Shared Language in Equity Work

Words matter. Language is one of the most powerful tools we have as humans. It has the potential to create a common understanding. The importance of shared language is even more crucial when we are working to dismantle the histories of exclusion and marginalization around identity. Given that language is dynamic, it is key to start with shared definitions.

The definitions below represent the ways in which AMS is implementing our equity work. They are living definitions, last updated October 2022. 

  • Inclusion: The active and deliberate pursuit of creating a society where all are welcome, respected, valued, and able to participate and contribute. Inclusion means all participants feel like they belong and can bring their full and authentic selves to the table without pressure to assimilate to dominant culture. By building inclusion, AMS can more effectively support diversity and work together to advance our collective goals.
  • Equity: The continuous review of policies and practices to ensure that people are supported with what they individually need to be successful. Equity is different from equality. Equality is providing the same resources for everyone. AMS strives for equity by providing unique resources for all individuals and groups.
  • Justice: Ensuring fair treatment for all by dismantling barriers to opportunities, resources, and decision making. Confronting the interpersonal, organizational, and systemic contexts that create and perpetuate barriers. Justice includes making amends for past wrongs and repairing relationships with those who have been negatively impacted.
  • Accessibility: The practice of providing equitable access to everyone along the continuum of human ability and experience. Access is an extension of inclusion and equity. If organizations are inclusive and equitable, they are also accessible. 
  • Diversity: Diversity is the outcome of creating inclusive, equitable, accessible, and just organizations and systems. AMS commits to increasing diversity which is expressed in myriad forms, including race and ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, language, culture, national origin, religious belief, age, disability status, veteran status, body shape and size, political perspective, and field of research.

Explore resources, tips, and webinars that focus on building more equitable and inclusive environments.