AMA DEI Toolkit

DEI Toolkit: Table of Contents

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Introduction to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

What is DEI?

Diversity is more than a word, more than an ideal and more than the attainment of a particular quantifiable goal. Diversity is the realization of differences among us – both visible and invisible. It is balanced by inclusion, the desire to create equal opportunity and further realize that a diverse community is stronger, richer, and more sustainable than one which actively, or passively, excludes people who are different. Diversity and inclusion create excellence. “Diversity is being on the team”.

 Inclusion is the journey we travel to understand the roots of our identities and disciplines and recognize how our scholarship both affects and is shaped by society and culture. We believe that unbounded inclusion is foundational to effective interdisciplinary scholarship. As we broaden our community, we strengthen our ability to identify key issues, frame questions and address issues that span earth sciences, natural resources, and human dimensions. Diversity, in all its forms, is not only desirable, but also required for advancing our understanding of the environment and arriving at solutions that allow science to serve more effectively all of humanity. “Inclusion is getting in the game.”

 When we practice diversity and appreciate our differences, when we welcome everyone and make them feel they belong on the team. When we provide the appropriate resources according to everyone’s needs, then we demonstrate the . Diversity, equity, and inclusion create excellence in the entire team as we strive for success. (Source: College of the Environment, University of Washington.)

Quote to Remember:  “Diversity is an act. Equity is a choice. Inclusion is an action. Belonging is the outcome.”

What is Our Commitment and Its Impact?

AMA strives to foster a culture of enlightenment and inclusion. In a state of rife diversity, it is crucial that AMA set the tone for diversity and inclusion within hiring and retainment processes across the state. The DEI Managers Toolkit aims to deepen educational conversations on cultural awareness and sensitivity, and delve into implementation of best practices in policies, hiring and retention. The Toolkit provides the resources needed to ensure inclusivity, equality and equity for all of Arizona’s multi-housing workforce, and serve as a model for the rest of the state and nation.

What We Need To Know (terminology)

Since more people are talking about DEI, words can mean different things to different people based on your background and your life experiences. For example, we are seeing that now with the varying meaning behind the word “woke”. It is helpful that we are understanding all the common vocabulary so we will avoid any misinterpretations of the growing number of DEI terms.

This DEI Glossary of Terms should help you in creating a dialogue to talk more about this subject and to help you educate yourself and others as you engage in a dialogue.

DEI Glossary of Terms




Someone who supports a group other than one’s own (in terms of multiple identities such as race, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, etc.). An ally acknowledges oppression and actively commits to reducing their own complicity, investing in strengthening their own knowledge and awareness of oppression.


A form of prejudice that results from our need to quickly classify individuals into categories.


A person who is obstinately devoted to their own opinions and prejudices and is intolerant towards other diverse social groups.


A term for people whose gender identity, expression or behavior aligns with those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth.


The belief that everyone should be treated “equally” without respect to societal, economic, historical, racial, or other differences. No differences are seen or acknowledged; everyone is the same.

Cultural Appropriation

The non-consensual/misappropriate use of cultural elements for commodification or profit purposes – including symbols, art, language, customs, etc. – often without understanding, acknowledgment or respect for its value in the context of its original culture.


The active and intentional process of unlearning values, beliefs and conceptions that have caused physical, emotional, or mental harm to people through colonization. It requires a recognition of systems of oppression.


Physical or mental impairment that affects a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.


Socially, it refers to the wide range of identities. It broadly includes race, ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, veteran status, physical appearance, etc. It also involves different ideas, perspectives, and values.


The unequal treatment of members of various groups, based on conscious or unconscious prejudice, which favors one group over others on differences of race, gender, economic class, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion, language, age, national identity, religion, and other categories.


Each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. This does not take into consideration that needs might be different therefore different resources might be needed on an individual basis.


The fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that prevent the full participation of some groups. The principle of equity acknowledges that there are historically underserved and underrepresented populations and that fairness regarding these unbalanced conditions is necessary to provide equal opportunities to all groups.

Gender Identity

Distinct from the term “sexual orientation,” refers to a person’s internal sense of being male, female or something else. Since gender identity is internal, one’s gender identity is not necessarily visible to others.

Gender Non-conforming

An individual whose gender expression is different from societal expectations related to gender.


The use of comments or actions that can be perceived as offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, demeaning and unwelcome.


Actions and beliefs that prioritize masculinity. Patriarchy is practiced systemically in the ways and methods through which power is distributed in society (jobs and positions of power given to men in government, policy, criminal justice, etc.) while also influencing how we interact with one another interpersonally (gender expectations, sexual dynamics, space-taking, etc.).

People of Color

A collective term for men and women of Asian, African, Latinx and Native American backgrounds, as opposed to the collective “White”.


Exclusive access or access to material and immaterial resources based on membership to a dominant social group.


An umbrella term that can refer to anyone who transgresses society’s view of gender or sexuality. The definitional indeterminacy of the word Queer, its elasticity, is one of its characteristics: “A zone of possibilities.”


A social construct that artificially divides people into distinct groups based on characteristics such as physical appearance (particularly race), ancestral heritage, cultural affiliation, cultural history, ethnic classification, and the social, economic, and political needs of a society at a given period of time.

Safe Space

Refers to an environment in which everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves and participating fully, without fear of attack, ridicule, or denial of experience.

Sexual Orientation

An individual’s enduring physical, romantic and/or emotional attraction to another person. Gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same. Transgender people may be straight, lesbian, gay or bisexual.

Social Justice

Social justice constitutes a form of activism, based on principles of equity and inclusion that encompass vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable, and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure. Social justice involves social actors who have a sense of their own agency as well as a sense of social responsibility toward and with others.


A form of generalization rooted in blanket beliefs and false assumptions, a product of processes of categorization that can result in a prejudiced attitude, critical judgment and intentional or unintentional discrimination. Stereotypes are typically negative, based on little information and does not recognize individualism and personal agency.

Structural Inequality

Systemic disadvantage(s) of one social group compared to other groups, rooted, and perpetuated through discriminatory practices (conscious or unconscious) that are reinforced through institutions, ideologies, representations, policies/laws and practices. When this kind of inequality is related to racial/ethnic discrimination, it is referred to as systemic or structural racism.


Performative presence without meaningful participation. For example, a superficial invitation for the participation of members of a certain socially oppressed group, who are expected to speak for the whole group without giving this person a real opportunity to speak for her/himself.

White Supremacy

A power system structured and maintained by persons who classify themselves as White, whether consciously or subconsciously determined; and who feel superior to those of other racial/ethnic identities.


This term refers to o being aware or well-informed in a political or cultural sense, especially regarding issues surrounding marginalized communities.  It also means being conscious of racial discrimination in society and other forms of oppression and injustice. (Comes from “wake up” – now WOKE)