Emory Business magazine sat down with the Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Ama Ampadu-Fofie to pick her brain on the top DEI vocabulary words that people should know, starting with the basics.

Diversity: Often representational, related to demography. “It’s a complex interplay of social identities and issues,” says Ampadu-Fofie. “There are varied aspects of differences, such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies, global locations, and cultures.”

Equity: Fairness and equality of resources for all.

Inclusion: The degree of diversity in a situation or group where everyone is visible, heard, and considered.

Belonging: “Diversity typically means proportionate representation, and inclusion means everyone is visible, heard, considered, and included,” explains Ampadu-Fofie. “However, belonging is the feeling of being treated fairly and like a full, thriving member of the larger community.”

Microaggression: A comment or action that unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced action. “Over time, these microaggressions can isolate and alienate those on the receiving end and affect their health and wellbeing,” says Ampadu-Fofie.

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