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Glossary of Terms

Are you trying to gain your footing in the language of community engagement and health equity? Sort through our working dictionary of nearly 100 words and become familiar with these commonly used terms in community engagement, research, and health equity.
TermDefinitionSource
Terms Around Community
Civic Engagement Working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivations to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes.Ehrlich, T. (2000). Civic Responsibility and Higher Education, American Council on Education. Oryx Press. p.vi. ; UIC Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement Website
CommunityA group of people external to the campus who are affiliated by geographic proximity, political area, common characteristics, special interest, similar situation or shared values. Communities may share characteristics such as age, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.McCloskey, J. D., Aguilar-Gaxiola, S., Michener J. L., Akintobi, T.H., Bonham, A., Cook, J.,... Ziegahn L (Ed.). (2012). Principles of Community Engagement, Second Edition. Clinical and Translational Science Awards Consortium. Community Engagement Key Function Committee TaskForce on the Principles of Community Engagement. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Publication No. 11-7782.
Community EngagementCollaboration among institutions of higher education and their larger communities at the local, regional/state, national, and global levels for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. (2011). Classification description: Community engagement elective classification. See source.
Community-Engaged ScholarshipCommunity-engaged scholarship is academically relevant work (research, teaching, or service) that simultaneously addresses disciplinary concerns and fulfills campus and/or community objectives through a mutually beneficial partnership. It involves sharing authority with community partners in the development of goals and approaches, as well the conduct of work and its dissemination. It should involve critical review by discipline-specific peers, community partners and the public. Connecticut Campus Compact and The Engaged
Scholarship Advisory Committee. (2012). A Framework For Community Engaged Scholarship. Retrieved and adapted. See source.
Community-Engaged (CE) Teaching/LearningCommunity-engaged teaching combines academic coursework with activities that address community-identified needs through mutually beneficial partnerships that deepen students' academic and civic learning. These activities:
1) honor principles of community engagement such as reciprocal partnerships and having a public purpose
2) provide opportunities for students to collaborate with faculty and community members for the dual—and integrated— purposes of learning and service.

Community-engaged teaching may be enacted through a variety of practices, including, but not limited to: service-learning experiences, on-site courses, clinical experiences, professional internships, community-based research or creative activities, collaborative programs, study abroad courses and experiences, international instruction, and distance education courses, when these practices involve reciprocal partnerships with community members, groups, or organizations.
Community Engaged (CE) Research A collaborative process between the researcher and A collaborative process between the researcher and community partner that creates and disseminates knowledge and creative expression with the goal of contributing to the discipline and strengthening the well-being of the community. Community-engaged research (CER) identifies the assets of all stakeholders and incorporates them in the design and conduct of the different phases of the research process.George, C. (2014). Frequently Asked Questions: Community Engaged Research (CEnR) & VCU's Institutional Review Board (IRB). Community Engagement Institute. Virginia Commonwealth University.
Community OutreachThe application and provision of institutional resources, The application and provision of institutional resources, knowledge or services that directly benefits the community. Examples include music concerts, athletic events, student volunteers, public lectures, or health fairs.Holton, V., & Shaw, K., (2015). Building Community-Engagement Infrastructure at
Warp Speed: Leveraging Enterprise Data and
Partnerships. Division of Community Engagement Resources. Virginia Commonwealth University.
Community PartnerIndividuals and/or entities within the community that fairly represent its interests, needs, and/or concerns because they are knowledable and empowered to represent the community.Sadler, L. S., Updegrove, S., Bouregy, S., Breny-Bontempi, J., D'Agostino, G., Dickey-Saucier, L., … (2009). Principles and Guidelines for Community-University Research Partnerships. Yale Center for Clinical Investigation. CARE: Coommunity Alliance for Research and Engagement.
Community Service A uni-directional, often times expert model in which A uni-directional, oftentimes expert model, in which university resources are extended to serve community individuals, groups, organizations and the public in general. Community service activities may focus on the delivery of expertise, resources, and services to community individuals, groups, organizations, and the general public.University of North Carolina Greensboro. (2011).Community and Friends: Definitions. See source.
DiversityWorkforce diversity is defined as a collection of Workforce diversity is defined as a collection of individual attributes that together help agencies pursue organizational objectives efficiently and effectively. These include, but are not limited to, characteristics such as national origin, language, race, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, age religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, veteran status, educational background, and family structures. The concept also encompasses differences among people related to where they are from, where they have lived, and differences in thoughts and life experiences.National Science Foundation's Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan 2012-2016 (In Support of the Government-Wide Effort to Enhance Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce). See source.
Faculty Community EngagementResearch/creative activities, teaching, and service activities that are collaboratively undertaken by faculty members with community partners, staff, and/or students through processes that exemplify reciprocal partnerships and public purposes.University of North Carolina Greensboro. Community and Friends: Definitions. See source.
Grassroots OrganizationOrganizations that are primarily made of local civilians advocating to affect change at the local, national, or international level. Grassroot organizations define their own goals and strategies to achieve them; these approaches are strongly rooted in the community. Bettencourt, A. (2019). Grassroots organizations are just as important as seed money for innovation - UNHCR Innovation. See source.
InclusionInclusion is defined as a culture that connects each Inclusion is defined as a culture that connects each employee to the organization; encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness; and leverages diversity throughout the organization so that all individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential.National Science Foundation's Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan 2012-2016 (In Support of the Government-Wide Effort to Enhance Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce). See source.
Mutual Aid OrganizationOrganizations dedicated to addressing the effects of inequality at their root cause. These organizations typically operate without top-down leadership or philanthropic funding that charities depend on. Members of these groups alternate between being volunteer providers and service-recipients. Examples of mutual aid organizations include informal child-care collectives, transgender support groups, and groups providing free grocery deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic.Tolentino, J. (2020). What Mutual Aid Can Do During a Pandemic. See source.
Non-profit OrganizationsOrganizations that are typically dedicated to transform the shared beliefs of its members into action around a specific cause. The earnings of a non-profit organization are not designed to be for the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, but instead, profits are generally reinvested into the organization. National Council of Nonprofits. (2020). What is a "Nonprofit"?. See source.
OutreachEfforts intended to connect an organization's ideas and practices to the public. The flow of information is largely from provider to community. Outreach strategies include: promoting local events, hosting trainings, conducting trainings, and organizing seminars, all of which may be mutually beneficial.Grace College. (2018). Exploring Community Outreach: Programs and Strategies. See source.
PartnershipSustained collaboration between institutions of Sustained collaboration between institutions of higher education and communities for the mutually beneficial exchange, exploration, and application of knowledge, information, and resources. Examples are research, capacity building, or economic development. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. (2011). Classification description: Community engagement elective classification. See source.
ReciprocityReciprocity is the recognition, respect, and valuing of knowledge, perspectives, and resources that each partner contributes to the collaboration.University of North Carolina Greensboro.(2011). Community and Friends: Definitions. See source.
Scholarly ServiceThe application of one's professional expertise that The application of one's professional expertise that addresses a community-identified need and supports the goals and mission of the university and the community. Community-engaged service may entail the delivery of expertise, resources and services to the community.Elliot, K., Holton, V., (2017). Intro to Community-Engaged Research & Service
Learning. Community Engagement Institute. Virginia Commonwealth University. See source.
Service LearningA teaching and learning strategy that integrates A teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.Bandy, J. (n.d.) What is Service Learning or Community Engagement? Vanderbilt University. See source.
Student Community EngagementStudents may practice community engagement Students may practice community engagement either inside or outside of the classroom. This can be done with and without faculty and staff, individually, in groups (e.g., student organizations), through programs (e.g., academic courses and co-curricular activities), research, creative activities, and courses when enacted collaboratively with community partners in processes that exemplify reciprocal partnerships and public purposes.University of North Carolina Greensboro (2011) Community-engagement Terminology. See source.
Terms Around Research
Evidence Based Public Health"Key components of evidence-based public health (EBPH) include making decisions on the basis of the best available, peer-reviewed evidence, using data and information systems systematically, applying program-planning frameworks, engaging the community in decision making, conducting sound evaluation, and disseminating what is learned."Brownson, R. C., Fielding, J. E., & Maylahn, C. M. (2009). Evidence-based public health: a fundamental concept for public health practice. Annual review of public health, 30, 175–201.
Community-Based ResearchResearch that draws upon the community's resources in Research that draws upon the community's resources in terms of subjects, data, personnel, material, or other support.Sadler, L. S., Updegrove, S., Bouregy, S., Breny-Bontempi, J., D'Agostino, G., Dickey-Saucier, L., … (2009). Principles and Guidelines for Community-University Research Partnerships. Yale Center for Clinical Investigation. CARE: Coommunity Alliance for Research and Engagement.
Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR)CBPR is a specific model of community based research CBPR is a specific model of community-based research that prioritizes a partnership between researcher and community and demonstrates a commitment to action and issues of mutual interest. The Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research at the National Institutes of Health defines Community-Based Participatory Research as an applied collaborative approach that enables community residents to more actively participate in the full spectrum of research (from conception to design to conduct to analysis to interpretation to conclusions to communication of results) with a goal of influencing change in community health, systems, programs or policies. This research approach does not assume you can separate a program from the context for purposes of studying it. Even in Community-Based Participatory Research projects, in practice, the power of the community varies.Chicago Beyond. (2018). Why am I Always Being Researched? A Guidebook for Community Organizations, Researchers, and Funders to Help Us Get From Insufficient Understanding to More Authentic Truth. Equity Series, Volume 1. 2018.
Practice-Based Research (PBR)Practice-based research projects focus on an issue or Practice-based research focuses on the systems, methods, policies, and/or programmatic applications of public health practice. This research is responsive to the needs of both public health practitioners and communities served. Public health practice in this context is understood to broadly include the full range of organized activities that may be oriented toward the health improvement of populations or communities, whether taking place within or outside of the formal public health system.Lovelace, Kay & Mays, G. & Shah, Gulzar. (2011). Practice-based Research in Public Health. NACCHO Exchange.
DisseminationThe targeted distribution of information and intervention The targeted distribution of information and intervention materials to a specific public health or clinical practice audience. The intent is to spread knowledge and the associated evidence-based interventions.Glasgow, R. E., Vinson, C., Chambers, D., Khoury, M. J., Kaplan, R. M., & Hunter, C. (2012). National Institutes of Health approaches to dissemination and implementation science: current and future directions. American journal of public health, 102(7), 1274–1281.
Ethical PrinciplesThe Belmont Report (National Commision for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, 1979) names three fundamental ethical principles applicable to human research: Respect for Persons, Beneficience, and Justice. These principles are applicable not just to research subjects, but also to interactions between research partners.National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. (1978). The Belmont report: Ethical principles and guidelines for the protection of human subjects of research. [Bethesda, Md.]: The Commission.
Implementation The use of strategies to adopt and integrate The use of strategies to adopt and integrate evidence-based health interventions and change practice patterns within specific settings.Glasgow, R. E., Vinson, C., Chambers, D., Khoury, M. J., Kaplan, R. M., & Hunter, C. (2012). National Institutes of Health approaches to dissemination and implementation science: current and future directions. American journal of public health, 102(7), 1274–1281.
Implementation ScienceThe methods to promote the systematic uptake of clinical The methods to promote the systematic uptake of evidence-based practices into routine practice and hence improve the effectiveness of health care and the overall state of a population's health.Brownson, R. C., Colditz, G. A., & Proctor, E. K. (2012). Dissemination and implementation research in health: Translating science to practice. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press.
Institutional Review Board (IRB)The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is an adminsitrative body that protects the rights, welfare, and privacy of all human research subjects. The IRB is responsible for reviewing research and has the authority to approve, disprove, monitor, and require modifications in all research activities that fall within its jurisdiction. Oregon State University. (2020). What is the Institutional Review Board (IRB)?. See source.
Quantitative Study"A quantitative‚ study focuses on numbers to assess implementation and/or the impact of your organizations work. For example, a quantitative study might count how many people your organization serves, what services they receive, and whether they have stable housing after receiving services. A quantitative study often uses government data sets, for example from the public school system or the criminal justice system, census tract data, or surveys.
A quantitative study can produce data on a large number of participants more cheaply than other approaches. It can show that stories-focused information can be generalized beyond the handful of participants telling the stories."
Chicago Beyond. (2018). Why am I Always Being Researched? A Guidebook for Community Organizations, Researchers, and Funders to Help Us Get From Insufficient Understanding to More Authentic Truth. Equity Series, Volume 1. 2018.
Quasi-Experimental Study"A quasi-experimental study is a type of quantitative study that shows a numerical change occurred, but does not show your program caused the change to happen. It does not involve assigning participants to two different groups and studying both groups, and therefore asks less from your organization and your participants. This will reduce your flexibility to change program elements during the period of the research. Will this generate what you are trying to learn? Is this rigorous enough for the audience you want to reach?"Chicago Beyond. (2018). Why am I Always Being Chicago Beyond. (2018). Why am I Always Being Researched? A Guidebook for Community Organizations, Researchers, and Funders to Help Us Get From Insufficient Understanding to More Authentic Truth. Equity Series, Volume 1. 2018.
Randomized Control Trial"An 'RCT' or 'random assignment evaluation' is a type of quantitative study used to show your program caused the change to happen. For example, it would allow a researcher to say “participants in this organization had stable housing more often as a result of their participation.” It involves assigning participants randomly to treatment and control groups which is effort-intensive (more detail in the sections called Know the risks and costs and Plan for study recruitment below). This will reduce your flexibility to change program elements during the period of the research. It is often favored by public policy-makers. Is it necessary for your goals?"Chicago Beyond. (2018). Why am I Always Being Chicago Beyond. (2018). Why am I Always Being Researched? A Guidebook for Community Organizations, Researchers, and Funders to Help Us Get From Insufficient Understanding to More Authentic Truth. Equity Series, Volume 1. 2018.
Qualitative Study"A “qualitative” study focuses on systematically collecting stories and other non-quantitative information to convey the impact of your organization’s work. A qualitative study may use interviews, focus groups, or observational data, which means a researcher watching or listening to participants and staff members. For example, a qualitative study might summarize what participants are saying has changed in their lives while participating in your program. Particularly when you are trying something where not much is already known, rich qualitative information, even from a smaller number of participants, helps shed light on “why” and “how” your efforts are working, and why participants find it valuable.
Case studies can offer rich insight—but are different than a systematic qualitative study that may guide program or policy changes.
Community organizations have found this type of research helpful to scaling up their work because it helps you understand what pieces matter most. Qualitative data can guide improvements, for example: criteria in screening tools, characteristics of staff to hire for, service or curriculum improvements. Qualitative data can also suggest internal metrics the organization can use so that operations produce more of what matters. However, qualitative research can take time and be expensive."
Chicago Beyond. (2018). Why am I Always Being Chicago Beyond. (2018). Why am I Always Being Researched? A Guidebook for Community Organizations, Researchers, and Funders to Help Us Get From Insufficient Understanding to More Authentic Truth. Equity Series, Volume 1. 2018.
Mixed Methods StudyMixed methods approach utilize both numbers and A study that integrates both quantitative and qualitative methods in data collection, data analysis, and evidence interpretation. Mixed methods studies can be used to:
a) gain a better understanding of connections or contradictions between qualitative and quantitative data
b) allow opportunities for participants to voice their experiences across the research process
c) facilitate the enrichment of evidence allowing research questions to be answered fully.
Chicago Beyond. (2018). Why am I Always Being Chicago Beyond. (2018). Why am I Always Being Researched? A Guidebook for Community Organizations, Researchers, and Funders to Help Us Get From Insufficient Shorten A, Smith JMixed methods research: expanding the evidence base. Evidence-Based Nursing 2017;20:74-75.
Statistically SignificantIn research, something is statistically significant if it falls outside the bounds of what is considered normal in a specific situation or group. It specifically means that any difference observed in a trial is not a result of luck but rather more likely to be due to the difference, such as an intervention or characteristic, between two or more groups.Chicago Beyond. (2018). Why am I Always Being Researched? A Guidebook for Community Organizations, Researchers, and Funders to Help Us Get From Insufficient Understanding to More Authentic Truth. Equity Series, Volume 1. 2018.
Terms Around Practice
Communities of PracticeGroups of people who share a concern, a set of problems or a passion about a topic and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis. Communities of Practice provide a collaborative framework for public health professionals to work together to identify and leverage best practices and standards. Through these evolving collaborative efforts and sharing of lessons learned in the community building process, the community of practice approach is being implemented in many public health areas as a model for how public health partners work together.Wenger, E., McDermott, R., & Snyder W. (2002).Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press; p. 304.
Evidence-Based PracticeEvidence based practice describes a practice that is supported by the evidence, both that from the community and from scholarly sources. Elements include:
1) Identification of a 'problem' or issue that connects/stems from practice or the community.
2) An explicit process or framework or 'design' to investigate the 'problem' rooted in theory and peer-reviewed literature or best practice such as a needs assessment, environmental scan, decision-making process, exploring best-case intervention or initiative, strategic planning, or workforce development.
3) Explicit questions of inquiry are likely contextual rather than content or narrowly focused.
4) Systematic and explicit collection/review of evidence; evidence could be literature, informal or formal inquiry, but methods must be articulated.
5) Explicit analysis strategies, ideally that involves key stakeholders
6) A clear impact of the results with/on practice/community, how the results impact recommendations and action with the stakeholders.
FieldworkOn-the-ground research, program design, implementation, or evaluation conducted by health workers or other persons in a community. Effective and respected fieldwork relies on mutually beneficial relationships between institutions and communities.Hall-Clifford, R., Addiss, D. G., Cook-Deegan, R., & Lavery, J. V. (2019). Global Health Fieldwork Ethics: Mapping the Challenges. Health and human rights, 21(1), 1.
Public Health PracticeThe strategic, organized, and interdisciplinary application The strategic, organized, and interdisciplinary application of knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary to perform essential public health services and other activities to improve the population's health.The Association of Schools of Public Health Council of Public Health Practice Coordinators.(1999).Demonstrating Excellence in Academic Public Health Practice. See source.
Scholarly Public Health PracticeScholarly public health practice is distinct in that the Scholarly public health practice is distinct in that the primary concern is with directly helping to solve a public health problem as a collaborator or intervener. In traditional research, the focus is typically on enhancing general knowledge. There is not always a clear distinction between scholarly public health practice and research. However, one notable element of scholarly public health practice is that it involves addressing a public health problem or practical need identified as important by a partner organization or community group.UIC School of Public Health Faculty. (2020). Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Policies at UIC School of Public Health.
Service (Excellence in Service) Outstanding performance in service is based on service Outstanding performance in service is based on service to the school, university, and/or the profession which demonstrates outstanding leadership in the field. UIC School of Public Health Faculty. (2020). Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Policies at UIC School of Public Health.
Translational ResearchThe process of applying knowledge from scientific research to generating tangible tools, methods, and services that can address critical health needs. The focus of translational research is to provide greater quality services and thus to improve health outcomes.University of Claifornia, Davis. (2016). What is Translational Research? See source.
Terms Around Health Equity
Ancient and Indigenous Approaches to KnowledgeIndigenous knowledge is passed through generations, focused on problem solving, and is the basis for community decisions. We have learned from wisdom and approaches including ancient spiritual philosophy of India and approaches of Native peoples of the Americas, Canada, New Zealand.Chicago Beyond. (2018). Why am I Always Being Researched? A Guidebook for Community Organizations, Researchers, and Funders to Help Us Get From Insufficient Understanding to More Authentic Truth. Equity Series, Volume 1. 2018.
Anti-RacistThe conscious and daily decision to make frequent, consistent, equitable choices and to actively fight againts racism on the individual, interpersonal, institutional, and structural levels.National Museum of African American History & Culture. (2020, May 31). Being Antiracist. See source.
Asset-Based ApproachAn asset-based approach promotes capacity and connectedness by making visible and valuing the skills, knowledge, connections and potential in an individual, group or community. Assets are individual, group and community characteristics and resources that contribute to health and well-being and support resilience.Glasgow Centre for Population Health, Briefing Paper #9. (2011). Asset-based approaches for health improvement: redressing the balance. See source.
Capitalism"An economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market." A system that threatens health when the value of profit is placed before the value of human life and well-being. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (2020). Definition of Capitalism. See source.
Critical Race Theory"The Critical Race Theory movement considers many of the same issues that conventional civil rights and ethnic studies take up, but places them in a broader perspective that includes economics, history, and even feelings and the unconscious. Unlike traditional civil rights, which embraces incrementalism and step by step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism and principles of constitutional law. "Delgado, R., & Stefancic, J. (2017). Critical race theory: An introduction (Vol. 20). nYU Press. in Racial Equity Tools. (2020). Glossary. See source.
Cultural AwarenessCultural awareness is awareness of the social systems of meaning and customs of a group, and includes reflection on your own values, beliefs, biases.Chicago Beyond. (2018). Why am I Always Being Researched? A Guidebook for Community Organizations, Researchers, and Funders to Help Us Get From Insufficient Understanding to More Authentic Truth. Equity Series, Volume 1. 2018.
Cultural HumilityApproach to healthcare that incorporates a lifelong commitment to self-evaluation and self-critique, to redressing the power imbalances between the providers and institutions and their patients/clients and to developing mutually beneficial and non-paternalistic clinical and advocacy partnerships with communities on behalf of individuals and defined populations.Tervalon, M., & Murray-García, J. (1998). Cultural humility versus cultural competence: a critical distinction in defining physician training outcomes in multicultural education. Journal of health care for the poor and underserved, 9(2), 117–125. See source.
Cultural Racism"Cultural racism refers to representations, messages and stories conveying the idea that behaviors and values associated with white people or “whiteness” are automatically “better” or more “normal” than those associated with other racially defined groups. Cultural racism shows up in advertising, movies, history books, definitions of patriotism, and in policies and laws. Cultural racism is also a powerful force in maintaining systems of internalized supremacy and internalized racism. It does that by influencing collective beliefs about what constitutes appropriate behavior, what is seen as beautiful, and the value placed on various forms of expression. All of these cultural norms and values in the U.S. have explicitly or implicitly racialized ideals and assumptions (for example, what “nude” means as a color, which facial features and body types are considered beautiful, which child-rearing practices are considered appropriate.)"Racial Equity Tools. (2020). Glossary. See source.
Disease-centered approach to healthThe model of care in which health professionals base their research or treatment around a disease and its symptoms. This is in contrast to a patient-centered approach in clinical medicine or a holistic approach to health in public health. Steinberg K. (2007). Wellness in every stage of life: a new paradigm for public health programs. Preventing chronic disease, 4(1), A02.
Design ThinkingA creative problem-solving process that puts humans at the center and focuses on what real people actually do.Chicago Beyond. (2018). Why am I Always Being Researched? A Guidebook for Community Organizations, Researchers, and Funders to Help Us Get From Insufficient Understanding to More Authentic Truth. Equity Series, Volume 1. 2018.
Diversity"Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, and it encompasses all the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. It is all-inclusive and recognizes everyone and every group as part of the diversity that should be valued. A broad definition includes not only race, ethnicity, and gender — the groups that most often come to mind when the term "diversity" is used — but also age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, and physical appearance. It also involves different ideas, perspectives, and values.

It is important to note that many activists and thinkers critique diversity alone as a strategy. For instance, Baltimore Racial Justice Action states: 'Diversity is silent on the subject of equity. In an anti-oppression context, therefore, the issue is not diversity, but rather equity.
Racial Equity Tools. (2020). Glossary. See source ; Baltimore Racial Justice Action. (2016). Our Definitions. See source.
EmpowermentIncreasing the ability of individuals or communities to have influence over the actions or behaviors of others.Thompson, B., Molina, Y., Viswanath, K., Warnecke, R., & Prelip, M. L. (2016). Strategies to empower communities to reduce health disparities. Health Affairs, 35(8), 1424-1428.
Environmental RacismRefers to the fact that people of color face a disproportionate amount of environmental hazards including waste disposal, toxic dumping, proximity to power plants and factories, and other general exposures to pollution. Such pollution occurs in or nearby residences, schools, or workplaces and are largely due to decisions around land and neighborhood value. Berkovitz, C. (2020, May 19). Environmental Racism Has Left Black Communities Especially Vulnerable to COVID-19. See source.
EpistemologyThe theory of how we know what we know.Chicago Beyond. (2018). Why am I Always Being Researched? A Guidebook for Community Organizations, Researchers, and Funders to Help Us Get From Insufficient Understanding to More Authentic Truth. Equity Series, Volume 1. 2018.
Health DisparitiesA difference in health status or outcomes that is closely linked with social, economic, or environmental disadvantage. Although these select factors may be named and examined, there do not tend to be political implications.Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2020). Healthy People 2020. See source. ; Jeni Hebert-Beirne. (2020). Epidemics of Injustice: Glossary of Terms. UIC School of Public Health.
Health Equity (as a process)Both an outcome and a process. As a process, health equity is a process of assurance of the conditions of optimal health for all people which requires at least three things:
1) valuing all individuals and populations equally
2) recognizing and rectifying historical injustices
3) providing resources according to need. Health inequities will be eliminated when health equity is achieved.
Jones C. P. (2014). Systems of Power, Axes of Inequity: Parallels, Intersections, Braiding the Strands. Medical Care, 52(10 Suppl 3), S71–S75.
Health Equity (as an outcome)Both an outcome and a process. As an outcome, health equity is achieved when every person can attain their full health potential without disadvantage because of social position or other socially determined circumstances. Health inequities will be eliminated when health equity is achieved.Jones C. P. (2014). Systems of Power, Axes of Inequity: Parallels, Intersections, Braiding the Strands. Medical Care, 52(10 Suppl 3), S71–S75.
Health in All Policies"HiAP is a collaborative approach that integrates and articulates health considerations into policymaking across sectors to improve the health of all communities and people."Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated 2016, June 9. Health in all policies. See source.
Health InequitiesSystematic differences in health outcomes that are A holistic approach to analysis that focuses on the way parts of a system relate to each other and have an impact over time.Whitehead, M. (1991). The concepts and principles of equity and health. Health Promotion International, 6(3), 217-228.
Health JusticeEngaging with health justice means engaging with the many interlocking types of justice that shape the people’s health and extent of health inequities – e.g., racial justice, Indigenous justice, economic justice, gender justice, queer justice, environmental justice, climate justice, reproductive justice, healing justice, restorative criminal justice, and electoral justice. American Public Health Association. (2019). SPIRIT OF 1848: A CALL FOR ABSTRACTS – APHA 2019, SPIRIT OF 1848 THEME:“Fighting Forward: Radical Science and Health Justice.” See source.
Health PromotionHelping people change their lifestyle to move towards a state of optimal health. Optimal health is defined as a balance of physical, emotion, social, spiritual and intellectual health.O'Donnell, Michael, MBA, MPH. "Definition of Health O'Donnell M. P. (1989). Definition of Health Promotion: Part III: Expanding the Definition. American Journal of Health Promotion : AJHP, 3(3), 5. See source.
Implicit Bias"Also known as unconscious or hidden bias, implicit biases are negative associations that people unknowingly hold. They are expressed automatically, without conscious awareness. Many studies have indicated that implicit biases affect individuals’ attitudes and actions, thus creating real-world implications, even though individuals may not even be aware that those biases exist within themselves. Notably, implicit biases have been shown to trump individuals’ stated commitments to equality and fairness, thereby producing behavior that diverges from the explicit attitudes that many people profess. The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is often used to measure implicit biases with regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, and other topics."Cheryl Staats, Capatosto K, Wright R, and Contractor D. (2015). State of the Science: Implicit Bias Review. Kirwan Institute, The Ohio State University. in Racial Equity Tools. (2020). Glossary. See source.
Inclusion"Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, and decision/policy making in a way that shares power."Racial Equity Tools. (2020). Glossary. See source.
InjusticeAny act that involves unfairness to another or violation of an individual’s rights.Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Injustice. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary.
IntersectionalityTheoretical framework that posits that:
a) multiple social categories (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status) intersect at the micro level of individual experience to,
b) reflect multiple interlocking and compounding systems of privilege and oppression at the macro, social-structural level (e.g., racism, sexism, heterosexism).
Bowleg L. (2012). The Problem with the Phrase Women and Minorities: Intersectionality-An Important Theoretical Framework for Public Health. American Journal of Public Health, 102(7), 1267–1273. See source.
Marginalized GroupsThose who have often experienced discrimination or been excluded or marginalized from society and the health promoting resources it has to offer. These groups have been pushed to society’s margins, with inadequate access to key opportunities, and are economically and/or socially disadvantaged. Examples of historically excluded/marginalized or disadvantaged groups include—but are not limited to—people of color; people living in poverty, particularly across generations; religious minorities; people with physical or mental disabilities; LGBTQ persons and women.Braveman, P., Arkin E, Orleans T, Proctor D, & Plough A., (2017). What is health equity? And What Difference Does it make? Princeton, NJ: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. See source.
NeoliberalismA social and economic structure that prioritizes individualism and economic growth by allowing the free market to function unimpeded. Neoliberalism encourages deregulation, privatization, and cuts to social welfare programs, which is directly at odds with health equity goals.Epplin, Wesley; Goldstein, Alison; Ford, Tiffany N.; Russel, Jamel, Facilitators for Radical Public Health. Title: Radical Curriculum: Breaking Bad Political Economics of Neoliberalism and #BlackLivesMatter to Public Health. American Public Health Association 2015 Annual Meeting and Expo.
Peace CircleA method rooted in Native American practice to address conflict holistically and solve problems. Peace Circles are a group process that repair harm, include offenders taking responsibility for their actions and, and lead to collective healing.Chicago Beyond. (2018). Why am I Always Being Researched? A Guidebook for Community Organizations, Researchers, and Funders to Help Us Get From Insufficient Understanding to More Authentic Truth. Equity Series, Volume 1. 2018.
Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) changeAn approach that calls for changing institutional policies, internal systems, and physical environments in order to tackle the root causes of health inequities, like structural racism. Cook County Department of Public Health. (n.d.) What is 'Policy, systems and environmental change'? See source.
PowerThe ability to determine who will have access to resources; the capacity to direct or influence the behavior of others, oneself and/or the course of events that shape the realities we face on a daily basis. Those in power often dictate the priorities and beneficiaries of public policies. There are two main ways to attain power: organized money and organized people. Myers, A. & Ogino, Y.(n.d). Power, Privilege & Oppression.[Presentation Slides]. See source.
PrivilegeUnearned benefits given to people who fit into a specific social group. It determines what kind of education, housing, employment, or power building opportunities you have access to.Racial Equity Tools. (2020). Glossary. See source.
Public Health Critical Race Practice PHCRP is an iterative, semi-structured research methodology that guides investigators through a systematic process to conduct self-reflexive, race-conscious research into the root cause of health inequities.
It comprises:
1) a semi-structured research process
2) a lexicon that helps standardize the theory and method used to assess racism's contributions to health inequities
3) a set of principles and concepts that together guide anti-racism approaches to Public Health research and practice.
Most PHCRP research uses empirical methods to examine associations between racism-related factors and the higher rates of risk factors and/or disease in communities of color. PHCRP seeks to generate empirical evidence that communities can use as part of their ongoing health equity and social justice efforts. It responsibly challenges methods and results that uncritically reinforce or racialize inequities. It also employs counter-storytelling and other strategies to help explain research findings.
Ford, C. (2016). Public Health Critical Race Praxis: An Introduction, Intervention, and three points for consideration. Wisconsin Law Review, 3, 477-491. See source.
Racial EquityRacial equity would be achieved if racial identity did not determine the odds of how one fares. Racial equity work includes dismantling narratives, attitudes, practices and policies that allow or reinforce different outcomes by race. Chicago Beyond. (2018). Why am I Always Being Researched? A Guidebook for Community Organizations, Researchers, and Funders to Help Us Get From Insufficient Understanding to More Authentic Truth. Equity Series, Volume 1. 2018.
Racist Policies"A racist policy is any measure that produces or sustains racial inequity between or among racial groups. Policies are written and unwritten laws, rules, procedures, processes, regulations and guidelines that govern people. There is no such thing as a nonracist or or race-neutral policy. Every policy in every institution in every community in every nation is producing or sustaining either racial inequity or equity between racial groups. Racist policies are also express through other terms such as 'structural racism' or 'systemic racism'. Racism itself is institutional, structural, and systemic."Kendi, I. (2019). How to be an Antiracist. Random House. in Racial Equity Tools. (2020). Glossary. See source.
ResilienceThe ability to maintain positive adaptations in one's life despite persistent external stressors. The types of resilience that contribute to community resilience include: physical, individual, organizational, environmental, and economic resilience. Morton, M. J., & Lurie, N. (2013). Community resilience and public health practice.
Structural InequtiyThe systematic, pervasive, cumulative and persistent systems of inequality and discrimination within institutions and societies. Structural inequality operates through social norms, policies, rules and governance.Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. (2018). Glossary of Health Equity Terms. See source.
Structural RacismA system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in mutually reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequity. Structural racism is not something that a few people or institutions choose to, or choose not to, practice. Instead it is a feature of the social, economic and political systems in which we all exist.Chicago Beyond. (2018). Why am I Always Being Researched? A Guidebook for Community Organizations, Researchers, and Funders to Help Us Get From Insufficient Understanding to More Authentic Truth. Equity Series, Volume 1. 2018.
Systems ThinkingA holistic approach to analysis that focuses on the way parts of a system relate to each other and work over time.Chicago Beyond. (2018). Why am I Always Being Researched? A Guidebook for Community Organizations, Researchers, and Funders to Help Us Get From Insufficient Understanding to More Authentic Truth. Equity Series, Volume 1. 2018.
Social Determinants of HealthUmbrella term used to describe factors related to the conditions of daily life: the circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age, including housing conditions, educational opportunities, diet, and employment opportunities. The occur in the context of wider factors such as policies and economics.Solar O, Irwin A. (2010). A conceptual framework for action on the social determinants of health. Social Determinants of Health Discussion Paper 2 (Policy and Practice).
Structural Determinants of Health EquityThe social, political, and economic policies and The social, political, and economic policies and factors that determine the inequitable distribution of the determinants of health available to different communities, including tax, labor, education, zoning, and immigration policies.Jeni Hebert-Beirne. (2020). Epidemics of Injustice: Glossary of Terms. UIC School of Public Health.
Structural ViolenceStructural violence involves invisible manifestations of violence or any harm that is built in (baked) into the fabric of society – political and economic organizations of our social world – and creates and maintains inequalities within and between different social groups.Montesanti, S. R., & Thurston, W. E. (2015). Mapping the Role of Structural and Interpersonal Violence in the Lives of Women: Implications for Public Health Interventions and Policy. BMC Women's Health, 15, 100.
Symbolic ViolenceSymbolic violence refers to the ideologies, words, nonverbal behaviors or communications that express stereotypes, hegemonies and create humiliation or stigma. Symbolic violence draws from other social institutions (e.g., the family, religion, education, economic and political intuitions) and is therefore often constructed and named as normal and natural. It therefore, reproduces and perpetuates patterns of inequality.Montesanti, S. R., & Thurston, W. E. (2015). Mapping the Role of Structural and Interpersonal Violence in the Lives of Women: Implications for Public Health Interventions and Policy. BMC Women's Health, 15, 100.
Systems of OppressionThe systemic devaluing, undermining, marginalizing and disadvantaging of certain social identities in contrast to the privileged norm; when some people are denied something of value, while others have ready access.Health Equity & Social Justice (HESJ) Working Definition. (n.d). See source.
Trauma-Informed ApproachAn approach that:
1) realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery
2) recognizes signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff and others involved with the system
3) responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures and practices
4) seeks to actively resist re-traumatization.
Huang, L., Flatow, R.,Biggs, T., Afayee, S., Smith, K., Clark , T., & Blake , M., (2014). SAMHSA's Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach.SAMHSA'S Trauma and Justice Strategic Initiative. See source.
White Fragility"Per Robin DiAngelo, white fragility is 'a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable [for white people], triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium.' "DiAngelo, R. (2018). White fragility: Why it's so hard for white people to talk about racism. Beacon Press. in Racial Equity Tools. (2020). Glossary. See source.
White Supremacy"A political, economic and cultural system in which whites overwhelmingly control power and material resources, conscious and unconscious ideas of white superiority and entitlement are widespread, and relations of white dominance and non-white subordination are daily reenacted across a broad array of institutions and social settings.” Much like racism itself, white supremacy is a system that permeates all aspects of daily life. Frances Lee Ansley in Newkirk, V. R., II. (2017, October 06). What Is White Supremacy? See source.

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