Glossary and Terminology

Ally

Someone who makes the commitment and effort to recognize their privilege (based on gender, class, race, sexual identity, etc.) and work in solidarity with oppressed groups in the struggle for justice. Allies understand that it is in their own interest to end all forms of oppression, even those from which they may benefit in concrete ways. 

Diversity

Psychological, physical, and social differences that occur among any and all individuals, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, age, gender, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability, and learning styles. A diverse group, community, or organization is one in which a variety of social and cultural characteristics exist. 

Environmental Conservation

Environmental conservation is a practice that paves the way for protecting the environment and natural resources on the individual, organizational as well as governmental levels. Earth’s natural resources include air, minerals, plants, soil, water, and wildlife. Conservation is the care and protection of these resources so that they can persist for future generations. It includes maintaining diversity of species, genes, and ecosystems, as well as functions of the environment, such as nutrient cycling. Conservation is similar to preservation, but while both relate to the protection of nature, they strive to accomplish this task in different ways. Conservation seeks the sustainable use of nature by humans, for activities such as hunting, logging, or mining, while preservation means protecting nature from human use.

Environmental Justice

The fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Environmental Justice acknowledges that vulnerable communities are often subjected to the disproportionate burden of pollution and contamination, and works to empower and support communities disproportionately targeted by inequitable environmental treatment.

Environmental Stewardship

The responsibility for environmental quality shared by all those whose actions affect the environment. This sense of responsibility is a value that can be reflected through the choices of individuals, companies, communities, and government organizations, and shaped by unique environmental, social, and economic interests. It is also a behavior, one demonstrated through continuous improvement of environmental performance, and a commitment to efficient use of natural resources, protection of ecosystems, and, where applicable, ensuring a baseline of compliance with environmental requirements.

Environmental Work

Environmental Work: Activities that include, but are not limited to, outdoor recreation, environmental advocacy, conservation, outdoor education, healing through land connection, community organizing around environmental issues, health and wellness through land connection, and sharing of ancestral practices connected to the land. 

Equity

The guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of certain groups. The principle of equity acknowledges that there are historically underserved and underrepresented populations and that fairness regarding these unbalanced conditions is needed to assist equality in the provision of effective opportunities to all groups. 

Inclusion

The act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people. 

Institutional Racism

Refers specifically to the ways in which institutional policies and practices create different outcomes for different racial groups. The institutional policies may never mention any racial group, but their effect is to create disadvantages for groups classified as people of color. 

Intersectionality

The theory of how discriminatory power structures interact in the lives of non-whites across gender, race, ethnicity, economic status, etc. Mapping one’s identities within and outside dominant culture may clarify ways in which oppression is compounded or ways in which an individual may simultaneously experience privilege and oppression.

Microaggression

Are brief, everyday verbal and nonverbal exchanges that insult, belittle, or send negative messages targeted at certain individuals because of their marginalized group membership.

Microaggressions include statements that:

  • Repeats or affirm stereotypes about a socially marginalized group
  • Position the dominant culture as normal and the other as abnormal
  • Exclude, negate, or nullify the thoughts, feelings, and reality of a person belonging to a socially marginalized group
  • Minimize this existence of discrimination against a socially marginalized group
Ocean, Marine Conservation

Efforts and activities that seek to preserve and protect the vital natural and cultural resources of a given community as it relates to ocean, marine and coastal areas. Our definition acknowledges that people and the ocean/coast are inextricably connected and that communities have the tools, perspectives and understanding of how to best protect and preserve not only the natural components of the ocean/coast but also the cultural practices, values and traditions that are directly related to its existence and preservation.

Oppression

Systemic devaluing, undermining, marginalization, and disadvantaging of certain social identities in contrast to the privileged norm; when some people are denied something of value, while others have ready access. 

Outdoor Experiences

Activities that include, but are not limited to, activities/experiences in national, state and local lands, parks, and bodies of water; urban spaces such as school gardens, farms, ranches, and camps which are utilized to impact people’s well-being and environmental stewardship.

Power

Refers to the ability to control one’s environment and / or influence decision making.

Preservation

Preservation protects the environment from harmful human activities. For example, conserving a forest typically involves sustainable logging practices to minimize deforestation. Preservation would involve setting aside part or even all of the forest from human development.

Privilege

Refers to the myriad of unearned social advantages, benefits, and courtesies that come with belonging to a socially constructed and sanctioned dominant group. 

Racial Equity

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 Justice

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. 

Social Justice

The work of taking personal responsibility to promote equitable access to power, civil liberties, wealth, human rights, upward mobility and healthful and fulfilling lives for all members of society. The taking on of this responsibility entails recognizing and leveraging one’s own power and privilege for the redistribution of this access.

Unconscious Bias

Biases and negative associations that people unknowingly hold. Unconscious biases are expressed automatically, without conscious awareness. Notably, unconscious bias have been shown to trump individuals stated commitments to equality and fairness, thereby producing behavior that diverges from the explicit attitudes that many people profess.