Equity and Inclusion Definitions

Shared Language

As the City strives for equity in all policies, it is imperative to use shared language to set the tone. We cannot assume that we are referring to the same issues when we use the same terms. Using shared language and defining frequently used terms will set the foundation as we aim to address topics such as equity, race, and racism within the City of Raleigh. 

Equity – Justice, fair treatment and opportunity for the advancement of all people across all systems (housing, education, economics, healthcare, environmental, social and community)

Inclusion – Everyone is welcome, respected, and valued allowing for full participation and a mutual exchange of ideas.

Diversity – The range of human differences (race and ethnicity, gender identity, age, socio-economic status, religion, political affiliation, physical and mental ability).

Race – An arbitrary social construct created by Europeans during the time of worldwide colonial growth, to assign human worth and social status using themselves as the model of humanity, for the purpose of legitimizing white power and white skin privilege.  -Dr. Mulana Karenga

Racial Equity – The condition where race no longer predicts a person’s quality of life and outcomes.

Privilege – An unearned set of advantages, entitlements and beliefs of the dominant group reinforced by formal and informal institutions of society (white privilege, male privilege).

LGBTQ+ - Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning Plus

Institutional Racism – Policies, practices and procedures that work better for White people than for people of color, sometimes overt, but often unintended.

Structural Racism – A history of and current reality of barriers for people of color across all systems (housing, education, economics, healthcare, environmental, social and community) 

Bias - Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.

Implicit/Unconscious Bias – Biases that people are unaware of usually stemming from family upbringing, media messages and life experiences.

Explicit Bias – Biases that people are aware of and are expressed openly and directly.

Disparity – A measurable difference in outcomes for populations.

Equity Tool – A survey used to assess policies, procedures and practices through a lens of equity.

Equity Lens – A list of screening questions that assess the impact of proposed changes from the viewpoint of equity.

Intersectionality – The multiple identities that individuals have that crossover to create an intersection (race and gender, race and sexual identity, northerner and tall, southerner and short, parent and single, parent and married).




Equity and Inclusion
Board, Commission or Committee:
Human Relations Commission
Related Services:
Equity Resources