Anti-racism: A form of action against systemic racism and the oppression of groups who have been marginalized. It is based on conscious efforts and actions to provide equitable opportunities for all people on an individual and systemic level.

Anti-racism lens: A framework and process to facilitate anti-racist practice in thinking and actions in the development of programs, policies, services and agreements, with the ultimate aim of eliminating systemic barriers and generating systems change.

Colonialism: A practice of domination, which involves the subjugation of one people to another. Settler colonialism — such as in the case of Canada — is the unique process where the colonizing population does not leave the territory, asserts ongoing sovereignty to the land, actively seeks to assimilate the Indigenous populations and extinguish their cultures, traditions and ties to the land.

Discrimination: Treating someone unfairly by either imposing a burden on them, or denying them a privilege, benefit or opportunity enjoyed by others, because of their race, citizenship, family status, disability, sex or other personal characteristics.

Diversity: Differences in race, colour, place of origin, religion, immigrant and newcomer status, ethnic origin, ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and age.

Equity: Fairness, impartiality, even-handedness. A distinct process of recognizing differences within groups of individuals, and using this understanding to achieve substantive equality in all aspects of a person's life.

Gender: The socially constructed roles, behaviours, expressions and identities of girls, women, boys, men, and gender diverse people. 

Inclusion: The practice of ensuring that all individuals are valued and respected for their contributions and equally supported.

Intersectionality: A best practice that assists researchers to better understand and address the multiple barriers and disadvantages that individuals with intersecting social identities, such as race, gender, sexuality and class, face. 

Safer space: A supportive, non-threatening environment where participants can feel comfortable to express themselves and share experiences without fear of discrimination or reprisal. The word “safer” acknowledges that safety is relative: not everyone feels safe under the same conditions. 

Sex: A set of biological attributes in humans and animals; it is primarily associated with physical and physiological features including chromosomes, gene expression, hormone levels and function, and reproductive/sexual anatomy. 

Race: Race is a social construct. This means that society forms ideas of race based on geographic, historical, political, economic, social and cultural factors, as well as physical traits, even though none of these can legitimately be used to classify groups of people.

Racialization: The process through which groups come to be socially constructed as races, based on characteristics such as ethnicity, language, economics, religion, culture, politics.

Systemic or institutional racism: Consists of patterns of behaviour, policies or practices that are part of the social or administrative structures of an organization, and which create or perpetuate a position of relative disadvantage for racialized persons. These appear neutral on the surface but, nevertheless, have an exclusionary impact on racialized persons.