Glossary of Relevant Terms

Achievement Gap 

refers to any significant and persistent disparity in academic performance oreducational attainment between different groups of students, such as white students and students of color, for example, or students from higher-income and lower-income households.

Action Analytics

A new generation of tools, solutions and behaviors is giving rise to more powerful and effective utilities through which colleges and universities can measure performance and provoke pervasive actions to improve it. This new class of tools, solutions, and behaviors is called action analytics.


Antiracism includes beliefs, actions, movements, and policies adopted or developed to oppose racism. In general, antiracism is intended to promote an egalitarian society in which people do not face discrimination on the basis of their race, however defined. By its nature, antiracism tends to promote the view that racism in a particular society is both pernicious and socially pervasive, and that particular changes in political, economic, and/or social life are required to eliminate it.

Antiracist Culturally Responsive Practices Framework (BOLD Moves definition):
The Antiracist Culturally Responsive Framework is a framework designed to support ESD staff and educational partners in developing and implementing culturally responsive curriculum to eliminate the opportunity gap for each child. The framework is predicated upon the following principles:

  •   Antiracist culturally responsive practice requires a systemic approach to address educational outcome inequities that are being perpetuated in our education system.
  •   Creating antiracist culturally responsive education systems is a narrative process.
  •   Relationships are key to antiracist culturally responsive practices.
  •   Antiracist culturally responsive practice is an adaptive work requiring all school and community

    leaders develop awareness, knowledge, and skills in adaptive change.

  •   Tools developed to support this strategy will draw upon multiple literacies.
  •   Antiracist culturally responsive practice requires on-going attention at the individual, group, and

    organizational levels.

    Antiracist Leadership

    “Conscious and deliberate efforts to challenge the impact and perpetuation of institutional White racial power, presence and privilege. It is critical that our examination of institutionalized White racism is not viewed as being against White people; rather, it is a way in which people of all races can gain the same level of access and privileges that White people tend to demand, to feel entitled to, and to take for granted. Antiracist leadership is also a deep, personal and ongoing analysis of how each and every one of us perpetuates injustice and prejudice toward those who are not members of the dominant race.”

    Antiracist Multicultural Organization

The Antiracist Multicultural Organization is an organization that has within its mission, goals, values, and operating system explicit policies and practices that prohibits anyone from being excluded or unjustly treated because of race or any other social identity or status. Members within the institution understand the way in which systems have been shaped by dominant culture to maintain
oppression. More specifically, the organization outlines how power has been used both historically and currently by white dominant culture to maintain inequity and works intentionally to prepare members to dismantle and eliminate this practice. In an antiracist organization, members become accountable to communities of color to define success.

The Antiracist Multicultural Organization also supports racial equity and social justice through advocating these values in interactions within the local, regional, national, and global communities, with its vendors, customers, and peer organizations.

Additionally, the Antiracist Multicultural Organization had within its mission, goals, values, and operating system explicit policies and practices that are intended to ensure that all members of the diverse workforce feel fully included and have every opportunity to contribute to achieving the mission of the organization.  This organization is explicit about implementing antiracist practices and also appreciates all forms of social diversity and understands the strengths and advantages that social diversity brings to the local, regional, national, and global communities.

Source: Crossroads Anti-Racism Organizing and Training.
*Adapted from Source: Jackson, B. W (2006). Theory and practice of multicultural organization development. In Jones, B. B. & Brazzel, M. (Eds.), The NTL Handbook of Organization Development and Change (pps. 139-154). San Francisco, CA, Pfeiffer.

Catalytic Leadership

Catalytic leadership is based on the leader engaging and motivating others to take on leadership roles, engaging everyone to work towards a common vision. Catalytic leadership involves the strategic application of the following leadership skills:

  •   Raising Awareness: Focusing Public Attention on the Issue
  •   Forming Work Groups: Bringing People Together to Address the Problem
  •   Creating Strategies: Stimulating Multiple Strategies and Options for Action
  •   Sustaining Action: Implementation Strategies and Maintaining Momentum
  •   Thinking and Acting Strategically
  •   Facilitating Productive Work Groups
  •   Leading from Personal Passion and Strength of Character


    The purpose of race-based caucusing is to provide a safe place for continued discussion and exploration of institutional racism and to identify key changes that can be made agency-wide to assist us in creating an Antiracist Multicultural Organization and Closing the Opportunity Gap. Caucuses can provide a valuable resource to the agency in that they allow people of color and white people to meet both separately and together to identify organizational patterns and barriers that create barriers and contribute to disparate outcomes in the agency and in our educational system.

    Caucuses may choose to serve several functions, including, but not limited to the following:

    •   Provides a space for self-reflection, strategies for challenging individual, group and institutional

      dynamics that maintain racism. (Seattle Office of Civil Rights)

    •   Provides a courageous space for people of color to talk about and address experiences of racism

      within the organization and in the larger world while learning new behaviors, skills and thought

      processes to heal internalized racial oppression. (Dismantling Racism Resource Book)

    •   Provides courageous space for white people to work through guilt and other barriers that hold

      white people back from being an ally and doing racial justice work while learning new skills to

      talk about racism and white privilege. (Dismantling Racism Resource Book)

    •   Provides the input and perspectives of a diverse workforce to the organization. Caucuses can

      also help ensure that the organization’s diversity initiatives established by the Equity and Inclusion Committee cascade throughout the organization and inform both our practice in the workplace and in regional schools.



      A coalition is a pact or treaty among individuals or groups, during which they cooperate in joint action, each

      in their own self-interest, joining forces together for a common cause. This alliance may be temporary or a

      matter of convenience. A coalition thus differs from a more formal covenant; possibly described as a joining

      of ‘factions’, usually those with overlapping interests rather than opposing.


      Courageous Conversations

      A series of exercises, prompts, activities, and tools that engages educators in discussions about their personal agendas, racial perspectives, closing the racial achievement gap, and extending their professional learning.




      Cultural Competence

      The state of having and applying knowledge and skill in four areas: (i) awareness of one’s own cultural worldview, (ii) recognition of one’s attitudes toward cultural differences, (iii) realization of different cultural practices and worldviews, and (iv) thoughtfulness in cross-cultural interaction. Over an extended period of time, individuals and organizations develop the wisdom and capability to:

      •   Examine critically how cultural worldviews influence perceptions of power, dominance, and inequality; and
      •   Behave honorably within the complex dynamics of differences and commonalities among humans, groups, and systems.

        Cultural Proficiency

        A mind-set, a worldview, a way a person or an organization makes assumptions for effectively describing, responding to, and planning for issues that arise in diverse environments. For some people, cultural proficiency is a paradigm shift from viewing cultural differences as problematic to learning how to interact effectively with other cultures

        Culturally Responsive

        The knowledge, beliefs, skills, attitudes, and practices that allow individuals to form relationships and create learning environments that support academic achievement and personal development of learners from diverse racial and cultural groups.

        Cycle of Inquiry

        The cycle of inquiry is a process in which educators analyze data – such as demographic, perceptual, school process, and student achievement data – in order to understand how these elements are interrelated and what they suggest about students’ learning needs. As a multistep process the cycle of inquiry often involves analyzing data to better understand student needs, developing hypotheses about instructional practice, formulating and implementing action plans to improve student learning and achievement, and then once again analyzing data to evaluate student progress and inform next steps.


        Disproportionality refers to the “overrepresentation” and “underrepresentation” of a particular demographic group in a specific program/organization relative to the presence of this group in the overall student population.


        Individual differences (ie. personality, language, learning styles, and life experiences) and group-social differences (ie. race, ethnicity, class, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual identity, country of origin and ability status, as well as cultural, political, religious or other affiliations) that can be engaged in the service of learning.

        Educational Equity

        In the field of education, the term equity refers to the principle of fairness. While it is often used interchangeably with the related principle of equality, equity encompasses a wide variety of educational models, programs, and strategies that may be considered fair, but not necessarily equal. It has been said that “equity is the process; equality is the outcome”, given that equity—what is fair and just—may not, in the process of educating students, reflect strict equality—what is applied, allocated, or distributed equally. Inequities occur as when biased or unfair policies, programs, practices, or situations contribute to a lack of equality in educational performance, results, and outcomes.

        Educational Partners

        The wide range of organizations, districts, Early Learning sites, Community Based Organizations, students and families with whom the Puget Sound ESD collaborates.


        Providing the same opportunities and resources to for all.

        Equity (employee focus)

        The creation of opportunities for historically underrepresented populations of employees (faculty and staff) to have equal access to professional growth opportunities and resource networks that are capable of closing the demographic disparities in leadership roles in all spheres of institutional functioning.

        Equity (student focus)

        The creation of opportunities for historically underrepresented populations to have equal access to and participation in educational programs that are capable of closing the achievement/opportunity gaps in student success and completion.

        Gap Closing Practice

        Research based approaches which have been demonstrated to improving academic achievement for all students, particularly underserved students of color. Effective instruction, aligned standards and assessments, school-based leadership and family and community engagement approaches are correlated with increased student achievement for struggling students of color, though research is constantly validating new approaches.


        Persons who work in institutions who often function as people who control access to opportunities, resources ensure that the institution perpetuates itself.

        High-Impact Professional Learning: (learning forward standards.)

        Learning Forward Standards for Professional Learning outline the characteristics of professional learning that leads to effective teaching practices, supportive leadership, and improved student results. A model for professional learning that the PSESD has adopted.


        Inclusion is widely thought of as a practice of ensuring that people in organizations feel they belong, are engaged and are connected through their work to the goals and objectives of the organization. Miller and Katz (2002) present a common definition: “Inclusion is a sense of belonging: feeling respected, valued for who you are; feeling a level of supportive energy and commitment from others so than you

        can do your best work.” iii Inclusion is a shift in organization culture. The process of inclusion engages each individual and makes each feel valued and essential to the success of the organization. Individuals function at full capacity, feel more valued and are included in the organization’s mission. This culture shift creates higher-performing organizations where motivation and morale soar.


        Multiculturalism is political philosophy about the proper way to positively respond to cultural and religious diversity. While multiculturalism has been used as an umbrella term to characterize the moral and political claims of a wide range of disadvantaged groups, including but not limited to African Americans, women, gays and lesbians, immigrants, and the disabled, most theorists of multiculturalism tend to focus their arguments on immigrants who are ethnic and religious minorities.

        Opportunity Gap

        Opportunity Gap: access gaps that arise from the inequities in the education system that pose as barriers to student academic success. All students can succeed, but they need highly effective teachers, culturally responsive curriculum, materials, academic and social support – resources that are often missing today for students of color

        Promising Practices

        Promising practices are based on guidelines, protocols, standards, or preferred practice patterns that have been proven to lead to positive achievement outcomes. These practices continually incorporate lessons learned, feedback, and analysis to lead towards improvement but have not accumulated enough evaluation or replication to support generalizable positive academic outcomes.


        A social construct that has no biological basis, which artificially divides people into distinct groups based on characteristics such as physical appearance (particularly color), ancestral heritage, cultural affiliation, and cultural history. Racial categories subsume ethnic groups.

        Racial Disparity

        Differences in outcomes or community conditions based on race. Examples include different outcomes in health, education, environment and criminal justice outcomes based on race.

        Racial Equity

        Racial equity is the condition that would be achieved if one’s racial identity no longer predicted, in a statistical sense, how one fares. When we use the term, we are thinking about racial equity as one part of racial justice, and thus we also include work to address root causes of inequities not just their manifestation This includes elimination of policies, practices, attitudes, and cultural messages that reinforce differential outcomes by race or fail to eliminate them.

        Racial Equity Tool

        The Racial Equity Tool lays out a process and a set of questions to guide the development, implementation and evaluation of policies, initiatives, programs, and budget issues to address the impacts on racial. Racial Equity Tools are used to reduce, eliminate, and prevent racial inequity.


        Though many definitions of the topic exist, constitutive elements include a program or practice of discrimination, segregation, persecution, or mistreatment based on membership in a race or ethnic group. Three manifestations of racism are most widely observed: individual/interpersonal, institutional, and structural;

        •   Individual/Interpersonal Racism: Pre-judgment, bias, stereotypes or generalizations about an individual or group based on race. The impacts of racism on individuals – while people and people of color (internalized privilege and oppression). Individual racism can result in illegal discrimination.
        •   Institutional Racism Policies, practices and procedures that work to the benefit of white people and the detriment of people of color, usually unintentionally or inadvertently.
        •   Structural Racism: The interplay of policies, practices and programs of differing institutions which leads to adverse outcomes and conditions for communities of color compared to white communities that occurs within the context of racialized historical and cultural conditions.

          Social Justice

          This theoretical framework generally refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being.


          Stakeholder refers to any person or group that has an interest in or is affected by the action or process in question. Stakeholders include residents, business operators and owners, property owners, non-profit, public and private agencies and organizations. Identifying the full spectrum of stakeholders is on the early and critical steps in developing an effective public involvement strategy.

          Transformation Team

        Because racism is a structural problem in society, it requires a structural intervention. Building Transformation Team (or Change Team) in institutions is the structural intervention at the center of Crossroads’ organizing. Transformation Team members enter a rigorous training process where they build a shared analysis of systemic racism that they apply their own institution. With that foundation, the next step is equipping the team with institutional organizing skills and a strategic plan to lead their institution toward long-term and permanent antiracist and anti-oppressive transformation.

        Transforming Institutional Values

        A set of values that are shaped in Stage 4 of becoming the Antiracist Multicultural Organization Continuum. These values are: Both/And Thinking, Abundant Worldview, Transparent Communication and Decision-Making, Collaboration and Cooperation.

        Underrepresented Students

        Underrepresented students include underserved students (African American/Black, Asian, Hispanic, American Indian, and multiracial), plus first-generation students and low-income students. (In specific instances, other groups of students may be considered underrepresented. For example, in a traditionally female discipline, males may be considered underrepresented.)

        Underserved Students

        Underserved students are those who have been traditionally excluded from full participation in our society and its institutions and include African American/Black, Asian, Hispanic, American Indian, and multiracial students. The basis of exclusion has primarily been race and color.

        Workforce Equity

        The implementation of inclusive policies and practices designed to ensure recruitment, hiring and retention strategies result in a racially diverse workforce who are equally engaged and productive at all levels of the organization.