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A social construct and concept which signifies and symbolizes social conflicts and interests by referring to different types of human bodies.

Racial Discrimination 

Treating someone unfavorably because they are of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race. Also defined as an immediate and visible manifestation of an organization’s underlying racial policy. (18)(19) 

Racial Equity

When two or more racial groups are standing on relatively equal footing. (18)

Racial Fetishism

Acknowledging and fixating on someone's race and making it the only part of their identity that is considered. Furthermore, individual personality traits and opinions are not taken into account, and any perception of them is based on harmful stereotypes. (67)

Racial Inequity 

When two or more racial groups are not standing on approximately equal footing. (18)

Racial Trauma

Also called “Race-Based Traumatic Stress” (RBTS). This term refers to the mental and emotional injury caused by encounters with racism, hate crimes, and racial bias and ethnic discrimination. Any individual that has experienced an emotionally painful, sudden, and uncontrollable racist encounter is at risk of suffering from a race-based traumatic stress injury. In the United States, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are most vulnerable due to living in a system built on  white supremacy. (69)

Racialized Emotional Labor

The emotional work that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color have to do in white institutionalized spaces to “induce or suppress feeling in order to sustain the outward countenance that produces the proper state of mind in others”. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color carry the burden of having to choose between tacitly participating in their marginalization or actively resisting racist ideologies with possible consequences of institutional alienation, exclusion, or official reprimand. (68)


Belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities, and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. Also defined as the powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are validated by racist ideas. (18)

Racist Idea

Any idea that implicitly or explicitly suggests one racial group is inferior or superior to another. These ideas can argue that the inferiorities and superiorities of racial groups explain racial inequities in society. (18)

Racist Policy

Any governing measure, law, rule, procedure, process, regulation, or guideline that produces or sustains racial inequity between racial groups.


“The false portrayal of Native Peoples – most often the performance by non-natives wearing a stereotypical costume – that bears no relation to real Native Peoples.” Created concurrently with Blackface in the early nineteenth century to support the taking of Indigenous lands and lives, elements of redface often include wearing feathers and putting on face paint. (70)

Respectability Politics

Ideas, policies, and opinions “wielded by the dominant class to control the actions of, and justify the harm of, marginalized groups. Because the rules of ‘respectability’ – encompassing everything from speech patterns, dress code, and food choices to protesting ‘etiquette’ and media persona – are constantly subject to change, the dominant group can consistently ensure marginalized groups never meet every facet of the rules. Correspondingly, a lack of ‘respectability’ is then used as a justification for harm.” (71)

Restorative Justice

A theory of justice that emphasizes repairing harm caused by crime and conflict. It places decisions in the hands of those who have been most affected by a wrongdoing, and gives equal concert to the victim, offender, and surrounding community. Restorative responses are meant to repair harm, heal broken relationships, and address the underlying reason for the offense. It emphasizes individual and collective accountability. Crime and conflict generate opportunities to build community and increase grassroots power when restorative practices are employed. (40)


Punishment inflicted on someone as vengeance for a wrong or criminal act. (88)


The income generated from normal business operations including discounts and deductions for returned merchandise. It is the top line or gross income figure from which costs are subtracted to determine net income. (9)

The Rooney Rule

An NFL policy originally adopted in 2003 that required teams to interview at least one ethnic-minority candidate for head coaching and senior football operation jobs. Across different fields, this policy became a common method of creating diversity quotas in the hiring process, and in 2020, many people – including people in the NFL and the We See You WAT Demands – have called for this rule to be revised and/or eliminated since hiring pools should strive to be as diverse as possible. (3)(60)


3. We See You White American Theatre Demands

9. Revenue | Investopedia

18. How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi

19. Race/Color Discrimination | US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

40. The Movement for Black Lives Glossary

60. The NFL Approves New Measures To The “Rooney Rule”

67. The Real Difference Between Racial Preference And Racial Fetishism | by Petiri Ira | Equality Includes You

68. Impossible Burdens: White Institutions, Emotional Labor, and Micro-Resistance

69. Racial Trauma

70. Native Voices On the American Stage

71. Understanding Respectability Politics

88. Retribution | Definition of Retribution by Oxford Dictionary

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The JJI Glossary defines terms that are necessary in discussing equity in the arts. This glossary is the result of countless hours of thoughtful research and innovation by our team.

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