Language of DEI

In order to discuss these topics, we must first define them. Below are definitions, framed by Gonzaga, of major terminology: 

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

A 1990 federal law passed that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications and governmental activities. The ADA also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services.


Prefixes relating to bisexual which refers to sexual, emotional, or romantic attraction to male, female and/or non binary individuals. Pan or pansexual is an adjective referring to sexual, emotional, or romantic attraction regardless of an individual's gender identity or expression.


Referring to a person whose gender identity is the same as that with their sex assigned at birth (assigned female at birth, identifies as a woman).

Cultural Fluency

The infinite capability to understand and adapt behavior to cultural difference and commonality. It involves three components:

  • Cultural Self-Awareness (Knowledge): Deep understanding of your values, beliefs, perceptions, behavior, and practices.
  • Cultural Other-Awareness (Attitudes): Empathy towards the experience of others from different cultural communities.
  • Adaptations (Skills and Behaviors): Behavioral shifting to accompany across various cultural differences.


Discrimination is conduct that can include a broad spectrum of disparate treatment directed toward an individual or group of individuals based on a protected class that adversely affects their employment or education.

Diversity & Inclusion

  • The promotion, integration, and celebration of varying individual and group/social differences which advance the value placed on the dignity of the human person through holistic living, learning, and working environments,
  • The active practice of creating a sense of belonging for all individuals with respect to each person's values and traditions, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of being.
  • The intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity in people, in the (co-)curriculum, and in communities to serve the common good.

Equal Opportunity

Access to education, employment, housing and other areas of society in a way that is not discriminating against people because of their age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy and related medical conditions), sexual orientation or veteran status.


  • The recognition that diversity and equality may not exist institutionally.
  • The commitment to implement strategies and policies that create equal opportunity for power, ability, achievement, and excellence for all community members, in three main areas:
    • Representational Equity: Proportional participation at all levels of the institution.
    • Resource Equity: Distribution of educational resources in order to close equity gaps.
    • Equity Consciousness: The awareness, willingness, and demonstration to address equity issues regarding historically underrepresented and/or traditionally marginalized communities.


Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on protected class: race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.


Considered a gender-inclusive term to replace the terms “Latino” and “Latina.”

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance, including recruitment, student admissions, financial assistance,  housing, access to academic offerings, and athletics. Employees are also covered by Title IX.