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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy

LWVSMC is an organization fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in principle and in practice. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to the organization’s current and future success in engaging all individuals, households, communities, and policy makers in creating a more perfect democracy.

There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity, race, native or indigenous origin, age, generation, sexual orientation, culture, religion, belief system, marital status, parental status, socioeconomic status, language, accent, intellectual or physical ability status, mental health, educational level or background, geography, nationality, work style, work experience, job role function, thinking style, personality type, physical appearance, political perspective or affiliation and/or any other characteristic that can be identified as recognizing or illustrating diversity.

Adopted by LWVSMC Board 1-13-2021

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Glossary of Terms Used in a DEI Context

Critical Race Theory (CRT)

Critical race theory is a body of legal scholarship and an academic movement of civil-rights scholars and activists in the United States that seeks to critically examine U.S. law as it intersects with issues of race. CRT examines social, cultural, and legal issues primarily as they relate to race and racism in the United States. The theory argues that historical patterns of racism are ingrained in law and other modern institutions, and that the legacies of slavery, segregation, and Jim Crow still create an uneven playing field for Blacks and other people of color. The central idea is that racism is not a matter of individual bigotry but is systemic in America. Critics have made CRT a catchall target for opposition to equity efforts, affirmative action and ÒwokenessÓ in general.

Microaggression

Everyday slights, indignities, put downs and insults that people of color, women, LGBT populations, or those who are marginalized experience in their day-to-day interactions with others all are microaggressions. Microaggressions often appear at first to be compliments or jokes but contain a hidden insult Ð intentional or unintentional -- about a group of people. For example, an Asian-American student is complimented by a professor for speaking perfect English, but it's the studentÕs first language and the compliment reveals the professorÕs prejudiced view of Asian-Americans. Or "You're lucky to be black Ñ so easy to get into college.

Cancel Culture

Cancel or call-out culture is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles Ð whether it be online, on social media, or in person. Those subject to this ostracism are said to have been cancelled. The expression has mostly negative connotations and is commonly used in debates on free speech and censorship. Cancellation is an agreement not to amplify, signal boost, orÊdonate money to a person who says or does something considered to be problematic.

Coastal Elites

The expression is a broad term used derisively for educated professionals living mainly on the West Coast or the Eastern seaboard who have progressive political views and are considered to have advantages that most ordinary Americans do not.

Redlining

Redlining is a discriminatory practice that puts financial and other services out of reach for residents of certain areas based on race or ethnicity. It can be seen in the systematic denial of mortgages, insurance, loans, and other financial services based on location, and that areaÕs history of defaults, rather than on an individualÕs qualifications andÊcreditworthiness. Notably, the policy of redlining is felt the most by residents of minority neighborhoods.

Environmental Racism

Pollution, climate change, and moreÊhave stripped from these communities the right to their most basic needs: clean water, food, air, and safe housing. These issues spurred the environmental justice movement. Examples of environmental racism are workers being exposed to hazardous chemicals and low income housing built in an area near hazardous waste.

Cultural Appropriation

Cultural appropriation occursÊwhen members of a majority group adopt cultural elements of a minority group in an exploitative, disrespectful, or stereotypical way. In this sense, appropriation involves a lack of understanding of or appreciation for the historical context that influences the act of what is being taken. For example,Êtaking a sacred object from a culture and using it as a Halloween costume.