Defining Terms

Bias (Implicit, Unconscious)

Automatic attitudes, preferences, or stereotypes we have learned that can unintentionally affect our decision-making and behavior towards others, often leading to exclusionary patterns

Cultural Inclusion

Indicates a commitment to creating an environment that supports, represents and embraces members of diverse social groups and identities; cultivated through congruent individual and institutional behaviors, attitudes, practices, and policies, thus creating a culture where all members feel that they belong

Often refers to organizational climate and the likelihood that an organization will be successful in retaining people from traditionally marginalized groups; tends to require a shift in most organizational cultures


Socially constructed differences based on social identities such as: race, gender, sexual orientation, and social class, among others; often refers to the representation of one group or groups in an organization

Environmental Justice

Understanding that climate change impacts marginalized communities first and worst, including land destruction, resource depletion, and forced migration (climate refugees)

Fair treatment and meaningful representation of marginalized communities in the development and implementation of environmental laws and policies, such as: land rights, access to healthcare, healthy food, healthy air, adequate transportation, and others


Taking into account the individual and ensuring each person or group has exactly what they need; this could include resources or access to resources.

The process of considering, inquiring, and challenging systems that maintain and perpetuate cultural inclusion for some, and exclusion for others, based on an institutionalized (often unwritten) cultural legacy of systematic discrimination


Microaggressions are unintentional slights, invalidations, or other behaviors that cause an exclusionary environment, especially for people who experience systemic discrimination.

Long term, microaggressions can have a significant negative effect on one’s health and wellness.


Present moment awareness; an ancient eastern practice that encourages us to pay attention to this current moment rather than focusing on an individual’s past or future; has positive implications for health/wellness, self-empowerment, lowering implicit bias, culturally inclusive leadership, social and environmental justice

Mindful, Inclusive Leadership

Bringing mindfulness practices (present moment awareness) into our organizations can improve health/wellness, lower sick days, empower organizational members, lower implicit/unconscious bias, build a more culturally inclusive workspace. 

​​Mindful, inclusive leaders create spaces where all organization members feel like they belong and can soar. This has positive implications for innovation, collaboration, and an increased bottom line.


Systemic favoring, valuing, validating, and including of certain normative, or mainstream social identities over others; individuals cannot “opt out” of systems of privilege. Rather, these systems are inherent to the society in which we live. Therefore, our choices are whether or not to acknowledge privilege as it operates in our lives and whether or not to use our privilege as a means of creating social change.

​​Social Identity

Membership in groups such as: race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation, ethnicity, age, social class, religious or spiritual affiliation, among others; we all have multiple social identities that impact who we are, the decisions we make, and the lives we lead.

Social Justice

The goal of full and equal access and participation of all social and cultural groups in a society; a vision of society where all members are physically and psychologically safe and liberated

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