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Office for Student Conflict Resolution

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Developing Understanding Through Common Language *

Ableism: Prejudice and/or discrimination against people with mental or physical disabilities

Ageism: Prejudice and/or discrimination against a person because of his/her age

Anti-bias: An active commitment to challenging prejudice, stereotypes, and all forms of discrimination

Anti-Semitism: Prejudice and/or discrimination against Jewish people because of hatred against Jews' religious beliefs, their ethnicity, and sometimes the erroneous belief that Jews are a "race"

Arab: Refers to persons from nations in which Arabic is the principal language. The term has nothing to do with belief in Islam. There are Christian Arabs as well as Muslim Arabs.

Bias: An inclination of preference for or against an individual or group that interferes with impartial judgment

Bigotry: An unreasonable or irrational attachment to negative stereotypes and prejudices

Classism: Prejudice and/or discrimination against people because of their real or perceived economic status

Culture: The patterns and practices of daily life learned consciously and unconsciously due to one's affiliation with a particular group. Language, governing practices, customs, holidays, food, religion, and clothing are all examples of aspects of one's culture.

Discrimination: The denial of fair treatment by individuals and institutions in areas of employment, education, housing, banking, and political rights.

Diversity: Different; variety

Hate Crime: A crime, which is wholly or partially motivated by the offender's bias of the victim's disability, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, or sexual orientation.

Hate (or Bias) Incident: An action motivated by the perpetrator's bias toward the victim's status, but which does not rise to the level of a crime. Bigoted slurs, minor harassment, non-threatening name calling, and disseminating racist pamphlets, are examples of bias incidents.

Hate Speech: Speech intended to offend, intimidate, or threaten a person or members of a group because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. Hate speech is currently protected by the First Amendment, unless it is deemed to incite immediate riotous action. Applies to written and oral communication.

Homophobia: Fear, dislike or hatred of gay men and/or lesbians

Prejudice: A judgment or opinion that is formed without sufficient knowledge or factual information

Racism: The belief that one race is innately superior to all other races

* Adapted from the Governor's Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes. "Developing a Common Language." 2004 and Center for Democratic Renewal and Education, Inc. When Hate Groups Come to Town: A Handbook for Effective Community Responses. 1992.

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