Indivisible glossary: Learning the proper terms

The definitions and resources the Steamboat Pilot & Today is providing as part of its Indivisible series are by no means an exhaustive, authoritative list but instead a place where readers can begin to educate themselves on the issues of diversity, equity and inclusivity.

Intro/Breaking Down Privilege

Accountability: refers to the ways in which individuals and communities hold themselves to their goals and actions and acknowledge the values and groups to which they are responsible (Source: Racial Equity Tools)

Inclusion: the act or practice of including and accommodating people who have historically been excluded because of their race, gender, sexuality or ability (Source: Merriam Webster dictionary)

Privilege: unearned social power given by formal and informal institutions of society to all members of a dominant group (Source: Racial Equity Tools)


Anti-racist/anti-racism: a person, group or any type of work opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic and social life (Source: Racial Equity Tools)

Bias: refers to prejudice in favor or against one thing, person or group compared with another, usually in an unfair way (Source: University of Colorado’s Office of Equity)

Culture: refers to shared beliefs, attitudes, values, goals and practices that characterize individuals, groups or organizations (Source: University of Colorado’s Office of Equity)

Cultural appropriation: theft of cultural elements, such as symbols, art, language, customs, etc., for one’s own use, commodification or profit without understanding, acknowledgement or respect for it value in the original culture (Source: Racial Equity Tools)

Discrimination: the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, sex, sexual orientation and/or gender identity (Source: One Colorado

Diversity: the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization (Source: Merriam-Webster)

Equality: the belief that no one should have poorer life chances because of the way they were born, where they come from, what they believe or whether they have a disability (Source: Equality and Human Rights Commission)

Equity: freedom from bias or favoritism (Source: Merriam-Webster)

Ethnicity: a social construct that divides people into smaller social groups based on characteristics such as shared sense of group membership, values, behavioral patterns, language, political and economic interests, history and ancestral geographical base (Source: Racial Equity Tools)

Explicit bias: refers to attitudes and beliefs about a person and/or social group, on a conscious level, based on stereotypes; also known as conscious bias (Source: University of Colorado’s Office of Equity)

Implicit bias: refers to the attitudes based on stereotypes we have been taught that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner; also known as unconscious bias (Source: University of Colorado’s Office of Equity)

Internalized oppression: refers to the adoption and acceptance of the dominant social groups ideology by members of the targeted social group, therefore believing prejudicial and discriminatory treatment is deserved, natural and inevitable (Source: University of Colorado’s Office of Equity)

Intersectionality: refers to the interplay of one’s identities, the status of those identities and the situational context of how, when and where those identities show up and influence personal experience(s) with multiple dimensions of societal oppression (Source: University of Colorado’s Office of Equity)

Microaggressions: refers to commonplace daily verbal, behavioral or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative prejudicial slights and insults toward culturally marginalized groups (Source: Colorado University’s Office of Equity)

Oppression: refers to systematic treatment of a particular and social identity group in an unfair and cruel way (Source: University of Colorado’s Office of Equity)

Person of color: someone who does not consider themselves to be white (Source: Cambridge Dictionary)

Power: refers to the capacity to exercise control over others, deciding what is best for them and deciding who will have access to or denial from resources (Source: University of Colorado’s Office of Equity)

Prejudice: refers to an unfavorable opinion formed without sufficient knowledge or facts, usually rooted in stereotypes (Source: University of Colorado’s Office of Equity)

• Race: a power construct of collected or merged difference that live socially (Source: “How to be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi)

Racism: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race (Source: Merriam-Webster)

Social identity: refers to a person’s sense of who they are based on their group membership(s) (Source: University of Colorado’s Office of Equity)

Socialization: refers to the process of internalizing the norms and ideologies of society that have be learned through institutions, such as education, church, peers, family, laws, media, business, etc. (Source: University of Colorado’s Office of Equity)

Stereotype: refers to overgeneralized beliefs about a particular group (Source: University of Colorado’s Office of Equity)


Environmental assessment: a simpler investigation of environmental impact than an a full environmental impact statement that is used for smaller projects (Source: American Bar Association)

Environmental impact statement: a document prepared to describe the effects for proposed activities on the environment (Source: American Bar Association)

Master plan: an official document that sets priorities and gives directions to county staff and elected officials as decisions are made on land use, development and redevelopment (Source: Routt County)

Rural: all population, housing and territory not included within an urbanized area or cluster. All of Routt County, with the exception of Steamboat Springs, is rural. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)

Sprawl: the spreading of urban developments, such as houses and shopping centers, on undeveloped land near a city (Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary)

Urban area: places with a population of 50,000 or more (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)

Urban cluster: areas with at least 2,500 people but fewer than 50,000 total. The city of Steamboat Springs is classified as an urban cluster. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)


Bisexual: a term used to describe a person whose romantic, physical and emotional attractions are with both men and women (Source: One Colorado)

Gay: when a person’s romantic, physical and emotional attractions are to those of the same gender as themselves; often used as shorthand to describe gay, lesbian and bisexual orientations (Source: One Colorado)

Gender expression: a person’s way of reflection and expressing their gender to the outside world, such as through mannerisms, fashion and personal presentation (Source: One Colorado)

Gender fluid: a term for people whose gender is changing and not at a fixed point (Source: One Colorado)

Gender identity: a person’s deeply rooted understanding of their own gender (Source: One Colorado)

Gender neutral: creating or adapting words to be applied to people of any gender (Source: One Colorado)

Intersex: a term used to describe people whose primary or secondary biological characteristics don’t fit typical definitions of male or female (Source: One Colorado)

Lesbian: a term used to describe women whose romantic, physical and emotional attractions are with other women (Source: One Colorado)

Non-binary: a term for people whose gender identity is neither male/man nor female/woman (Source: One Colorado)

Non-transgender/cisgender: a word used to describe a person who gender matches the sex assigned at both (Source: One Colorado)

Pansexual: a word used to describe a person whose romantic, physical and emotional attraction is to people, regardless of gender (Source: One Colorado)

Queer: an adjective used by some people, particularly younger people, whose sexual orientation is not exclusively heterosexual (Source: One Colorado)

Sexual orientation: a person’s emotional, romantic and sexual attraction to other people based on the gender of the other person (Source: One Colorado)

Transgender: an umbrella term that refers to a person whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth (Source: One Colorado)

Two-spirit: a term to describe Indigenous individuals who simultaneously fulfill both a masculine and feminine spirit in their physical bodies (Source: One Colorado)

Economic Divide

Household median income: the amount of annual income earned by a single household — two or more individuals — where half of a specific population earns income above the median and half earn below the median income; U.S. median  household income is $61,937 a year (Source: U.S. Census Bureau); Routt County median household income is $74,273; Steamboat Springs median household income is $71,476

Income: includes wages from an occupation, Social security payments, pensions, child support, public assistance, annuities, money derived from rental properties, interest and dividends (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)

Low-income: a household that earns 80% or less of the median household income; in Routt County, a household earning $59,418 a year or less is considered low-income

Median income: the amount of annual income earned by an individual where half of a specific population earns income above the median and half earn below the median; U.S. median income is $33,706 (Source: U.S. Census Bureau); Routt County median income is $36,000; Steamboat Springs median income is $33,000

Minimum wage: a wage fixed by law or contract as the least amount that may be paid either to employed persons or a particular category of employed persons (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary); the Colorado minimum wage is $12 and $8.98 for employees that receive tips (Source: Colorado Department of Labor and Employment)

Federal poverty level: a measure of income level issued annually by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which determines eligibility for specific programs; the poverty level in 2018 was $16,147 for an individual and $33,383 for a family of four (Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

Second-home owner: a person or family that does not live full-time in the area but owns a home there (Source: Steamboat Pilot & Today)

Wealth: abundance of valuable material possessions and resources (Source: Merriam-Webster dictionary)

Compiled by Mackenzie Hicks.

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