Diversity Definitions

Diversity Definitions


A stereotype is an oversimplified generalization about an entire group of people without regard for individual differences. Even positive stereotypes, such as Asians are good at math and computers, have a negative impact.


Prejudice is prejudging, making a decision about a person or group of people without sufficient knowledge. Prejudicial thinking is based on stereotypes. Prejudice is a feeling or attitude.


Discrimination is the behavior that can follow prejudicial thinking. Discrimination is the denial of justice and fair treatment in many arenas, including employment, housing and political rights


Scapegoating is the action of blaming an individual or group for something when, in reality, there is no one person or group responsible for the problem. It means blaming another person or group for problems in society because of that person's group identity. Prejudicial thinking and discriminatory acts can lead to scapegoating. Members of the disliked group are denied employment, housing, political rights, social privileges, or a combination of these, and have been the targets of violence and murder during periods of social upheaval.


Bigotry is prejudice and/or discrimination against one or all members of a particular group based on negative perceptions of their beliefs and practices or on negative group stereotypes.

Hate Incident

Hate-motivated incidents are defined as behavior which constitutes an expression of hostility against the person or property of another because of the victim’s race, religion, disability, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation or other group identity.


Racism is a prejudice and/or discrimination based on the myth of race. Racists believe that some groups are born superior to others and, in the name of protecting their race from "contamination," they justify the domination and destruction of races they consider to be inferior to their own.


Anti-Semitism is a form of religious bigotry. It is prejudice or discrimination against Jews, based on negative ideas about Jews' religious beliefs and practices and/or on negative group stereotypes.


Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on gender.


Heterosexism is prejudice or discrimination against people who are gay, lesbian or bisexual. Homophobia is the fear of homosexuals, or of people thought to be lesbian, gay or bisexual.


Ableism is prejudice and/or discrimination against people with mental or physical disabilities.


Classism is prejudice and/or discrimination against people because of their socioeconomic class.


Ageism is prejudice and/or discrimination against people because of their age.