Social Justice Terms you Need to Know

Racism in America, and globally, is a hot topic right now with protestors standing in solidarity against racism all over the world.

To be able to meaningfully discuss the protests we need to understand the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.

The word matter is most-often used as a verb in the negative, e.g.: The phrase ‘it doesn’t matter’ means ‘it is not important’, in this case it is used in the affirmative meaning that something is important for a particular person, e.g: Violence by the state against black people is not right, black lives are as important as anyone else’s.

Our aim in this newsletter is to provide you with important terms and their meanings, so that you can express your opinion on this matter, in English of course!

These six concepts are central to this theme:

#1: Individual Racism

Individual Racism refers to the beliefs, attitudes and actions of individuals that support racism.

For more info on this term – look at the vocabulary list below.

#2: Institutional Racism

Institutional Racism refers to the ways in which government policies and practises create different outcomes for different race groups.

#3: Anti-racism

Anti-racism is the practise of identifying, challenging, and changing the values, structures and behaviours that maintain institutional racism.

#4: Prejudice

Prejudice is the pre-judgment and usually negative attitude of one type of individual or group toward another group and its members.

#5: Privilege

Privilege is a right that only some people have access or availability to because they are part of the more powerful group, e.g.: men vs women, caucasians vs people of colour, heterosexuals vs homosexuals, adults vs children, rich vs poor.

#6: Social Justice

Social justice includes a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure.

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We believe it’s important to discuss what is going on in the world and we encourage discussion in our classes. We hope that the terms in this newsletter will help you to express your opinion more easily when it comes to the topics mentioned here.

This racial equality resource guide has a comprehensive glossary of terms related to anti-racism if you want to learn more.

At Inspired English we discuss current events and in the process, you broaden your vocabulary and practice your speaking and listening skills.


New Vocab (all the words in bold in this newsletter):

1. Protestors  – People who show that they disagree with something and demonstrate this publicly in groups by marching to government buildings, carrying placards, singing songs, or taking some kind of mass action.
2. Solidarity  – Solidarity is agreement with and support for members of a particular group.
3. Racism – A complex system of beliefs and behaviors, grounded in a presumed superiority of one race over another. racial prejudice + power = racism.
4. Race – A social construct that artificially divides people into different groups based on their physical features such as appearance, ancestral heritage, and ethnic classification.


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Posted by Inspired English

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