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Building a Bridge Toward a 21st Century Multi-Racial Multi-Cultural Society: 
Tearing Down Walls of Hate, Ignorance and Fear
Developing a Common Language for All to Access

Glossary of Terms and Definitions 

A : B : C : D : E : F : G : H : I : L : M : N : O : P : Q : R : S : T : W

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Scapegoating:
Scapegoating is the action of blaming an individual or group for something when, in reality, there is no one person or group responsible for the problem.  It targets another person or group as responsible for problems in society because of that person’s group identity.

Sexism:
Sexism is prejudice and/or discrimination based on gender.

Sexual Orientation:
Sexual Orientation denotes the deep-seated direction of one’s romantic and erotic attraction toward the same sex (homosexual), other sex (heterosexual), or both sexes (bisexual).  Sexual orientation is a continuum, not a set of absolutely distinct categories.  People do not choose their sexual orientation; they discover their feelings of attraction.  The only choice is whether or not to act on those feelings.  Some people’s feelings vary over time.

Stereotype:
A stereotype is an oversimplified generalization about a person or group of people without regard for individual differences.  Even seemingly positive stereotypes that link a person or group to a specific positive trait can have negative consequences.

This list is compiled from a variety of sources by the Office of Racial Justice and Multi-Racial, Multi-Cultural Transformation, United Church of Christ, Cleveland Based Team, Fall 2006

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