Acculturation -To adapt to a different culture on fairly equal terms. During this process, individuals or groups adopt certain aspects of another culture in respectful, unforced ways. This term is different from assimilation, which is forced and one-sided.
Active Listening -The active process of hearing and understanding what someone is saying. To be a good listener, one must learn to empathize with the speaker(s) by trying to put oneself into another person's place in order to understand his or her perspective(s) and stories.
Activist -A person who intentionally acts to bring about civic, cultural, economic, political, or social change. This person's actions support or oppose one side of a controversial argument. Activism may refer to a variety of actions, including protest, writing letters to newspapers or politicians, participating in rallies and street marches, and many other tactics to bring about change.
Affordable housing -The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines housing affordability as the ability for a household to pay no more than 30 percent of its annual income on housing. Families who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care.
Affirmative Action -Action taken by a government or private institution to make up for past discrimination in education, work, or promotion on the basis of age, birth, color, creed, disability, ethnic origin, familial status, gender, language, marital status, political or other opinion, public assistance status, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.
Apartheid -A policy of racial segregation maintained in South Africa from 1948 to 1991. The policy established the doctrine of separate development, whereby South African blacks were segregated into reserves known as homelands and subjected to residential and occupational restrictions.
Apathy (Opposite: Empathy) - Lack of interest or concern; indifference.
Assimilation -To be structurally and/or culturally absorbed by a dominant group. During this process, an individual or a group is largely forced to shed its own culture and take on the culture of the dominant group. Assimilation may not be done on equal terms and thus can be one-sided.
Beauty Standards -Norms or ideals regarding the physical appearance (usually of women) as defined by popular opinion within a given culture.
Boundaries - Lines indicating the limits of countries, states, or other political jurisdictions.
Brown vs. Board of Education - A 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled segregation to be unconstitutional in public education settings. Brown, which was actually a set of five cases addressing segregation in public schools, overturned the prior ruling of the Court, made in 1896, that segregation was fully legal and constitutional.
"Browning of Minnesota" - A term referring to Chicano -Latino immigrants settling in Minnesota and becoming an organized community.
Citing Evidence in Support of Ideas - To express, in oral or written form, information that confirms a particular view.
Civic Engagement - To participate in public life, encourage other people to participate in public life, and join in common work that promotes the well -being of everyone.
Civil and Political Rights -Body of rights defining freedom to participate in the political and civil life of a society. Such rights include freedom to worship, to express oneself, to vote, to take part in political life, and to have access to information.
Class - A social rank whose members share certain economic, social, or cultural characteristics.
Classism - Attitude, action, and institutional practices that subordinate one class to a dominant class; bias based on social or economic class.
Codification (Codify) - The process of transforming principles or practices into written legal form.
Collective Bargaining -A process of negotiations workers enter into with employers, often through unions, in an attempt to better their workplace situation.
Community - A group of people who identify with each other, have common interests, or are viewed as forming a distinct segment of society. The word community can also mean a society as a whole. A Human Rights Community is a community based on human rights, where respect for the fundamental dignity of each individual is recognized as essential to the society.
Community -Building - is a field of practices directed toward the creation or enhancement of community between individuals within a regional area (such as a neighborhood) or with a common interest. A wide variety of practices can be utilized for community building, ranging from simple events like potlucks and small book clubs, to larger -scale efforts such as mass festivals and construction projects that involve local participants rather than outside contractors.
Community Service - Service that is designed to assist in addressing community problems such as employment, government, health, housing, land use, poverty, recreation, transportation , and youth opportunities.
Competitiveness (regional) - The degree to which a region can attract and maintain successful businesses and maintain or increase standards of living for its inhabitants. Factors in competitiveness include environmental conditions, education, and infrastructure.
Conflict Resolution - Reconciling opposing perspectives, stories, or experiences and deciding on a response that promotes and protects the human rights of all parties affected by the dispute.
Contribute - To give (money, time, knowledge, assistance, etc.) to a common supply, fund, etc.
Convention -A legally binding agreement between nations designed to protect human rights (used interchangeably with treaty and covenant). Conventions are considered to have more legal force than Declarations because governments are legally bound to enforce the Conventions that they have ratified. When the UN General Assembly adopts a convention, it establishes international standards for action and behavior. Once a convention is adopted by the UN General Assembly, Member States can then ratify it, thereby promising to uphold it. Governments that violate the standards set forth in a convention can then be censured by the UN and by governments.
Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW or Women's Convention; adopted 1979, entered into force 1981) - The most comprehensive legally binding international convention prohibiting discrimination against women and obligating governments to take affirmative steps to advance the equality of women.
Convention on the Rights of the Child - (Children's Convention; adopted 1989, entered into force 1990) - Convention setting forth a full spectrum of civil, cultural, economic, social, and political rights for children.
Courage - The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or other circumstances with self -possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.
Covenant - A legally binding agreement between States (used synonymously with convention and treaty). The major international human rights covenants, both adopted in 1966 (and entered into force in 1976), are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
Creed - A set of fundamental beliefs or guiding principles. A creed can be either religious or secular.
Critical Thinking - Analyzing and contemplating past and present experiences, as well as future possibilities, by taking into account multiple perspectives on a story or narrative.
Critically Analyzing History - Analyzing a historical event or era from different cultural perspectives, including birth, gender, language, national or social origin, political or other opinion, property, or other status.
Cultural Rights - The right to preserve and develop one's cultural identity, as well as the responsibility to protect endangered cultures.
Customary International Law - Law that becomes binding on nations through general acceptance and practice as a matter of legal obligation. When enough states have begun to behave as though some principle is law, it becomes law "by use"; this is one of the main sources of international law.
Cynicism (Opposite: Optimism) - An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of others.
Declaration - A document comprising standards that States agree upon, but which are not legally binding like treaty provisions, e.g. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
UN conferences, such as the 1993 UN Conference on Human Rights in Vienna and the 1995 World Conference for Women in Beijing, usually produce two sets of declarations: one written by government representatives and one written by Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs). The UN General Assembly often issues influential declarations.
Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples - A UN Declaration addressing the rights of indigenous peoples. It was drafted and formally debated for over twenty years prior to being adopted on June 29, 2006 during the inaugural session of the Human Rights Council. The document emphasizes the rights of indigenous peoples to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions, and to pursue their development in keeping with their own needs and aspirations.
De Facto Segregation - Segregation that exists without explicit legal support, but as a part of every day life. (This is in contrast to De jure segregation, which is based in law.)
Desegregation - The removal of legal barriers restricting where individuals may eat, live, attend school, etc., based on race or other factors. This can be used in reference to housing, education, business establishments, and jobs (among many others) and is most often used in the context of the American Civil Rights Movement.
Democracy - A system of government in which people's views are reflected and the right of political participation is guaranteed. Such a form of government involves the principles of promoting and protecting human rights, social equality, and respect for the individual within a community. Representation and free elections are two defining factors of a democracy.
Direct Action - Those tactics that can be undertaken by people themselves, without the help of government agencies, lawyers, or other intermediaries. Examples include picketing, work slowdowns, strikes, occupation of buildings, and marches.
Discrimination (Opposite: Non -Discrimination) - Unequal treatment based on the distinction between individuals not based on legitimate terms; arbitrary bias for or against an individual or a group that fails to take true account of their characteristics or treat an individual or a group in a just and equitable manner. Discrimination can be based on age, birth, color, creed, disability, ethnic origin, familial status, gender, language, marital status, political or other opinion, public assistance, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.
Disparity - The condition or fact of being unequal, as in age, rank, or degree; difference. Examples include:
Race disparities: differences among race and ethnic groups.
Class disparities: differences among income groups.
Place Disparities: differences between cities and suburbs (and among suburbs).
Distinguishing Between Fact, Opinion, and Reasoned Judgment - Fact can be defined as knowledge or information based on real occurrences or empirical evidence, while opinions are beliefs or conclusions held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof. Judgment means discernment, assessment and/or comparison of ideas to arrive at a conclusion. Reasoned judgment is any belief or conclusion reached on the basis of careful thought and reflection, distinguished from mere or unreasoned opinion on the one hand, and from simple fact on the other.
Distinguishing Between Wants, Needs, and Rights - A want is a desire, whereas a need is a necessity and rights constitute entitlements. Human rights are mutual, equal, universal, non -discriminatory, inalienable, indivisible, and interdependent.
Diversity - The representation of multiple groups within a larger group, community, or area, such as a school or a workplace.
Economic Globalization - The continuing integration of markets through global trade by way of trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), trade organizations, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), and regional economic blocs, such as the European Union (EU). Economic Globalization is the subject of heated debate: Supporters argue that it generates wealth, increases trade, and spurs development, while critics argue that globalization leads to environmental degradation, exploitation of the poor by powerful states and companies, and does not support sustainable development.
Economic Justice (also see Socio -Economic Injustice) - Fairness and equity in economic affairs, by establishing laws, governments, and institutions that treat people equally and avoid favoring particular individuals or groups while providing opportunities to those living in poverty.
Economic Status - Related to economic class; the purchasing power or stability largely determined by one's income, inherited wealth, home and vehicle ownership, savings, etc.
Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights - Rights that concern the production, development, and management of material for the necessities of life. These rights also include the right to preserve and develop one's cultural identity. Examples of such rights include the rights to adequate education, food, shelter, and healthcare.
Ellis Island - An island in Upper New York Bay southwest of Manhattan, that hosted the chief immigration station of the United States from 1892 to 1943. Officially closed in 1954, the site was designated a National Monument in 1965, and the main building was opened to the public as a museum in 1990.
Empathy - The ability to listen deeply to another person's story or experience and connect to the person's feelings and story.
Entrepreneur - A person who organizes, operates, and assumes the risk for a business venture.
Environmental, Cultural, and Developmental Rights - These rights, often referred to as the "third generation rights" recognize that people have the right to live in a safe and healthy environment and that groups of people have the right to cultural, political, and economic development.
Environmental Degradation - The diminishment of an ecosystem or a biosphere due to human activity. Environmental degradation occurs when natural resources (such as trees, habitat, earth, water, air) are consumed faster than they can be replenished. Sustainability requires that human activity, at a minimum, only uses nature's resources to the point where they can be replenished naturally.
Equality - This human rights principle mandates the same treatment of persons. The notion of fairness and respect for the inherent dignity of all human beings, as specified in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."
Equity/Inequity - Fairness (or, in the case of inequity, the lack thereof).
Ethnocentrism - A practice of consciously or unconsciously privileging one's own ethnic group over others by judging other groups by the values of one's own group.
Examining Assumptions - Process of deconstructing and analyzing the bases of ideas generally taken for granted in a given society or school of thought. An assumption is something taken for granted or accepted as true without proof, and can be a generalization based on limited or nonexistent evidence. Identifying and considering the validity of assumptions are critical thinking skills.
Ex -Offender - A person formerly incarcerated in the prison system. The rights of ex -offenders upon re -entry vary from country to country, and are different in different United States. For instance, in some states once a person has been convicted of a felony, they may never vote again, while in others they regain their rights upon completion of parole.
Food Insecurity - The lack of access to enough food to fully meet basic needs at all times due to lack of financial resources
Food Shelf - One type of social service which provides food for people facing hunger or "food insecurity." Food shelves can take many forms and differ from place to place and from one agency or organization to another.
Fulfilling Civic and Social Responsibilities - Carrying out the duties associated with Civic Engagement - that is, participating in public life, encouraging other people to participate in public life, and joining in common work that promotes the well -being of everyone.
Genocide - A crime defined in international law as acts intended to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group of human beings.
Government - The act or process of governing, especially the decision -making and implementation of public policy in a political unit. The authority, leadership, or agent responsible for promoting and protecting human rights.
Government Responsibility - The obligations that a government must fulfill. Human Rights are an integral part of these obligations. Human rights are not gifts given at the pleasure of governments, nor should governments withhold them or apply them to some people but not to others. Governments must be held accountable for promoting and protecting the human rights of all persons.
Group Rights - The right of groups to protect their interests and identities.
Harry Gaston - An alumnus of the Neighborhood House and a coach, Harry Gaston is often considered to be "the father of West Side Athletics". While working with the Neigborhood House, Gaston provided enriching opportunities to St. Paul's West Side youth.
Healthcare - The prevention, treatment, and management of illness and injury, and the preservation of mental and physical well -being.
Health Insurance - A type of insurance covering medical expenses. Beyond this most simple definition, there are many variables that go into defining a health insurance plan, but (in the United States) it is typically closely tied to one's employer and the quality and costs of one's insurance are similarly impacted by the employer and the particular plan or policy.
Historical Context -Environment and/or set of events reflecting the time in which something took place or was created and how that influences our interpretation of related present -day events.
Hmong -A member of a people inhabiting the mountainous regions of southern China and adjacent areas of Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.
Homeless - A homeless person is anyone who 1) lacks a regular and adequate nighttime residence, 2) has a primary nighttime residence that is a supervised, publicly - or privately -operated temporary living accommodation, including emergency shelters, transitional housing, and battered women's shelters; or 3) has a nighttime residence in any place not meant for human habitation, e.g. under a bridge, in a car, etc.
Human Dignity - This principle of human rights signifies that each individual, regardless of age, birth, color, creed, disability, ethnic origin, familial status, gender, language, marital status, political or other opinion, public assistance, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation, deserves to be honored, esteemed, and respected.
Human Rights - The entitlements and freedoms people have simply because they are human beings, regardless of their ability, citizenship, ethnicity, gender, language, nationality, race, or sexuality; human rights become legally enforceable when they are codified as conventions, covenants, or treaties, as they become recognized as customary international law, or as they are accepted in national or local law.
Identity -A term referring to an individual's perceptions of him or herself as a discrete, separate entity.
Ignorance - The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed.
Illiteracy (Opposite: Literacy) - The inability to read or write. Illiteracy can also refer to the ignorance of a set of terms or ideas that describe a concept. For example, human rights illiteracy is a lack of knowledge regarding human rights principles and norms.
Immersive Education - Educational approach and programming that combine a unique approach to classroom -based work with an experiential, reflective, and critical look at the important social issues of our time. E.g. When students learn about homelessness, in addition to reviewing statistics and learning about social programs, they also spend a day in the life of a homeless person to experience what it is like to be homeless, and think about ways they can help to eliminate homelessness in their communities.
Immigration - The act of moving to a country where one is not a native. Immigrants are people who come to a country where they intend to settle permanently and many of them obtain citizenship. A legal immigrant is a person who comes to settle in a country with the legal permission of its government. An undocumented immigrant is a person residing in a country without the legal permission of its government.
Impetus -A stimulus or impulse, a moving force that sparks momentum.
Inalienable - Word that describes something that cannot be taken or given away. Human rights that individuals have cannot be taken away, surrendered, or transferred.
Indicator - A sign, symptom, statistic or parameter of a larger situation. Any of various statistical values that together provide an indication of the condition or direction of the economy.
A sign or symptom of a larger situation. When multiple indicators are taken together, they often point more clearly toward their implied context than when taken alone.
Indigenous Peoples - People who are the original or natural inhabitants of a land. Native Americans/American Indians, for example, are the Indigenous Peoples of the United States.
Individual Rights - A term referring to rights claimed and possessed by individuals, as opposed to rights claimed by a group.
Indivisible - Word that describes something that cannot be divided or reduced. Human rights should be addressed as an indivisible body, including civil, political, social, economic, cultural, and collective rights.
Infrastructure (in the context of a city/metropolitan area) - The fundamental structures necessary for the vitality of a metropolitan area. For a city, this includes roads, bridges, water pipes, waste systems, etc.
Injustice (Opposite: Justice) - Denying fair, moral, and impartial treatment of the human rights of all persons.
Integration - Similar to desegregation, as both endeavor to combat segregation; yet while desegregation is typically a legal term and refers to legal action or legislation, integration applies more often to social contexts that is, the interaction of people from different backgrounds. Also, integration seeks to cultivate an environment in which the cultures and values of all involved are understood and appreciated as opposed to simply seeking to fold one (minority) culture into another (the majority).
Interdependence - Human rights concerns appear in all spheres of life, such as in home, school, workplace, court, and markets. Human rights violations are interconnected; the loss of one right detracts from other rights. Similarly, promotion of human rights in one area supports other human rights.
Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) - Organizations sponsored by multiple governments that seek to coordinate their efforts. Some are regional (e.g., the Council of Europe, the African Union), some are strategic alliances (e.g., the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO), and some are global or dedicated to a specific purpose (e.g., the United Nations).
International Bill of Human Rights - The combination of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and its Optional Protocols, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) - A United Nations Convention adopted and opened for signature and ratification on December 21, 1965, and which entered into force January 4, 1969. As of November 2006, it has been ratified by 173 nations and a further five have signed it. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination oversees the implementation of the Convention. The Convention prohibits any discrimination on the basis of "race, color and national origin".
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) - A treaty that was adopted in 1966, and entered into force in 1976. The ICCPR establishes that all people have a broad range of civil and political rights. One of the components of the International Bill of Human Rights.
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) - A treaty that was adopted 1966, and entered into force 1976. The ICESCR declares that all people have a broad range of economic, social, and cultural rights. One of the components of the International Bill of Human Rights.
International Law - A set of rules generally regarded and accepted as binding in relations between States. International human rights law is a part of international law designed to protect people against torture, inhuman treatment, arbitrary killings, discrimination, failure to take steps to provide adequate food, shelter, healthcare, and other human rights abuses.
*The foundational documents of international human rights law are the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (and its two Optional Protocols), and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Invest (Opposite: divest or under -invest) - To instill intellectual, financial, or material resources in people, communities, ideas, etc., in ways that reflect the value in which they are held.
Justice -The ideal state of humanity; a morally correct state of things and persons. In most societies, people work for justice by organizing through different categories of rights, such as civil, political, economic, social, and cultural.
Juvenile Institution -A correctional or educational facility intended or appropriate for young offenders.
Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity - A creative project put together by the Organizing Apprenticeship Project where the performance of the Minnesota Legislature and the governor is assessed and graded based on policies that address and strengthen racial equity and opportunity in the state. It also assesses legislative efforts that strengthen American Indian tribal sovereignty.
Liberty -The right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one's own choosing.
Limited Resources - A lack of available sources of wealth; reserves or supplies that can be used or drawn upon when needed
Literacy (Opposite: Illiteracy) - The ability to read and write in one or more languages. Literacy can also refer to the ability to understand a set of ideas and terms related to a central concept. For example, human rights literacy is the ability to understand and speak in terms of human rights principles and norms.
Nationalism - A sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on the promotion of its economic and political interests and culture over those of other nations.
Nonbinding - Term referring to a document, such as a declaration, that carries no formal legal obligations. It may, however, carry moral obligations or eventually attain the force of law as customary international law.
Non -Discrimination (Opposite: Discrimination) - Non -discrimination is vital to the concept of equality. It ensures that no one is denied the protection of their human rights based on external factors. Such factors include age, birth, color, creed, disability, ethnic origin, familial status, gender, language, marital status, political or other opinion, public assistance, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation. These categories, however, are only examples; they do not mean that discrimination is allowed on other grounds.
Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) - Organizations formed by people outside of government. NGOs monitor the proceedings of human rights bodies, such as the United Nations, and are the "watchdogs" of the human rights that fall within their mandate. Some are large and international (e.g., the Red Cross, Amnesty International, and the Girl Scouts), while others may be small and local (e.g., an organization to advocate for people with disabilities in a particular city; a coalition to promote women's rights in one refugee camp). Many NGOs have official consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council.
Nonviolence (or non -violence) - A set of assumptions about morality, power, and conflict that leads its proponents to reject the use of violence in efforts to attain social or political goals. While often used as a synonym for pacifism, since the mid -20th century the term nonviolence has come to embody a diversity of techniques for waging social conflict without the use of violence, as well as the underlying political and philosophical rationale for the use of these techniques.
Oppression - The systematic exploitation of one societal group by another for its own benefit. The phenomenon involves institutional control, ideological domination, and the imposition of the dominant group's culture on the oppressed.
Pairing - A Minnesota model of school desegregation. In 1971, two local schools, Field and Hale, were "paired" to achieve a better racial balance. Prior to 1971, Hale had fewer than 3 percent of students of color, while Field had over 70 percent of students of color, mostly African American. Together they became a unified K -6 program, serving students from the neighborhoods surrounding both schools. Filed and Hale is nationally known as a successful racial integration experiment.
Parent Involvement - The contribution of parents to the education of and attention to their own and others' children.
Passivity - The condition of being inactive or submissive.
Persecution - The act or practice of persecuting, or condition of being persecuted on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or beliefs that differ from those of the persecutor.
Political Repression - The denial of the right of people to participate in the political life of their communities and society. For example, denial of the right to vote or run for office.
Poverty - The condition of being unable to achieve an adequate standard of living. Today, standards of living vary greatly among and within nations. Nonetheless, the effects of poverty remain constant: hunger, homelessness, lack of education, and lack of resources to fulfill basic human needs. For example, one of the main causes of hunger is poverty. Most people who are starving do not have the means to obtain the food that they need.
Poverty Line - The official level of income at which a family or an individual is considered to be living in poverty. As there is some debate as to whether reaching the poverty line itself is truly enough to move a person or family out of poverty, this line is used primarily in official or governmental contexts and often determines the funding or support of anti -poverty response initiatives.
Predatory lending -Deceptive lending practices often accompanied by aggressive sales tactics. The practices lead to borrowers' acceptance of unfair loan terms, which can cause loss of home equity and foreclosure.
Prejudice - An attitude, opinion, or feeling formed without adequate prior knowledge, thought, or reason. Prejudice can be prejudgment for or against any individual, group, or object. Any individual or group can hold prejudice(s) toward another individual, group, or object.
Prenatal Care -Medical care recommended for women before and during pregnancy. The aim of good prenatal care is to detect any potential problems early, to prevent them if possible (through recommendations on adequate nutrition, exercise, vitamin intake, etc), and to direct the woman to appropriate health specialists and facilities.
Problem Solving -Identifying multiple responses to an issue or dilemma and choosing a response which promotes and protects the human rights of all parties.
Protocol - A treaty that modifies another treaty (e.g., adding additional procedures or substantive provisions).
Public, Private, and Nonprofit Sectors - The three categories into which society is often divided. Public sector typically corresponds with political, law enforcement, and infrastructural systems (i.e., the realm of "public service"). Private sector is associated with business and enterprise. Nonprofit sector is often the hardest to define of the three. It tends to include a range of non -governmental social service agencies, think tanks and organizations that engage community members around public policy issues.
Race -A term referring to the concept of dividing people into groups based on various sets of characteristics and beliefs about common ancestry. The most widely used human racial categories are based on visible traits, such as skin color.
Racial Discrimination -An unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice against their race.
Racial Justice -The state of fairness applied to people of all races equally without exclusion.
Racism - An ideology of racial superiority and hierarchy based on discrimination.
Racial steering -An illegal practice prohibited by the Federal Fair Housing Act in which real estate agents push prospective minority buyers toward or away from specific area based on their race or ethnicity.
Ratification - Process by which a government confirms a State's action in becoming legally bound by a treaty; formal procedure by which a State becomes bound to a treaty after acceptance.
Re -segregation - The process by which integrated or desegregated areas or sectors return to a segregated state. This process can be either intentional or unintentional; one common example of re -segregation today can be seen in school systems across the United States.
Re -Entry -The process by which ex -offenders (see Ex -offender above) return to their communities after release from the prison system. The success of re -entry is often impacted largely by the support an ex -offender receives once he or she has returned.
Refugee -One who flees in search of refuge, as in times of war, political oppression, or religious persecution.
Refugee Camps -Shelter for persons displaced by war or political oppression or for religious beliefs often provided by other countries.
Research - Using multiple sources to thoroughly study a human rights topic. Such sources can be books, newspapers, magazine or journal articles, or primary human rights documents (e.g., the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).
Reservation -The exceptions that State Parties make to a treaty (i.e., provisions that they do not agree to follow). Reservations, however, may not undermine the fundamental objective and purpose of the treaty.
Resources - The natural, monetary, intellectual, material, or social capacities available for a given initiative.
Respect - To honor, appreciate, and treat others with dignity.
Respect for Self - Treating oneself with care, love, and appreciation, while valuing one's unique and shared characteristics.
Government responsibility -Governments must be held accountable for promoting and protecting the human rights of all persons. Human rights are not gifts given at the pleasure of governments, nor should governments withhold them or apply them to some people but not to others.
Individual responsibility -Duties possessed by individuals. For example, every individual has a responsibility to respect human rights, to challenge institutions and individuals that abuse them, and to teach human rights.
Other responsible entities -Every organ of society, including corporations, educational institutions, foundations, and non -governmental organizations also share responsibility for the promotion and protection of human rights.
Restorative Justice -A form of criminal justice that emphasizes reparation by the offender to the victim or the affected members of the community, for example, by monetary compensation or by community service.
Revitalization -The process of bringing new life or vigor to an existing community, or neighborhood, or economy.
Rule of Law -The principle that all members of society - both citizens and rulers - are bound by a set of clearly defined and universally accepted laws. In a democracy, the rule of law is manifested through an independent judiciary, a free press, and a system of checks and balances on leaders through separation of powers among the branches of government and through free elections.
Security - The level of protection or safety by or for an individual, group, or system against threats to human rights, such as arbitrary detention, food deprivation, or unwarranted physical harm.
Segregation -The policy or practice of separating people of different races, classes, or ethnic groups in schools, housing, and public or commercial facilities, especially as a form of discrimination.
Segregation tax -An expression referring to the gap in home values, "segregation tax" is "imposed" on homeowners of color resulting from a high degree of racial segregation.
Self - The total, essential, or particular being of a person; the individual.
Self -Determination - Political independence on the part of a group without control by forces outside of that area.
Self -Expression - Sharing one's thoughts, beliefs, feelings, ideas or personality, through verbal or non -verbal means, including dance, essays, music, painting, photography, poetry, sculpture, spoken word, etc.
Self -Image - An individual's awareness of, and attitudes toward, his/her own physical or biological person; an individual's perception of him/herself, such perception being learned in social interaction, mostly through the medium of language.
Self -Sufficiency -The ability to provide for oneself without the help of others; independence.
Sexism - Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping and oppression based on sex and gender; discrimination based on sex or gender.
Shadow reports - A method or technique used by NGOs to supplement or present alternative information to the periodic government reports that State parties are required to submit under international treaties.
Sharing Learning - Communicating with other members of one's family, class, school, or larger community through multi -media or diverse methods of expression what one has learned.
Signing/Sign - The first step in ratification of a treaty; to sign a treaty is to promise to adhere to the core principles in the document and to honor its spirit.
Social Change - Refers to progress resulting from acts of advocacy for the cause of enacting positive change in society. Social change movements are generally organized in response to particular oppressions based on race, gender, ability, sexual orientation, religion, and age.
Social Justice - The practice of promoting and protecting human rights and responsibilities, with a particular emphasis on the economic and social rights of society's most vulnerable groups.
Social Responsibility - The obligation to ensure that one's actions produce an overall positive impact on society and on the promotion and protection of human rights.
Socio -Economic Injustice - Lack of fairness and equity in actions or attitudes related to promoting social and economic rights.
Solidarity - A union of interests, purposes, or sympathies among members of a group.
For example, Solidarity is often associated with labor movements.
Spatial Mismatch -The economic, political, or sociological phenomenon that\ takes place when job opportunities for low -income people are located far from low -income communities.
State - (often synonymous with "country") Geo -political unit encompassing a group of people permanently occupying a fixed territory having common laws and a government capable of conducting international affairs.
State Parties - Those countries that have ratified or otherwise accepted a treaty or a convention and are thereby legally bound to conform to its provisions.
Stereotype -An idea about the characteristics, behavior, and beliefs of a particular group, based primarily on membership in that group. They may be positive or negative and prejudicial, and may be used to justify certain discriminatory action toward that group.
Strike - Work stoppage caused by the mass refusal by employees to perform work. A strike usually takes place in response to employee grievances.
Suburbs - Areas commonly defined as residential areas on the outskirts of a city or large town.
Survival Skills - Skills that may help one to survive dangerous situations (such as storms or earthquakes) or in dangerous places. Also used figuratively to refer to skills that may help one to find a job or provide for his or her family and community.
Systemic Change - Process of enacting large -scale change while moving beyond thinking about individual organizations, single issue problems, and single issue solutions. Systemic change is a cyclical process in which the impact of change on all parts of the whole and their relationships to one another are taken into consideration. For example, the term entails thinking about many types of systems, such as educational systems, information systems, policy systems, social service systems, and technology systems.
The Community Reclamation Project(CRP) - A vehicle for African American churches to re -connect and have impact at the level of the day -to -day struggle of the people of the community. Its purpose is to affirm the traditional role of the African American pastor as elder; to mobilize pastors as leaders of change in African American community issues; and to maximize the utilization and effectiveness of the church in dealing with the life issues of the community. Each pastor of a CRP participating organization serves on a council of elders that meets monthly
The Ojibwe - A group of Native Americans - First Nations who were encountered by Europeans in the 800's by French explorers near Sault Sainte Marie, Canada. They are also known as the Anishinabe, Ojibwa, Ojibway, Othipwe and Chippewa. The Ojibwe would hunt and trap woodland animals, fish, harvest gardens, gather berries, grow maize and collect wild rice. They did not use horses or hunt buffalo. They used birch bark to create canoes, storage containers, and household materials, as well as their homes.
The right to work - Concept that people are entitled to work, and may not be prevented from doing so. The right to work is affirmed by many International Human Rights documents, including:
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 23
- The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) - Article 8
- The International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) - Articles 6, 7, and 8
- Convention on the Rights of the Child - Article 32
Treaty - A formal agreement between nations, which defines and modifies their mutual duties and obligations (a treaty which may be ratified by more than two States Parties is a multilateral treaty, sometimes known as a convention). When conventions are adopted by the UN General Assembly, they create legally binding international obligations for the Member States that have ratified the treaty.
Treaty Body - A Committee of independent experts that monitors the implementation of the provisions contained in international human rights documents. Currently, there are six treaty bodies: The Human Rights Committee, The Committee on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights, The Committee against Torture, The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, and The Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Union -An organization or association of workers united to protect their interests, including wages, health and vacation benefits, and working conditions. Unions collectively bargain with employers on behalf of union members.
Union Movement -A process whereby union members engage in organized efforts aimed at improving their situation related to wages, health and vacation benefits, working conditions, etc.
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) - United Nations organization that works to promote the human rights of children throughout the world. UNICEF has a variety of programs that address the organization's priority areas of child protection, early childhood, girl's education, HIV/AIDS, and immunization.
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples - A Declaration adopted by the United Nations in September 2007 addressing the right to citizenship, equality, self -determination, and distinct characteristics and acknowledging the impact of racism, environmental degradation, and colonialism on indigenous populations.
United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) - A UN council of 54 members primarily concerned with population, economic development, human rights, and criminal justice. This high -ranking body receives and issues human rights reports.
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) -Body of the United Nations established to advance science and learning in the five areas of Education, Natural Sciences, Social and Human Sciences, Culture, and Communication and Information. The mission of the Social and Human Sciences section of UNESCO is to spur advances and innovation that promote the universal principles of justice, freedom, and human dignity.
United Nations General Assembly -One of the principal organs of the UN, consisting of representatives of all member states. The General Assembly issues declarations, adopts conventions on human rights issues, debates relevant issues, and censures states that violate human rights. The actions of the General Assembly are governed by the United Nations Charter.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) -United Nations agency charged with facilitating international action to address the problems faced by refugees, as well as to promote and protect their human rights. Such rights include the right to seek asylum and the right to return home voluntarily.
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) - Body of the United Nations established to press the international community and UN Member States to honor and uphold human rights treaties, principles, and norms. The OHCHR also speaks on behalf of the victims of human rights violations.
Unity - Individuals or groups coming together for a single purpose.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) - Primary UN document establishing human rights standards and norms, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 8, 1948. The UDHR provides an authoritative definition of the human rights obligations of UN member states. Through time it has become so respected by states that many of its provisions can now be said to be customary international law.
Universality - Certain moral and ethical values are considered to be common or shared in all regions of the world; governments and communities should recognize and uphold them. The universality of human rights does not mean, however, that the rights cannot change or that they are experienced in the same manner by all people.
U.S. Secret War in Laos -CIA -run operation in Laos, that took place between 1968 and 1973. U.S. Air Force planes flew out of bases in Thailand and dropped more than 2 million tons of explosives on communist targets in Laos, making that country one of the most heavily bombed nations in history. Most of the soldiers in this secret army were Hmong (See Hmong above), who the U.S. government believed possessed an aptitude for warfare that the easygoing lowland Lao lacked. At first, the Hmong were used only to gather intelligence on North Vietnamese movements in Laos, but by the mid -1960s, under the leadership of Major General Vang Pao, Hmong soldiers were rescuing downed American pilots, flying combat missions, and fighting on the ground. The decision to support the United States in Laos cost the Hmong dearly. An estimated 30,000 people, more than 8% of the Hmong population in Laos, were killed in the war. To this day, Hmong are being persecuted, tortured and killed for siding with the U.S.
Welfare - a) government programs providing a minimum level of income, service or other support to disadvantaged people; b) financial assistance paid by taxpayers to people who are unable to support themselves.
White Flight - A term referring to the demographic trend where white people move away from increasingly racially diverse inner -city neighborhoods to predominantly white suburbs or exurbs.
White Privilege - A right, advantage, or immunity granted to or enjoyed by white persons beyond the common advantage of all others; an exemption in many particular cases from certain burdens or liabilities.