One University
KCU's Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Glossary of Terms

Diversity is the representation of all our varied identities and differences (race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, tribe, caste, socio-economic status, thinking and communication styles, etc.), collectively and as individuals. 

Equity seeks to ensure fair treatment, equality of opportunity, and fairness in access to information and resources for all. 

Inclusion builds a culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of all people.

(Source: Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice)


Anti-Racism is defined as the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. Anti-racism tends to be an individualized approach, and set up in opposition to individual racist behaviors and impacts.



Ethnicity refers to the social characteristics that people may have in common, such as language, religion, regional background, culture, foods, etc.


Individual Racism

Individual racism can include face-to-face or covert actions toward a person that intentionally express prejudice, hate or bias based on race.


Institutional Racism

Institutional racism refers to the policies and practices within and across institutions that, intentionally or not, produce outcomes that chronically favor, or put a racial group at a disadvantage.


Progress & Retrenchment

This term refers to the pattern in which progress is made through the passage of legislation, court rulings and other formal mechanisms that aim to promote racial equality.


Racial Equity

In a racially equitable society, the distribution of society’s benefits and burdens would not be skewed by race.


Structural Racism

A system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequity.

Systemic Racism

In many ways “systemic racism” and “structural racism” are synonymous. If there is a difference between the terms, it can be said to exist in the fact that a structural racism analysis pays more attention to the historical, cultural and social psychological aspects of our currently racialized society.

Underrepresented Minorities

Underrepresented minorities (URM) include Hispanic/Latino ethnicity, Black/African American, Native American/Alaska Native and Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.
(Source: AACOM, Osteopathic Medical College Diversity in Enrollment, 2016)

Underrepresented in medicine means those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population.
(Source: AAMC, Underrepresented in Medicine Definition, 2004)

White Privilege

Historically accumulated white privilege refers to whites’ historical and contemporary advantages in access to quality education, decent jobs and liveable wages, homeownership, retirement benefits, wealth and so on.


Source: All glossary terms above are from the Aspen Institute unless otherwise noted.