University language guide defines 'denial' as 'refusal to acknowledge' how 'societal privileges' are 'granted'

Minnesota State University's glossary is a 31-page document that the institution defines as a 'cheat sheet.'

The glossary is a part of a department initiative called Equity 2030, which is outlined in the university's 2020-2023 strategic plan.

Minnesota State University (MSU) uses a language glossary to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion [DEI] on its campus.

”Minnesota State Terms of Equity and Inclusion” provides the labels “ally,” “advocate,” and “anti-racist advocate” for those figures that champion certain social justice platforms. 

Opposingly, those people in “denial” are defined as “refus[ing] to acknowledge the societal privileges that are granted or denied based on… ethnicity or other grouping.”

Listed pronouns include she/her/hers, he/him/his, and ze/zir.

The guide is a 31-page document published by the Office of Equity and Inclusion in September 2021.

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This “cheat sheet,” which the university dubs its glossary, provides guidance on which words should be used most commonly, along with short definitions of their use.

For example, the term “privilege” is defined as a “special right, advantage or immunity granted or available only to a particular,” and is specifically tailored to two subcategories: heterosexual and White privilege.

The glossary is a part of a department initiative called Equity 2030, which is outlined in the university’s 2020-2023 strategic plan.

Equity 2030 seeks to “eliminate the educational equity gaps at every Minnesota State college and university,” according to the university website.

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The university marked the plan as “ambitious,” and placed an emphasis on requiring “intentional systems and culture change and innovation.”

Campus Reform has reported on similar higher education initiatives across the country. 

Similar to MSU, Boston University recently published a glossary defining words that align with the university’s “goals of justice, equity, and belonging.”

Campus Reform contacted MSU for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

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