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Read the following Diversity and Equity Definitions, organized by category: Competencies, Identities, Harm and Impacts Definitions, and Compliance Definitions.
Actions that seek to provide equitable approaches and practices to mitigate the effects of oppression.
Oppression is defined as: “The use of power to disempower, marginalize, silence or otherwise subordinate one social group or category, often in order to further empower and/or privilege the oppressor.” National Council on Jewish Women
The explicit use of the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, frames of reference, and performance styles of diverse people to make the learning or working environment more appropriate and effective. This includes a commitment to be aware of and actively mitigate power imbalances between cultures.
“Individual differences (e.g., personality, prior knowledge, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations).” Association of American Colleges and Universities
“The creation of opportunities for historically underserved populations to have equal access to and participate in educational programs that are capable of closing the achievement gaps in student success and completion.” Association of American Colleges and Universities
Gender responsive refers to a policy or program that fulfills two basic criteria: a) gender norms, roles and relations are considered, and b) measures are taken to actively reduce the harmful effects of gender norms, roles and relations—including gender inequality. https://www.edu-links.org/learning/gender-responsive-education-programs
“The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity—in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect—in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.” Association of American Colleges and Universities
“Trauma-informed care is a strengths-based framework that is grounded in an understanding of and responsiveness to the impact of trauma, that emphasizes physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both providers and survivors, and that creates opportunities for survivors to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.” (Hopper, Bassuk, & Olivet, 2010)
A person experiences disability when impairment substantially limits a major life activity or when there is a history or perception of such a limitation; which includes conditions which may have episodic impacts or create functional limitations.
A social construct which divides individuals into smaller social groups based on characteristics such as shared sense of group membership, values, behavioral patterns, language, political and economic interests, history, and ancestral geographical base.
The country a person was born in or where their ancestors lived, encompassing their country of origin, culture, ancestry, linguistic characteristics, accent, or physical appearance.
A way to classify collections of biological traits that a society thinks are important. A social construct that artificially divides individuals into distinct groups based on characteristics such as physical appearance (particularly skin color), ancestral heritage, cultural affiliation or history, ethnic classification, and/or the social, economic, and political needs of a society at a given period of time. There is no biological or genetic basis for racial categories; however race does impact peoples’ lived experience and often have detrimental effects.
Sex and Gender
Gender Expression: The manner in which any individual’s gender identity is expressed to the world at large, including, but not limited to, through dress, appearance, manner, or speech. Examples of gender expression include but are not limited to femininity, masculinity, and androgyny.
Gender Identity: The manner in which any individual experiences and conceptualizes their gender, regardless of whether or not it differs from the gender culturally associated with their assigned sex at birth. Gender identity is not necessarily visible to others.
Biological Sex (assigned sex): The determination of an infant’s sex at birth based on the anatomy of an individual’s reproductive system and secondary sex characteristics. Reinforcing sex assignments through surgical or hormonal interventions is often considered to violate the individual’s human rights.
Cisgender: Someone who is cisgender has a gender identity that is the same as the gender they were assigned at birth. Cisgender is the opposite of transgender or trans. “Cisgender” is preferred over terms like “biological,” “genetic,” or “real” male or female which set up cis people as the norm and trans people as the inadequate other.
Intersex: An umbrella term describing people born with reproductive or sexual anatomy and/or a chromosome pattern that can’t be classified as typically male or female. The most thorough existing research finds intersex people to constitute an estimated 1.7% of the population*, which makes being intersex about as common as having red hair (1%-2%).
Any individual’s romantic, emotional, and/or physical attraction to or lack of attraction to other persons. Sexual orientation is distinct from a person’s gender identity and expression and exists on a continuum rather than as a set of absolute categories. Examples of sexual orientations include straight (or heterosexual), lesbian, gay, queer, pansexual, asexual, and bisexual.
Physical and/or mental discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities both seen and unseen (discrimination in favor of able-bodied and able-minded people). Example: A school building does not have a working elevator. If a person who uses an assistive device such as a walker or wheelchair is unable to reach all levels of the building, then that is an example of ableism.
“Ageism refers to the stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) towards others or oneself based on age.” The World Health Organization
Definition: Belief(s) or assumption(s) about a group or individual’s identity that negatively impact our behaviors and perceptions of others. Bias against others can occur intentionally or unintentionally. It can be directed toward an attitude, an individual, or group regarding their protected class, including (but not limited to) race, color, religious ideology, national origin, Veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, physical or mental ability, political affiliation, or size.
Example: Bias may be subtle or overt and includes but is not limited to acts of violence, harassment, verbal or physical abuse based on perceptions or preconceptions about another person based off of the group or individual’s identity. Examples of this include graffiti, name calling, comments made about a group or person in class.
Subtle or overt conduct, speech or expression that target individuals and groups based on their actual or perceived identity. An act of violence, harassment, verbal or physical abuse is made toward another person or group but may not rise to the level of a crime. Bias incidents involve actions committed against a person or property that are consciously or unconsciously motivated. Examples: Name calling or using a racial, ethnic, or other slur to identify someone or imitating someone with a disability or imitating someone’s cultural norm or practice.
Prejudice or discrimination based on the assumption that all people are cis-gendered against gender diverse, transgender and/or asexual people.
Citizenship Status Bias/Discrimination
Discrimination based upon an individual’s citizenship or immigration status, or assumed status.
– Asking or requiring only non-white persons for proof of citizenship or legal status.
– Assuming a Latinx person is not American or a US citizen.
– Assuming all people with undocumented status are Brown (e.g., Latinx).
Discrimination or prejudice based on social class or perceived social class. The systemic oppression of subordinated class groups to advantage and strengthen dominant class groups ( see classism.org )
Discrimination or prejudice based on skin tone and may also be known as “shadeism.” The resulting behavior is people being treated differently based on the social implications from cultural meanings attached to skin tone or appearance.
Definition: The unequal, unjust, or prejudicial action, or treatment of persons or things for a reason that has nothing to do with legal rights or ability
Example: Someone being treated differently because of their race, color, nationality (including citizenship), or ethnic/national origins. An example of this is when people of Japanese ancestry were forced into internment camps during World War II because of their perceived threat to the well-being of the U.S.
Domestic Violence Victim Bias/Discrimination
Denial of opportunity, hazing, bullying, or harassment based on being identified or perceived as a victim in a domestic violence relationship or intimate partner violence.
Example: Removed from or not allowed to live in housing because of victim status.
The attitude or belief that one’s own ethnic group or culture is inherently superior to others.
– Having Native Americans as the mascot for a University
– Believing everyone should be required to speak English
Family Relationship Bias/Discrimination
Family responsibilities discrimination, also called caregiver discrimination, is discrimination based on a person’s responsibility, real or perceived, to care for family members. Family responsibility discrimination occurs when someone is discriminated against based on family responsibilities or denied employment or promotions, harassed, or have had negative action against them due to family status.
Unequal or disadvantageous treatment of an individual or group of individuals based on gender.
Harassment occurs in a variety of circumstances, and includes, but is not limited to conduct that intentionally and maliciously aggravates, threatens, intimidates, ridicules, or humiliates another person. Physical, verbal or written actions that create a hostile or intimidating environment and are directed at a specific individual or group of people are considered harassment
Example: A resident living in University Housing has to walk past a room at the end of the hall every day. Every day the resident in the room at the end of the hall hears the student coming down the hallway and yells out that the first student stinks and is dirty.
Hate Based Crime
Under Oregon Law, a hate crime is offensive physical contact, threatening or inflicting physical injury, threatening or causing property damage towards a person or persons because perception of their race, color, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or national origin. These also include the desecration of places of worship or religious objects, and may also include a family member, for instance threats against a family member who comes out as LGBTQ.
Denial of opportunity, hazing, bullying, or harassment based on the real or perceived status of being hearing impaired.
Marital Status Bias/Discrimination
Denial of opportunity, hazing, bullying, or harassment based on marital status. This can be related to being single or married.
National Origin Bias/Discrimination
Denial of opportunity, hazing, bullying, or harassment based on national origin. Denial of opportunity might be because of where someone originates.
Existing in or spreading through every part of something. Pervasive harassment can be less serious conduct that takes place over a long period of time or throughout an entire program or area on campus. For example, the employees in a particular area on campus make sexist jokes routinely.
Predisposing Genetic Characteristics Bias/Discrimination
Denial of opportunity, hazing, bullying, or harassment based the perception or reality of having predisposing genetic characteristics.
Example: On-going bullying related to a person’s condition such as diabetes
“A preconceived opinion or assumption about something or someone rooted in stereotypes, rather than reason or fact, leading to unfavorable bias or hostility toward another person or group of people. Literally a“pre-judgement.”” https://cssp.org/
Political Affiliation Bias/Discrimination
Discrimination based on an individual’s actual or perceived political beliefs, party affiliation, or civic activities.
– Denial of a student group on the grounds that the group’s philosophy is antithetical to SOU’s commitment to academic freedom on campus.
– Asking employees or students to donate to political candidates, attend rallies, do campaign work, or vote for a particular candidate. (It is the power dynamic here, so peer to peer, as long as there is no- harassment or discrimination, seems to be okay.
– The inclusion of political and controversial material that has no relation to the subject matter of the course.
– Targeting a faculty member for their course content and teaching style.
– Refusal to hire or promote an applicant, or demotion an employee, because of their political beliefs, party affiliation, or civic activities.
Definition: the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics. Racism materialises on individual, systemic, and institutional bases.
Individual example: The prejudgement, bias, generalization, or stereotypes against an individual or group based on being other than white. A white person is given preference for a job over a Black, Indigenous, and Person of Color (BIPOC) because of their racial identity.
Institutional example: Policies, practices, and procedures that work for the benefit of white people, usually unintentionally and inadvertently, at the detriment of BIPOC. The wealth gap based on home ownership. Education disparities.
Systemic example: Historically and statistically, the interplay of policies, practices, and programs of different institutions that impact BIPOC communities negatively compared to white communities. BIPOC members of the USA are incarcerated at higher rates than white members of the USA for the same crimes within the national justice system.
Religion, Faith, Creed, Spirituality Bias/Discrimination
Denial of opportunity, hazing, bullying, or harassment based the affiliation or expression of a religion, faith, or spirituality.
Discrimination or prejudice based on sex or gender or the belief that men and boys and masculinity are superior to women and girls and femininity.
Sexual Orientation Bias/Discrimination
“Sexual orientation” refers to an individual’s physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction to people of the same and/or opposite gender. Examples of sexual orientations include straight (or heterosexual), lesbian, gay, and bisexual. Discrimination occurs when someone is subjected to negative action, harassment, or denial of certain benefits because of their sexual orientation, or the sexual orientation of someone to whom they are close.
Discrimination on the basis of a person’s size (height and/or weight), especially against people considered to be overweight.
Veteran or Military Status
Definition: Denial of opportunity, hazing, bullying, or harassment based the identity of being a Veteran or Vietnam Veteran;
Example: Excluding from participation based on assumption may have mental illness, may not be able to communicate in a non-militaristic way, or because they might be too rigid.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, alter amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, prohibits employment discrimination based on disability and also requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, and imposes accessibility requirements on public accommodations.
The groups protected from discrimination by law. These groups include all people on the basis of sex; any group which shares a common race, religion, color, or national origin; people over the age of 18 in Oregon or over 40 federally; and people with disabilities.
All employees, including students working as resident assistants, faculty advisors to student groups, and athletic coaches must immediately pass on information you provide to the Director of Equity Grievance/Title IX Coordinator at 541.552.7079 , a Confidential Advisor, and/or law enforcement authority, so the appropriate next steps can be taken. All responsible employees must report all disclosures of possible unlawful discrimination; harassment including sexual assault, sexual misconduct, interpersonal violence, domestic violence, and stalking; or retaliation to the Office of Equity Grievance.
Defined as any adverse action taken against a person participating in a protected activity because of their participation in that protected activity. Retaliation against an individual for alleging harassment, supporting a party bringing a grievance or for assisting in providing information relevant to a claim of harassment is a serious violation of SOU policy and will be treated as another possible instance of harassment or discrimination.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in federally funded private and public entities.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in place of employment of more than fifteen people.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 states “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act establishes the cumulative length of time that an individual may be absent from work for military duty and retain reemployment rights to five years, provides protection for disabled veterans by requiring employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability, and protects a member of the armed services from employment discrimination relating to one’s military service.