The IIDEA Definitions and Statement Subcommittee was charged with defining the terms used in the acronym IIDEA and other terms that are frequently used in social work.1
Inclusion refers to a characteristic of environments in which individuals and groups feel welcomed, respected, valued, and supported through the elimination of practices and behaviors that result in marginalization. An inclusive climate embraces difference and offers respect in words and actions, so that all people can fully participate in the University’s opportunities. Source: adapted from Rutgers’ Universitywide Diversity Strategic Plan.
Intersectionality refers to the acknowledgement of the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, religion, language, ability status, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status as they apply to a given individual or group, and how systems of oppression overlap to create distinct experiences of stigma, discrimination, and marginalization for people with multiple identities. Source: Adapted from Kimberlé Crenshaw’s On Intersectionality: Essential Writings.
Diversity refers to the presence and respect for the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. Such differences include but are not limited to race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, religion, language, ability status, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.2 Source: Adapted from Rutgers’ University-wide Diversity Strategic Plan.
Equity refers to the identification and elimination of barriers that prevent full participation of students, faculty, and staff in every stage of education and career development. Attention to equity involves ensuring access, opportunity, and advancement for all students, faculty, and staff in every stage of education and career development and redressing the exclusion of historically underrepresented and underserved groups in higher education. Source: Adapted from Rutgers’ Universitywide Diversity Strategic Plan.
Advancement refers to the act of ensuring a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, religion, language, ability status, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Adapted from the NAACP mission.
1We realize that the meanings of these terms are fluid and the way we understand them changes over time.
2Identities or social locations are not ranked or listed in any particular order of importance.
An anti-racist is “one who is supporting an antiracist policy through their actions or expressing an antiracist idea.” (Kendi, 2019, p.14) Citation: Kendi, I. X. (2019). How to Be an Antiracist. One world.
Anti-racism is “a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist” (Kendi, 2019, p.21) Citation: Kendi, I. X. (2019). How to Be an Antiracist. One world.
Anti-racist Social Work
Dominelli (2017), a British author, explains that “anti-racist social work is a form of practice that takes as its starting point racialised social relations that depict ‘black’ people as inferior. It aims to eradicate racist social relations and dynamics from the profession and society. In realising this, white people are encouraged to tackle racist practices at the personal and collective levels in organisations and institutions; learn about black perspectives; and build alliances with black people by agreeing common objectives to eradicate racism and create egalitarian partnerships. Black people have their own expectations and demands for these alliances and engage with white people to achieve mutually acceptable ways forward (Bishop, 2002). These also address other forms of oppression that intersect with racist social relations, e.g., sexism, classism. Focusing on racism alone is but a starting point for the anti-oppressive anti-racist journey” (p. 10). Citation: Dominelli, L. (2017). Anti-Racist Social Work. Macmillan International Higher Education.