilation often resulting in the marginalization of the original group, a loss of self-determination and the destruction of their culture, practices, and social order.

Conflict Engagement

Conflict Engagement refers to any activities meant to address conflict. Approaches that view conflict as something negative, unwanted, and harmful can lead to ignoring the reality of conflict and its root causes. Instead, Conflict Engagement aims to reframe our approach to conflict in a more positive way. Conflict Engagement sees conflict as arising from failures to communicate authentically and productively, or from situations where systems and structures fail to support individuals. Learn More

Conflict Fluency

Conflict fluency builds on conflict literacy and is an increasingly relevant leadership competency, comprising a set of basic knowledge and skills that allow individuals to identify, work through, and de-escalate conflict as it naturally emerges in the context of their life and work.

Conflict Literacy

Conflict literacy is a measure of the capacity to engage with conflict productively and creatively, and to help others do the same. In the context of diversity, equity, and inclusion, conflict literacy inevitably relies on some measure of EDI competencies.

Constructive Feedback

Constructive Feedback is providing useful, specific, issue-focused comments and suggestions based on observed behaviours that contribute to a positive outcome, a better process, or improved behaviours. Feedback should be authentic and honest but also sensitive and should provide encouragement, support, corrective measures and direction to the person receiving the feedback.

Cultural Humility

Cultural Humility is a process of self-reflection to understand personal and systemic biases and to develop and maintain respectful processes and relationships based on mutual trust. Cultural humility involves humbly acknowledging oneself as a learner when it comes to understanding another’s experience.

(Source: https://health.aboriginal.ubc.ca/programming/ubc23-24/ and https://www.fnha.ca/wellness/cultural-humility)

Cultural Safety

Cultural Safety is an outcome based on respectful engagement that recognizes and strives to address power imbalances inherent in the healthcare system. It results in an environment free of racism and discrimination, where people feel safe when receiving health care

(Source: https://health.aboriginal.ubc.ca/programming/ubc23-24/ and https://www.fnha.ca/wellness/cultural-humility)

Disabled people / Persons with disabilities

Disabled people / Persons with disabilities A disabled person, or a person with a disability(ies), is a person who experiences barriers and/or functional restrictors or limitations to their full and self-determined participation in activities due to a difference in mobility, sensory, learning, or other physical or mental health experience.



Disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting an interaction between features of a person’s body and mind and features of the society in which they live. Because of its complexity, there is no single, harmonized “operational” definition of disability.

A disability can occur at any time in a person’s life; some people are born with a disability, while others develop a disability later in life. It can be permanent, temporary or episodic. Disability can be a sense of identity, community, and pride.


Diverse Groups / Diverse Students / Diverse Populations

Diverse Groups / Diverse Students / Diverse Populations The entire collective that represents the full array of characteristics present within a group of people.


Diversity refers to differences in the lived experiences and perspectives of people. Each person’s unique combination of differences contributes to their experiences in ways that can be both positive and negative. Diversity is not a spectrum or a measure. One person cannot be more diverse than another. Diversity is created when people who are different from one another come together, and includes everyone in the room.

(Source: https://equity.ubc.ca/resources/equity-inclusion-glossary-of-terms/)


Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express emotions to reduce stress and to handle interpersonal relationships empathically and effectively. Emotional intelligence is comprised of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Learn More


Equity, in the university context, requires the creation of opportunities for historically, persistently, or systemically marginalized populations of students, staff, and faculty to have equal access to education, programs, and growth opportunities that are capable of closing achievement gaps. This requires recognizing that not everyone is starting from the same place or history, and that deliberate measures to remove barriers to opportunities may be needed to ensure fair processes and outcomes”.

(Source: https://equity.ubc.ca/resources/equity-inclusion-glossary-of-terms/)

Historically, persistently, or systemically marginalized (HPSM) groups

Historically, persistently, or systemically marginalized (HPSM) groups In Canada, and in the current UBC context, disadvantaged groups are commonly understood to include: Indigenous Peoples, women, racialized people, disabled people/people with disabilities, members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities (Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, intersex, asexual, plus countless ways people choose to identify) and TGNB people (transgender and non-binary) who experience barriers on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The use of “HPSM” is intended to reference these groups.


IBPOC An acronym for Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour.


IDEA An acronym for equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism. See also JEDII and EDI.

Inclusive Excellence

Inclusive Excellence is a systems-wide approach to equity, diversity and inclusion. IE states that true excellence in an institution is unattainable without inclusion – and in fact, diversity and inclusion are fundamental to excellence. It moves away from historical approaches to diversity that focused on numbers and representation. Instead, IE helps us think about the institution as a vibrant community that can create excellence by embedding diversity throughout the institution.


Inclusion is an active, intentional, and continuous process to address inequities in power and privilege, and build a respectful and diverse community that ensures welcoming spaces and opportunities to flourish for all.

(Source: https://equity.ubc.ca/resources/equity-inclusion-glossary-of-terms/)

Inclusive Excellence (IE)

Inclusive Excellence (IE) is a systems-wide approach to equity, diversity and inclusion. IE states that true excellence in an institution is unattainable without inclusion – and in fact, diversity and inclusion are fundamental to excellence. It moves away from historical approaches to diversity that focused on numbers and representation. Instead, IE helps us think about the institution as a vibrant community that can create excellence by embedding diversity throughout the institution.

The Inclusive Excellence (IE) model is grounded in work from the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U).30 Universities Canada adopted Inclusive Excellence principles in 2017. IE appears as a key strategy in Shaping UBC’s Next Century: 2018-2028 Strategic Plan

(Source: https://equity.ubc.ca/resources/equity-inclusion-glossary-of-terms/)


Indigenous The term ‘Indigenous’ encompasses First Nations, Métis and Inuit people, either collectively or separately, and is a preferred term in international usage, e.g., the ‘U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.’ In its derivation from international movements, it is associated more with activism than government policy and so has emerged, for many, as the preferred term (Source: Indigenous People’s Language Guidelines).

The Inclusive Excellence (IE) model is grounded in work from the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U).30 Universities Canada adopted Inclusive Excellence principles in 2017. IE appears as a key strategy in Shaping UBC’s Next Century: 2018-2028 Strategic Plan

(Source: https://equity.ubc.ca/resources/equity-inclusion-glossary-of-terms/)


Intersectionality recognizes that social identities or categorizations (such as race, class, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity) create overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.
The term was coined by lawyer, civil rights advocate, and critical race theory scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw to describe the “various ways in which race and gender intersect in shaping structural and political aspects of violence against women of color”.

(Source: adapted from https://equity.ubc.ca/resources/equity-inclusion-glossary-of-terms/)


Islamophobia is a fear, prejudice and hatred of Muslims or non-Muslim individuals that leads to provocation, hostility and intolerance by means of threatening, harassment, abuse, incitement and intimidation of Muslims and non-Muslims, both in the online and offline world. Motivated by institutional, ideological, political and religious hostility that transcends into structural and cultural racism which targets the symbols and markers of a being a Muslim.

(Source: United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner)


JEDII An acronym for justice, equity, diversity, inclusion and Indigeneity. See also EDI and IDEA.


Marginalization/Marginalized A social process by which individuals or groups are (intentionally or unintentionally) distanced from access to power and resources and constructed as insignificant, peripheral, or less valuable/privileged to a community or “mainstream” society. The term ‘minoritized’ is also used to connote the same meaning.


Race refers to the categories into which society places individuals on the basis of physical characteristics (such as skin color, hair type, facial form and eye shape). Though many believe that race is determined by biology, it is now widely accepted that this classification system was in fact created for social and political reasons. There are actually more genetic and biological differences within the racial groups defined by society than between different groups.

(Source: https://www.adl.org/racism )

Racialized people

Racialized people Members of racialized groups are persons who do not identify as primarily white in race, ethnicity, origin, and/or colour, regardless of their birthplace or citizenship. The term “racialized” is used as a more current term than “visible minority” from the Employment Equity Act (1995).


Racism is the belief that a group of people are inferior based on the colour of their skin or due to the inferiority of their culture or spirituality. It leads to discriminatory behaviours and policies that oppress, ignore or treat racialized groups as ‘less than’ non-racialized groups.

(Source: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/613/2020/11/In-Plain-Sight-Summary-Report.pdf )

Systemic Racism or Institutional Racism

Systemic racism or institutional racism refers to the ways that whiteness and white superiority become embedded in the policies and processes of an institution, resulting in a system that advantages white people and disadvantages People of Colour.

(Source: https://equity.ubc.ca/resources/equity-inclusion-glossary-of-terms/

Transgender and Non-Binary (TGNB)

Transgender and Non-Binary (TGNB) This expression refers to the diverse communities of people whose gender is different from the gender that they were assigned at birth. This phrase attempts to capture a shared experience with, and relationship to, gender, rather than specific identities; people may use many different words to describe their gender identity.



Two-Spirit is a cultural concept specific to some Indigenous communities and its meaning encompasses cultural, spiritual, sexual and gender identity. It reflects complex Indigenous understandings of gender roles, spirituality, and the long history of sexual and gender diversity in Indigenous cultures, and as such should only be used by Indigenous people. (Source: Terms & Concepts, Trans Care BC (external link))

Unconscious Biases

Unconscious biases are social stereotypes about certain groups of people (positive or negative) that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness. Everyone holds unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups, and these biases stem from one’s tendency to organize social worlds by categorizing.

(Source: https://diversity.ucsf.edu/resources/unconscious-bias)



Underrepresented Individuals or groups with insufficient or inadequate representation in various aspects of university life, often determined when compared to their proportional representation in Canadian society or Labour Market Availability per Statistics Canada demographic data. In the university setting, other considerations may also override strictly proportional representation.

Upstander or Active Bystander

Upstander or Active Bystander is someone who not only witnesses a situation but recognizes injustice and speaks up or steps in to disrupt, intervene, or provide support to the targeted person. Learn More

Upstander/Bystander Engagement

Upstander/Bystander Engagement provides tools and strategies to help people move from being passive bystanders to being empowered and active upstanders and allies who contribute to a change in the social acceptability of harassment, abuse, and racism. Upstander engagement teaches people how to intervene and take responsibility for calling in racist and other inappropriate behaviour. Learn More