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Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Common Language

Glossary of Terms


Common EDI Language at GAPS

The manner in which we communicate with one-another and refer to each other is powerful and affects us all; in particular, how people regard others living, studying and working among us. Language thus influences a community’s behaviors, welfare and ability to be a welcoming environment. The following tool is designed to build on the reader’s existing knowledge and further enhances awareness to support individual understanding of how the Greater Albany Public Schools (GAPS) Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) department articulates and utilizes equity language to inform, develop and interpret actions and practices among its employees.

The following is not an exhaustive glossary, nor is it designed to be a complete glossary of terms; rather the following is a living draft. There is a myriad of human diversity that cannot be compiled in one glossary of terms. For the purposes of this document, the following terminology being centered here, is an initial exploration of race and ethnicity and adjacent terminology that serves as a catalyst and an ingress to explore other intersecting elements of a diverse human experience and existence (i.e., ability, class, gender, sexual orientation, etc.).

A common language is vital in understanding one-another pertaining to equity, diversity and inclusion. That common language enables us to know from where to begin our work in the spirit of creating that sense of belonging for students, their families and employees alike. The aim and practice that centers equity is to name, frame and explain in order to find commonality as individuals proceed to grow, learn and develop.

Please contact the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Department for additional term suggestions.