ResourcesGlossary of Terms
Antiracist: “The opposite of ‘racist’ isn’t ‘not racist.’ It is ‘antiracist.’ What’s the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an antiracist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an antiracist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an antiracist. There is no in-between safe space of ‘not racist.’ The claim of ‘not racist’ is a mask for racism…No one becomes a racist or antiracist. We can only strive to be one or the other. We can unknowingly strive to be a racist. We can knowingly strive to be an antiracist. Like fighting an addiction, being an antiracist requires persistent self-awareness, constant self-criticism, and regular self-examination.” (Ibram X. Kendi)
Concentration of Whiteness/Concentration of Privilege – (see also diverse schools) While a school might be demographically diverse, oftentimes this can mask the fact that the school has clustered a greater percentage of White &/or privileged students on one campus than exists in the larger district/city/town. For example, if the district serves 20% White children and the school serves 40% White children, that school represents a concentration of Whiteness.
Desegregation – We make a distinction between “desegregation” which is about moving bodies to create what on paper look like more racially or socioeconomically diverse schools, and “integration” which is about creating an equitable multiracial community. When we enroll our White &/or privileged child in a school predominantly serving children of color, we are desegregating our child. This is an important first step, but only the beginning of our work.
Diverse Schools – (see also Concentration of Whiteness/Concentration of Privilege) Diverse schools may have an impressive demographic makeup of students from all racial, ethnic, religious, socioeconomic, and linguistic backgrounds. However, we are thoughtful in contextualizing them within a broader understanding of the district/city/town. These schools may be concentrating White children – even if not by a ‘majority’—or children from wealthier families.
Global-Majority – White people are, in fact, not the demographic majority of humans on the planet; White is not “majority” and people who do not identify as White are not “minority”. Additionally, folks who do not identify as White should not be described by what they aren’t (“non-White”). In instances where we are referring to people who do not identify as White, we use the term “global-majority.”
Integrating Schools – We refer to schools that predominantly serve global-majority students, in which White &/or privileged students may be the ‘only’ or ‘one of a few’ White kids in the school as integratING. While this might be a bit aspirational, this serves to distinguish already-integrated schools from schools that are in the process (however slow) of integrating.
Integrated Schools – Schools that serve a demographic of students that is largely reflective of the city/town in which it is located are referred to as integrated schools. However, what might look integrated ‘on paper’ demographically-speaking, may not actually be integrated at the classroom level.
Integrated Classrooms – Ultimately, our hope is not only that a school is integrated but that the students in the school are also integrated in the classroom. Are the magnet, gifted, specialized, advanced programs in the school predominantly White &/or privileged, or do they also reflect the demographics of the broader community?
Race-conscious: “Race-conscious parenting involves parents (and teachers) seeking out⏤sometimes even creating⏤opportunities to address not just race and difference but also racism⏤proactively and on a regular basis. Race-conscious parenting engages in honest dialogue about the inherited experience of being White, as well as the history of Whiteness. It is attentive to the developmental needs of White children. By responding to children’s actual environments, race-conscious parenting teaches advocacy and antiracism combined with the values of equality and justice. Thus, even as White children are parented to take seriously the way their location in a White racial hierarchy privileges them, it supports their growth into a sensibility that helps them navigate this with antiracism commitment. It models for them the reality that a commitment to equality and justice as a White person is not only viable but deeply empowering.” (Jen Harvey)
Schools that Reflect the Demographics of the District/City/Town – These are schools that serve relatively similar demographic percentages of students to the numbers served by the district, city or town. Ideally, this looks beyond race to other factors that impact privilege from native language to socioeconomic status to sexual identity to special education needs.
White &/or Privileged – We use this term a lot, and continue to grapple with its implications and semantic nuances, so bear with us. Broadly, “White &/or privileged” refers to those to whom our society has given disproportionate privilege: be that due to the Whiteness of their skin, their financial situation, their language, gender identity, etc. Having a choice of where to send our children to school is a privilege in our society – something not equally available to all families. Because White people of all socioeconomic strata have both resisted racial integration and benefited from White supremacy culture, it is incumbent on White people to shoulder the work of integration. People who do not identify as White, but who are otherwise privileged have a part to play in fighting for school integration. However, we recognize that the stakes for families of color are different, and therefore, those of us who are White can assume no moral authority of the choices made by parents of color, regardless of their degree of privilege.